Where were you when the hail started? That seemed to be the first question nearly everyone asked when they started discussing their course, and the hail storm will certainly be what many people remember. But once that was out of the way I hope you will remember how pleasant the forest was to run through and how interesting, varied and tricky the courses were. Epping is always going to have vague paths and vegetation, and needs a certain approach to orienteering, but if you manage to get into the map it provides very fast running. It struck me when I was checking controls on the morning that some of the flags could be seen from a long way away, but of course you have to be running in the right direction to see them in the first place. Many people came completely unstuck with the succession of short legs in the old fort, especially with the distraction of other controls in sight most of the time. As ever in Epping the shorter and easier courses proved particularly difficult to plan. If anything we erred on the easy side, with several taped routes, but this was driven by experience from previous years.
Mike’s courses didn’t need a great deal of change, but we went through two or three iterations as I encouraged him to avoid some road run options and economise on the number of controls. One particular combination of a pit and depression within about 50m of each other nearly made it through but in the end but we found a compromise that didn’t need them both. We had a bit of trouble sorting out overprint problems caused by starting from an old version of the OCAD course setting file. Planners need to make sure before they start that they have the latest set of overprint symbols.
My thanks to CHIG for giving you a good day out, Mike Edwards for helping out as Assistant Controller, and to Helen, James and Peter for putting up with me being away yet again