Summer League #10: Ballyannon Wood, Tuesday July 16th Results and Report

Post date: Jul 18, 2019 12:23:49 AM

The final competitive event in the 2019 Summer League saw a crowd of over 90 eager orienteers converge at Ballyannon Wood near Midleton on Tuesday night. For many the goal was to complete the event and finish the league while others were keen to have a clean run to improve their overall league standing and edge out their orienteering rivals.We have been very fortunate to experience a lot of sun in this year’s summer league and Tuesday night was yet another glorious evening for an outdoor adventure. The temperatures were high on the night which made for tough running in this picturesque wood.Both courses commenced in the forest which afforded all competitors a gentle warmup as they jogged from registration down to the wood. The Short course encompassed a nice loop around the wood while the Long course had competitors criss-cross this small wood several times. With 20 controls to visit in this compact area the double-sided map eased the legibility of the map. The first control on the Long course took competitors into the runnable forest. There were several meandering paths in this area and looking at the splits it seems these paths led some competitors off track as they attempted to locate the thicket with the first control. From here participants headed West and up the hill to control two. The third control took orienteers even further West with a bit of route choice added to the mix.From the most westerly point on the map the next series of controls took competitors to the South East corner of the map with a number of controls to be punched en route at features such as pits and earth walls. The leg from 5 to 6 had numerous route choices. One route option was along the shore line and those that elected this route not having checked the tide information may have got their feet wet on the night. With the tide in there was very little dry spots to navigate along the shore line. Again, there were route options on the leg from 6 to 7 both of which offered fast running on some beautiful soft dry forest trails.

Control eight was one of two controls that was visited twice on the night and it proved troublesome for many. The depression on the southern side of the hill top in the forest run could be approached from the high or low side but the undergrowth in its vicinity pushed some folks off course. Competitors were presented with more route choice on the leg from 8 to 9. Control 9 on the earth bank corner was well hidden at the end of this trail. From here there was a short run to control 10 in the middle of a junction with numerous paths leading out from it in all directions.Here competitors flipped the map over for the second half of the course. Competitors needed to take care to exit this control on the correct path to avoid heading off in the wrong direction. Competitors headed north for the next series of controls before returning to the first control site which doubled up as control 13. Hopefully those that struggled to locate it the first time around got in and out of it quicker the second time of asking. There was a short leg to control 14 on another impressive hide before a change in direction which took competitors West again to control 15. With all the traversing of the forest participants crossed paths on several occasions but with route options and a two-sided map it was difficult to ascertain if competitors were on the same leg, ahead or behind you on the course.

There was a short downhill sprint from 15 to 16 before a long run to 17. Control 18 saw a return to the depression that was visited on the first side of the map. There was route choice on the leg from 18 to 19 with a safe route along the path but no double some opted to go direct which required some careful navigation around a thick patch of impenetrable vegetation. This section of the wood is always tricky to navigate through and the brambles have been growing strong in recent weeks which added to the difficulty on the night. Control 19 was positioned deep in a pit and was hard to spot even when standing adjacent to it. Some folks may have spotted the final control when getting to the start and one of the routes to this control had competitors cross through the start area which gave some starters a preview of what lay ahead. Once control 20 was located there was one final sprint along the cobbled road from the forest to the finish control. With 20 controls in such a compact area and lots of changes in direction entrants needed to maintain their concentration throughout this testing course.

On the Long course local orienteer Jens Waechter made a very impressive 2019 Summer League debut in Ballyannon Wood on Tuesday night. He powered his way around the Long course and finished it in a time of 30:51 to claim the event winner title. For the second consecutive week the Long course runner up was Niamh Corbett. She punched all 20 controls in a time of 31:49. This week our 2019 Summer League Champion Conrad Daly had to be content with the honour of second fastest man in Ballyannon Wood. Conrad completed the course in a time of 33:05. The final podium spot went to another Midleton native Dan McDonnell. Dan punched the finish in a time of 33:44. Dan also attained his sixth event in the league on Tuesday night and manged to muscle his way into the Summer League Prize winners in the process.

Long course runner-up Niamh Corbett was the fastest Lady around the forest on the night. She made short work of the tricky terrain and completed the course in a time of 31:49. Over the 4.8km course there was a closely fought contest for second place and Trishia O’Mahony just edged out another Midleton native Norah O’Brien for this distinction. Trishia finished the challenging course in a time of 44:18. Norah took third place punching the finish in a time of 44:41.

Angela Murphy took the Short Course event winner title when she sped around the 2.3km course completing it in a time of 14:30. She had ample time to spare over our 2019 Summer League Short course champion Isaac Bosonnet. Isaac had to settle for second place on this occasion when he punch all 11 controls in a time of 17:06. There was an extremely tight race for the final podium spot with just 3 second separating our next two contestants at the finish control. However, summer league regulars Eva and Fionn Buckley narrowly edged out Tasia Vatehovich a visiting orienteer from OrientaNika to take third place. Eva and Fionn pooled their orienteering skills to complete the course in a time of 18:36.

Well done to all who participated on the night. Full individual results with split times are available at the following link:

Huge thanks this week to Brendan Wall for planning and organising the event. Thanks also to Dave O’Donovan for taking care of starts. Liam O’Brien, Sean Kelleher and Dan McDonnell 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 two-person 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.