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Taunton - North Town

SW Sprint Champs Prologue

Sun 19 Aug

Near: Taunton
Level of event: Regional

Type of event: Race, Urban

Photos (Steve Rush, Flikr)


Results and Splits

Competitor's view

I liked the morning session of yesterday's sprint, didn't like the afternoon college session as much but really enjoyed the social side as people were hanging around and chatting. I also loved the maze. I must say, there were a lot of black lines crossed - not sure that you would call it cheating - but definitely bending of rules.

I made a bad (again) route choice on one occasion in the college session and couldn't get through, so went the long way round. Noticed that others that had made the same mistake had breached or gone over the fence!

- Karen Lewis

The prologue was a good race for Karen - she beat an England international, albeit due to that runner's mispunch.


Thanks to Steve Rush for the use of his photos

Southern Sprint Championships Series Info

Sprint race in a urban and semi-urban environment. Age class winners will become the South West Sprint Champions for this year. All are welcome to enter, but only members of clubs from the SWOA region are eligible for awards.

Directions / Parking

Parking: in surrounding streets and car parks. Charges may apply.

Rail: Taunton Train Station is a 15 minute walk. From the station walk south to the junction with Staplegrove Road. Turn west along Staplegrove Road to French Weir Avenue. French Weir Park is at the end of this road. All other routes will take you into the competition area

Bus: Taunton Bus and Coach station is served by National Express and is a 5 minute walk. Head west across Castle Street into Tower Lane then follow the streamers west to Assembly (this is the opposite way from Assembly to the Prologue start).

All other routes will take you into the competition area

Course Information

Race format

There is a Prologue and a Final, with the South West Champion determined by the result in the Final only. The results of the Prologue determine the start order for the Final – reverse order, fastest starts last. Those who do not successfully complete their prologue may run in the Final but cannot become champion.

M/W 10/12 will be of yellow standard on park and local estate – no significant road crossings on the course. M10/12 must be escorted to the start. M/W 10 may be shadowed. Actual Course distances, height and controls on final details


CourseClassesPrologue: length/ controls /SCFinal: length/ controls /SC
4- YellowM10-12, W10-121.4 km, 12 c, 111.5 km, 14 c, 11
3- ShortM65+, W14, W55+1.6 km, 16 c, 121.6 km, 17 c, 12
2- MediumM14, M50-60, W16, W40-501.9 km, 16 c, 92.0 km, 16 c, 11
1- LongM16-45, W18-352.3 km, 20 c, 122.2 km, 19 c, 14

French Weir Park is also the site of two spectator controls, the last control and finish run in. Download is opposite the Finish.


SIAC air being used – controls will be fixed with gripples, with the control code on SI box.


The M/W 10/12 classes will start promptly at 10:30am and 13:00pm so that extra adult supervision can be provided on their courses.

M/W 10/12 will need to be escorted to the Prologue start.

During the race

For each control unit the flag, control number, SI box and backup pin-punch will be secured to an immovable object. The SI boxes will be set for manual and SIAC (air) punching. Manual punch at the start and finish. If the SI unit at a control does not appear to be working use the backup pin-pinch attached to it to punch your map as proof that you have found it. Controls are secured or supervised, however if a control appears to be missing due to vandalism, you should make sure you are in the right place and then continue with your race. Please let us know at download if you believe a control is missing. Do not punch over or through ‘uncrossable’ features.

Entry Details

Entry is by age class.

Limited entry on day until maps run out.

Some courses may visit the same control multiple times. Make sure you punch it on each visit and complete the loop in the correct direction. All welcome to enter but only SWOA members eligible for awards. If running up a class, competitors must enter the class in which they wish to be competitive.

There is a discount for helpers using a code that can be obtained from Roger Craddock.

Registration & Start Times

The assembly and event base will be the COACH building in French Weir Park (see map).

Prologue Start Times: 10:30 - 11:30.

It is a punching start.

Entries will be taken on the day subject to the availability of maps - places are likely to be very limited on some courses. Pre-enter to ensure a run (see below). Prologue courses close at 12:15.

Finals Start Time: From 13:00.

