An SHR run Navigation Course with Bruce Poll (running partner of Alan Smith), and his helpers – Fiona,Mike,and Cathy. This was a two day course up in Fort William, with runners from all over; Locaber of course, Ochils,Cosmics, Bella, and Paula & myself from Westies making up the 20 strong contigent of now excellent navigators. Of course readers will know that every word of these reports is the truth, the whole truth,and everything BUT the truth.

Well, here’s something that you can take as gospel – this is a highly recommended course, with Bruce et al, having many years experience at navigating in long races as well as Mountain Marathons to a high standard. No,no they are not even giving a fee for this, for the cynical among you.

So two days of classwork and hillwork with a final stint on Sunday afternoon of Control checkpoint finding.Some on the course had previous experience in Orienteering and some had rather less experience in the minutae of map work, bearings, finding North – no,no, best not say that. Semple has just about admitted that he might be needing SPECS. now. Where’s the map? Certainly if navigating to the standard expected on this course………….it really helps to actually be able to see the features on the map? Here’s a couple of nuggets for precise navigation: grow one thumb nail, sharpen it to a point and then paint an arrow on the nail – yes you keep your nail precisely on the map at exactly your location for HOW many hours. Gordon old Bennett. Also, after putting the map in the map case fold it as many times as comfortable for your hand and put a rubber band round it, then you can run with it. Your postie can supply one – it’s on the pavement outside your house. Oh yes, the recommended compass was the Silva 4 to give yourself a fighting chance to get those ruddy checkpoints, in the middle of………..sorry about the rant. No, no i’ll calm down eventually. (actually the checkpoints were a bamboo pole with was it a grey ribbon), no bright orange flags or big boxes here matey. "I tell you".

As above this is a highly recommended course,perhaps as a starter,or springboard for whatever…………..plus you get half the week-end out on the hill.

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