Summer League #4: Regional Park Ballincollig Tuesday May 31st Results and Report

Post date: Jun 01, 2016 11:13:53 PM

The Regional Park Ballincollig was the sun soaked destination for the fourth event in the CorkO Summer League. The blue sky and glorious sunshine always draws people to the outdoors and this combined with the accessible location attracted 116 entrants on the night. Indeed many of these entries were made up of pairs and groups of individuals so there was probably over 150 people at the event.The soaring temperatures and challenging courses left competitors drained at the finish but luckily we had plenty of water on hand to aid recovery after a tough run. Sadly we didn't have enough jellies to cope with the demand so apologies to the late finishers who missed out!

The park has undergone numerous changes since our last visit which provided a new challenge for our regular Summer League followers. The Long course was testing from the start and it seems many competitors stumbled at the very first control. The leg from 2 to 3 offered up two route options over two different canal bridges. It would appear the control site was easier to spot when approaching from the upper bridge so several competitors lost valuable time here too.

The next couple of legs had competitors navigating through runnable forest and around the ruins of the old gun powder mills. As a result of all the good weather the plant life in the park is really flourishing and this was most obvious in the open meadows. It was difficult not to notice the carpet of buttercups on the leg from 8 to 9. The latter part of the Long course had competitors visit the western area of the map. This section of the park was very busy with people making the most of the fine evening. The new tarred tracks in the park were being well utilised by bikers, walkers, skate boarders and roller skaters. Some orienteers got carried away bounding along these smooth surfaces and over shot some of the controls.

Running in the evening heat was difficult at times and some sheltered route choices were available on some legs. However, there was no avoiding the sun when traversing the pitches on the leg from 12 to 13. The sight of other folks cooling off in the refreshing waters of the river Lee was quite appealing when exiting control 13. Depending on the route taken to control 15 competitors may have encountered the charming fairy trail. Following the final control there was a fast 350m sprint to the finish.

The terrain at Ballincollig usually favours the fast runners in the field but a few technical controls on Tuesday night needed some precise map reading and careful navigation. So the event winner required the correct balance of both speed and orienteering ability. On the 4.8km Long course it was Agris Kramins who best demonstrated both these skills. He took the honour of the Ballincollig event winner finishing the course in a time of 33:32. A little over 30 seconds behind Agris was our event runner-up Brian Corbett. He completed the testing course in a time of 34:04. The final podium spot went to another experienced orienteer John Chandler when he punched all 18 controls in a time of 35:19.

The fastest Lady across the terrain in Ballincollig was Claire O'Brien she covered the course in a time of 45:26. Runner up on the night was Elaine Sheridan she competed the course in a time of 48:22. Eibhlin Cleary continues to show great form in the 2016 summer league and achieved another podium finish this week when she finished third in a time of 49:36. Rumour has it she will be on vacation for the next few weeks so it will give some of the other ladies in the field an opportunity to narrow the gap on our current Ladies league leader.Of the 54 competitors on the 2.5km Short course it was the teamwork of Denis and Michelle which earned them the top spot on the podium and the title of event winners. They covered the course in a time of 22:04 to take their second event win of the league. Will their winning streak continue at Ballyannon Wood next week? There was a very close battle for the runners-up honour on Tuesday night and a mere two seconds differentiate the next two finishers on the Short course. It was Desmond O’Brien who took the runner up spot. He finished in a time of 23:45 and just managed to hold off a strong challenge from Claire Lane who finished third in a time of 23:47.Well done to all who participated at the event. Unfortunately, we had some gremlins in the computer system so apologies to those who were unable to download immediately after their race. We had to read out the memory banks from the Start and Finish controls to figure out people's times (and assuming in good faith that they visited all the controls). One or two other results have been reinstated as some of the SI units were difficult to see and a few people presumed they were missing (which would not have been the first time at Ballincollig!) Full results and split time for those that were able to download are available here.Huge thanks this week to Gerald Duffy for planning the courses and developing our new SI unit security system which permitted us to use the electronic punching technology in Ballincollig for the first time in a number of years and thankfully not lose any of our SI units. I think the scheme was a great success. Thanks also to Darren Burke for controlling the event and to Niamh Murphy for handling registration on the night and Rob McEvoy for performing the data entry and manning the download throughout the evening. Thanks to Jim and Bobby for explaining things and ensuring everyone set off in the right direction.We are also grateful to Cork County Council for granting us permission to use this great location for our orienteering event.For our next event we will head eastwards to Ballyannon Wood in Midleton. This ancient woodland with its ruined cottages, boathouses and sandy shore lines has challenged many at previous events on this map.  A useful tip for next week would be to check the tides! Further forest trivia and directions are available here.Best of luck to all those taking part in the Leinster 3 Day and the Cork city marathon over the Bank holiday weekend. We hope you will save some energy to join us next Tuesday for more orienteering escapades!