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Autumn League #5: Cork Showgrounds, Curraheen September 19th Results and Report

posted 21 Sep 2017, 16:49 by Elaine Sheridan   [ updated 22 Sep 2017, 01:52 ]
Another successful Autumn League drew to a close on Tuesday night at the Cork Showgrounds in Curraheen. We were delighted to conclude the league at a brand new orienteering destination. The Cork Showgrounds area was recently mapped by Liam O'Brien for the Cork School Orienteering Association. The students had been testing out the terrain during the day and on Tuesday evening it was our turn to experience this new map.

Many competitors arriving at the event remarked how they'd never orienteered in fields before. 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 openness meant there was no shelter from the elements at this event but thankfully the evening remained largely dry with just a few spells of light drizzle at times. This week we were delighted to welcome the local Ballinora scout group to the event. We hope you all enjoyed your orienteering adventure.

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 competitors 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 Short course was a nice route around the terrain while the 5.2km Long course had competitors traverse the fields multiple times. The course began by taking participants across the river to the familiar Showgrounds barn and outhouses that are visible from the adjacent N40 dual carriageway. As commuters journey home on this busy road they may have spotted orienteers venturing around these prominent landmarks. From here there was a series of short control legs before some longer legs across the vast open fields. Initially identifying the gaps in the hedges was key to navigating in this area. 

The open terrain provided great visibility which meant fellow competitors were easy to identify in the distance and one could see where the latter part of the course would take you. The flat nature of the terrain meant the going was fast and this would have suited the faster runners in the field. Some folks managed to overtake their fellow competitors but for others the gap between them and their rivals simply widened as they progressed along the course. The faster runners stretching further and further ahead until they were merely a dot in the distance. Control 11 at the thicket in the marshy undergrowth proved the trickiest control on the night. Those that opted to take the shorter route here struggled a little as they scrambled through the marsh.

All orienteering maps need regular re-surveying to keep them up to date. However, we don't usual have features on the map disappear during the event but on Tuesday a portacabin marked as a building on the map was removed during the event and another one had been removed earlier in the day during the schools event. Luckily there was no controls attached to either of these buildings!

The new map meant the terrain was new to all competitors so no one in the filed had the edge at Tuesday's event. However, on the Long course Conrad Daly made it a hat trick of wins in the Autumn League when he punched the finish at the Showgrounds in a time of 28:21. Runner up on the night was Matteo Sottocornola who punched all 30 controls in a time of 30:47. Aidan Kelleher bagged himself another Autumn League podium finish this week when he completed the Long course in a time of 31:11.

The fastest lady around the Showgrounds was Elizabeth Murphy she punched all 30 controls in a time of 36:24. Runner-up on the night was Fiona Power she completed the course in a time of 38:15. The final podium spot went to Aoife O'Sullivan who finished in a time of 42:54.

On the Short course Fiona O'Driscoll claimed the event win when she punched all 17 controls in a super fast time of 16:50. There was a very close contest for the runner up spot and the two orienteers in contention for this position have been doing battle with one another right throughout the Summer and Autumn Leagues. Chiara Bosonnet and Liam Twomey are regular Short course podium finishers and this week just two seconds separated them at the finish control. Chiara Bosonnet just edged out Liam to claim the Short course runner up spot. She completed the course in a time of 19:53. Liam Twomey was hot on her heels throughout the course and finished in a time of 19:55.

Well done to all who participated. Unfortunately a number of competitors (included some of our more experienced orienteers!) mispunched some of the controls in the maze. Full individual results with splits are available here.

Hugh thanks this week to Liam O'Brien and Cork Schools Orienteering Association for creating a new map, allowing us to use it for our event and planning create courses and a testing training event. Thanks also to Willie Fitzgerald, Dave O'Donovan and Brendan Wall for explaining the training exercise and getting folks started on the night. Thanks to Dan McDonnell and Sean Kelleher for handling registration. All funds raised at this event will go toward the Midleton CBS Calcutta Immersion Programme. Both Dan and Sean will be heading to Calcutta early next year as part of this program.

Special thanks also to the Munster Agricultural Society and UCC for permission to use the area for our event.

Thanks to all who supported our Summer and Autumn League events. We'll be taking a break from event organisation for a while but our Winter Circuit Training program will kick off next Monday September 25th at 8pm at Fitnessworx Gym on Tramore Road. If anyone is interested in joining us for this class please do get in touch.

Also a few key dates and nice events for your orienteering diaries:

Munster League #6: Toureen, Co. Tipperary Sunday October 8th
Munster Orienteering Championships: Knocknagalty, Limerick Sunday November 17th
Munster League #7: Kilworth Camp, Cork Sunday December 10th

A full list of all orienteering fixtures taking place throughout the country can be found at the following link: