Report Carol Iddles, Chair of Bristol Orienteering Klub (BOK)
Once we realised that the lockdown might be lifted at the end of March, the search started for an area we could use to have our first event in 2021.
We were fortunate to have Pen Hill, above Wells, Somerset available. The landowner has always been very accommodating and supportive of all our events there in the past. The short lead-in time for getting this event off the ground meant that we decided to have a Score course, plus White and Yellow courses for children/beginners.
We did have problems with permission for the use of an access track not apparently owned by the landowner, which was resolved only 10 days before the event. We also had issues with the firm supplying the toilets, which arrived only 13.00 the day before. Our Permissions guru, Jo Foster, had to work so hard in the run up to the event.
In the end we had a glorious (if chilly) day with 167 runners over the three courses. We ran two starts to separate out the runners over the 150 minutes of the start window. The terrain was open grassland, forest, farmland and large pheasant pens. We had wonderful dry weather the week before the event, so underfoot was so different from the conditions when we tagged the control sites. On the day, the bluebells, wild garlic and dog’s mercury were just beginning to cover the ground, and would be spectacular in a couple of weeks. As Controller I doubted that anyone would get round the course in an hour, as there was significant climb; but the winner was Jim Bailey (M18) in 49.54 with Cecilie Andersen in second place (W21 and GB Senior squad) in 52.49.
The three officials: Jackie Hallett (Organiser), Michael Hallett (Planner) with myself as Controller received very many favourable comments from the runners who were so glad to get out and compete for the first time in months.
Celebrating the re-start of orienteering
What activities or events has your club got organised? Have you recently attended a re-start event? How did you find it?
Maybe you have downloaded a Permanent Orienteering and/or Virtual Orienteering Course and enjoyed it with your family? Or you have recently enjoyed taking part in a local MapRun course or even designed your own MapRun course for members of your club to take part in?
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