Summer League #5: Walshtown Wood Tuesday June 10th Results and Report

Post date: Jun 11, 2014 4:58:37 PM

In a reversal of fortunes this week when compared to our Ballincollig event, what started out as a very wet and wild morning transformed into a glorious mild summer’s evening. As a result all those who made the journey to Walshtown Wood for the fifth event in the Cork Orienteering Club summer league got to enjoy some splendid evening sunshine. It was great to see so many eager to take on the challenge of this relatively new area and we had another fantastic turnout with 94 participants in action on Tuesday night.The summer league offers competitors quite a diverse range of orienteering terrain and of the various forests we frequent during the summer series Walshtown is one of the few that has an abundance of runnable forest with such good visibility. This permits competitors who are confident with their navigation to take direct routes between controls. Fortunately, for those that appreciate the support handrails such as paths and forest rides provide the map also offers alternate routes where these can be utilised. The penalty is usually a slightly longer route. When traversing the Walshtown terrain it is important to identify the distinction between a forest ride and an extraction clearing, the forest rides are marked on the map but due to the amount of extraction clearings these are not. I’m sure this might have confused some on the day.

Tuesday night’s Short course comprised a nice loop through the forest and the course encompassed a pleasant mix of forest trails, rides and road. The Long course was an altogether different affair, with 21 controls to visit there was really no time for a lapse in concentration on this course. From the onset competitors were taken into the runnable forest and had four controls in the western area of the map before crossing the road for the remaining controls. The heavy showers earlier in the day left many of the forest rides wet and muddy which was disappointing for anyone hoping to keep their runners dry! The remnants from many of the extraction clearings meant that the going was rough at times and some nimble foot work was required to negotiate ways around these brashings.From the post run discussions it seems many got more than they bargained for on one leg of the long course. As a local dog seemed to get plenty of exercise chasing and barking after those that decided to exit the forest and use the road to get from control 13 to 14. Luckily those that stayed in the forest avoided this scary ordeal. Control 17 in the very deep pit was another talking point as many began looking for it too soon and lost precious time as a result. There was really no let up on the map reading and the decision making throughout the course and possibly the first occasion when one could switch off and run hard was en-route to the finish but again that also depended on the route taken. Those that opted for the forest trail and road could push hard but it seems that several chose to cut the corner to shorten the route and remained in the forest.I think all were in agreement that the planner set great orienteering courses which maximised the use of SI as well as the terrain. The variety of short legs combined with numerous changes in direction and plenty of route choice meant the Long course was a real test of ones orienteering ability. The demands of the terrain and the new map meant the overall times were a little longer than usual but I don’t think anyone objected to getting to enjoy the outdoors for a bit longer than expected on such a fine evening. So who in the field responded best to the testing courses and terrain in Walshtown Wood? Did the navigational requirements reveal any limitations in the orienteering aptitude of many of our regular podium finishers?

Cillin Corbett continued were he left off last week and became the first person to claim back-to-back event wins in the 2014 Summer League. He set a blistering pace on the Long course punching all 21 controls on the 5.7km course in a very quick time of 32:10. Cillin finished almost four minutes ahead of his nearest contender. If Cillin continues to display this sort of form he will have no difficulty defending the Summer League Champion title he won last year. Once again the battle for the remaining two podium spots was very tightly contested and Danny O'Hare took the runner-up spot in a time of 36:01 which gave him just 17 seconds to spare over third place finisher John Chandler. There was no weakness displayed in Deirdre Creedon's navigational skills in Walshtown Wood and this competence combined with her speed and agility earned her the honour of being the fastest Lady on the Long course this week. She completed the challenging course in a time of 43:05. The second quickest Lady around the Long course was Sharon Lucey who finished in a time of 48:26. For the second week in a row Elaine Sheridan had to be content with third place completing the course in a time of 52:28.On the Short course it was last weeks runner up Sienna Bosonnet who displayed impressive speed this week and claimed the Short course event win in the process. She punched all eight controls in a time of 21:48 almost five minutes clear of her nearest rival. However, the margins between second and third were a good deal narrower with Karen Woulfe taking the runners up spot in a time of 26:45 a mere three seconds in front of third place finisher Caitlin Kelleher.

Well done to all who participated we hope you enjoyed the area. Full individual results with splits are available here.

I hope the six individuals who didn't quite get to complete the Long course due to encountering the control collectors in the wood weren't too disheartened on the night. This is after all one of our more challenging areas.

A few pictures from the event have also been posted on the gallery page of our website, you can check them out here.

Thanks to Aidan Kelleher for planning the event and to Jim O’Donovan for controlling and organising the event. Thanks also to Willie Fitzgerald and Liam O’Brien for helping with starts and registration on the night. We also appreciate the assistance received from Cillin Corbett and Rob McEvoy with control collection.

Next week’s landscape will be a stark contrast to the Walshtown map as the sixth event in the Summer League will see us battle each other at the historic setting of James’ Fort, Kinsale. This pentagonal Fort with its spear shaped earthen Bastions at the corners is surrounded by open hillside. On this exposed area the only place to shelter from the elements is in the stone tunnels. These tunnels also provide some convenient route options but remember to keep your head well down when travelling through them the only permanent reminder you need of the 2014 Summer League is a league finishers t-shirt not a nasty gash on your head! Further information on the location and directions are available here.