Hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year and are looking forward to another year of orienteering!
Martin Down – New Year’s Day Score
The first event of 2020, organised by SARUM, was a score event on Martin Down, a new area. WSX had some high scorers in the top 10. With Jolyon in 3rd, Roger in 8th and Jason in 10th. All together WSX had a high contingent with 16 members running. It was a lovely map, apart from the controls that had to be moved, causing some controversy amongst runners. Jolyon reports:
“These score events are always fun. For me the first thing to decide is whether it is possible to get all controls in the hour, and if not which ones to leave out. The second task is to make sure to look for a man in a red coat, and someone with funny ears (elf). On the way to my first control I fell on my face twice, on account of map reading whilst running over tussocky grass. I aimed for the northern controls first, heading south without losing or gaining unnecessary height. I was fortunate that my chosen route happened upon the bonus controls (total pot luck). I had forgotten about the misplaced control until I couldn’t access the OOB. I only realised later, sitting in front of the fire, that there was an arrow to its exact location. Did anyone see that? Good fun, great area and lovely map. However well you do though there is always an M18 that beats you by 10 minutes!”
Read Sarum’s report here
DEVON Woodbury Common
The second event of 2020 was organised by DEVON on Woodbury, a mixture of open moorland and forest, where the Royal Marines train. The Medlocks and Gavin were the WSX members at the event. With Gavin coming 2nd on the blue, Jolyon 8th on the brown, Esk 3rd on the orange and Rebecca on her first blue. See results
(Lyra forgot to mention that she came 1st on Green – here she is running through the terrain, photo from Ben Chesters DEVON).
Jolyon reports (check out his route here)
“Apparently the northern part of Woodbury Common hasn’t been used for many years. It sits on high ground overlooking the Exe estuary and the Sea near Exmouth. Having spent a lot of the autumn making poor route choices through dense gorse, I decided to heed the green hatching and do what I hate, a bit of path running (I start thinking about work, and I am so slow on paths). The area is not particularly technical but the combination of several long legs, areas of OOB marsh and a circuitous path network made for good route choice. The brown course was mostly over open heathland which was tiring to run over and made good use of the more runnable bits of woodland. A great area, but physically demanding. Not like the open runnable moorland of Dartmoor. Also, only 12 minutes from IKEA Exeter, which kept some blue course runners extra happy”
Wessex Night League at Gregg’s School
On Monday there was a night league event at Gregg’s School, organised by SOC, with our highest performer Alan B in 4th. See results. Julie has provided a report below:
A very different ‘twist’ to the usual score event last night at the SOC event at Gregg School and Chartwell Green. Alan Farringdon had come up with a cunning idea to make the most of a very small area (1:3500) comprising the school grounds parkland and urban streets. All the controls were paired – so that if you went to say, control 70 you had to go to control 71 in order for the points to count. So each pair was worth 40 points (20 points each). There were 12 such pairings, plus a ‘bonus’ control (200) which would only count if you’d got all the others, but you could punch it at any time.
So planning a strategy at the start was the order of the day – so I was on a loser straight away as having a strategy is not my strong point! But I DID take a minute to look at where some of the pairings were and decided to go for a relatively close one (180) then heading for 181 which took me near to the urban area where I could see there were several pairs. The first two went OK, but then I totally misjudged the scale and faffed around for a couple of minutes trying to find the only exit into the urban area. Once I’d sussed it out, I thought that things would become easier amongst the streets and alleyways. To a certain extent it was, but at times I found it difficult to see the alleyways as the normal ‘olive’ OOB was shaded a pale pink/mauve (that’s my excuse, anyway).
I managed 3 pairs of controls in the urban area and then decided to head into the park to pick up 190. 191 was in the school grounds but there was an uncrossable fence on the direct line. So I had to divert round the end and head for the only entrance back into the school. I’d hope that I could get a couple more pairs of controls as I had quite a few minutes left. But when I scanned the control codes it would have meant going out into the park or urban area again, and I didn’t have the legs for that. So I had to be satisfied with just one more pair (100 and 101) which looked quite straightforward but I managed to get myself confused even doing those!
The end result was I only got 6 pairs (240 points) with over 4 minutes to spare. In retrospect, I should have got one more out in the urban area before heading back in. Hindsight’s a wonderful thing.
But it was a really enjoyable event and tested everyone’s skill – even the top guys.”
See the optimum route below
So if you feel like a run this weekend you know where to head.