The result of the Prologue determines the start order for the Final – reverse order, fastest starts last. Anyone deemed not to be running to their ability in the Prologue will be non-competitive in the Final.

The Prologue Start is approximately 750m. from the south west corner of French Weir Park. The route to the start will be signed and taped. Please cross the road at the pedestrian crossing and pedestrian refuge.

Juniors under the age of 16 must be accompanied to the Prologue start.

The first start box is 4 minutes before your start where you will be ticked off (Fabian 4 entries only) and SI and SIAC dibbers checked. The three minutes before box will have loose control descriptions printed on waterproof paper. The two minutes before box will have blank maps. The Prologue start is quite narrow, as it is a punching start you can let competitors get out of your way before you punch. Then pick up a map from the correct map box for your course. In the spirit of fairness, please leave a sensible start time between rivals and club mates running the same course.

The Finals Start is 275m west over the footbridge. The route to the start will be taped. The set up will be the same as for the prologue except you will be called up on your start time. Start times will be published at Assembly as soon as possible after the Prologue. It is also a punching start.

Terrain Description

Parkland, water meadow, local park, town, old and new estates.


Both Maps are 1:4,000. Size A4. Partial Legend. Printed on waterproof paper. If you are unfamiliar with urban orienteering maps please read the general information about map symbols at the end of these details. Copies of these symbols will be on display at enquiries. A black X on both the map and control description sheet denotes a man-made object which could be a bench(s), wood pile or goal post. There are minimal contours on the map since there are no significant hills on the area. No wall, gate or fence mapped as uncrossable may be crossed, even if there is a way through.

Areas mapped by a green/yellow (olive green) “settlement” colour are not to be entered. Such areas might be flower beds, private gardens or private paths.

There are a number of gates in the area that allow residents access to their properties via key pads but can be opened from the opposite side without a code – these gates have been marked as closed and uncrossable on the map – it is possible that a resident might leave one open – please do not be tempted to go through them. Failure to comply with the above will result in disqualification, if seen. There will be marshals out around the course at some sensitive places.

For clarity some short impassable fences have been mapped as impassable walls i.e. the double tags have been omitted and only a solid black line used. The same applies to short sections of crossable fence where the tag may have been left off for clarity.

There is constant building and maintenance work going on within the mapped area. In general, long term building works have been mapped using the purple hatched symbol (Out of Bounds), which we have found gives an effective picture of what to expect.

All competitors should be aware that minor works can come and go too swiftly to be mapped – be adaptable.

All courses will have IOF description only. Loose control description sheets printed on waterproof paper will be available in the Start lanes for all courses.

Sprint orienteering map symbols


There is traffic on some of the roads in the competition area on Sunday. No roads are closed for the race and you may therefore meet traffic throughout the course and it is your responsibility to take care.

To avoid the main road we are using an underpass by the river as pictured above.

You are not allowed to cross the road, however the footpath on the east side of the road is in bounds where there is no purple hatching over it. You may use the eastern path over the road bridge if you want. The out of bounds purple hatching symbol has been used to show this. This purple hatched area has only been broken to show the underpass, which is the river path. It has not been broken to allow you to cross the road. Crossing the road is of no merit to get to the next control.

The area has the usual array of steps, fences, walls and other items of which you will need to be careful. This includes some not to be crossed walls with a greater drop on one side than the other as well as a variety of slopes and steps that can be slippery when wet. Check for traffic in both directions before you cross any road. There are also a number of cycle paths which allow cyclists to travel in both directions and there are sections of path running alongside the river. There are some blind bends and shopping areas. Competitors and more importantly, the general public, will be in these locations. Take care and adjust your speed as you go around corners to avoid accidents occurring.

It is a privilege to run this type of race in Taunton. Do not jeopardise future use of the area through reckless or inconsiderate running which causes annoyance or injury to others. ENSURE THAT YOU RUN WITHIN YOUR CAPABILITIES. This is especially important in the housing areas, where there are local residents.

Under 16s: It is a requirement of British Orienteering’s Insurance Policy that anyone under the age of 16 on the day of the competition may only compete in areas with limited and/or speed limited traffic. All courses have been planned with this in mind.



