Several QO members ran at the Jan Kjellstrom International Festival of Orienteering or the JK as it's known. The late Easter and southern climes meant lovely spring sunshine, in contrast to some recent JKs! We even mustered a relay team on Easter Monday.
Who went and how did they do?
A dozen QO members attended. They were the Haslers, the Robertsons, Bill Vigar, Jim Mallinson, Matthew Knipe, Jim Nickolls, Jeff Pakes and Andrew Page. Eleanor H and Andrew ran at the sprint only. The rest did the middle distance and classic races on Day 2 at Ambersham Common and Day 3 at Holmbush & St Leonards.
Steve Robertson, Tom Hasler and Jeff Pakes formed the relay team QOtation in the senior men category (M120+) on Easter Monday at Pippingford Park. Jim Mallinson was also there, running in South London OC (SLOW) colours. Jim also helped at the General Enquiries tent on Day 2 and 3.
The best results looked to be those of Andrew (M12) and Eleanor H (W12) on the sprint at Brunel College, Middlesex and Tom H (M16B) and Jim M (M65L) on Days 2 and 3. All those runners finished in the top half of the field on each of the days they competed.
- Jeff Pakes
Day 1, Brunel University (sprint)
Five QO members attended the sprint event hosted at Brunel University, Uxbridge to the west of Greater London. Of particular note was Andrew Page (M12), who came 14th out of 35 in his category, which was a very fast paced race. Despite being 14th, he was only 3:11 behind the winner, and just a second behind the 13th placed competitor. Andrew actually took the lead at the 7th control...but unfortunately the 8th leg didn’t go so well for him, which in a tight race was enough to end his challenge. You had to constantly be paying complete attention!
Day 2- Ambersham Common (middle distance)
The Middle Distance race was held at Ambersham Common in the South Downs, near Midhurst. This event attracted three more club members than the sprint, one of whom was Bill Vigar (M80).
Although Bill only came 8th out of 15 on his course, he'd have won had he started as well as he'd finished! Bill lost the race on the first control, falling nearly seven minutes behind the eventual winner. Seven munutes was near enough the winner's eventual winning margin over Bill. For the first half of his course, Bill gradually overtook those in the lower half of the field but by control 8 the final race positions had almost been determined. Even taking the fastest time on five out of seven of those final legs, Bill was stuck in 8th position.
Day 3, Holmbush & Buchan Country Park (long)
The longest of the three individual days was held at Holmbush & Buchan Country Park, with courses approximately twice as long as the previous day.
Here, Thomas Hasler came 3rd on the M16B course, which included a variety of terrain, with some legs requiring a bearing, with others needing careful micro-navigation through woods with lots of close-together line features. This was topped off by the usual spectator finish, although competitors on his course went back into a small section of woodland area, after running through some fields that could be seen from the event arena.
Day 4, Pippingford Park (relays)
QO entered one team for the relay, called QOtation, into the Senior Men (M120+) category. NB: the age refers to the combined age of all three competitors. This team came 22th out of 28 teams that entered this event, with the team members (Jeff Pakes, Thomas Hasler and Steve Robertson) coming in 20th, 27th and 22nd respectively. Our combined time was well under three hours, not bad considering we had covered 18km and more than 500m of climb between us.
On each of the three courses there was a spectator control half way round by a pink and black life-sized model cow, which one competitor managed to knock over as he punched the control. Whilst Steve had to use the mini-mass start used for teams lagging behind, all was not lost as Thomas came in approximately two minutes afterwards.
- Tom Hasler
These are for Days 2 and 3 combined.
Andrew Page and Eleanor Hasler only ran on Day 1 and Sarah Hasler ran Light Green rather than an age-based class.
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