Manchester and District Orienteering Club
Level C Event at Prestwich Forest Park
Prestwich Forest Park is an area that has been recovered from a previous industrial history into a community space. The Forestry Commision have introduced a variety of species of plants and trees, and roe deer are present on site. One initiative you may have seen close to the finish is that by the Incredible Edibles group http://incredible-edible-prestwich.org.uk/ and http://incredible-edible-prestwich.org.uk/category/image-galleries/drinkwater-park-more-photos-httpdrinkwaterparkblog
As for the orienteering, this event was put on to plug a gap for those teams who did not qualify for the Compass Sport Cup Final. Whilst it met that gap, the area is probably more suited to use in the spring when there is less undergrowth. My thanks go to the team of MDOC helpers who toiled on the day and to Martin Green and Ian Gilliver for the interesting courses. Also thanks to Phil Lee of the Forestry Commission and to Bury Council (Philips Park) for the use of the land.
When Beryl asked me to update the Philips park map for the permanent courses I had little idea where it would lead. Finding a new car park at the south end, and then further terrain to the south, lead to the start of a new map. Thankyou to Tom Fellbaum for completing the map.
The courses were tough, despite the lack of climb, due to the summer undergrowth and the wet ground conditions. To keep route choice fair, many legs were shortened, giving a middle distance feel to some courses. Did anyone spot the deer? Hopefully the next Prestwich Forest event will be in spring conditions, when much more of the terrain is accessible.
The first control on light green proved a bit difficult, with some taking longer than the winning time to find it, however the orange and light green competitors seemed to find the later common controls more easily than some competitors on the harder courses. Green, blue and brown courses had the same first 5 controls, if you want to compare splits and routes.
Please can you put routes on Routegadget.
Martin has explained that summer undergrowth and wet ground conditions meant the senior courses were tough.
Happily, White and Yellow run times look generally OK, but on other courses (and in particular Short Green to Brown) competitors were generally out for too long.
I think that Martinís courses were fair, that each was of an appropriate technical standard, and that he made good use of a highly constrained area, but should I have realized the courses would be physically tough? Yes, I should.
Should I therefore have asked Martin to shorten at least all the TD5 courses? With hindsight, yes, I should.
So, I apologise to all competitors whose days were marred by being out for too long.
Iím glad and relieved that there were no significant injuries on the day. Some of the slopes were very slippery and, in addition, the Blue and Brown courses had controls on a steep embankment where some of the buried waste was near the surface. To have avoided having controls along this embankment would have meant having legs through the worst of the undergrowth, so perhaps the right option was taken?
Thanks to Tom and Martin for their hours of labour in producing the map, to Martin for his diligence in planning the courses and for responding well to my requests for map clarification, and to Trevor for a professional piece of event organisation.
Saturday 22 October - Autumn Series Event 2 at Reddish Vale
Saturday 12 November - Autumn Series Event 3 at Gorse Hall
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