Report by Graham Pigott, Potteries Orienteering Club (POTOC)
Our second local event of the year took place at Biddulph Grange Country Park at the weekend. After having to restrict entry numbers at Ladderedge due to the Covid restrictions we were happy to be able to allow more entrants at this event and it was well supported with 70 pre entries.
The cold and wet weather did not seem to put many people off and the system of allocating all runners exact start times using Fabian 4 worked well. Club Chairman Gordon Witte planned some good courses and with a total of around 40 controls to put out it was definitely an early start for him on Saturday. Thanks also to Jim Cooke for organising the event and dealing with the entry system.
In terms of the results Martin Pigott took the win on the 4.7km Long Hard course in an impressive 38 mins despite making a couple of errors early on in the course. Leon Foster of AIRE was 2nd and Graham Pigott POTOC 3nd, only 3 seconds ahead of former POTOC member Mark Rowe who now runs for ESOC.
On the 3.3km Short Hard course Jim Cooke was first in 37 minutes, ahead of Robert Lofthouse POTOC in 2nd and Jeni Rowe of ESOC 3rd.
The 2.4km Moderate course was well contested and it was good to see 9 juniors of M/W12 – 16 competing. Dietrich Gutschow M14 from MDOC was first in 19 mins followed by Jonah Hearn M12 WCH. Eden Pigott W12 POTOC was 3rd.
On the 1.8km Easy course there were 3 juniors competing and Catherine Rowe W10 ESOC was first ahead of Annie Lewis W10 WRE and Adam Rowe W12 ESOC.
The full results and Routegadget are available in the results section.
Our next event will be taking place at the end of June with the venue to be decided shortly.
Jennie Taylor Communications Officer at British Orienteering asked Graham: "When organising this event, what would you say worked very well, and did you have any challenges that cropped up?"
Graham comments: "We have found the requirement for pre-entry creates more work in the lead up to an event but it lessens the amount of work needed on the day. There is no cash to handle at the event and no need to have volunteers taking on the day entries. The use of the Fabian system for this event was successful. At our last event we used a different system which a lot of orienteers were not familiar with and it was more of a cumbersome entry process which also experienced some technical problems. Fabian 4 is simpler and as a committee we decided that the small extra cost of Fabian over other systems was worth paying to ensure the entry system ran smoothly. We also feel that Fabian4 provides good marketing for an event as many orienteers probably look at the fixtures on their website and become aware of events that they otherwise may not find out about. For Biddulph we received our normal amount of entries from POTOC but saw an increase in entries from other clubs.
Most competitors are now used to adhering to social distancing and orienteering is generally a very easy sport to conduct in a socially distanced manner anyway. We don’t find that organising events under Covid restrictions is any harder than in normal times, although the restrictions do prevent newcomers from receiving help at the event in person."
Thank you Graham and to all involved in putting on this event for all to enjoy. Wishing you all the best with all your future events.
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