Last updated: June 29th, 2005
Manchester and District Orienteering Club
Twin Peak 2005
Two Regional Events in Macclesfield Forest
May 21st and 22nd
After all our dire threats about remote parking, we were glad that we were able to park everybody in the Assembly Field (even if it meant that lone drivers arrived at the event a bit too early). For once the weather was kind to us and the field was fairly dry, even with the thunderstorm and torrential rain on Saturday evening.
We have previously used Macclesfield Forest for events in September and deliberately moved Twin Peak to May to avoid the worst of the undergrowth. So if you thought it was rough going....
I would be pleased to get feedback about any aspect of the event.
or ring 0161 980 5068.
If you would like your map(s), please contact Sue.
Please tell us your name, class, address and which day's map you want.
Certificates are awarded to the first 3 in every Badge class (who
completed both events).
If you would like to have yours, please contact Sue.
I still have five 40th Anniversary mugs for class winners: M55L,
M65L, M70L, M75L and W45L.
Please contact Sue to arrange collection.
We offered certificates to children completing Courses 14 and 15 (White, Yellow, JM/W 1 and 2) on either day. Again, we can send them if you didn't get one on the day.
1 whistle on a string
1 McDonald's "GO ACTIVE"
We are glad that some people enjoyed the challenge of Dan and Karen's Quiz. The key was to think 40th Anniversary - Ruby. All the answers were in some way RED - but that was where your problems started!
Three people got 18 out of 20 correct answers: Tony Udris, Heather and Les Smithard and Jamie Deakin. Each of them won an anniversary mug.
There were a lot of entries with 12 to 17 correct answers and each is owed a RED (of course!) chocolate bar. Ask Sue if you see her.
Thank you for coming to Twin Peak - I hope that you had an enjoyable weekend. I'd particularly like to thank everyone who tried to share transport - it meant that we were able to park everyone at the top of the forest, which was a great bonus. Despite a lot of preparation, there were a few hitches but hopefully most of you weren't affected by them and if you were, I hope that it didn't spoil things too much. As a novice organiser, I'd like to thank club members, particularly Sue and the planning team, for their advice and patience over the last few weeks and everyone who helped on or before the weekend.
Some months ago I started receiving circular emails from Simon Thompson requesting controllers for a number of events including Twin Peak. These emails seemed, as time progressed, to contain an air of desperation or, at least, that is what I read into them. I am only a Grade 3 controller because, due to various physical impairments, I am not really fit enough to chase around the forest and, therefore, have not bothered to apply for Grade 2. Having expressed my desire to help and made my shortcomings known I was surprised to find that I had been accepted. The surprise was followed by aprehension.
Phil and Ray have put a lot into the planning of the two days along with Ian Gilliver valiantly acting as planning co-ordinator and Mike updating the map. All I had to do was wander around a bit and make, hopefully, useful observations. I don't think Ray was too pleased with my comment "a bingo control for masochist orienteers" but Mike backed me up. As time was becoming short, as a leak in my central heating and a shredded tyre wiped out the bank holiday weekend desperate measures were called for. Ian checked many of the southern control sites for me. This rush was required to get the courses to Eddie Speak for printing as he was away for a few days and it had to be done before he disappeared. I think he did extremely well to put so much work in such a short time.
I have only run in Macclesfield Forest once a long time ago and did not remember it as being particularly steep, but I was much younger then. The terrain is not only steep but, as I soon found out, very slippy. There were places where the deer even seemed to slide a bit.
Day 1 seemed to run OK with the only complaints being 'couldn't the planners find any more hills for us to run up?' More seriously on one course the loose control description contained an error brought about by a last minute change to the courses to make the road crossing more positive. I always go by the map but I know that some people prefer a loose description. The map and internet descriptions were correct.
There were some 'incidents' such as the person who didn't realise that they had to download after the finish and then at the start of Day 2 cleared the SI-card at the start. Or the person who must have walked within 20m of the finish on the way to the car park with all controls punched and decided to retire.