Spectator Control (SC)

There are two spectator controls in French Weir Park – one on the Prologue courses and one on the Finals courses. There will be no restrictions on how close you can get to these controls but in the interests of fair play and to avoid getting in the way of runners please keep your distance.

See illustration near the top of these details.


We are using the same Finish for both Prologue and Final. Punch at the Finish control to record your finish time and then proceed to Download opposite the Finish. If you have hired an SI card, please return it there after the Final. There will be a charge of £60 if you lose a hired SIAC card.

YOU MUST DOWNLOAD, EVEN IF YOU ABANDON YOUR RACE: This is a safety check to ensure that all competitors are back.


Other users

French Weir Park is a public space with footpaths across it. Please be courteous to the public and other users.


The COACH building provides access, in the heart of Taunton, to outdoor, sporting and social opportunities for the whole community and provides the Assembly Arena for the competition. There are changing rooms and toilets.

No water is provided for entrants. Please take responsibility for your own hydration before and after the race.

The Weir Café will be open.

Plenty of food outlets in town centre – 10 min walk.

Planner's notes

Welcome to Taunton. In planning the courses Andrew and I have aimed to set some thoughtful orienteering challenges and to take most courses through the more complex parts of the map.

As ever, building work in a town is extensive and constantly changing. We have worked hard to map all of these changes, but we trust that you will understand if we have missed any last minute out of bounds or roadworks

All courses cross a number of quiet estate roads that may feature moving traffic, take care at all times. We have made the more dangerous road Out of Bounds – this may only be crossed at the underpass that is mapped. The optimum route dictates you do this. Competitors may also encounter heavy pedestrian traffic in one or two locations on their course - please be considerate and careful.

All Prologue courses use the river path. Please be aware of the dangers of the water and keep away from the edges; parents should make sure that their charges know the map and control descriptions for urban features. In particular they should be made aware of the symbols for covered walkway, bridge, underpass and stairs.

Post race

Food and drink will be available from the Weir Café. Sit down, eat and watch everyone dashing around. The main shopping streets of Taunton are 5 minutes walk. Tesco is even closer.

Privacy: When entering our events your name may appear in the results section of the website or in newspaper reports.

First Aid

A dedicated first aid person will be available at Registration. The nearest Minor Injuries

Unit (MIU) that will be open is at Musgrove Park Hospital. TA1 5DB

Prize giving

Certificates will be awarded to the winner of each age class. Prizes for winners of junior classes up to M/W16. Presentation will be as soon as possible after the Final.


Thanks to Taunton Deane B.C., Castle School, Bridgwater and Taunton College, French Weir Health Centre, John Allaway, Roger & Judy Craddock, Summerfield Court Residents Association.

Contacts / Officials

Organiser: Roger Craddock 01823 323850 chair@

Co-planner: Gavin Clegg BOK

Co-planner: Andrew Page

Controller: Chris Kelsey BOK

Photo Gallery

Annabel Making Sense Of The Map

Annabel Making Sense Of The Map

Bristol Oks Ifor P

Bristol Oks Ifor P

Chloe Looks Up And Around

Chloe Looks Up And Around

Dawn Takes It Slow At The Start

Dawn Takes It Slow At The Start

Got It

Got It

Martin In The Castle Hotel Garden

Martin In The Castle Hotel Garden

Martin L French Weir Park

Martin L French Weir Park

Ollie On His Winning Run Prologue

Ollie On His Winning Run Prologue

Pete Heads Off Castle Green

Pete Heads Off Castle Green

Important Event Information

Safety and Risk: A comprehensive risk assessment will have been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event. All participants must report to download whether they finish their course or not.

Privacy: when participating in our events/activities your name may appear in the results section of this website or in newspaper reports. Read our data protection page to see how we look after your personal data.

Photography: QO has an agreed policy on the taking of photographs at events, based on national guidance. This provides a sensible balance between the benefits and risks associated with the taking and use of images. If you are unsure about acceptable practice, please speak to the event organiser.

Safeguarding: QO is aware of it's responsibilities in safeguarding and child protection. To comply with The Child Safeguarding Practice Review and Relevant Agency (England) Regulations 2018, we now provide an email address for individuals to report concerns to the Lead Safeguarding Officer. This address is