Comments for LOG Colour Coded Event,
Stapleford Woods, 27/01/2002
Only thirteen people tried the night event. I was disappointed at such a low turnout even if Stapleford is off the beaten track so to speak. So much effort by the planner and controller really not being appreciated or taken advantage of. It seems night orienteering is only enjoyed by a minority of orienteers. Still the event was put on, enjoyed I hope by those who participated and caused no real headaches
I managed to get the car park grass cut on Friday. It was a generous move by the Forest Enterprise to cut it at short notice. The weather held off until late afternoon and the number of competitors was a vast improvement on our last two events. Clearly e-punching is worth travelling for. We did a lot of work on Saturday making sure the short courses were accessible including building the new footbridge alas now dismantled. I think for those arriving on the day to orienteer, the event was a success.
Thank you to Steven Bones for his courses. The feedback I got from returning runners was all positive. Thank you to the club members who manned the facilities and stayed until the last kites were collected and the signs removed. It was a relieve not to have to call on every single member to help for a change. A big thank you to Mike Napier for his time, equipment and advise. Finally a thank you to Ray Barnes. Not just for his controlling of the event but also his hands on assistance when needed.
We made mistakes, which I can live with. We will learn from those mistakes and go on to provide bigger and better events. I hope to see you all at Twyford in April.
This was by far the hardest event I have had to plan. Many things contributed to a frantic last week. Not having my own transport was the main problem, other club members tried to help, but due to circumstances beyond our control I was unable to get into the woods until meeting with Ray a week before. Second was the map, it is now a couple of years old, not the best of mapped areas, and the rhododendrons are much more overgrown than shown on the map.
Planning the night courses was probably over looked by the day event more than it should have been, this was my first attempt at a night event, but with assistance from Ray everything seemed to go well, the only downside was the persistent rain through out the day no doubt put a few people off, despite the evening being one of the best evenings for a while.
The day event overall was a success in my mind, I managed to use the best part of the wood (even if it didn't feel like it!) to its best potential, the use of E-Punching allowed me to make courses that were as technical as can be made in this kind of area, while keeping out of the grot. Reports at the finish and car park confirmed this, despite a hiccup or two.
The Downside, Unfortunately! Control 2 on the Orange was made a lot harder by the over grown rhododendrons, it caused a few people problems but no one gave up on it I believe. Secondly was a miss marked master map on the Blue. Without realising and trusting that Ray would be checking them it went un-noticed, unfortunately with time running short Ray was trusting that I had drawn them up right. I can only apologise to everyone on the Blue for this mistake, with the use of electronic punching we are able to avoid making the course void, but unfortunately this affects everyone, but in my mind is the fairest way.
Despite all this comments at the finish were very positive and even competitors affected on the blue overall seemed to enjoy the course.
My thanks go to Ray for controlling a very difficult event, and keeping me sane, till the end of the event at least, Ian for organising the whole event, and all LOG members who helped on the day. Special thanks go to John for helping with the putting out of controls, and to Michael Napier for all his help with the finish and results.
Inevitably it had to happen. I had considered asking LOG to cancel the events last weekend when I had not yet seen any night courses, or a Purple course, but perhaps wrongly decided that as both Stephen and I were familiar with Stapleford it shouldn't be too difficult to make some nudges here and there to get the events going.
Without transport, Stephen could only armchair plan courses. The task of converting those into a night and a day event in four days was possible - but finding substitute control sites to cover for map errors and changes did introduce some dog-legs. Similarly, it would have been foolish to attempt to fine tune the course lengths in light of the mud and vegetation we found. They were as short as they have ever been in Stapleford already.
The Night event went without a hitch - "thanks for coming" to the thirteen competitors!
Stephen and I spent Saturday morning visiting the sites we hadn't reached on Tuesday. But we then had to get the Night event ready, so Master Maps were not approved (by email) until 2:30am Sunday. With a number of other issues (including production of Map Corrections) still unresolved at 10:15, I regret to say I overlooked the close scrutiny I should have given to the Master Maps. I did in fact have time to do that job, and/or I could have delayed the start for 5 minutes, but my mind was on the other worries and my inexperience as a controller was revealed. One of the Blue Master Maps had one incorrect control circle, therefore approximately a third of the runners on that course were affected - either by punching and not noticing, noticing and assuming planner/controller error, or by noticing and assuming an error by themselves or planner/controller and correctly deducing the location of the tripod. The practical solution (available with the advent of e-punching) was to remove the times of the legs to and from this control, whichever master map you used. I do appreciate this is not entirely fair for those affected who continued in a different frame of mind, nor to those unaffected because some of the affected runners had time for a breather whilst they worked out what had happened. Nevertheless, it was a Galoppen event, and to void the course would deny some a perfectly good score.
On a happier note, may I thank Ian and his team for the entirely new routes around fallen trees (created for the White course), the superb bridge (built for the Yellow - even if others may have used it to keep their feet dry) and for their willingness in the intensifying rain to go and search for the overdue competitor (who promptly arrived - of course!). I must also thank Benno Schuetz (NOC) for helping me check that all the controls were hung properly for both events.
Stephen struggled against the odds to produce courses. On Tuesday, I took him to the forest, and as we visited sites for the first time, we both began to get despondent with the map, but he stuck to his task, and you will (unknowingly?) have avoided the worst parts of the undergrowth. No course in Stapleford is ever going to be the most technical challenge - but Stephen used the area as well as could be managed. Yes, it was his drawing error, but it was me who failed in my duty to you, the competitors, and for that failure I sincerely apologize.
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