Manchester and District Orienteering Club
Street League Event 2 - Wilmslow
Thursday 8 December 2011
Thanks to all those who braved a windy and sometimes wet night to take part in
our Wilmslow street event.
I hope you enjoyed it. Numbers of entries were very similar to Marple, 4 weeks earlier.
Putting on the event was a much larger enterprise than I imagined, although I
have enjoyed the process.
There was a corresponding event in 2001, during the Foot and Mouth outbreak which curtailed orienteering and other rural activities quite severely.
Back in 2001, Chris Drew produced a hand drawn map.
For 2011, having selected precisely the area I wanted it to cover, we were able to download a map using Ollie O’Brien’s Open O-Map software. http://oobrien.com/oom/
But the format of the extracted map does not allow corrections or additions,
and so it needed to be traced into O-CAD.
We have Grahame Crawshaw to thank for producing the map, as it rapidly became apparent that I wasn’t going to acquire the necessary skills.
There are a handful of pubs in Wilmslow that have a decent sized car park, but
all but one of them are located on a busy road, and (wearing my Safety hat) I had
to rule them out.
And so the event was based at the Farmers Arms, which had recently won the CAMRA Community Pub of the Year award from CAMRA.
Thursday is a busy night at the Farmers Arms and so we were allocated the middle-sized room, which became very cosy, given the number of participants and a welcome open fire.
They don’t normally serve food, hence the ‘one pot wonder’. I think you’ll agree the curry was good value at £4/head, but apologies to those late finishers who missed out on rice and naan bread.
While Open O-Map provides an excellent starting point, the resulting map does
need to be checked out for inaccuracies – in particular roads that pass through
private land (and hence must be omitted) and routes that are OK for pedestrians
but not for vehicles. I spent over 20 hours checking the map in the field and gathering
data for clues, before feeding back to Grahame for map corrections and proceeding
to plan the course.
There are some areas of Wilmslow which are almost devoid of suitable features for this type of event, so the planner has to make compromises in terms of shape of course, and/or make greater use of lamp posts than desirable. Being a CONDES man, I did not find O-CAD intuitive as a planning tool, and I am grateful to Sally, and in particular to Grahame and John for getting me started, and patiently digging me out of holes. I am also grateful to Grahame in his role as Co-ordinator, for responding with sound advice and calming me down when during event preparation issues arose which required solution.
Thanks also to: Steve Fellbaum who as checker/controller made sure that the course avoided avoidable risks, and that the questions were fair and answerable; to Steve Lang for printing; to Tom Fellbaum for collecting equipment, and Julie Brook for making sure I was SI-ready on the night.
I’d like to thank Jen Britton and Claire Barnett for their dedicated work on
Registration, Food Ordering, Download and Timing. Without Jen and Claire the organisation
would have struggled to cope. Definitely a two or three person job, for which I
should have prepared with more forethought.
Jen, Claire and James McCann marked the answers. John and Jen then rapidly produced the provisional results by just after midnight. I’m very happy to accept the decisions they made on evaluating answers which differed from those which I had proposed.
Also on the night, I am very grateful to Grahame for running the Start and Finish
with me – and for part of the evening, without me!
Because starters (and hence finishers) come in waves rather than equally spaced, it is definitely at least a two person job and, despite our efforts, a few people went out without a high visibility top – that rule needs to be enforced so that the event is covered by BOF Insurance – and also we found we didn’t have time (OK, I forgot) to remind people of key hazard information at the Start, for which I apologise. Happily and fortunately you all came back safely – though I did note a comment that some footbridges were slippery in the wet. Using SI kit for timing reduces the workload considerably.
Other lessons learned? Well, with hindsight, we could probably have managed with
a slightly smaller area and a 1:12,500 map. If you have any other observations,
please let us know.
Advice to other planners? This is a time-consuming but rewarding process, but once we have an O-CAD map, it will be easier to stage a subsequent event on the area in future years. And plan to have at least 4 helpers on the night.
What about a similar event in Wilmslow in 2012/13? Well, the landlord at the Farmers Arms would be very pleased to see us again, but the planner might have difficulty in finding a new set of control sites.
|% of winner|
|7||Matthew Fellbaum + Steve||MDOC||M14||60||770||61.29||45||725||725||66.5|
|10||Clare &a,p; Rik Griffin||MDOC||W35||60||670||60.25||13||657||657||60.3|
|21||James McCann + Jane||MDOC||M12||60||610||62.56||88||522||522||47.9|
|26||James Coppock + Simon||DEE||M12||60||460||58.02||0||460||460||42.2|
|34||Rae + Pete Lomas||MDOC||W70||60||310||51.39||0||310||310||28.4|
|35||Belinda Carp + Jane Rawlings||Ind||W50||60||290||59.14||0||290||290||26.6|
|43||Frances McGaff + Tom||Ind||W55||40||240||44.27||134||106||159||14.6|
|% of winner|
|10||Matthew Fellbaum + Steve||MDOC||M14||60||770||61.29||45||725||725||819.3||69.3|
|13||Clare & Rik Griffin||MDOC||W35||60||670||60.25||13||657||657||768.7||65.0|
|24||James McCann + Jane||MDOC||M12||60||610||62.56||88||522||522||616.0||52.1|
|27||James Coppock + Simon||DEE||M12||60||460||58.02||0||460||460||542.8||45.9|
|29||Rae + Pete Lomas||MDOC||W70||60||310||51.39||0||310||310||533.2||45.1|
|35||Belinda Carp + Jane Rawlings||Ind||W50||60||290||59.14||0||290||290||391.5||33.1|
|42||Frances McGaff + Tom||Ind||W55||40||240||44.27||134||106||159||225.8||19.1|
Because SI boxes weren't used, the steps to add your route are slightly different to normal.
Thursday 19th January - The Three Bears, Hazel Grove
Saturday 10th December - Autumn Series Event at Brabyns Park
Saturday 7th January - John o' Goats Charity Event at Lyme Park
Details of all the above can be found on the MDOC website