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Autumn League #3: Cork Showgrounds, Curraheen Tuesday September 10th Results and Report

posted 11 Sep 2019, 10:42 by Elaine Sheridan
The third event in the CorkO Autumn League saw competitors converge at The Cork Showgrounds on Tuesday evening for our latest autumnal adventure. The Cork Showgrounds area is very open and is comprised of several large fields divided by roads, hedges, earth banks and a river so it is quite different to our regular forested areas.

The terrain itself isn’t terribly technical so to add to the challenge on the night the planner began both courses with a maze training exercise which was made up of 36 controls split into four grids of 9 controls. This exercise was designed to test competitor’s ability to orientate their maps correctly. Only when you had punched all the controls on your maze did you get your map to begin your chosen course.

The technical maze at the start caught a few folks out including some seasoned orienteers. The first leg on the long course after the maze had competitor race across the open Showgrounds on a long leg to control one below the busy N40 road. The long grass in this area had recently been mowed and it was a case of sticking to the right track to minimise the amount of time one needed to hurdle over the rows of cut grass. Having punched one competitors then doubled back and crossed the river towards control two before embarking on another long leg to three. The grass in this section had yet to be cut so it was a little heavy going at times. This control was positioned low in the drain junctions and was tricky to spot in the undergrowth. From here there was a nice short leg to control 4. Some participants elected to take the straightest route and manged to scramble their way through the hedging. Others took the slightly longer route around the hedge to the control site.

Another short leg followed to control 5 positioned at a single tree in another hedge. The leg from 5 to 6 was perhaps the longest of the night and took participants to the most western point on the map. From here there was a short run back up the hill to control 7. The leg from 7 to 8 involved crossing the river. Some entrants opted for the shortest route and splashed their way to the control while others decided to keep their feet dry and instead used the bridge to cross the river. The remaining legs were all about speed with a straight route to 9 before a long trek to 10. Once again care needed to be taken to approach ten from the right side otherwise more scrambling through the hedge was required. Having punched 10 there was a fast-open run to the finish.

The open grassy terrain would have suited the fast runners in the field. The openness also meant that fellow participants could be seen in the distance which might have provided extra motivation to some to push hard to catch them. With the maze and the 3.9km course there was some fierce competition on the night and at the finish a meagre 8 seconds differentiated our top two finishers. It was Joe Bosonnet who claimed the bragging rights and took the event win completing the course in a time of 23:47. Joe's speed was certainly an advantage on this terrain. Hot on Joe’s heels was Simon Upton who finished runner up again this week having completed the course in a time of 23:55. Third place went to Dan McDonnell who punched the finish in a time of 25:42.

Fresh from her exploits in Wales at the weekend in the SHI Niamh Corbett claimed another Autumn League winners honour. She was the fastest lady around the Showgrounds on Tuesday night and finished the 4.7km course in a time of 27:09. A long way behind her was runner up Elaine Sheridan. She punched all 20 controls in a time of 38:12. Niamh’s mum Liz Deane took the final podium spot when she finished in a time of 42:04.

There was great rivalry on the 2.5km Short course were two siblings battled it out for the event winner title. Eve Buckley took the spoils when she completed the course in a time of 19:30. Not far behind her was her brother Fionn who punched all 16 controls in a time of 20:41. Third place on the short course when to Ted Feehan who cross the line in a time of 21:58.

Well done to all who participated on the night. We hope you enjoyed the challenge at the start and the different nature of the terrain. Full individual results with splits times are available at the following link:

http://www.orienteering.ie/result2?oaction=moreResult&id=22105

Huge thanks again this week to Liam O’Brien for planning and organising the event. Thanks also to Willie Fitzgerald and Dave O’Donovan for taking care of warmup and starts. Thanks also to Dan McDonnell and Darragh and Terrance Hoare for assisting with control collection.

We are also very thankful to Cork Schools Orienteering Association for the use of their map and to the Munster Agricultural Society and UCC for permitting us to stage the event on this area.

The next event in our Autumn League will take place on Sunday September 15th in the beautiful surrounds of Doneraile Park. This event will be the 14th Annual Cliona Callanan Memorial Orienteering and all proceeds on the day will go to the Cork Children's Leukaemia Association. Come along anytime between 10.00am and 1.00pm. Why not bring a picnic or enjoy the Tea Rooms and don't forget the playground! Further directions and park info can be found here:
www.corko.net/doneraile-forest-park

Hope you can join us on our northern adventure and help support a very worthy cause.