Priory Country Park Urban
Sunday 8th November 2015
Ranking Event (Level C) and EA League event
Controller's Comments: Country parks do not present the full range of technical challenges but by mapping to urban standards the event provided sufficient challenges. Winning times indicate that the courses were about right for the conditions.
Urban races do present their own challenges and some subtle differences of symbols. Uncrossable symbols were clearly displayed on the map and in the final details. One person was disqualified for fording the river - enterprising but forbidden.
There was no uncrossable green vegetation on the map - the 'fight' mapped was variable but could legitimately be crossed.
A new team of planner and organiser in Ian and Helen stepped out to their first level C event to put on a good event which met with a general range of complimentary comments.
Organiser's Comments: Though I have been involved in orienteering a long time, this was the first time I have organised a Level C event. It was great to get a venue with a building to use for registration/download - thank you Priory Country Park. I am extremely grateful to all of the helpers who enabled the event to go smoothly and also to runners on course 4 who allowed us to recycle their maps.
Luckily the weather stayed dry and it was especially encouraging to see a number of people step up from our summer Keyne-O programme to a bigger type of event today complete with the transition to electronic punching, download, etc. For the more experienced runners today it was good to see that the courses proved some challenge despite the predominantly easy terrain.
Planners' Comments: Priory Park offers orienteers the chance for pleasant runs through attractive parkland, with the need to read the map carefully to select the optimal route round the many uncrossable water features. From a plannerís viewpoint this limits the technical difficulty of controls meaning sites have to be selected carefully to offer real route choices. I was lucky to have Steve Hardy mentoring me on this, as it was the first event I have planned at Level C using SI controls (and also my first experience of planning using an ISSOM map, commonly used for urban or sprint events). Previous Keyne-O events, using manual punches, required routes that donít cross over to avoid tempting runners to punch out of order. With electronic punching itís possible to build in loops of controls, especially for those on longer courses.
ISSOM marks certain water features as uncrossable and prohibited, so one competitor disqualified himself after wading waist-deep through one such feature - we hadnít expected anyone to be so mad as to try and cross it! ISSOM also has the option to mark vegetation as uncrossable and prohibited, but as itís a country park, there were no areas of this type of vegetation on the map: I hope this didnít confuse people as even the darker green could legally be crossed, even if it was a bit of a fight. A month ago, much of the dark green really was impenetrable; now it was merely difficult.
The excellent map to ISSOM standards was newly drawn by Steve Hardy, to whom thanks must be given first - without his hard work they would have been no event. Iíd also like to thank Helen Nisbet for organising so effectively, especially when Steve and I were still discussing changes at the 11th hour. Keith Downing kept me under control, as well as reminding me exactly what does, or does not, constitute a decision point on the courses for the junior runners and suggesting the taped section on yellow to cross an otherwise impossible gap.
I hope you all enjoyed the run, and look forward to seeing you in the 2016 Keyne-O series.