Most of the controls went out on Friday, with just the vulnerable ones being left until early Saturday. They were then checked by myself, but mostly, by my assistants Simon Thompson and Mike Greenwood, who also did any running around required on the day. There were problems with a couple of boxes but that did not affect the event. Unfortunately, the period immediately after the event was the time for setting up for Day 2, the coincidence of a major storm meant that the heroic planners got very wet and did not finish until about 8-o-clock.
Day 2 dawned and the last few controls were placed and all checked, mostly by my able assistants, Mike and Phil, Simon having disappeared to drink Ouzo in the Peloponnese. One box went down but was not crucial. More alarming was the problem of a start box that thought it was a control, however, Eddie soon had that in hand and the problem was solved although it did require entering the 'control's' time as the start time for 106 competitors.
Helena seem to have all the angles covered with regard to the day organisation and Sue as overall co-ordinator seemed to be everywhere at once making sure that all was well.
Both days went well and my weather god protected me again, but not the planners. I have been lucky, in that every event that I have planned or controlled has had good weather - but one of these days!! I hope you all enjoyed yourselves and will recover soon.
The Fat Controller
PS. I don't like uphill finishes either.
(Written on Saturday evening)
I hope everybody enjoyed their courses (with the benefit of post recovery hindsight). Macc Forest is inevitably physical with lots of climb and a bit daunting for a first time badge planner. Many thanks to Ian and Phil for their assistance, Mike Greenwood for map alterations and Robin for controlling feedback. Thanks also to my wife Pip for putting up with my spending hours puzzling over OCAD and multiple e-mails - I'm going to have a lie down now!
Planning a two day badge event on one area has to be something of a planners' nightmare. This proved to be the case, but I shall not bore you with the detail; suffice it to say that on a purely logistical level, it required the invention of a twelve byte alphanumeric code which looked like something that had just come out of an Enigma machine. Then there was the planning. This being only my second planning, it was a steep learning curve but I received lots of helpful advice from my peers! It was always going to be physically challenging but I hope that you also found some navigational challenge in the woods. Handrails, in the form of walls and deep re-entrants, were never far away but those of you on the longest courses will have visited the 'high woodland' which is eerily beautiful and does require some fine navigation. Of course, while glissading down muddy slopes away (!) from your control, such esoteric thoughts tend to be easily dismissed but I hope that you will retain at least some fond memories of your experience in Macclesfield Forest. I trust that you found the shenanigans at the start of some value (maybe comic?!); the multitude of controls for 1 and 2 was by design to get you thinking straight away but the 'reverse start tactic' (RST) I hadn't anticipated; in fact the short section of brashings off the main track was not so bad and I remain unconvinced that the RST actually saved time (though it may have saved ankles!); look at the splits and decide for yourself.
It was in the balance as to whether we should have a white course; in the end it required a significant amount of taped route. The juniors that I spoke to, seemed to have enjoyed it; I hope that they were exhilarated with a taste of real off track orienteering in a safe environment. For the rest of you it was a matter of not taking the 'veterans' into some awful gorge whilst ensuring that the more youthful of you left with a sense of having done a good day's work. I received no negative feedback from any of the competitors; I therefore assume that you were all too tired to complain (another planner's tactic)!
As ever, the thank you list would easily run to several paragraphs so I would like to globally thank the superb organising and controlling team, and name only Ian Gilliver as the overarching "planner of planners" and voice of authority, inspiration and encouragement throughout the months of pre-event paraphernalia and a weekend of very hard but very rewarding work.
Thank you for coming and sharing this wonderful old forest with us.
It was a pair of Incredible String Courses! (results)
We thought it strange that the very youngest and smallest orienteers should have to contend with pin punches, so we gave you all "dibbers". We hope you enjoyed using them - just as your parents do. And you even got your "splits". Can we have some customer-satisfaction-feedback please?
Thanks to Vicky Thornton for creating the courses, taking time off from her training for the TransAlp Challenge, the "Toughest Mountain Biking Race in the World". If you would like to read more about it and maybe sponsor her in aid of Cancer Research go to www.justgiving.com/ThorntonsTransalp.
Some event photos can be found on Peter Cull's website (www.petercull.com)