Report by Greg Best, member of North Gloucestershire Orienteering Club (NGOC)
Please note: this event took place before new lockdown restrictions in England came into force at 00.01am on 5 November 2020.
On the Halloween weekend, North Gloucestershire Orienteering Club (NGOC) held its first proper event since lockdown in March. We had been one of the very early adopters of Maprun after one of our long-standing members returned from a spell living in Australia to tell us about the new technology. Hence, we have not been starved of virtual events in the interim, but this was the first chance to hunt for proper flags again and to use our dibbers (pre lockdown which is now in force since Thursday 5 November 2020 in England).
For simplicity, we put on the same Score Course on both the Saturday night and the Sunday morning. The night event was part of the Western Night League and the Sunday was for those people scared of the dark! Attempts to get permission to hold events elsewhere have been very challenging. Hence, we chose the lovely Chalford area for these events, as no tricky permissions negotiations would be necessary there, it being an urban race in beautiful rural surroundings, using public roads and paths. Chalford is one of the Stroud Valleys and its heritage dates from the early days of the Industrial Revolution. It has a charming mix of terrain, with a veritable maze of tiny roads and paths between the old mills and former weaver’s cottages. There were some of lovely autumn views to be had while climbing up the very steep hillsides and also woods, fields and a canal for variety.
Somewhat unusually, the Download and Start operations were carried out from inside the local bus shelter on both days! Fortunately, it is a fairly substantial and spacious structure and no buses were scheduled during the events to provide social distancing. We had around 140 entries over the two events and everyone went home happy to have had the rare chance to be out chasing proper flags again.
Results are now published here.
Please note further planned events have now been postponed following the new measures in force across England from Thursday 5 November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December 2020.
The latest guidance for all nations within the UK can be found here.