Saturday just gone we had the Canford Heath Urban, part of the SEOUL series. Entries werent very high which was a shame as Dale put in loads of hours effort again to produce another mapped area on the Heath. I guess theres just so much on that people in the midsummer period have multiple options of what to do. Anyway there was good competition in the bigger fields, with Alan and James Crickmore battling it out for the mens open win. Results and routegadget here. Seems we werent the only ones with vandal issues, SARUM recently reporting x2 controls theft too…. Well done to all those that came along, with a few new faces, we hope to welcome you along to another event soon.”As many of you will be aware the event was a little affected by vandalism to one control, which was used on 4 of the 7 courses. Thanks to quite early feedback we were able to put out a replacement control, so only 25 of the 66 runners encountered the missing control problem. Fortunately it was only the control box that was missing. The kite and wire gripple by which the control was held were still in place, which enabled competitors to quickly identify that they had got to the correct place and then move on. Thank you to any you who spent time looking for our lost control in the bushes. After careful consideration of how the incident may have affected the running of the event, the controller has decided that the fairest course of action is to make the missing control (53) optional rather than mandatory. Thus competitors’ recorded times will not be adjusted by voiding the leg either side of the control. Neither solution is ideal but making the control optional is probably fairest on this occasion. Looking at the splits indicates that there are only one or two instances of places being potentially lost over the course of the legs either side of the missing control.”
Peters Sunday review for the NWO relays, the first of season and a 1st for team WSX again.
“Sunday saw the start of the summer relay series and our 2 teams packed into a single car to drive up to the National Trust site of Badbury Hill and take part. Yes, 2 teams in a single car – the unique nature of this relay allows 2 or 3 person teams to enter, so there was Tracy, Julie and Roger as team Wessex Wanabees, and James and myself as Wessex Raiders. Both the teams had to complete 6 runs – 3 courses each run twice, with no one person allowed to run the same course twice (unsurprisingly). These trips are fun and I would recommend more of you to come and join these relays: we spent the drive up contemplating various things including the curious retail park we drove past with a Waitrose and Aldi opposite each other (OK there was also a Costa in there), plenty of pink decorated bicycles on display (with some pink doves to complement them) everywhere in a village on the way, and more importantly, the inadequacy of the handicap system in use for the relays.
After a lengthy discussion, before we arrived, we have already agreed that the handicap system used means it would make it impossible for us with James to be anywhere near the fight for the win, with some teams starting about 20 minutes ahead of us on a 6×1.5k relay. My realisation that I have forgotten to pack my O-shoes and had to run in my one size too large walking trainers only underlined this expectation.
Nevertheless, a fairly well attended (18 teams) event in beautiful sunshine brightened our spirits. At the time of the event introduction, we were informed to keep in mind the recent rain and combination of the map reflecting a winter undergrowth screen (in other words: expect it to be gnarly). To underscore this point, they also informed us of their frustration that the control description standards do not allow them to indicate the precise location of a control site as “depression, where there isn’t undergrowth”…
Onto the actual courses then, as you will see from the attached courses, it does not like that complicated – but in practice and under pressure, there is still a lot of scope to make mistakes. I personally have made 3 sizable ones. The race development kept us increasingly at the edges of our seat, as despite our expectations Wessex Raiders kept creeping progressively closer to the lead and James managed to hand over to me for the last leg in 3rd place, about 2 minutes down from BKool. (bearing in mind that if I wasn’t making those 3 mistakes earlier, we would have been in the lead already at this point). I was warned to take it carefully with control 4 – and lo and behold I managed to catch up the leading team and our Wessex Wannabees leg 5 runner just on the entry to control 4. After fighting through the nettles and brambles which were indeed not mapped precisely, I decided to try and attack the control from the other side, the edge of the open area, and managing to spot it first. The 3 relays punched it together and I took the lead from here into control 5 and 6. Whilst BKool gradually fell behind through the next few easy controls (let’s be fair to them, we are talking about a W16 competitor!), Roger powered ahead of me on the uphill to the last control, only to dive early into the thick of the brambles, whilst I continued on for about an additional 10 meters, seen and punched the control (and shouted at him to come back out from all the fun he was having), and finished in 1st place clear of all other relays. Wessex Wanabees finished a very respectable 8th (out of 18).
We are off to a good start of the summer relay season then, with 50 points in the bag! I can’t help but think that the relay team “We’re only here for the tea shop” must have left disappointed as there were limited facilities in the middle of the woods!”
Its a short blog today Ive been very busy with various events as its peak season, coached 30 children from Dumpton school on the Velodrome yesterday and have 60 St James Year 5’s today for their S.I finale in Kings Park.
Saturday we have an impromtu event Im putting on in Milldown Blandford, as part of the UK Cycling bike week events we were asked to do something and as I just mapped the Milldown school over the road, though it would be sporting of me to organise something for local families, so if youre free come for a run 12-3.
Finally tuesday training. tonight, runs for all abilities.