Manchester and District Orienteering Club
Tintwistle Badge Event
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Planners' Comments | Controller's Comments | Organiser's Comments
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The last time I planned a badge event for MDOC was in the last century; it was a less sophisticated age - I can't imagine how we coped without planning software, electronic punching, laser printed courses and maps from OCAD files, mobile phones and email; they certainly figured prominently here.
In spite of the fact that Tim and I "volunteered" to plan the event quite some time ago (probably also in the last century!), significantly changed circumstances - for both of us - meant that we did not get down to the real business until December 2002.
The map had been extended to the NW but the original area, although now digitised, was not resurveyed. We quickly realised that the woodland was much more runnable than at previous events here but needed some updating, while the moorland was, as ever, typically uncompromising and tough.
Having identified the start and finish areas, we tried to get as many of the long courses as possible into the new parts of the map - using long legs wherever possible - and keep the shorter courses within the woodland areas; our main difficulties were in the mid-length courses, where we needed to use the woodland and the western moorland; we are acutely aware of just how physical these lower slopes are, and small limitations imposed by UU further restricted the options.
All seemed to go well on the day, although some of the times recorded reflect the toughness of the area; perhaps some of the courses were a shade too long; we hope that this did not spoil your enjoyment - the comments which we strained to overhear were largely positive!
It was a pleasure to work with a controller who was so supportive and encouraging throughout the planning process. His light touch ensured that we did not stray too far from the guidelines - thanks Clive.
It is perhaps unwise to single out club members for special thanks, when so many made a huge contribution to the success of the event. However, Tim and I are indebted to Pete and Irene, both of whom did an enormous amount of "legwork" before, during and after the event.
Tintwistle Knarr? Didsbury Intake? Even after controlling this event I'm still not sure what to call it! I'd never been to the area before, but had recollections of people having commented that it was grotty. The variable name added to the worry - it can be a sign of trying to leave behind a bad reputation. So I was delighted to find that the forest was much more pleasant than I had feared, and that although there was deep heather north of the forest, the moorland of the NW extension was surpringly pleasant.
The courses were slightly on the long side, for which apologies. Worst affected were the middle distance courses, where we didn't make sufficient allowance for the higher proportion of the course in the deep heather. Tim's and Grahame's courses required few tweaks, and sent as many of you as possible into the new area.
Thankfully the weather was kind; some very long times could have been recorded in mist. Shortly after 14:30 we had accounted for all competitors, by checking the records in the SI start boxes with the downloaded ecards. Previously when involved with events with e-punching I have been told that such a cross check is difficult; this time it appeared straightforward and is a great reassurance for event officials. A cross check ought to become standard practice.
I hope no competitors were troubled by the printing glitch on the A3 maps: the semi-open, which should be yellow and white, appeared green and white on the final A3 maps. The A4 maps and all previous A3 maps had been correct; I still do not understand what happened. Luckily the error scarcely affected the courses, and I did not consider it to be necessary to reprint the maps.
MDOC are a large club, with many experienced people in all aspects of events. Consequently, the event went very smoothly. On behalf of you, the competitors, I would like to thank all the helpers for their efforts, but particularly Sue as organiser and the planners, Tim and Grahame.
I understand Clive's bewilderment about the event/area name. The woodland is Didsbury Intake, the moor is Tintwistle Knarr - so what should we call it?
Yes, we felt it went pretty well, so smoothly in fact that (after the unexpectedly large number of EOD had been sorted out) I got a run. Half my short course was in the woodland and I was amazed at how much nicer it is now than when first mapped 14 years ago. My thanks to Tim, Grahame and Clive for setting me an enjoyable course and for all their work this winter, and to the MDOC team of helpers, many of whom didn't get a run. If the conditions on Sunday had been similar to those encountered during the planning, the event could have been very different - the wind often howls down the Longdendale valley making our Assembly area a very chilly place. 24 hours of rain had restricted our fieldparking, but luckily we had the roadway - it's a pity some people had a long walk to Assembly.
Two worrying things:
Our sincere thanks to all the people who made the event possible, especially the ECAR team at United Utilities and the farming and shooting tenants of the wood and moor.
St John Ambulance (Denton division) came to help us at short notice and we were glad that they had very little to do.
If anyone didn't run and would like their map, please ring or e-mail me and I will send it.
Compass Point apologise for not attending the event. - Rick was stuck on a delayed flight on his way home from Canada.
Lost property: a battered radio and a purple headband.
3 people lost SI-cards - did anyone pick one up?
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