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Autumn League #5: Fota House and Gardens Tuesday September 15th Results and Report

posted 16 Sep 2015, 16:42 by Elaine Sheridan   [ updated 17 Sep 2015, 01:33 ]
The fifth and final event in the Cork Orienteering Club Autumn league took place on Tuesday evening in the majestic surrounds of Fota House and Gardens. This was the final opportunity of the year for some evening orienteering and it really denotes the end of our enjoyment of the late evenings in the outdoors.

The conditions on Tuesday started out very promising but in the mid-afternoon they took a turn for the worst and some heavy rain descended across Cork city. Thankfully, the rain didn’t deter our orienteering regulars and despite the ominous conditions many make the journey to Fota and were rewarded for their efforts. By some minor miracle the rain completely bypassed Fota House and Gardens until much later in the evening and all in attendance on Tuesday got to enjoy one last outdoor evening adventure in 2015.

Several competitors who attended our club training day on Saturday were eager to put their new orienteering techniques into practise on Tuesday night. Hopefully their finely tuned navigational skills helped them make some efficient route choices on the night.

Tuesday’s Short course took competitors on a pleasant circuit around the House and Gardens and offered participants some exquisite views of the house, orangery and many of the garden sculptures along the route. The Long course began by taking competitors to the area of forest in the North Western section of the map which is in close proximity to the railway station. Following some short fast legs in this area, participants got to enjoy some fast running on the route back to the house and gardens.

With numerous controls dotted around the gardens competitors could be observed criss-crossing this area on several legs. Within the confined region of the gardens there is always the option to take the most direct route to the controls. However, weaving ones way around the distinctive trees and large thickets often forces people off their intended route and the numerous intersecting paths can cause further confusion. Precious seconds can be squandered when orienteers get disorientated in this intricate area.

On returning to the car park some competitors may have had the finish in sight but the planner had one further surprise in store with control 18 positioned on an odd tree in the parkland to the North of the car park. One final push was required as participants got to enjoy some fast open running before punching the finish control. Interestingly it was Andrew Turner who had the best finishing kick on the night as he had the fastest split to the finish control. His cross country running expertise benefited him on this leg.

The competition was very close on the 4.9km Long course in Fota on Tuesday night and less than a minute separated our top three finishers. However, it was Conrad Daly who produced the fastest performance on the night. He demonstrated great speed and navigational skills and completed the course in a time of 27:55. A mere 22 seconds adrift of Conrad was Dan McDonnell who completed a great run on the night and achieved his highest finish in the league events this year. He took the runners-up honour in a time of 28:17. Despite supposedly taking it easy ahead of the Mourne Mountain Marathon this weekend our newly elected CorkO Chairman Rob McEvoy took the final podium spot on Tuesday night when he finished in a time of 28:48.

The fastest lady around Fota House and Gardens was Elaine Sheridan. She punched all 18 controls in a time of 38:49. The runners-up honour went to Claire O’Brien who completed the course in a time of 40:11. Hot on Claire’s heels throughout the course was Sinead O’Donoghue, she ran hard but had to be content with third place on the night finishing in a time of 40:35.

The 2km Short course was confined to the area around the House and Gardens and it was Matthew Kearney who took the event winner title when he completed the course in a time of 15:26. Second place on the night went to Liam Twomey who punched all 12 controls in a time of 16:05. Eadaoin Murphy took the final podium spot when she finished the course in a time of 20:59.

Well done to all who participated on the day. Full individual results with splits are available here.

Huge thanks this week to Eibhlin Cleary for taking up the challenge of planning the event and doing a wonderful job setting out two great courses. Thanks also to Liam O’Brien for controlling the event, Dave O’Donovan for assisting with starts and Willie Fitzgerald and Bobby O’Connor for assisting with control collection.

Our next club orienteering event will be a Munster League event in Toureen Wood on Sunday October 11th. With six courses on offer at this event there will be something to suit everyone on the day.

In the mean time if you are looking to improve your flexibility and balance why not consider joining us in our weekly Strength and Conditioning class throughout the winter. The training is specially geared to running helping to avoid injuries and improve your strength and stride. This winter we'll once again be partnering with a professional trainer at the Fitnessworx gym on the Tramore Road to run this class. It kicks off next Monday evening September 21st at 8pm and will run for 12 weeks. We have limited places so email Danny NOW at dannyohare (at) gmail (dot) com to reserve a place.