Summer League #11: Farran Forest Park Tuesday July 22nd Relay Results and Report

Post date: Jul 23, 2014 10:41:25 PM

The finale of the CorkO 2014 Summer League took place on Tuesday evening in the majestic surrounds of Farran Forest Park. We were fortunate to experience yet another fine evening which encouraged many to avail of this last opportunity for some evening orienteering for a while. This week we were especially delighted to welcome some orienteers from Hong Kong who were holidaying in Ireland and made our event part of their holiday plans.

The wide start window at all of our league events to date meant that very often participants might know the names of their rivals from analysis of the results but may never have met them. Therefore, in an attempt to create a social and fun atmosphere for our final event of the league we opted to compress the start window by holding a group start. Moreover, the orienteering format was a 2-person relay thus requiring competitors to team up. Furthermore, to celebrate the end of a very successful summer of orienteering the evening concluded with a BBQ and the prize-giving ceremony in the National rowing centre.

The concept of an orienteering relay was very new to most participants and many were fearful of letting down a team mate by taking a long time to complete their course. However, once reassured that the courses were all short (~2.4km) and there would be no pressure on anyone as the objective was enjoyment everyone seemed to enter into the spirit of the evening.

In total 45 teams competed at the event. Family rivalry was abundant right throughout the league but many families put these contests aside and inside united to form relay teams. Looking through the results it is marvellous to see so many family combinations such as husband and wife, siblings, father daughter, father son, mother daughter and mother son. This really reinforces just how well the sport of orienteering is suited to families and participants of all ages.

While many came with pre-arranged teams others were introduced to fellow orienteering enthusiasts and partnered up on the night. It took a little longer than expected to get all the teams registers and we thank everyone for their patience during this process. The playground with its swings, slide, climbing frame and adventure course provided an excellent area for our young orienteers to warm up ahead of their run. Others took the chance to mingle and meet fellow orienteers.

When the final team was registered all first leg runners were summoned and the maps were distributed. Some competitors were seen sneaking a peek at their map before the group start eventually got under way at 18:50pm. With four different courses competitors dispersed in all directions. Some took the time to establish their precise location before heading off while it would seem others blindly followed the masses and had to sheepishly backtrack when they realised the error in their ways.

The four courses were confined to the area around the car park, deer enclosure and shore line and had competitors criss crossing in all directions. Many control sites were common to several courses forcing participants to keep their focus and not be distracted by others exiting these sites on different legs.

All second leg runners moved to the changeover area and waited patiently for the return of their team mate. Sadly, some teams didn't execute the most efficient handover. Several were caught by surprise when their first leg runners returned sooner than anticipated while other struggled to find the correct second leg map to pick up! Looking at the results these vital seconds would prove decisive. The Short courses meant some competitor chose to push themselves a little harder than normal and this combined with the very humid conditions left some weary bodies at the changeover area.In order to ensure all teams were evenly matched we restricted any of the top twenty league finishers from teaming up and this seemed to be very effective as mere seconds separated the top five teams. 

Following some cross checking of the results the title of Summer League relay champions went to Eric O'Connor and Dermot Gallagher who were first home finishing both legs in a time of 33 minutes and 24 seconds. Hot on their heels were the Brownlow brothers, Wesley and Philip, who finished in a time of 34:12. These brothers had just fifteen seconds to spare over third place finishers Aoife McCavana and Niamh Corbett. While Niamh Corbett was focused on closing the gap to Philip, Daithi Power was right on Niamh’s shoulder. The margin between third and fourth being just three second and it was the husband and wife duo of Daithi and Fiona Power who clinched fourth place when they finished in a time of 34:30. However the excitement didn't end there as the gap to fifth place finishers Mary Leneghan/Niamh Murphy and Gerald Duffy was just 18 seconds. This really thrilling finish to the relay competition was witnessed by many first leg runners.

On the night a few spot prize were also awarded to the following teams and individuals:

Gavin and Ken McIlreavy

Donal Burke and Agris Kramins

Jessica Kwong and

Cathy O'Mahony

Thanks to everyone who participated at the event. We hope you enjoyed the novelty of the relay action. Full team results are available here. We also added some pictures of the action and local residents to our website Gallery.

This week we extend a big thanks to first time planner Shane Doyle for planning the four courses and to his wife Ann Marie Smith for her assistance with registration and download. It was a bit frantic at times but we managed to pair up everyone. Thanks also to Rob McEvoy for keeping track of the BBQ tickets, Jim O’Donovan for transporting the tent to Farran and Gerald Duffy for assisting with control collection.

We would also offer our gratitude to Coillte for raising the barrier at the entrance thus allowing us to enter the park without having to pay the usual tariff.


Following all the relay excitement everyone walked the short distance down to the rowing centre to enjoy a very tasty BBQ in a stunning location which offered panoramic views across the lake. We are very thankful to Mike and all the catering staff 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 correctly we will order your desired size. So 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 finishers to collect at the first of our Autumn league events.

After all the excitement of the 2014 Summer League we will be taking a short recess for a few weeks but will be back in action again on Tuesday August 26th for the start of our Autumn league.

Enjoy the break!