Summer League #10: Ballyannon Wood Tuesday July 10th Results and Report
Post date: Jul 12, 2018 10:22:16 AM
The competitive side of the 2018 CorkO Summer League drew to a close in Ballyannon Wood, Midleton on Tuesday night. This small wood can be deceptively tricky and proved a fitting test for the conclusion of our league. There were over 75 competitors in attendance and many had very clear objectives. Several were aiming to complete their sixth event and thus make their way into the league tables and at the same time earn themselves a stylish summer league finisher t-shirt. While others were looking to improve their overall league standing and were hoping to discard a poor result from an earlier event in the league. It was fabulous to see so many families and in particular juniors in action in the wood. The Short course competition saw a huge boost in league finishers following the event.It is difficult to believe that 10 weeks have passed since the first event in the league and aside from a sprinkling of rain at Currabinny Wood we’ve enjoyed glorious sunshine at the rest of the event. In years to come when we are reeling in the Summer League years this one will be remembered as the sunny league. With soaring temperatures Ballyannon Wood basked in the evening sun on Tuesday night. Thankfully the shade in the forest kept it nice and cool in the wood and the dry paths made for fast running on many trails.
The planner set out a Short course which took competitors on a beautiful loop around this picturesque wood. The Long course was a little bit more taxing and with a double-sided map it took participants to most areas of the wood and had them traversing the wood in all directions.
From the start the Long course required competitors to make some fast route choices. There were two routes options to the first control one of which may have incurred some additional climb but the wider track may have afforded faster running. Precious time couldn’t be wasted trying to determine which route was best it was simply a case of pick one and run! The second control in the depression caused problems for some and got several mentions in the post-race analysis. Some drifted too low on the approach and were forced to re-locate. From here competitors visited another depression on the shore front which gave competitors a chance to check out the situation with the tide which would prove beneficial to know on later legs. Controls 4 and 5 were also positioned in shallow depressions on the western side of the map. The leg from 5 to 6 took entrants to the first of the two quarries on the map. Some may have been surprised to see that this quarry wasn’t as accessible as on our last visit to this wood. It seems storm Ophelia has left her mark here having knocked a huge tree straight into the middle of it.
Following control six participants had to flip over the map for the second leg. It seems the control numbering caused a little confusion here as some immediately proceed to control seven instead of the first control on part two which was positioned on the “pond” close to the shore. The recent drought conditions were particularly evident at this site as the pond has complete vanished and there wasn’t a drop of water to be seen here, all that remained was the dry cracked ground where once this water feature stood. No doubt it will be back again soon! Given the tide was out during the race the leg from here to the ruined boat house could be accessed along the shore line. It was a little difficult to run along the slippery stones here. Following control 8 competitors returned to the wood. There was a bit of route choice on the leg from 8 to 9. The safest option was to stick to the paths but a slightly riskier route was to take the direct line through the runnable forest. It seems this risk paid off for some as this area was clear and quite runnable.The leg from 9 to control 10 at the pit was one of a number of legs where competitors may have crossed paths with fellow participants who were still on the first map. On the leg from 10 to 11 competitors got to bound along a charming trail in the forest. The leg from 11 to 12 offered up more route choice. However, those that exited control 10 via the small path had to negotiate a few additional obstacles on this route. Storm Ophelia took down a number of big trees in this section of the wood which were strewed across this path. Once back on the large track there was a long run to the most western section of the map to locate control 12. Having punched control 12 there was some further route choice options to get to control 13. There was the option to double back along the path just traveled to control 12 or climb further up the hill and follow the trail along the forest boundary. Both these paths were one of a number of trails in the wood that have been recently resurfaced by Coillte. These paths were exceptionally dry and the loose stones on them caused sliding in places particularly on the down hill section so some participants left a cloud of dust in their wake. Control 13 was positioned in a pit and also proved troublesome for some on the night. It was not so obvious to spot this kite from a distance.The leg from 13 to control 14 at the hide allowed competitors to run through this beautiful forest. Following 14 competitors ran down passed the second quarry and exited the wood. There was a fast sprint along the cobbled road to the finish with control 15 having to be punched on route. Attentive orienteers would have spotted this control on the way to the start. Following exhausting laps of the wood the water on offer at the finish was most refreshing. So it's now down to the important business of results and determining who achieved their orienteering goals on the night.
On the Long course despite having the Summer League Champion title safely secured Conrad Daly showed no let up in his running form and recovered well from his mispunch last week to take yet another Summer League event winner title. He blazed his way around this small wood and completed the course in a time of 25:14. This first place finish improved his overall points tally and gives him the perfect score of 6 points from 6 events. Conrad had two minutes to spare over his nearest rival on the night. Local knowledge may have proved beneficial again this week as Midleton native Dan McDonnell narrowly edged out Agris Kramins to take the runner up honour in Ballyannon. He punched all 15 controls in a time of 25:14. Agris punched the finish 9 second after Dan to take the final podium spot on the night.The fastest Lady around Ballyannon Wood was Elizabeth Jakobsson she completed the 4.2km course in a time of 33:36. This win gave Elizabeth her sixth event in the league and moved her to the top of the Women’s leaderboard which makes Elizabeth our 2018 Summer League Women’s Champion. Runner up on the night was Aoife O’Sullivan who finished in a time of 38:58. Third place went to Caroline Murray who completed the testing course in a time of 39:38.Of the 29 competitors on the Short course it was the Kramina family who dominated on the night. Following on from her victory in Curragh Wood last week Zane Kramina flew around the Short course again this week and attained back to back event wins when she finished the course in a time of 23:01. Furthermore, she had over four minutes to spare over her nearest rival. Runner up on the night was Eoin Sweeney who punched all 12 controls in a time of 27:35. This runner up honour moves Eoin into third place in the overall Short course league results. Third place on the night went to Zane’s mum IIze Kramina. She narrowly edged passed Adam Murphy when she crossed the finish line in a time of 28:04 to claim third place.
Well done to all who participated. Full individual results with split times are available here:
Huge thanks this week to Mary Curran and Andrew Turner for planning and organising the event. Thanks also to Rob McEvoy, Conrad Daly, Dan McDonnell and Cathal Lane for assisting with registration and control collection.
Now that the competitive element of the Summer League is complete our next event is all about having some orienteering fun. Farran Forest Park will be the delightful destination for our Summer League finale which will encompass a fun relay race, BBQ at the national rowing centre followed by prize-giving. It is sure to be a fun and social evening and we hope you can join us as we celebrate the end of another successful Summer League.