“A map as your muse”
Last night I did something new! I took part in a muddy night trail race arranged by “Runners’ Corner” my favorite shop on running shoes and everything connected to running in my home town Herning in Denmark.
It was barrier breaking for me being more like an orienteering race where each participant had to use a map and find the 7 posts spread out on the 8 or 9 km route in dark and muddy paths.( I never thought I would be able to find posts in orienteering.)
One important thing was to bring or buy a head lamp. I had mine with me, but it soon showed up that it needed new batteries. I couldn’t see the trail in front of me. To complete the race I had to depend on other people. I only knew one person, a nice young man from my running club, who of course run faster than I do. I wouldn’t bother him with my company.
I found a couple who didn’t run fast and asked:
If they ran at this pace and if I could run with them as my lamp was not functioning?
I never heard the answer because they seemed to be rather deaf. Did I offend them by asking about their pace?
I don’t know where they came from, maybe Copenhagen, where I also come from myself. Having lived for twenty years “far” from Copenhagen it’s soon clear when somebody new comes to town. I ran with them all the way around. At one point they disappeared because I hadn’t noticed a turn they had made. I retraced my steps and found them as I am in better shape as at least the wife. I said :
“I didn’t see that you made a turn” I did get an answer then ” We thought you knew a better way!”
I am so glad that I took it easy. It was my fault that I hadn’t checked the lamp at home. But if anybody had asked me for help I would have stuck to them and helped. I am glad that I more than once found the posts hidden in trees and at one place down in a muddy ditch. I had to get help to get the number signed on my map because I couldn’t see well enough to enter the ditch and to get up again.
At the finish back at the shop our maps were put in a box and winners were drawn from it. My map was in a very bad shape as it started to rain in the last part of the race. Only the intact and still nice maps were drawn.
I have learnt two or three lessons:
- To bring a strong lamp
- To handle my map with much care
- Not all people are kind
But a big thank you to Runners’ Corner to have arranged this event. I will give it another try next year. Even when I didn’t win anything I got a bowl of warm soup.