Congratulations to James Crawford who this year has become M60 British Long Distance Champion, British Middle Distance Champion and British Sprint Champion, and is part of our BritishChampions M60 Relay Team. Amazing acheivement and well deserved after all the hard training.
The first celebration of 50 years of Guildford Orienteers took place today at Chapel Common. There were two courses on offer – a challenging Yellow Course of 2.2K for those used to path junctions – none used – and a Green Course of 4.1K. These were planned by Keith. Chapel Common is a small area but with many features and provided a good middle distance course with route choice depending on whether you wanted to plough through vegetation, which is rampant at the moment, or use the paths. The weather was mainly warm and sunny. Afterwards we all had lunch at the Black Fox Inn. Jon Darley kindly baked an enormous cake. Nigel Collard cut the cake. He has been a GO member alot longer than most of us. Jeremy provided a quiz for the Juniors, and he also presented the Club Championship cups to Adam Conway (Junior Boys), Sarah Darley (Junior Girls), Nick Green (Senior Men) and Christine Kiddier (Senior Women). Many thanks for making the effort to come and run, and celebrate GO @ 50. There were at least 30 runners. It was good to see you all and make the occasion a success. Particular thanks to Jenny Nicholls who did most of the download, Jeremy for running the start, Jon for baking the cake, Keith for planning the courses and Marion and Frances for helping to collect controls.
I entered a team into the Harvester Relay which took place on Winterfold, east of Guildford, last Sunday. I entered a 5 person team in the handicap B competition. The race started at 1.30am. The sky was clear and the moon was out — so I was told!! I was asleep in the car trying to get enough sleep to feel energetic at 4am. Pete Couldery started off with the shorter night leg of 5.9k/215m of climb and 15 controls. He came back in 6th place. Keith Tonkin then set out on the long night leg – 8.4k/255m of climb/24 controls – a challenge. He came back in 9th position. I then did the night/dawn shortest leg – 3.7k/110m of climb and 11 controls. Not my best run but ok. Picked up a couple of places. Phil Conway then went out on the first shorter day leg – a repeat of Pete’s leg but not the same controls. He zoomed round that and brought the team up to 4th I think, and Nick Green kept the place during the long day leg – the same as Keith but different controls. That must be the best result we have had in the Harvester for years. I think we were 3rd handicap team, but 4th overall on the B course. Well done to you all. Chris
LOK ultrasprint consisted of 3 prologue courses of 1K and 25 controls including a maze, on a map of 1:1250. Very difficult to figure out quickly. Took me half of the first prologue to get used to how quickly the controls arrive. There were no control descriptions and no numbers on the map. There was a dot in the middle of the control circle indicating the location of the control. There were controls on different sides of trees and fences so care had to be taken. If you got the wrong control, then you were not disqualified but 30 seconds was added to your time for each one wrong. So quite a challenge.
Linda and her two daughters Carolyn and Jennifer ran as well as Keith and myself. Linda came 7th in the Womens Vets class. Keith was 24th, having had a few wrong controls getting used to the map scale. I managed to come first in the Womens Supervet class having no wrong controls. That meant is was in the head to head final of the top four. In the end there was only 3. The final was 1.5K with 30 controls including the maze. I finished in 9.05 but had one error, so was given the time of 9.35. Next competitor came in in 10.52, so I was pleased with that. Keith had an error free run in the mass final and came 3rd in the Mens Vets category. I got a packet of travel mints in a London Bus tin for winning!!
The following day was the London City Race based on Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs. Probably not as intricate as some of the previous competitions, but still made you think. Quite a few went from GO. Results were mixed. The only podium place was Linda Pakuls who won third prize in the Womens Supervet category. Well done!! Marion came 20th in the same category. James had major brainstorms at 3 controls and came in 10th. Up against him was Keith. He was trying so hard he missed out a control and was disqualified. I, for a change, was not up against LInda, but was in the Womens Ultravet category which sounds ancient. Had a hesitant few controls in the middle and managed 4th. Could have done better although the sprinting from the day before was starting to take a toll on my leg muscles. Carolyn Pakuls came 9th in the Newcomers category.
A pint and something to eat was welcome after all that. A good day out.
June seems to have been a month for urban events. Poole Town race was held on 1st June and was attended by Keith, James and Marion. Marion won her first O race and Keith came 3rd in the Mens Supervet race. James had a brain storm in the maze at the end and forgot the last control.
Next weekend was a visit to Poundbury on the west side of Dorchester. A lovely sunny day, but a cold wind. James, Keith and I attended. The journey down was awful, taking us 3 hours to get to the event due to various accidents. It felt as though everyone saw the sun and went to the seaside. Keith did well again. He was the only one to find all the controls. James got the wrong control 16 and I missed one out all together despite having been convinced I had done it. I had planned it in my head, but for some reason started to go to the following control. My Garmin trace told me what I had done. This is beginning to become a habit.
The following weekend was Salford Urban and Horwich Sprints. Keith was meant to go, but had a coming together with a van on his way over to Farnborough, and couldn’t make it. The timings made it all too difficult. So James and I went. He had a linear course starting in Manchester, whilst I had a course around Salford Quays. He had to catch a tram to his start whilst my start was close to the BBC buildings. He won his course and I came 2nd in mine. Both of us managed to get all the controls this time. Horwich the next day was two sprints both of which counted. The earlier sprint was around a country park. I have great difficulty with a 1:4000 map pf a forest as my brain assumes it is 1:10,000. So I overshot control 2 badly. Probably lost 5 minutes. The rest was ok, and I was surprised to be only 1 minute down on the leader. James won his course. The final sprint was part of a day of races held around Horwich centre. They were mass starts – 3 of them. O managed to win my course and was fast enough to win the overall sprint in the Womens Supervet. James also won the Mens Supervet class. A successful weekend at last.
James has had more success this weekend. He is up north doing the Halifax Urban and the northern championships. He won the Mens Supervets race in Halifax. Results not yet up for the Sunday race.
Two intrepid teams made it to the SE Relays at Brasted Chart, a wood with a lot of vegetation. Keith, myself and Marion were one team and the Conway family of Adam, Phil and Keiko were the other. Keith did well, and so did Adam, both coming back in third position. Marion had problems and I didn’t run that well. Keiko found it hard work but Phil managed to get round in a reasonable time. Neither team were anywhere near the podium!
One last event next weekend at the Harvester. Good luck in that event. Enjoy your summer, There are less and less events now. It is the countdown to the summer events.