For years, CUOCers around the world have spent Michaelmas term in a state of constant excitement, counting down the days until Training Tour arrives. Stories abound of past legends, from wild and windy AlcOs in Iron Age ring forts, to bunkhouse MicrOs and simply delicious skog. The final preparations begin, with maps being printed, transport being sorted, and Sinterklaas poems composed. Finally, the big day arrived, and from all across the nation, keen orienteers converged on Hawse End Bunkhouse.
Matthew, Paul and Fiona had been coaching at the JROS Hawkshead weekend, so had a short but fun drive. The organisers had vastly overestimated the amount of lunch to buy, so our heroes gladly accepted the leftovers, with hundreds of slices of bread, boxes of savoury items, and sixteen tubs of Cloverᵀᴹ. They arrived, and nothing was open except for a drying room, which was made use during the wait.
Jeremy's car arrived next, containing Elizabeth, Hamilton and James. They had also had an eventful day, featuring a pleasant lunch in a park in Bedale, lovely little village invented in 1251. James acted as DJ for the trip, but failed to select Heart Extra Xmas as the radio channel, instead opting for a boringly unseasonal Radio 1. When they arrived, Hamilton and James went for a run, when it transpired that Hamilton had no full leg cover for the week, for which he was awarded the title of DRONGO of the Day.
Aidan got up in the morning and went for a long run, before doing a 'fucking lot of shopping' [editors note: he did not do very much shopping], before picking up Rebecca of Oxford to drive across the North, listening to uncountable episodes of the Now Show.
Luke got up at eight minutes to nine, before his alarm went off at nine, which he was very proud of. He contemplated joining a run with a hairy boi, but ran out of time and cycled to his car on Iain's bike. Iain's bike was put in the car, then he drove to Trinity and parked inside the college as if he was a fellow, before cramming lots of bags into the car, as if he wasn't a fellow. On the drive up, they stopped at some services for a loo break, but the toilets were closed, so they went to the next services where there were no toilets, then changed motorway to find some suitable services before continuing on their A1 quest.
When they arrived, Luke and Iain and Rob went for a run which was 'wet' , 'dark' and 'moist' , before coming back for tea.
While some helpful people made dinner, Paul began work on the MicrO map, in preparation for the most exciting race of the year, coming later this week. Dinner was a tasty chickpea curry, followed by bread and butter pudding, in an attempt to get rid of a small fraction of the leftovers. For the rest of the evening the Hairy cross over contingent made an attempt to decipher the cunning and cryptic Cross Country Varsity afterparty report, made difficult by extensive use of pseudonyms, and some very dodgy spelling. Hopefully they start doing some fun orienteering related activity soon, but I don't hold out much hope.