Autumn League #5: Tramore Valley Park Tuesday September 20th Results and Report

Post date: Sep 22, 2016 11:50:44 PM

The fifth and final event in the CorkO Autumn League took place in Tramore Valley Park on Tuesday night. Over 50 orienteers turned out to avail of the final opportunity in 2016 for some evening orienteering. It has been four years since we last staged an orienteering event on this map and in that time there have been several additions to the park such as the BMX track, changing facilities, cycle tracks, surfaced roads and car parks. Many of our regular supporters are well acquainted with the landscape and features at many of the forests and parks utilised during the Summer and Autumn leagues. So despite the very central location of Tramore Valley Park this map and terrain was unfamiliar to many competitors which added to the orienteering challenge on the day.

The evenings are gradually beginning to close in and the open parkland terrain at Tramore Valley was a fitting location to conclude our Autumn League as it allowed all competitors a bit more time in the outdoors when compared to a forested area. This turned out to be very beneficial on the day as the Long course was perhaps a little longer than some might have expected! 

The planner set out two exerting courses which took participants to many of the varied features on this hilly terrain. The large mound which is clearly visible from all major roads which bound the park forms the focal point of this map and the Long course on Tuesday night had participants traverse this mound several times. The long and rugged grass on this ground made for slow running at times and following the first excursion onto this ground competitors may having chosen subsequent routes which utilised the tracks as much as possible and made for faster running.

On the Long course the leg from 6 to 7 offered plenty of route choice as it took competitors from close to the summit of the mound right down to the area east of the marsh. There were options to approach this control from the path either to the North or South of the control site and also the straight line route which went directly through this marsh and while most competitors opted for the former routes there was one participant who didn't care about getting wet and elected to take the shortest route to this control. Similar route decisions had to be made on the leg from 7 to 8.

Following control 8 there was another fast descent down hill to control nine which was close to the South Link road. The leg from 9 to 10 took competitors into the new BMX tracks and when exiting this control some may have decided to enjoy the novelty of running across these rolling bumps. The straight route from 11 to 12 would have taken competitors across the mound again and at this stage with tiring legs contouring was crucial for a fast split here. A few short legs followed this control before competitors once again had to climb the mount to control 15 which was adjacent to the enclosed water tanks. The leg from 15 to 16 took competitors across a lovely flat grassy plain before one last sprint to the finish control.    

As competitors traversed this hilly terrain I'm sure some took the time to appreciate the city vistas visible from this elevated site. The buzz of traffic and city life as commuters journeyed home was clearly audible right across the park on Tuesday evening. It was great to get to escape this urban living and enjoy a good long run on this open expanse.

The competition was fierce on the 5.9km Long course and the hilly and unfamiliar terrain merely added to the challenge on the night. The winner on the Long course was Donagh Wall he completed the course in a time of 34:38 and managed to hold off a strong challenge from Jens Waechter. Jens has demonstrated great speed and navigational accuracy right throughout the Autumn League and once again bagged a podium spot on Tuesday night. He was runner up on the night having completed the course in a time of 35:52. Jens was recently elected to the position of CorkO club coach and hopefully he will impart some of his orienteering expertise's to fellow members in the year ahead. Hot on Jens heels was Zac O'Sullivan-Hourihan who finished third in a time of 36:33.

The fastest Lady around the grueling terrain in Tramore Valley Park was Sinead O'Donoghue she finished in a time of 48:57. Runner up on the night was Eibhlin Cleary who punched all 16 controls in a time of 51:24. The final podium spot went to Elaine Sheridan who completed the course in a time of 53:01.

On the 2.3km Short course Fiona O'Driscoll took the title of Tramore Valley Park event winner when she completed the course in a time of 21:12. There was very little separating the next two Short course finishers as two Bosonnet siblings, Chiara and Isaac battled it out for the runners up honour. On this occasion Chiara just edged passed Isaac when she finished in precisely 22 minutes a meager 11 seconds ahead of Isaac who took the final podium spot on the Short course.

Well done to all who partook on the night. Full individual results with split times are available here.

Thanks to Liam O'Brien and Willie Fitzgerald for planning and controlling the event and to the Cork Schools Orienteering Association (CSOA) for use of their map. Thanks also to Dave O'Donovan for assisting with starts and to Cathal Lane, Dan McDonnell and Eibhlin Cleary for assisting with control collection. Thanks to Gerald Duffy for providing the refreshments at the finish.

Thanks also to Cork City Council for giving us permissions to stage the event and granting us evening access to Tramore Valley Park.

The next event on the CorkO calendar will take place on Sunday September 25th in Rosskerrig on the Sheep's Head peninsula. This will be the fifth outing in the 2016 Munster League and the event will take place on open mountain terrain. If you have been orienteering for a while and have never experienced open mountain terrain, then this is the event for you! There will be six courses on offer on the day so there will be something to suit all levels of orienteering experience.

Hope you can join us.