Write ups from club champs

From Hamish:

I took part in the Quantock Club Championships in Bridgwater on Saturday 10th September. A one-hour score event on a bright and warm day. As an M16, I had the choice of the Junior competition, technically less challenging or the senior event, completing against the seasoned orienteering vets from our own club and neighbouring club members who travelled to the event.

The junior event used the club Sport Ident electronic dibber to record the checkpoint controls visited and did not have to cross any roads, to be safe for younger children. The senior used our mobile phones, which record the locations of the checkpoint controls as you visit each one and this can be downloaded to Strava afterwards so you can see where you have run and how quickly you got there. I opted to try the senior as wanted the challenge of a wider area and more controls to choose from.

At the start, everyone was busy checking their mobiles had the MapRun6 App ready and loaded to go. Unfortunately, mine seemed to have gone off my phone so luckily with some help it was quickly downloaded, and I got my course for the competition uploaded to my phone. We had a short briefing by the Club Chair, about main roads that must not be crossed in the town and out of bounds area - no crossing people’s gardens, fences, the river or the streams across the field. Apart from this, we could go whichever route we wanted with the aim to visit as many checkpoint controls in the 1 hour.

A few minutes before the mass start, the phones picked up the tiny map and the controls on the screen, we were given our paper A3 maps showing the area and all competitors studied carefully to see which way they might go. Mostly urban, streets and buildings, there was also some areas of open land, criss-crossed with the uncrossable streams and hedgerows to negotiate. At 11am the event started with a mass start, everyone at their own pace, some young, some old, some quicker than others, rushing off at best speed to their first control.

My run started good, picking up most of the controls on the south of the map but as I went on, I started to make more and more mistakes, running into dead ends, picking up wrong ally ways. Overall, my run was good, but I wasted too much time as a result of not being in close contact with the map especially in the marshy middle area. It was a great day and was good to get up to speed with the QO Presentation. We had a nice lunch then our AGM where we heard everything about the club and individual successes over the last year and events planned for future.

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From Mark, our new champion:

It was great to see such a good turnout for the club championships in Bridgwater. I enjoyed the Bridgwater Urban earlier in the year and was looking forward to running there again.

I have recently invested in a watch upgrade (just to the most basic ‘app’ capable Garmin forerunner 55) which enables me to push the Maprun course onto the watch and then leave the phone in the car… The watch then buzzes on the wrist end beeps when you reach a control site. I think it’s more accurate than a phone in a pocket… Certainly less hassle.

Looking at the map (1:5000 A3) I knew from the start I was not going be able to get them all and that the route choice across the fields was critical.

Being a mass start I went off hard until I dropped or lost any ‘companions’ and then settled in to making sure I didn’t make any mistakes and my route was optimum.

I use a thumb compass with a magnifier and although the compass didn’t get used the magnifier definitely did!

The map and course were excellent, forcing new decisions on control selection and route choice as I bounced from macro to the micro. After my total overcooking (temperature as well as time) of the quantock challenge I decided to come in a bit early rather than grab an extra control and risk being late.

The last 5 mins were really hard, my legs protesting as I climbed the slope back to the finish.

Apologies for not being able to attend the AGM and social.

Time to start scratching my head about next year’s champs…

What a superb urban venue Bridgwater is! I made a mess of the event earlier in the year, so wanted to do much better this time.
I didn’t start well - I forgot to bring anything to carry the phone in, so I had to run around phone in hand trying not to touch the screen.
I thought it was really interesting how everyone spread out from the mass start, so within a minute of starting I was largely on my own. Good choice of controls led to some interesting route choices. I chose to work around anticlockwise leaving the marsh until last, and fortunately managed to finish in a near ideal time.
Well done Mark for your win


Great to have a new champion, especially one who has supported QO from his school and university days. An inspiration for those who see a value in individual as opposed to team challenges.
Well done ‘Stodge’!


A very thorough and readable analysis of an unusual format for QO Club Championships… The use of Maprun in our Club was championed by our Chair during lockdown and although not to everyone’s taste it kept our interest going and has spawned a Street Series and Quantock Challenge that I hope will enable Orienteering to continue to flourish with the next generation.
Thank you, Hamish

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First up I think Jim did a fantastic job with the course - every control was awkward, and you had to miss out on controls tactically.

I started closer to the start flag than most which got me ahead of the pack at the start, so I missed everyone disappearing in different directions.

The course and my full route.

For some reason, I have a bias towards going clockwise on score courses - so the plan was a clockwise sweep of controls missing out the middle, which seemed a big effort with low reward. The first few controls went well, although little errors kept creeping in - going the wrong side of the fence for 228, briefly trying to go down a dead end on my way to 213, and seeing a non-existent cut-through on the map to 230.

Then I deviated from the plan :man_facepalming: - I was going to ignore 217 and continue clockwise… instead I went to 217 and then compounded the problem by continuing to 204 which meant I had no choice but to head into the fields. I suspect I may have crossed streams that were out of bounds, although with paths marked on the map and there being crossing places on the ground it was not entirely clear.

A lot of running, a few controls later I was back on track, but with insufficient time to complete the loop. Thankfully I made the call before it was too late and made it back to the finish with 2 minutes to spare.

Not perfect, but overall I am happy with 5th