Swansea Bay Orienteering Club
MIDLAND NIGHT CHAMPIONSHIPS
ST. DAVID'S DAY REGIONAL EVENT
Pembrey Burrows, Forest and Country Park
Saturday and Sunday, 5th and 6th March 2005
"I made some initial comments (see below) but I forgot then a very important 'thank you' and that was to those helpers and competitors who so willingly offered their services on Saturday night when it appeared that we had a problem since a competitor had not returned. Everything turned out ok and arrangements for the Sunday event continued as normal, but it was a great help to officials for the event to have competitors who had spent quite some time on their own course to be willing to head back out into the forest as part of a search attempt.
The good weather on Sunday helped contribute to a successful event and my
thanks to those competitors who either emailed or spoke to me directly thanking
all those willing helpers who put together such a good event. The results from
Sunday have now been reposted to the website in final form. They have been
adjusted by the removal of the split times for the legs to and from control 207.
This only affected course 1 and 2. This seemed to be the fairest way to me to
handle the situation.
"This area has been used more times than David Beckham's mirror so it was a bit tricky finding some original routes, especially as a lot of the forest and park has become a bit brambly over the last few years. I think that I managed to avoid the worst of the undergrowth although the buckthorn and marram grass claimed a few victims in the dunes. I am still picking thorns out of my legs 4 days after the weekend and I overheard some junior lads saying that "you don't need gaiters - its all above the knees".
The sand dune controls ended up being fairly easy for most courses - recent vegetation growth and paths appearing and disappearing made a lot of potential control sites unfair. I hope everyone enjoyed a bit of fast running in this area. I have two apologies to make - some of the courses, particularly course 4 ended up favouring the runners over the navigators as I failed to come up with tricky routes across the Country Park, more seriously, course 1 and 2 were affected by a dodgy control placement - Unfortunately I put control 207 on a similar spur 50m too far west - (should have navigated into this from the opposite direction to double check!) Some runners lost time here which has affected the results slightly.
The weekend involved a lot of running and biking around but fortunately the
weather was kind and I missed the hail storms that caught out Charles on
Saturday. Big thanks to Charles for lots of advice and help with course setting
and putting out + collecting controls on Saturday and Sunday. I would also like
to thank Pete Seward for producing the excellent map and Bridget and Roger Stein
for organising, collecting controls and jump starting my car on Sunday evening."
"I would like to apologise to all competitors on Courses 1 & 2 for Control 207 which was 50m out of position on a parallel feature. I am very disappointed to have failed in the Controller's primary function in providing you with a fair race. During Saturday I had checked that many control sites were correct by fine navigation and the presence of the tape. When I arrived at 207 late in the day approaching in the same direction as Course 2 the flag was very visible I went straight to it and only checked the code.
As soon as there is a mistake on a Course then the competitors race is marred and there is no effective recovery action. From the Splits Course 2 was essentially unaffected with only one runner losing about a minute. Course 1 approached from a different direction with the flag less visible. Most of the leading runners lost about a minute at 207 but lost no time at the next control. The relative positions of the leaders was unaffected. In the middle of the field many competitors found the control but then understandably lost time (2/3 minutes) on the next leg. However six competitors had much longer splits for one of these legs. Despite this all these runners completed the course. I would like to thank these competitors for the sportsman like way they responded to this situation I hope that if the "boot had been on the other foot" then I would have been as forgiving. We hope that your days sport was marred rather than spoiled."
Preliminary Comments by Organiser:
Thanks to you all, both competitors and helpers. You all helped to make this a very successful event. Links above are to preliminary results by class and by course, and split times by class and by course for both events. It appears that control 207 (on Sunday, courses 1 and 2) was in the wrong place and we hope that this did not spoil the day for competitors on those courses.
The only downside for the event as organiser was to receive a complaint from the Park Authorities that competitors were running across the golf course greens. I would have hoped that it was not necessary to include instructions about such things in the event details as I would have thought that it was common courtesy or even common sense. Surely we don't need to list a host of instructions like don't drop litter! don't run through groups having a picnic! don't kick the ducks! don't ... We have spent a long time getting on good terms with the Park owners and have managed to extend that by getting special permission to use Pembrey Burrows Nature Reserve at certain times of the year. It will be a pity if that is jeopardised by the actions of a few foolish persons.