Weekend results 11/12 Sep

It looks like lots of QOs were taking part in events across the country this weekend from The Welsh Championships to urban races in the Midlands (part of the Southern England Orienteering Urban League - SEOUL).

If you took part, please post here on how you found the courses and how you got on! (a summary of this thread will appear on the website).

In the Welsh Middle Distance - Andy Rimes lead the QOs on the brown course coming in 5th, with @Jeff.Pakes coming in 7th, and Pete Shirvington 11th (after drifting off course in the middle following a compass bearing). Rosie Wych came in 14th on the blue course.

In the Long Distance - Oli and Annabelle Lewis did well, coming 4th on orange. @KarenLewis came 26th on the short green course. Rosie Wych pull out of the short blue after a few controls after a good start (fingers crossed nothing more than a minor injury). Andy Rimes was 8th on the short brown, with Martin Lewis 24th. @Jeff.Pakes looks to have had a good run on the brown course - coming 5th. Pete Shirvington successfully completed the black course - running against international orienteers like Ben Mitchell (ranked 84th) and Megan Carter-Davies (ranked 44th).

The Sorrells-Hemmings took part in two events in the Midlands. At Great Linford Urban in Milton Keynes, I came 5th on course 2 (M40 / Women Open). On course 7 (W/M12) Al Hemmings came 2nd - leading the W12, and Sebastian Hemmings came 3rd.

At North Cambridge Urban, I came 8th on course 2 (M40 / Womens Open) and Sebastian coped with the detailed map to finish in 7th. A write up to follow of our urban experience!

A write up from @KarenLewis on how the Lewis’ got on at the welsh champs:

A select (not suggesting elite in any way - haha) few QO members ventured to the Welsh Championships this weekend including me, Martin, Annabelle and Oliver Lewis.

We only did Sunday 12th of September. Martin entered us for our age class and Annabelle and Oliver for orange.

Once I had queued for the only toilet (apparently the other had been stolen) and hiked to the start - felt like miles - I missed my start time and was knackered before I even got going. Not a particularly good start. However, I managed to swap with a gentleman from green to short green and felt much happier.

I would say that it was a technically difficult area and you had to make sure that you paced and used the features available to you. I must say there were features to work with. It was tough on the legs with very uneven, sometimes rocky and sometimes marshy ground. It also consisted of some serious pits - had visions of falling down and never being able to get back (especially after seeing the sheep bones at the bottom of one).

I got off to a pretty good start and was going well (for me) until I got to my control number 4, where I had a wobble over which boulder was marked and which wasn’t. A couple of people on the same course then caught me up and I could see them for the next couple of controls and I really don’t like playing follow the leader.

Got back on track and controls 5 - 9 went well. Then a couple of school boy errors. I looked up spotted a couple of people going down into a hole and coming back up and re-routed (I have no idea why) - doh and then had a few issues finding 10. My second booboo - got to my penultimate control and then headed off to the finish. Got about three quarters of the way and realised my mistake and as a result I struggled to find control 12.

Didn’t come last!!

Martin struggled at the start finding control number 1, but overall didn’t have a bad run at all.

Annabelle and Oliver managed to finish with the same time. However, there times between controls are different. Not sure what that says.

We all enjoyed our day and will hopefully learn from our mistakes. Don’t think we had as bad a day as Pete, who had not got back when we left.

Onwards and upwards (not too much climb please).

Urgh that feeling when your excitment and enthusiasm is crushed by having issues with the first control :frowning: Great job recovering!

As we have family nearby, we headed up to the Midlands to take part in a couple of urban races.

On Saturday was Great Linford, Milton Keynes - a mix of open park, small pockets of woodland, and classic urban running. Al (W10) and Sebastian (M10) took part on the M12/W12 course. Al did some good running between the controls, although she had a few controls where she went off course and had to relocate - she was 2nd on the course (and lead W12). Sebastian took things a bit slower but was more consistent, carefully stopping to work out the route between each control - ultimately finishing just behind his sister (2nd place M12).

I had one of my better runs - helped by spending most of the course (M40 / Open Women) racing directly with another runner I think I caught after the first few controls. Our micro-route choices were different, which meant one or other of us would appear first at a control before disappearing again down a different route. It was also a fairly clean run, although I made a mistake between 10 - 11, choosing the wrong path - lucky reaching an unexpected bridge so I could relocate and correct.

I also got a lucky break at the end - I sprinted from what I thought was the last control to the finish, punched the control and stopped my tracking before noticing the runner behind me taking a different angle to another control on a nearby tree. I had missed the actual last control! Assuming my finish punch meant game over, I jogged over to the missed control to punch it anyway and re-punched the finish. Lucky the system worked it out and I finished 5th.

On Sunday was Cambridge North (King’s Hedges) with wonderfully intricate and detailed 1:4000 scale maps (double-sided on some of the courses - I had my first ever map flip!) with lots of twisting paths and cut-throughs.

Despite the detailed maps - Sebastian again did well out on the course (a yellow+ a fellow orienteer called it), with some good flow and relocating when he overshot. It was apparently stressful for the quiet shadow (Sarah) as Sebastian headed confidently down seemingly dead ends only to pick up an unseen path. He finished 7th on the course (and 6th in M12 class).

I again had a good run - especially enjoying the detailed mapping. You had to stay in constant contact with the map to maintain pace through all the twists and turns. I had a moment where my finger slipped and my mind went blank and I completely lost where I was for a few moments. I also had an issue finding the finish, which had been moved the day before due to some caravans on the finish open area - quite a few orienteers had the same issue though so the final leg was thankfully removed from the times. Overall 8th on the course (5th in my age category).

A big thank to you South Midlands Orienteering Club and West Anglia Orienteering Club for putting on two enjoyable events.

I certainly got my money’s worth this weekend!!
I was warned how technical the area was, but still struggled even when I slowed down. With few line features and lots of similar features (pits, big pits, an Bigger pits!) It was tricky to relocate. Whenever I deviated from heading in straight line on a carefully monitored compass bearing while pace counting, it went horribly wrong. Proper orienteering! I found the terrain tough going so 18km felt more like 28km! Jeff described to me how he looks from afar to assess the runnability but I don’t think I could have added this extra complexity to my route choice this time. Feed stations would have been nice :joy:, in fact I was almost tempted to stop by the car for fuel when I noticed it from high 3/4’s round the course. Overall a fantastic area to test your skills (or lack of!) and the sort of type B enjoyment / challenging experience you appreciate on reflection, that I like :+1: Credit to our more experienced orienteers who faired much better than I, especially Andy who achieved a fantastic result on both days :place_of_worship:

Welcome to the chat site @Pete - you definitely got your money’ worth.

Sounds like very tricky terrain (I would do terribly) - great job for giving it a go and finishing!

@KarenLewis snap! My last control was thankfully near the finish but I still ‘finished’ before realising my error and had to jog back to get it and then finish again.