The conditions in which to put out the controls and prepare registration and download were a tad damp. Actually some might say that they were absolutely torrential, although remarkably warm for the time of year. Consequently I was very pleased that David Lund, who planned the courses, had arranged the start and the finish so near to each other and adjacent to the parking area. It is always something that seems to be a bonus when I am a competitor, especially on such days and so I am sure everyone who took part appreciated this.
It seems this colour-coded event was used as a competition for a number of University O clubs. I do hope all students who attended enjoyed the day. If appropriate I am sure CHIG will be pleased to offer this fixture for future competitions and with notice I am sure we will be happy to post extra separate results on the day for the University teams.
A particular thank you to Helen Pearce and her team for managing the SPORTident equipment on the day, Tim Pribul for liaison and timely reminders and Derek Jenner for assistance with the results. The Club is grateful for assistance from The Corporation of London and Mr Nick Eade, Head Forest Keeper.
I am also pleased to thank the general manager of The Kings Oak for the invaluable assistance in providing power for the upload tent (and look forward to the refurbishment of the hotel in the coming year).
On the day of an event the organiser is often at a loose end if things go as they should which I believe was the case because the many helpers, to each of whom I am very grateful, shoulder all of the hard work. This involves almost everyone from our small Club, who was able to, helping. Whilst at a loose end I was able to snap a few photographs as follows.
Although the number attending was not large, happily in spite of the weather, comments received from competitors were that they had enjoyed their runs.
Ian M. Whisson (CHIG)
Unfortunately the weather really put a dampener on the event. The high winds two weeks before blew down a number of trees and the recent heavy rain turned many of the paths into mud baths and the depressions into ponds. Then, if that was not enough, the rain persisted for most of the event. The weather certainly played its part in deterring a number of people from coming but, on the plus side, it did keep the vandals away.
When I first checked the control sites at the end of September the forest was dry and most of the trees had their leaves. A marked contrast to conditions on Sunday. I think the worst effected courses were Yellow, Orange and Red, as competitors had to use the very muddy ride and paths in the south. The times for Yellow, Red, Light Green and Green were longer than expected, no doubt the conditions played a part and, with hindsight, all but Yellow were probably a bit too long. At least everyone returned safely, well before the course close time to enable the hard working Chig helpers to clear up. A special thanks to Helen for getting the results online so quickly.
I think David did well with the course planning and for putting up with my stream of suggestions and recommendations. The latter involved extensive replanning of the shorter courses. Ian kept the event on an even keel and I trust most people appreciated the hard work. I enjoyed the string course!
Janet Biggs (HAVOC)
Having the start and finish close to the Kings Oak had many advantages, not least the pub and hot food stall. However, it does restrict the routes from the start and back to the finish. It also meant that the easier courses had to be routed around the conservation area. I had originally planned to have these courses going north from the start but the paths are indistinct and after the high wind the previous week when a number fell across marked paths I was very glad that they had been moved to the south.
Looking at the results I can now see that most of the courses were quite hard. The light green, green, blue and brown were intended to be technically hard. The variation in times seems to indicate that there were significant route choices to be made. The red course appears to have been more of a challenge than intended with at least one leg requiring accurate map reading.
My thanks go to Tony Maycraft for making route suggestions at the early planning stage, and Janet Biggs for her many valuable observations and diligent checking of courses and route descriptions and maps. Finally thanks go to Tony, Kenth, Tim, Mark and Sally for putting out and collecting the controls.
This was the first full colour coded event I had planned. Of all the lessons learnt I think this was the most important – “Planning hard courses in Epping NW, is far easier than planning easy courses”!
David Lund (CHIG)