Taunton UKUL/SEOUL 28/01 Results

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Final results: Results - UKUL Taunton West - 28 Jan 2023

How did you you find your course?

It was fantastic to get to run around Taunton orienteering, and I really enjoyed my course (Brown) - an interesting mix of urban terrain.

Local knowledge really helped, and I had a great start - matching an area I know well with the map and course, and I was in 3rd place at control 9. The timed crossing flummoxed me briefly as I expected the controls on the actual crossing not nearby (despite the map and control descriptions telling me otherwise).

10 was my first error - I thought I could come at the control through the buildings to the south - only realising i could not on route and had to do two sides of a triangle to adjust. Then another map reading error at 11, and I nearly came out of the car park with 15 at the wrong exit losing time.

The rest of the course was fine but I could definitely feel my energy slipping away, so I was never able to recover time from the errors.

Overall lots of positives - I just need to get fitter! Thank you especially to the planner and controller, Ollie and Jim.


Kite in front of Somerset museum

Kite in Taunton town centre

Planner comments from @Mr_Rant :

This was by far the largest event I have planned, with my previous experience being exclusively JOGs and Street Series. Needless to say, there was a lot more to consider! I wanted to try and have a good range of orienteering, hence the extension into the eastern part of the town centre. This allowed for residential, town centre, intricate urban and parkland control sites, and also a variety of leg lengths. A lot of the ‘deceptive legs’ were based on mistakes I have made over the years on urban events, and my sadistic side thinks that it was nice to see others make these same errors! It was great to receive so many positive comments from competitors, both on the day and post-event, saying how well-planned the courses were. The majority of that is down to the controller, Jim Mallinson, and Gavin Clegg, who both helped me extensively with refining the courses, so thank you both. I would also like to thank Roger and Judy, along with the other volunteers for making the event happen.

Organiser comments from @craddocktaunton :

The original Quantock Orienteers UK Urban League event was created by Gavin Clegg in Bridgwater in 2017 and could have been replicated in January 2022 as part of the QO weekend of Orienteering. It was decided to postpone that and move it to Taunton and Ollie Rant agreed to plan. Hopefully we can return to the Bridgwater map for a future UKUL event.

The SW Sprint Championships in the summer of 2018 was planned by Gavin and Andrew Page using the Taunton map. Chairman Alasdair Shaw produced GPS courses in Taunton during COVID (SEGOL) and used the base map which Jim Mallinson has built on for this event. He extended the map to include more of the town centre, with junior courses based on the traffic free areas around Longrun Meadow Country Park and Bridgwater & Taunton College.

Planning an event such as this proved a challenge for Ollie Rant with advance prediction of the availability of passages, bridges, and building sites on his first major event. Many thanks to him for taking it on together with a new job!

I must apologise for not being as visible as I had hoped on the day. An incident when one of our competitors on the Black course collided with some street furniture required transport to A&E and company while concussion was assessed and stitches administered. This meant leaving my wife Judy to finish organising, cleaning and clearing the assembly area and returning the equipment to the QO store. Fortunately we are blessed with helpful members of our Club. The casualty (and his car) were collected by friends from NGOC and his father travelled from Manchester to keep an eye on his concussion overnight.

Thank you for supporting the event. We were fortunate that the Park dried out (yes, it had been an ice rink a week earlier!), and those that stayed for the local event in the Quantocks the following day were treated to one of our best areas.