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Sat 28 Jan

Near: Taunton
Level of event: Regional

Type of event: Race, Urban

A urban in the centre of Taunton, the county town of Somerset, with a mixture of urban parkland, residential, and retail areas.



Final Results

Controller comments from Jim Mallinson (SLOW):

Less than 2 weeks before the event, there was concern over whether the event would be held as much of the area round the start & finish was under water. Fortunately, a dry period leading up to the event allowed the river level to drop and the ground to dry out. I was pleasantly surprised at how dry Longrun Meadow was on the day.

Ollie provided a good mix of street running and open ‘park land’ running, and provided courses which had some good route choice legs. The timed-out crossing points were for safety reasons and were fairly generous. Some took full advantage of a short breather, while others seem not to have read the final details properly and rushed through!

As this was the first Urban event I’ve controlled, there was a learning curve to climb, although not as steep as Ollie’s. Controlling was made a bit easier by also being the mapper. I got to know the area fairly well before the course planning started, so was able to offer advice from the outset.

Planner comments from Ollie Rant:

This was by far the largest event I have planned, with my previous experience being exclusively JOGs and Street Series. Needless to say, there was a lot more to consider! I wanted to try and have a good range of orienteering, hence the extension into the eastern part of the town centre. This allowed for residential, town centre, intricate urban and parkland control sites, and also a variety of leg lengths. A lot of the 'deceptive legs' were based on mistakes I have made over the years on urban events, and my sadistic side thinks that it was nice to see others make these same errors! It was great to receive so many positive comments from competitors, both on the day and post-event, saying how well-planned the courses were. The majority of that is down to the controller, Jim Mallinson, and Gavin Clegg, who both helped me extensively with refining the courses, so thank you both. I would also like to thank Roger and Judy, along with the other volunteers for making the event happen.

Organiser comments from Roger Craddock:

The original Quantock Orienteers UK Urban League event was created by Gavin Clegg in Bridgwater in 2017 and could have been replicated in January 2022 as part of the QO weekend of Orienteering. It was decided to postpone that and move it to Taunton and Ollie Rant agreed to plan. Hopefully we can return to the Bridgwater map for a future UKUL event.

The SW Sprint Championships in the summer of 2018 was planned by Gavin and Andrew Page using the Taunton map. Chairman Alasdair Shaw produced GPS courses in Taunton during COVID (SEGOL) and used the base map which Jim Mallinson has built on for this event. He extended the map to include more of the town centre, with junior courses based on the traffic free areas around Longrun Meadow Country Park and Bridgwater & Taunton College.

Planning an event such as this proved a challenge for Ollie Rant with advance prediction of the availability of passages, bridges, and building sites on his first major event. Many thanks to him for taking it on together with a new job!

I must apologise for not being as visible as I had hoped on the day. An incident when one of our competitors on the Black course collided with some street furniture required transport to A&E and company while concussion was assessed and stitches administered. This meant leaving my wife Judy to finish organising, cleaning and clearing the assembly area and returning the equipment to the QO store. Fortunately we are blessed with helpful members of our Club. The casualty (and his car) were collected by friends from NGOC and his father travelled from Manchester to keep an eye on his concussion overnight.

Thank you for supporting the event. We were fortunate that the Park dried out (yes, it had been an ice rink a week earlier!), and those that stayed for the local event in the Quantocks the following day were treated to one of our best areas.

Directions / Parking

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 is served by National Express and is a 10-minute walk.

Car: There is a good selection of public car parks within easy walking distance of the start, including a small one at TA1 5QZ and larger ones at TA1 4AY and at TA1 4AS. There is a Tesco's carpark at TA1 4AB if you also do a shop. Please check the prices of the paid carparks, and note that the free ones are mostly monitored by ANPR.

Course Information


The Senior & Junior starts are near the Oak Barn approximately 100m from the south-west corner of French Weir Park. The route to the start will be signed. The three minutes before box will have loose control descriptions printed on waterproof paper. The two minutes before box will have blank maps. It will be a punching start, but you are asked to try and use the allocated start time period. In the interest of fairness you should not start within 4 mins of someone from your own club on the same course.


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.


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

On most of the senior courses there are 2 mandatory crossing points on North Street. These crossing points are timed out (maximum time allowed 2 mins) to allow you to safely cross the road at the pedestrian crossing. For all other road crossings, please take care and if required, use the pedestrian crossings.

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.

Children should not attempt to climb on or cross any walls or play near the river.


We are using the same Finish for all courses approx 50m from download. Punch at the Finish control to record your finish time and then proceed to Download in the Assembly area. If you have hired an SI card, please return it there. 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. Maps will not be collected – in the spirit of fair competition please do not show your map to competitors that have yet to run.


The map scale is 1:5000 with 2.5 metre contours, updated and extended summer/autumn 2022 to include more of the town centre.

It is drawn to the latest ISSprOM 2019-2 mapping standards. There is one symbol new to the latest standards that competitors may not be familiar with. This, and features that are forbidden to be crossed/entered, are shown below.

Senior courses: The map is A3 size printed on waterproof paper.

