Manchester and District Orienteering Club
Stockport Town Centre Races
Celebrating the Centenary of Stockport Town Hall
Sunday June 22nd 2008
Event Photos by David McCann
MDOC decided to put on a town centre event, following the successful events in more glamorous towns such as Oxford and York. We chose Stockport as it has a contained central area, and quite a few contours. We thank everybody who ran, for supporting us, and overall we think that it went well.
We had planned an Assembly area with displays and "razzmatazz" but were defeated by the high winds which would have blown away our marquee, our new start and finish banners and our display material. At least it didn't rain!
An apology to those who found parking either difficult or expensive - better instructions next time.
Our thanks to BOF Development funding for helping us with the rather specialist equipment needed in a town. We hoped to raise the profile of orienteering in the area, but only time will tell whether we succeeded.
We hope you will want to come again next year.
Found in minibus - one Berghaus blue cagoule.
The following prizes were not claimed.
1st Man - Denis Bracqbien-Macclesfield Harriers
2nd Man - N.Gunn
3rd Man - P.Chilton
2nd Lady - J.Day
Team Trophy - Macclesfeld Harriers
2nd Man - T.McGaff
1st Lady - C.Richardson
Please contact P.Lomas either by phone (0161 483 4332) or email to make arrangements to collect them.
Original Source Urbanathlon
Sanjoys 5 star Indian Restaurant
Running Bear, Alderley Edge
Our thanks to Stockport MBC and the Merseyway Traders for considerable help in setting up this event.
This event was born in Wiener Neustadt in summer 2006. As we sat in the town square watching the WMOC sprint race, Pete remarked that Stockport Precinct would make a very interesting venue. I was already a regular attender at the York City Centre races, so I knew it was feasible to race round crowded shopping centres. So, after meetings with a team from the Town Hall (completely supportive from the start), we picked an A3-able area, commissioned a fully professional map (based on OS data purchased at 1:2500), picked a date, etc.
Comments on printing:
1. Stockport has quite a few sets of steps - to avoid some of these printing as black and uncrossable, I had to reduce the number of "step" lines significantly. Some small passages had to be widened to make them clearly usable.
2. Standard ISSOM colours didn't work very well on our printers. We found the control numbers disappeared into the building grey, and index contours were easily confused with connection lines. We sorted the colours by adding some black into the purple, and by dropping the percentage of black in the buildings; the contour problem was solved by downgrading the index contours to ordinary.
3. We are now aware that the print sometimes comes off the paper.
Planning presents a few challenges. Given that every control has to be defended with marshals, you really have to minimise the number of sites - we used 26 sites for 7 courses from 2km to 7.5km. Given that we were trying to raise awareness and make some impact, as many as possible of the control sites needed to be as conspicuous as possible. The Risk Assessment needed thought and required avoidance of a number of the most busy roads. And despite these constraints, you have to try to engineer legs that have non-obvious route choices, or at least demand full concentration.
I've been delighted with feedback so far - though maybe that's because the people who came are the ones most likely to enjoy it. I think even locals probably went to places they didn't know about, and I was happy with the variety of surroundings on both sides of rivers and motorways. Apologies to those in the 10:30 starts who had to queue at Control 1 - we could have had multiple SI boxes and hopefully this won't happen again.
And on your behalf ... our thanks to all the control marshals, several of whom did the whole stint by themselves.
ps. Don't forget to put yourselves up on Routegadget.
Looking through years of accumulated BOF guidelines I could find no guidance for controllers for an event of this nature. Four "town centre" orienteering courses with 3 mass starts; a team orienteering style course for running clubs (long red?) and one for corporate/organisation teams (orange?) with mass starts and an EOD explorers course for anyone (yellow?) with individual start times.
My approach was to let the planner and organiser have a free hand with minimal interference but trying to make sure courses were fair and with an appropriate level of difficulty.
John's courses proved to be ideal for all the races. Plenty of route choice for the orienteers and relatively easy courses with some challenges for the rest – all achieved with just 26 controls!
MDOC's organisation and helpers team all contributed to a good experience for all.
Some problems arose with competitors crossing an impassable wall (only 1m high!). As most competitors are not yet used to the symbols used in this form of the sport maybe a warning could be put on the description sheet where the planner thinks the temptation to cross is likely.
A lot of time was spent on completing the risk assessment for this event, but we didn't consider the wind and falling branches would be a danger. Future organisers be aware.