The British Sprint and Middle Distance Championships held this weekend at the University of Bath and Stockhill near Wells in Somerset, provided the perfect start to the action packed new season of orienteering.
The efficient organisation, excellent mapping and challenging course planning to maximise the use of the fantastic technical terrain has set the Gold standard for British Orienteering Championships.
Aimed to find the best British Sprint orienteers in Britain, the complex multi-layered campus of the University of Bath provided the perfect location for the top orienteers to test both their navigational skills and their physical fitness against each other.
In order to win these highly competitive races, orienteers needed to run fast and furiously. In the Women’s Open Sprint final, Alice Leake (AIRE) won her race by just 5 seconds in 13.51 minutes and Jonathan Crickmore (EUOC) won the Men’s Open Sprint Final, by just 8 seconds with a time of 13.22 minutes. Fantastic performances were made all day throughout the categories. See the results pages at www.sportident.co.uk/results/2018/BritishSprintMiddle.
Everything from the car parking, registration, catering, changing facilities, spectator areas, start procedures, arena finishes and awards ceremony were meticulously organised to make an enjoyable day for everyone. The intelligent courses, warm and sunny weather and the prizes being presented by Bath’s own Olympic Gold Medallist winner Amy Williams MBE, made it a perfect day for everyone.
“Bath University provided an excellent venue for the sprints. I was very pleased with how the volunteers of BOK and NGOC came together to deliver such a successful event. It allowed orienteering’s stars to prove again what fantastic athletes they are, while everybody else could watch in relative comfort.” Alan Honey, BOK Chairman and Organiser.
Many thanks again to the planners Clare Howes (BOK) and Mike Forrest (BOK), Organiser Alan Honey BOK, Controller Alan Rosen (HH) and Mapper Chris Johnson (BOK) who due to the ongoing building works at the University of Bath was still updating the map the week before the event!
Stockhill, the beautiful Forestry Commission Wood on the Mendip Hills just outside of Wells, was the location of the British Middle Distance Orienteering Championships the following day. The sun was shining again and the magical forest, mainly runnable but with many pits, depressions, gullies, rock outcrops and little hills demanded continuous concentration to navigate accurately. The final few controls in the tussocky long grass created a hugely entertaining spectator experience from which the runners had no escape!
Cecilie Andersen (BOK) slammed the Women’s elite class in her first year as a W21 winning by a clear minute at 35.28 minutes. Another brilliant performance by Jonathan Crickmore winning the Men’s elite class in 32.54 minutes gave him the double whammy and surely made him the star performer of the weekend.
“The presentation ceremony was enhanced by three members of the WOC Squad, Alice Leake, Charlotte Ward and Chris Smithard, who joined the local Farmer, in presenting the medals. Alice was able to swap her duties at one point, for a place on the podium! Very many thanks are due to the farmer for allowing us to use her field and for cutting the fences to let us all back out of the woods. I would like to thank the Mills Hicks family for interrupting their runs to help a wounded competitor at the expense of their own runs. Also, I am extremely grateful to all of the SWOA Clubs who worked together tirelessly throughout the weekend and in the weeks beforehand, to provide such an excellent framework for the event” said Liz Yeadon, Organiser .
Thank you to the Weekend Co-ordinator Christine Vince (KERNO), the Organiser Liz Yeadon (SARUM), the Planner Ben Chesters (DEVON) the Controller Graeme Ackland (INT) and the Mapper Dave Peel (Peel Land Surveys).
“It seems that all the competitors had a really good time, on both days and everyone worked their socks off to make these the greatest Sprint and Middle races held so far” added Christine Vince (KERNO), Weekend Co-Ordinator.
Finally, a big “Thank you” to all the volunteers for helping to deliver the weekend’s event. Some of you put in very long shifts along with your own run, but however you helped, this sort of thing couldn’t happen without you.