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The Caddihoe Chase 2023

Caddihoe Chase Dinner

Caddihoe Chase Dinner
Credit: Shelia Braine

Published: Mon 16 Oct 2023

Shelia's report from The Caddihoe Chase 2023- a fantastic weekend of orienteering near Lydney in the Forest of Dean.

This was the SW Long Distance Individual orienteering competition and the unusual and exciting competition where competitors race head to head to reach the finish on Day 2, having been placed in running order from Day 1 ‘qualifying’ times. Day 1 race times dictate start times for Day 2 as the faster you are on Day 1 the earlier you start of Day 2, with the next fastest in your category starting as close behind you as they finished the day before. The winner of the Caddihoe Chase and South West Long Course Champions in each age category is the first person to the finish on their course so the aim being to make up any lost time over the competitor in front of you after the chasing start, to get past them to the finish.

With the benefit of perfect dry and mild early autumn weather, the forest at Mallards Pike North and West near Speech House was at its best: Mixed woodland with not to much undergrowth, generally just the tall bracken to wade through, or some paths available to go the long way around if preferred, some areas of heavy undergrowth mapped as fight to avoid and fallen trees and branches from the recent high winds to get around. The running was therefore mostly good and in some parts fast; flat areas with an extensive network of drainage ditches, some new forestry works to negotiate as well as some more hilly areas with plenty of contour features.There were deer to be spotted and also reports of wild board in this area as well as plenty of other wildlife flora and fauna to spot on route, including a swarm of wasps near one of the controls that made their presence known to some competitors.

QO had 22 competitors at the weekend, representing both male and female categories from aged 14 to over 80. For Day 1, senior courses were technically difficult with course lengths ranging from 10.7km with 340m climb and 27 controls for the M21 (Black), to 4.1km with 70m climb and 13 controls for M80 and W65 (Short Green). Junior (for ages under 21) courses available were technically easier courses from White (youngest and least experienced ) to Light Green (M14) for the younger Juniors and up to Light Brown for older Juniors. Day 2 courses were very slightly shorter. Most QO Team members stayed local to the event over the weekend and enjoyed a pub outing for a sociable meal and a few drinks on the Saturday night, without a map in sight throughout the meal and plenty of good cheer.

QO achieved several podiums positions across the different age categories (Finley, Ailani, Pete, Sheila) and excellent results all round from the most experienced runners to those newer to orienteering who completed their courses in good times, across the different age categories and colour coded courses available to challenge and enjoy.

With SIAC electronic punching, some QO competitors (Jeff, Phil, Mark, Finley and Brian) with GPS have downloaded their routes on the maps which can be viewed on NGOC's Route Gadget.

Shelia Braine