Trent Park, 26th December 2019

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Organisers Comments

The rain held off for everybody in the mass start at 11:00 event and the 85 competitors enjoyed a damp but verdant Trent Park more or less to themselves for a change. Thanks to Mick Smith of HH for planning the course. The distribution of controls varied somewhat from last year with a number of 30-point scoring controls within easy reach of the centre of the park – but that is what maintains the challenge in orienteering.
Congratulations to Bethany Hanson and James McCormick, top scorers amongst female and male competitors respectively. This year James was the only competitor who got all the controls within the 60 minute time limit whereas last year there were 9. This was perhaps a reflection of the muddy conditions underfoot.Top junior was Tegan Frampton (W14) of HH scoring 480 out of a maximum of 600 points.
As ever it was a team effort with many helpers performing multiple roles – the Parkes (Kevin, Penny and Laura), the Erringtons (Helen, Simon, James and Peter), Roger Moulding from HH and Anne Power and Charmaine Kwan from LOK. Jim Prowting of TVOC assisted the planner. Special mention also to the Clearys – Ronan, Julie and Frank – who not only controlled the event but also ran the mass start.
I trust you have all washed off all the mud off your shoes and all you have to do now it mark up your route on Routegadget.

Planners Comments

As the Organiser pointed out in her comments, there were more high scoring controls within easy reach of the Start and Finish, and it was part of my strategy to enable the ‘slower’ runners, particularly those who would have no chance of visiting more than about 20 controls, to score proportionately higher than in previous years. I believe the results have reflected this. I also wanted to try to give those who might expect to score the maximum of 600, one or two places where they would need to decide whether there would be time to detour to visit a 10 point control within the hour. Once again, the results show that a few runners who chose to do that, must have regretted their decision on arriving back a minute or two late. The most significant detour was to 119 – the gate on the western edge of the map. One victim of this was Bethany, who, despite being the highest placed lady, in 6th place, would have come a comfortable 3rd with 570 points and no time penalties if she had not visited 119.
One of my observations from studying the results was that Ian Buxton (TVOC) chose an optimal route for his given speed, visiting nine at 30 points and seven at 20 points with only three at 10 points, totalling 440 points from only 19 controls. Having finished nearly 5 minutes early, he should have had enough time to visit 137 and 114, giving him a total score of 480, taking him 8 places higher.
I received one comment expressing amusement at the siting of the control ‘underneath a tree’, which was actually inside the hollow trunk, and I was encouraged by the thanks I received from several competitors who enjoyed the ‘course’ despite the mud in the southern part and the brambles in the north (which I tried to avoid when choosing control sites).
Thank you all for coming along and making my efforts worthwhile, and very special thanks to Jim Prowting, Dawn and Danny Figg for helping me to collect in all the controls during the heavy downpour that followed the event. Thanks also go to Simon and James for getting up early to hang controls in the north and east area.
Mick Smith