Sun 11 NovNear: Crowcombe nr Taunton Level of event: Local
Type of event: Race
- Write up from Sunday's leading QO runner
- Race analysis using Splitsbrower
Type of event: Race
On arrival I was met by very cheerful parking attendants. "Hows' this for a view!" said an enthusiastic Tony Milroy, and with the hills in their Autumn colours and South Wales in clear sight, who would disagree? But despite the sunshine there was a chilly wind and I opted to put an extra layer under my mesh QO top. And so off on my blue course.
I'd actually used this path [on my bike] less than 24 hours earlier
Quickly up the first path, and high-stepping over heather through controls 1 and 2 and then on the paths down towards control 3, where a handful of others were also converging. Trying to get away from the pack, I left control 3 in the wrong direction but quickly realised and set off downhill. An awkward scramble across the stream at the bottom and up to follow the indirect path. I'd actually used this path less than 24 hours earlier on yesterday's mountain bike event and found it as nice to run down as it was to ride down.
I saw control 4 from some distance away - so far it had been easy. But control 5 was less straightforward requiring a bit of contouring around the spur. I got this wrong, ending up a bit too low but fortunately I counted the paces so didn't overshoot.
Then the long leg from control 5 to control 6 - 1km distance, 100m climb and 150m descent in this leg alone! I went via the paths south of the straight line - at the time I saw no other decent option, but talking to others afterwards there was a less obvious but more direct route north. So the planner caught me out there. But the split results show I was fast on this leg, so perhaps my route was better anyway.
I tried to impress everyone by keeping a slow run going uphill. I don't think anyone was fooled
My first mistake was at control 7, which I missed on the first pass, and lost a couple of minutes relocating and going back down to find it. I thought I saw someone ahead which inspired me to pick up the pace through control 8 and onto 9 but again on control 9 I missed. I'd carefully pace counted but I'd opted to contour across and I must have drifted downhill. I only got there on my 3rd pass, having lost more minutes.
Now homeward bound, I managed to keep running most of the 100m climb up and over the hill fort before dropping onto the next control. But the last two legs included another 100m climb. I started to see others as the courses converged, so I tried to impress everyone by keeping a slow run going uphill, but I don't think anyone was fooled.
It was then a slow walk up through the final control. Roger Craddock said to me afterwards I was an impressive figure running in to the finish flag, but the reality was I walked most of the last leg. I'll look forward to seeing this on Routegadget to see if there are any other route options I missed at the time.
A good orienteer's course - very physical, but the navigation wasn't straightforward. A great day to be out on the hill.
- Richard Sansbury
Many thanks for your excellent help today in making the event a real success. We had 106 competitors in total, a much higher number than I expected given that many people were away at Remembrance events. Everyone seemed to be smiling and said that they had enjoyed their day.
- Ray Toomer (Organiser)
Green course champion Graham Hartley was the 12th starter on his course at Wilmot's Pool (the runners started roughly two minutes apart) and by the end of the race had overtook seven of them! You can see this from the graph produced from Splitsbrowser - Graham's is the light green line; time progresses downwards in this graph...!
One runner that proved elusive was the one who started just two minutes ahead of Graham, Ian Whitehead. The Derwent Valley OC man never felt Graham breathing down his neck as he enjoyed no less than a 90 seconds cushion at each control. But Graham did run the course 5 seconds quicker than Ian.
Steve Robertson went even better- the 20th runner to set off, by the end he had overtaken a dozen runners, nearly half the field!
In contrast, the course winner Devon OC's Tom Perry ran alone for much of the race- but then he was the only the second person to start. Tom won the race by 15 seconds over Steve, with the 'lead' changing hands three times.
Like what you've seen above and want to put a name to the runners you've encounter out in the forest? Here's how you use Splitsbrowser...
You can now see those who were running the same leg on the same course as you at any one time.
A local event open to all, beginner or experienced orienteer, young or old and there are colour-coded courses suitable for all.
We have six of these events a year and together they form the Forest League (QOFL). The series starts in the Autumn and continues at approximately one event per month until the spring.
Link to QOFL team lists - members, please check which events you are down to help at
Signed from the A358 at Crowcombe and the A39 west of Nether Stowey.
Parking: will be on a rough / uneven, off-road area to the North of the road running from Crowcombe Park Gate and Dead Woman's Ditch.
Suitable for all ages and abilities.
Course lengths and climbs:
|Blue||5.7 km||395 m|
|Green||3.9 km||195 m|
|Short Green||3.3 km||145 m|
|Light Green||3.3 km||175 m|
|Orange||2.5 km||55 m|
|Yellow||2.4 km||50 m|
|White||1.8 km||25 m|
|Category of entry|
|Beat the Trail|
|Family*- separate runs||16||n/a|
|Group (1 dibber and up to 2 maps)||8||n/a|
*The family rate is a concessionary rates. Maximum two adults per family.
SI card (dibber) Hire - standard is £1, contact-less is £2 (only if contact-less mode is activated)
Additional runs (for all)- £1 each
Charge for lost dibber - £40 (SI), £65 (SIAC)
Filling out a Registration form (link) in advance will quicken up the entry process on the day.
The non-member premium has been dropped for 2019/20.
The Sportident (SI) timing system will be used but contact-less punching (SIAC) will not be enabled, unless stated otherwise.
Those of you who have your own SI card please bring it to registration to speed up the registration process.
Registration from: 10:30 (helpers from 10.00)
Start times from: 11.05 to 13.00
As it is Remembrance Sunday, we will have a two minutes' silence from 11.00.
Courses close: 14:30
Ancient woodland, steep coombes and rough open areas towards the top of the hills
Well behaved dogs under close control are allowed
Not all small paths / animal tracks are marked on the map, only those expected to be permanent are mapped.
Due to the effect the unusual weather this year has had on vegetation, you should not rely on the edges of the vegetation as mapped for navigational purposes. The mapped vegetation does gives an indication of general runnability.
The slopes are very slippy at present so please wear suitable footwear,with studs or a good grip.
Because it's mainly an open area and rain is forecast, please bring a cagoul. Depending on the exact weather conditions, these may be compulsory on the day.
Planner: Robert Green
Controller: Andy Rimes results@
Organiser: Ray Toomer email@example.com
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.
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