Summer League #11: Farran Forest Park Tuesday July 18th Race Race Results and Report

Post date: Jul 20, 2017 12:21:26 AM

After eleven orienteering events in different locations around Cork city and county the CorkO 2017 Summer League drew to a close on Tuesday night in Farran Forest Park. The weather has been exceptionally good this summer and this year’s league certainly lived up to its title and delivered lots of fine summers evenings which were ideal for outdoor adventures. Thankfully, the current run of fine weather didn’t break until late Tuesday night and we were fortunate once again to enjoy another evening of glorious sunshine for our Summer League finale. It is now customary to conclude our Summer League with a fun two-person relay race. The ten previous events were all about individuals pitting their orienteering skills again one another in the battle to be crowned Summer League champions but Tuesday’s relay race was all about team work. Each team had to complete a Short (2km) leg and a Long (2.8km) leg. The objective being to pair up many of our regular Long course participants with some of our frequent Short course contestants and provide an opportunity for all our summer league supporters to mingle. Furthermore, to celebrate the end of a very successful and competitive summer of orienteering the evening concluded with a BBQ and prize-giving ceremony in the National rowing centre. The fabulous day meant the park was exceptionally busy all day with picnickers, walkers and adventures trying out the Zipit Experience. Orienteers added to the bustle in the park as they began to arrive to battle it out for the title of 2017 Summer League Relay Champions. While several participants came with pre-arranged teams other pairings were formed on the night. We did our best to keep the teams as even as possible. Orienteering is a very family friendly sport and participants of all ages can par-take and this was most evident in the partnerships formed on Tuesday night. It was fantastic to see that fifty percent of the teams in action were various family combinations.

Traffic in the city was hectic on Tuesday night and the journey to Farran took longer than expected for many participants. We made some allowance for this unexpected delay and postponed our group start to facilitate the late arrivals so we thank everyone for their patience here. The playground proved an exciting warm up area for many of our younger orienteers while others availed of the opportunity to finally meet the orienteers they have been competing against throughout the league. As the relay format was new to many participants once the final team was registered all competitors were given a briefing and quick demonstration of the relay handover process. Then the 34 first leg runners were summoned to the start line and the maps were distributed. The countdown began and the racing got underway. The group start didn’t have the same level of exuberance of a typical “race” and competitors didn’t exactly sprint out of the blocks. With four different courses and four different first controls it took a few seconds for contestants to get their bearings before dashing off in the correct direction. With 12 controls on both Short course variants and with between 16 and 17 controls on the Long course variants there were lots of controls to visit. The courses had a good mix of long and short legs. When competitors realised which of their opponents were on the same course variant as them there was a lot of chasing going on and route choices on some legs were selected in an attempt to outsmart a rival. One of our first leg runners found a sum of money in the vicinity of control 244. If someone accidentally lost this in their haste to get around please do get in touch. Or perhaps someone deliberately dropped it to distract a rival hot on their heels! In a relay race it can be easy for competitors to get distracted by the sight of other orienteers and follow them rather than read the map. Given the relatively small area covered by the courses contestants’ paths would no doubt have crossed several times in the wood. Therefore, it was very important for participants to pay attention to their map and their control codes and not to get carried away following fellow competitors. In particular the series of controls sites in the open area adjacent to the tranquil waters of the river Lee and Inniscarra Lake may have caught some orienteers out. All the second leg runners waited patiently at the finish area for their team mates to arrive. This year the course planner added an interesting spectator control adjacent to the handover area. All the astute orienteers would have noted this control location and code before the race commenced but for some the pressure of being watched and cheered on by their team mates seemed to distract and confused them somewhat. The spectator control gave our race commentator Rob McEvoy an opportunity to update everyone on the competition status and advise all second leg runners to prepare for the handoff. It also gave all those waiting and watching an opportunity to see some of the chasing that was taking place on the courses. One of the most dramatic head-to-head races observed on the night was that between Gerald Duffy and Agris Kramins. While Gerald Duffy gracefully approached the spectator control by using the path to get around the area of forest walk Agris followed a much more direct route and the crushing and cracking of branches could be heard before he leapt out of the wood and arrived at the control site. The spectator sitting at the adjacent picnic table certain got a fright. Basked in the evening sun this beautiful and majestic park proved a fitting setting for our relay race and following a very competitive race the 2017 Summer League Relay Champions were Midleton CBS students Dan McDonnell and Sean Kelleher. They completed both their relay legs in a combined time of 33 minutes and eleven seconds. The impressive running from this pair means they received our fabulous first prize which was sponsored by Zipit Forest Adventures. Dan and Sean will get to return to Farran Forest Park and transverse it from the tree tops and along the various zip lines as they experience the exhilarating and challenging Zipit aerial trails. All those participating in the Zipit experience on Tuesday certainly looked like they were having fun. Runners-up in our relay race were the father and daughter team of Agris Kramins and Zane Kramina they crossed the finish line to rapturous applause in a time of 37:53. Hot on their heels was another family duo this time the mother and daughter pairing of Liz Deane and Niamh Corbett. They completed their two legs in a time of 38:36 and took the final podium place. Four teams were randomly picked for some spot prizes and the lucky winners were Team 5: O'Mahony Family/Glancy Family Team 24: Mary Leneghan / Aoife Murphy Team 10: Barbara Moynihan/ Ken Walsh Team 21: Marie - Therse and Dermot Gallagher Thanks to everyone who participated at the event. We hope you enjoyed the novelty of the relay format. Full team results are available here: This week we extend a big thank you John Scannell for planning four great courses to Mary Curran and Andrew Turner for putting out the controls. Thanks also to Brian Corbett for taking charge of team registration, Gerald Duffy for handling entry fees, Liz Deane and Niamh Corbett for manning the summer league boutique and styling and sizing all our summer league finishers. The excellent race commentary was provided by Rob McEvoy and our DJs for the evening were Gerald Duffy and Niamh Murphy. Many hands make light work so huge thanks to Conrad Daly, Emily Cronin and all those who assisted with control collection. We are extremely grateful to Coillte for use of this fantastic amenity for our event and to the local park ranger Pat Malone for raising the barrier at the entrance to the park which gave us free entry on the night. Huge thanks also to the folks at the Zipit Forest Adventures for sponsoring the fun Relay competitions and giving us a fantastic prize to award on the night. Following all the relay excitement everyone only had to walk a short distance down to the National rowing centre to enjoy a very tasty BBQ in a stunning location which offered panoramic views across the river Lee and the Inniscarra Lake/Reservoirs. We are very thankful to Mick O’Callaghan and all the catering staff at the rowing centre for the fantastic food and friendly service. When everyone was suitably stuffed the summer league prize giving kicked off and our worthy champions and finishers received their prizes.

If you didn't manage to achieve one of the top places in the league don’t worry, as all league finishers will receive a specially designed t-shirt. Similar to last year to avoid waste and ensure that you receive a t-shirt that fits you we will order your desired size. If you haven’t already specified your size please let me know ASAP as we will be placing the order this week to ensure the t-shirts arrive in time for distribution to finishers at the first of our Autumn league events.

After all the excitement of the 2017 Summer League we will be taking a short break for a few weeks but will be back in action again on Tuesday August 29th in Currabinny Wood for the start of our Autumn league.

 Relay Champions

 Third Place Relay Race

 Relay Spot Prize Recipients