Lakes 5-Day Summer Trip

Post date: Sep 07, 2014 10:8:11 PM

With the CorkO Summer League finished, more than a dozen club members travelled to the Lake District in Cumbria NW England to participate at the Lakes 5-Day at the start of August.  This holiday event attracted an entry of over 1500 competitors each day!  There were courses for all age groups and abilities ranging from young kids on the string course, right through all the age classes including Short & B classes right up to M/W80!  The format of this event was 3 days of O followed by a rest day and then 2 further days of O. (Of course on the rest day there were other activities such as Urban O in Ulverston, climbing England's highest mountain Scafell Pike or just doing some sightseeing!)

Day 1 of the Lakes 5 began at Swindale, near Shap, just off the M6.  This area consisted of pretty boggy open moorland with good contour detail - this should not have posed too many problems as we ran here 4 years ago but constant driving rain, low cloud and the distraction of a Tough Mudder type event on the same area meant too many mistakes and a frustrating run.

Day 2 at Simpson Ground was a relief after the previous day's long courses and terrible weather.  This was a middle distance event and the terrain was complex mixed forest.  With the map at 1:7 500, plenty detail was shown but the forest was tricky and a lot of legs meant no other option but to navigate through the forest which was challenging.

Day 3 at Grizedale NW, after a long narrow drive in to the assembly was a different proposition - had been expecting some good forestry with plenty visibility and lots of white forest run but here the forest was physically very rough & tough with plenty climb. A bit more route choice than yesterday and more road running if you wanted it. 

Rest Day !!  Rain clouds unleashed overnight and according to my landlord farmer over 36mm of rain fell during a 12 hour period.  This caused problems for some of the campers at the event campsite where the river burst its banks and encroached on tents! 

Day 4 at Pike O'Blisco proved probably the highlight of the week in terms of area.  A very good map, unbelievably stunning scenery in the Langdale Pikes valley, glorious sunshine and a walk to the start of 2Km and 400M climb! Yes, 400M i.e. approximately half-way up Carrauntuathail just to get the start and another 360m climb on my course.  We also finished very high and had a steep descent down to the car-parking/assembly fields.

The week finished up at Hampsfell (near Cartmel - scene of a notorious Irish racing coup!) - my best run of the week though there was some issues with control placement near the finish and they voided a few controls - nonetheless it was good to finish the week with a reasonable run with only 1 mistake!

After the weeks competitions, it was fantastic to see Niamh Corbett take the top podium place in W20L.  Liam O'Brien also did well finishing 5th in M60S and Shane Lynch had a good week too finishing 7th in the Senior Mens M21L.

This was a highly enjoyable week in the stunning Lake District (very much Wainwright territory) - picture postcard stuff mostly - stunning scenery, little villages, quaint pubs & real ale!

The event was well run - each day had a well organised assembly/parking setup - with traders for food & sports equipment, first aid & event registration.  

These holiday multi-day events are organised by various clubs across Europe, indeed our own Shamrock O-Ringen 3-Day would be in the same league although we get just a few hundred competitors.  The big one next year is the Scottish 6-Day which is held biennially and will coincide with the World Champs near Inverness.  This event will probably attract near 5000 competitors!  It is a great excuse to get some top quality orienteering in some fantastic locations, the sport really does bring you to places that one might never get to see otherwise and one is always surprised at the outcomes!

Check out the details:

Lakes 5

Scottish 6-Day

World Of O Calendar