Summer League #3: Doneraile Park Tuesday May 26th Results and Report

Post date: May 27, 2015 5:2:59 PM

Doneraile Park was the destination for the third event in the CorkO Summer Orienteering League and what a truly spectacular location it proved to be. The clear blue sky and wonderful sunshine enriched every vista within the Park. It might have been the furthest event from the city in this year’s summer league but all those who travelled the extra distance weren’t disappointed. A warm evening and an even warmer welcome from our North Cork crew greeted all participants on the night.The glorious evening and the colourful bunting which adorned various trees on entering the park added to the atmosphere at the event. Although there are just 83 entries in the results there were probably over one hundred orienteers in attendance on the night as many families and groups opted to compete together rather than against one another. We were delighted to see the Fermoy Cub Scouts back for some more orienteering adventures. We hope you all enjoyed orienteering in these magnificent environs.The planners set out two fantastic and testing orienteering courses which made excellent use of the various features in the park and included clever use of the SI control system. The courses comprised a great mix of short legs with multiple changes in direction interspersed with some long legs which allowed time for some forward planning. A resident deer herd lined the route to the first control on both courses. They looked very graceful basking in the evening sun.

On our visit to Doneraile Park last summer there was much evidence of the damage from the storms in early 2014. Since then a great deal of work has gone into clearing up this debris and there has been a lot of re-planting in the Park and now many of these areas are accessible again. All these changes were reflected in the updated map on Tuesday night and the early part of the Long course had competitors’ criss crossing one of these regions.At this time of year many of the trails throughout the park are lined with colourful bluebells and the bright white flowers from wild garlic. Control 14 on the Long course was positioned in a pit which was difficult to see as it was bounded by wild garlic. The aroma of garlic on entering this site was quite strong and no doubt will linger on ones runners for some time.On passing through the magic red door en route to control 251 one entered the enchanting parterre garden. The symmetrical patterns created by the pristine box hedging looked like a maze to some of our younger competitors and although the control was visible on a trestle at the top of the garden several of these competitors preferred to meander around the labyrinth of paths rather than take the more conventional route.The exit from this enclosed garden was via another red door which took participants along a walled path to the court yard of Doneraile House. From a quick observation of the split times it would seem that some competitors failed to spot this second door on the map and took a rather longer route to the next control. The final few controls on the Long course were located in the pockets of forest near the car park and once again combined several changes in direction. The position of these controls relative to the numerous water features in this section necessitated careful studying of the map to ensure one took the correct bridge and arrived on the correct side of the water.

Following the last control there was a tough uphill sprint to the finish were some refreshments awaited all finishers. From start to finish there was some intricate orienteering on both courses and afterwards many took the time to relax and enjoy the terrific amenities on offer in the park. Finishers were seen enjoying picnics, the fabulous playground and some junior competitors enjoyed rolling down the sloping hills at the finish, all marvellous signs of summer.So who reacted best to the tricky navigation required in Doneraile Park? On the Long course it would appear that local knowledge may have proved advantageous on the night with all three podium positions going to local men. With no sign of Josh on Tuesday evening it provided an opportunity for someone else to take their first event win of the 2015 Summer League. John Cronin rose to the challenge and took the winners title on the night finishing the Long course in a time of 34:42. Second place went to Jonathan Lucey who punched all 24 controls in a time of 35:06. Over the 5.4km course John O’Donovan narrowly edged passed Conrad Daly to claim third place with a time of 36:23.Toni O’Donovan took the title of fastest lady around Doneraile Park on Tuesday night when she finished the course in a time of 37:21 which also placed her 5th in the overall results. Toni is one of our CorkO expats and is home from the UK to participate in the 19th Shamrock O-Ringen which CorkO will be staging in Glengarriff over the June Bank holiday weekend. You can find out more on this unique three day orienteering event on our Shamrock website The runners-up spot went to Niamh Corbett who completed the course in a time of 40:44. Niamh was only four seconds behind her Dad Brian which gave him the bragging rights on the lengthy journey back to Cork! The final podium spot went to Trishia O’Mahony who finished with a time of 47:01.

On the Short course Matthew Kearney continued his winning streak and achieved his third consecutive event win when he completed the course in a time of 22:23. This hat trick of wins makes Matthew the firm favourite for the Short course league title this year and he is definitely the guy to catch. The Bosonnet family battled it out for the final two podium spots and it was Issac who proved the fastest and took the runners-up honour finishing with a time of 25:23. Hot on Issac’s heels were his siblings Chiara and Sean but it was Chiara who just edged passed her brother at the finish to take third place with a time of 25:35.

Well done to all who participated at the event. Full individual results with split times are available here.It is impossible to relay the breath-taking views and the beautiful aromas of wild garlic, box hedging and freshly cut grass that competitors experienced on their voyage around Doneraile Park but here is a link to some photos which attempt to capture some of the splendour of this charming thanks to Jim Callanan and Denis Power for planning and organising Tuesday’s event. Thanks also to Lois Power and Ailbhe Callanan for taking care of registration and download and Ted Lucey for looking after starts on the night. Thanks also to Liam O'Brien for printing the maps and Bobby O'Connor for his assistance with control collection.

The event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Cork Schools Orienteering Association (CSOA) who gave us the use of their map and the Office of Public Works (OPW) who granted us access to this wonderful amenity.

The next location on our Summer League tour is the Regional Park Ballincollig. This park was once home to a major gunpowder works and since our last visit there has been an explosion of changes to the park. So our regular league follows will notice several new features next week. As the park is a very popular amenity this event will see the return of old style manual punching. Check out the link below for a map and some area trivia.

Finally, best of luck to all those participating in the Shamrock O-Ringen, Cork City Marathon, Carrauntoohil Hill run, Cork Harbour Festival and any other adventure activities this June Bank holiday weekend. Remember the flat parkland terrain in the Regional Park Ballincollig presents an ideal place to loosen out after a strenuous weekend of activities or alternatively a nice workout after a very laid-back long weekend.

Hope you can join us next Tuesday.