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HSX Antarctica at The OMM

HSX Antarctica at The OMM

Over the weekend Ollie and Chris took part in The Original Mountain Marathon (The OMM) a 2-day mountain event, combining endurance, navigation and mountain survival skills:

This year’s event was held in the Tweedmuir Hills in the Scottish Borders, and began with a torrential downpour, ensuring we were soaked from the start. To ensure that no team has an unfair advantage over fellow competitors, route maps are handed out on the start line, with each team being given a minute to plan their route to the first checkpoint. Competing in the C-Class this year, we had to visit a mix of compulsory checkpoints, before being given free rein to choose a series of optional points to really test our route planning skills. For much of Saturday the terrain under foot was terrible, consisting of shin deep heather, peat hags and ankle deep bogs; none of which are conducive with running!

After covering around 34km, and with darkness rapidly descending, we still had two checkpoints to find. We certainly hadn’t intended to be out for this long, but were happy to find them relatively easily before sprinting into the overnight camp. We were surprised at the number of head torches still out on the hills after-dark and thought that maybe we hadn’t done so bad after all! Having spent well over 10 hours out in the hills, we found ourselves sitting 39th out of 44 finishers; it was a good morale boost to know that 31 teams had already retired. At the overnight camp we soon discovered why two men really shouldn’t share a one-man tent (especially when one of them is over 6ft5!), however, enjoyed being warm and dry and sharing a ‘wee dram’ before bed.

OMM 2

06:00 seemed to roll around far too quickly, even with the extra hour gained from the clock change, and we were woken up in traditional OMM style – with a rendition of “Scotland the Brave” on the bagpipes! Having secured an early start time we were packed up and on the start line by 07:44. Mercifully, day 2 had been slightly shortened by the race organisers; in recognition that day 1 was much longer than it should have been due to land access issues. Starting with stiff legs, the organisers naturally eased us into the course by placing the first checkpoint of the day 250m uphill! We soon warmed up and found ourselves traipsing over an all too familiar mix of heather, peat and bog; just what our battered legs wanted! But before we knew it, we were visiting the penultimate checkpoint, meeting the first proper track of the weekend (thank God for engineering!) and were finally able to move quicker than a slow trudge! On our decent from Glenheurie Rig, we passed Chris Laws and Richard Batstone, who were also representing Team HSX, and successfully crossed the finish line at a jog after a 7 hour day.

One of the key points we took away from the weekend was the importance of accurate navigation. Rather than worrying about pace, good navigation can allow much more time and ground to be made up. For us, this meant we managed to find all of the checkpoints straightaway, whilst lots of other teams, having initially overtaken us, spent ages trying to find the markers and losing significant amounts of time (on day 1 we were 20 minutes out from checkpoint three when we passed one team still looking for the marker – a mistake which was likely to cost them around 30-40 minutes!).

Overall we came 35th out of 39 finishers in C-Class, with a further 5 teams dropping out on day 2. We were both particularly proud of this result, considering that half the field retired. Although enjoyment of the OMM is always retrospective, for now it’s time to rest up and get ready for the Welsh 3,000’s this weekend… No rest for the wicked!

Please follow our progress here or via Facebook or Twitter!

HSX Christmas Adventure Race

HSX Christmas Adventure Race

Christmas time was once again celebrated by the HSX Christmas weekend, and with it the infamous Adventure Race. After a stock up on supplies for the gruelling 3 hour event and a quick brief we all set out in the muddy new forest.

 

As we all had different tactics the start of the race was manic with all the pairs running off in different directions to the check points. Each check point was worth different amounts, depending on how hard it was to get to and since time was of the essence map reading and snacking was done while running.

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No time was wasted avoiding mud or rivers, which astonished the odd dog walker! After about 21km of running round the forest all but one of the teams headed back to ferny crofts to be back in time for the 1300hrs deadline.

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We then all had a well-deserved lunch and swapped stories of our routes before the results we in. In first place was Matt Prince & Ollie Robinson with, in second place, and with the honour of organising next year’s race, was Alan, Andy and Josh, and in last place with after a mini ‘epic’ was Liam and Will. Well done too everybody, and see you for next year’s race.. 🙂

by Andy Humpreys

Finally… It’s here….

This weekend we finally set off for John O’groats to start our seven day JOGLE epic…

We’ll try and post twitter updates so look for #HSXJOGLE and if any of you, your friends or families want to donate, they can here…. https://mydonate.bt.com/events/hsxjogle

Wish us luck….

teamHSX doing the JOGLE….

teamHSX in Trail Running Magazine

Our very own Lucky CFO Alan Braithwaite went out into the New Forest yesterday with two other lucky readers of Trail Running Magazine, the Editor & a photographer to do an article for next autumns edition of Trail Running Magazine.

We can ensure you it will be worth a read.

teamHSX on Atacama – All Done (& who won the prize pot)

So…… That’s it.. All done and dusted… And what an awesome experience/adventure we all had. I won’t bother putting a trip report up here, I think Chris’ blog updates and the awesome photos tell the story… However, I will put a couple of things on here.

Firstly, I want to link you to one of the other runners post race thoughts… What a write up and he says it all pretty well.. Navigate here http://www.4deserts.com/blogs/comptetior_blog_new.php?pid=OTQy&blog=21 and read Ian’s second blog entitled ‘Till the next time…’

Who won the Prize Pot & Sponsorship update!!! Oh, the excitement… Well, thanks to all of you we managed to raise a whopping £6190.34 inc gift aid for Cancer Research UK… A massive thank you goes out to everyone of you.. And now, on to the prize pot winner or winners….

Well, we always said that the winner would be the person who picked the time slot for when the team didn’t finish and due to the unfortunate events of Chris being quite ill, the team didn’t finish Stage 5. So the winner of the entire prize pot is Ian Furlong. Well done Ian. However, we also felt that as two of us did finish, the person who bought the time slot at 41hrs, 47mins, 42 seconds which was where Rich and I finished also deserved a prize.. So, we managed to get a laptop donated to us by Geek Squad UK www.geeksquad.co.uk so we’d also like to congratulate Andy Wilkinson on his prize..

Two questions left…

Would we do it again? I can’t talk for the other two, but I would (and I’m pretty sure they would)…

Do I recommend it to you? Yes!!!