Report and Photos by Alan Rosen member of Happy Herts Orienteering Club and Controller for the British Long Championships.
Congratulations to British Long Distance Champions Chloe Potter of Bristol Orienteering Klub (BOK) and Alasdair Pedley of Edinburgh University Orienteering Club (EUOC).
Chloe led W21E from the second control on their 10.9k/285m course and, as Splitsbrowser shows, she had a consistently strong run to take the title from Lucy Butt of SARUM Orienteering Club by a very impressive 8 minutes.
Alasdair came in just over a minute ahead of Ben Windsor of DRONGO, with all the leading M21Es losing time as the 15.9k/430m course took its toll.
The runners’ routes can be seen here on Routegadget.
The 26 courses on offer were physically challenging with short but sharp climbs to traverse the ridges of sand dunes. Route selection was key, deciding whether to run straight or to negotiate the sometimes bewildering network of tracks, many made by the Army doing their off-road driver training. Well done to all the very worthy British Champions.
The final control was on the base for a large flagpole which had, 50 or more years before, been 25m directly above its present position, on top of Flagpole Dune.
Braunton Burrows is a UNESCO designated Biosphere reserve with features dating back to its use in preparation for the 1944 D-Day landings – it’s a great area for technical and physical orienteering so many thanks to the Christie Estate and their staff, and Marcus the local farmer, who couldn’t have been more helpful.
The event only had the go-ahead in the summer so the 800+ runners were very appreciative of the hard work put in by mapper Chris Johnson, Planners Paul Gebbett & Adam Potter, Coordinator Mike Forrest, Organisers Richard Rossington, Phil Beale, and Controller Alan Rosen. An event like this would normally have had a good two years to prepare; they had about four months after the easing of lockdown rules. The combined efforts of large numbers of Bristol Orienteering Klub and Devon Orienteering Club members meant that the event coped well with the last-minute loss of the car park field and the regular heavy showers that continued for the whole weekend.
British Orienteering would like to say a huge thank you to the team of people who put in hard work over such a short time to make the 2021 British Long Distance Champs a reality for competitors to enjoy. Thank you to all the competitors who took part in this event and again contributed to it happening.
Entries are now open for NGOC’s British Nights Championships on 27 November at Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. See you there!