The legend only lists those features that are forbidden to be crossed/entered and the new symbol.

Junior courses: The map is A4 size printed on waterproof paper. A full legend is printed on the map in addition to those features that are forbidden to be crossed/entered and the new symbol.

All competitors should make themselves familiar with the symbols used, in particular those that prohibit passing across and entering.

Features mapped as 'DO NOT CROSS' and 'DO NOT ENTER' must not be crossed/entered even if they look possible to cross/enter (e.g. If a fence is mapped as 'do not cross', you must not cross it even if you are physically able to do so or there is an open gate not mapped as a crossing point).

Anyone found doing so will be disqualified.

Longrun Meadow:

This is an area of rough open parkland which is part of the flood defence system to protect Taunton from flooding. There are many paths on the area, particularly less distinct paths, which tend to appear and disappear frequently according to the whims of dog walkers.

At this time of year it is generally wet underfoot and may contain areas of shallow standing water, which are generally safe to cross. If there is heavy rain in early January some areas of Longrun Meadow may become flooded, which would render them unsafe to cross.

Please check the QO website for information on the latest situation.


Please note your course number to ensure that you pick up the correct map on starting. Due to the complex nature of the competition area, the actual running distance will be significantly greater on all courses, in some cases being over 50% longer than the straight-line distance. Course lengths are subject to final controlling.

Course number


Km Controls



M Open

9.5km. 35 controls




M40+, W Open

7.7km. 28 controls




M55+, W40+

6.2km. 24 controls




M65+, W55+

4.8km. 17 controls



Short Green

W65+, M/W75+

4.1km. 14 controls



Light Green

M16-, W16-

3.9km. 19 controls




M12-, W12-

2.5km. 16 controls


Full body cover is not required; shorts and singlets may be worn. Dob spike O shoes are inappropriate for this race – wear trainers or trail shoes. Courses run in some part on Longrun Meadow this is a pastureland area of water meadow – if there is heavy rain beforehand expect this area to be wet and muddy! If the conditions worsen and rain and cold are considered extreme, cagoules may be required. If required, a sign will be shown at Assembly.

Entry Details

Entries will be taken on the day subject to the availability of maps - places are likely to be very limited on some courses with a surcharge of £2. Pre-enter to ensure a run. Entries via RaceSignUp. Courses close at 14:30.

The Men’s Open course will have 33+ controls. Competitors will need to have an SI9 card or higher to take part. SIAC cards will be available to hire on the day for a fee of £1, but due to limited numbers will be reserved for MO participants.

Personal data given will be used by the event organiser for the purposes of processing and publishing the event results, for conducting safety checks and to validate BOF insurance cover.

AgePre-entryEntry on the Day
U21£5 £7

An SI dibber can be hired for £1. Failure to return it will incur the cost of a replacement (£30).

A SIAC dibber can be hired for £1 (with a replacement cost of £70 if lost) only if you are entering the MO (Black) course. As we have a limited number of these cards and our normal SI cards won't work on this course, we have to limit hiring of them to this course only.

If you are a helper at this event, please contact the organiser for the discount code.

Please consider buying a pack of pre-entry credits in advance. This costs you the same but saves the club a lot in credit card fees.

Buy Credits

Registration & Start Times

The Assembly, Registration, are at the COACH building on French Weir Park, Taunton. Grid Ref: ST 220248. Nearest Post Code: TA1 1XG. Sat Nav: 51.017686 -3.112545. Starts and finishes are in the Longrun Meadow Country Park on the other side of the River Tone. What Three Words is: mime.divisions.goats

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, showers and toilets, but please remove muddy footwear before entering. These facilities will be open from 10:00 to 15:00.

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

French Weir Park is a public space with footpaths across it. Please be courteous to the public and other users. The Weir Café will be open. A childrens playground is available.

Start times: 11:00 – 13:30. It is a punching start.

Other Information


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


Welcome to Taunton. In planning the courses. 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.

Competitors may also encounter heavy pedestrian traffic in one or two locations on their course - please be considerate and careful. Some 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.


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


Thanks to Taunton Deane B.C., Castle School, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Summerfield Court Residents Association.

Please check the website before travelling for any last-minute news. Competitors take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety.

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Ollie Rant

Controller & Mapper: Jim Mallinson (SLOW)

Organiser: Roger Craddock

Photo Gallery

Kite in front of Somerset museum

Kite in front of Somerset museum

Kite in Taunton town centre

Kite in Taunton town centre

Adam Fieldhouse On Way From Start

Adam Fieldhouse On Way From Start

Competitor Ukul2023

Competitor Ukul2023

Graham Pearson Lrm Ukul2023

Graham Pearson Lrm Ukul2023

Halo Competitor Ukul2023

Halo Competitor Ukul2023

Matthew Owen At Finish

Matthew Owen At Finish

More Mud On Way To 1

More Mud On Way To 1

Phil Sorrell From Start

Phil Sorrell From Start

Sarah Hasler In Bt Coll

Sarah Hasler In Bt Coll

The Northern Start Ukul2023

The Northern Start Ukul2023

The Southern Starts Ukul2023

The Southern Starts Ukul2023

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