South West Middle Distance Championships: Braunton Burrows
Sun 19 May 2019
Info updated: 20th May
Type of event: Regional
Type of terrain: Moorland
Results: Braunton Burrows 19.05.19
Some of Carol's photos from the event can be seen below
First my thanks go to: Richard Sansbury for being a ‘light-touch’ controller, but whose comments were apposite and effective. He also woke every one of the 67 controls up in the morning (SIAC dibbers can add hours to the planner’s day). Tom Lewis, whose first event as an organiser this was. All his teams did an efficient job, and there were no hitches, so thanks all round. Carol Pearce, who helped me put out almost all the 67 controls on the Saturday; then became my back-up on the day. Tom McMurtrie and his team for saving me further hours of sand-dune slogging to get the controls back in. With the courses closing at 2.30pm, we were all off-site at 3.30 pm with not a trace left behind!
Mapping and planning on Braunton are a privilege and pleasure, though there are many orienteers who may not use the same words about running there. It is a first-class area, and one of the few where genuine TD5 courses can be set. The original map by Brian Parker still stands the test of time, though I have tweaked it with the help of Lidar in one or two places. However, the vegetation changes extremely quickly as many of you found. The map was ‘correct’ when sites were originally set, but many pegs had disappeared under inches of scrub bushes by yesterday. Then other scrub areas had been cleared, one of which almost threw me on Saturday (fortunately not on one of your legs). The course lengths were based on the official formulae for ‘middle’ races, with recommended winning times being 35-40 mins. With a handful of winners either being on or close to those times indicates that the lengths were OK: however, I must admit to being disappointed with the number of very long runs. I make no apology for giving you genuine TD5 courses where I was supposed to. For those who questioned 49’s location, I’ve checked again, and Lidar has it about 3 metres south of the mapped site – close enough to see it clearly from all directions.
The low turn-out needs looking at; 130 for a regional championship seems disappointing to me. Maybe it was the wrong time of year (esp. for exam families); maybe BB is too far from anywhere; maybe ‘middle races’ are not popular enough; or it needed to be paired with the sprint race on the same w/e. Who knows! All I know is that the amount of work for the planner would have been the same whether 130 or 730 had turned up. Thank you to all for coming, and for the positive (if frustrated) comments I received after your runs.
A massive thank you to everyone for helping out yesterday. For my first experience of organising you all made it seem rather easy. Particular thanks to those who were not present at the end yesterday. Phil, who sorted out all the land access issues, and the Jackson family who ran a memory string course for which I am now the SW champion! It was a lot of effort for that sole objective, but very much appreciated. Roger for providing the kit and making the signs. And Chris for sitting on the finish to the bitter end, as I forgot to tell him that the last competitor had finished. And of course Richard, John and Carol did the really hard work. It seems generally agreed that the courses were a triumph.
Hope you all enjoyed the North Devon sunshine and maybe see you at the upcoming events.
Pre Event Information
Nearest town: Braunton
- Grid Ref: SS465326
- Postcode: EX33 2NX
- Latitude: 51.07514
- Longitude: -4.18726
- Google Map (aerial) - Bing Map (OS)
Contacts / Officials
Planner: John Pearce
Controller: Richard Sansbury QO
Organiser: Tom Lewis 07938764579
Safety and Risk
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