Summer League #8: Ballyannon Wood, Midleton Tuesday June 30th Results and Report

Post date: Jul 02, 2015 9:18:27 AM

Over 90 orienteers converged in Ballyannon Wood on Tuesday night for the eighth event in CorkO Summer Orienteering League. The misty damp conditions which greeted Southern residents on Tuesday morning didn’t concur with the sunny spells forecasted. Furthermore, the heat wave being reported on the East coast seemed to be struggling to find its way South. Luckily, by mid-afternoon the temperature began to rise and the blue skies eventually fought their way through the clouds. So by 5:30pm on Tuesday evening Ballyannon Wood was basking in the summer sunshine and all in attendance got to enjoy a wonderful evening in a truly magical woodland.We were delighted to see so many families competing again this week. However, we would like to apologise to all our regular Buggy-O participants, although the Short course was mostly buggy friendly sadly the narrow entrance to the wood which was adjacent to a large gate wasn’t so hospitable to buggies. Thankfully, it didn’t deter our keen Buggy-O contestants who managed to surmount this unexpected obstacle.

The courses provided participants with some fabulous views on the night from the vibrant colours of the surrounding farm land adjacent to the road on the run from the start to the scenic views of the Owennacurra estuary. Both courses took competitors along numerous enchanted forested paths throughout the wood.

From the start the Long course provided competitors with plenty of route choice. The early legs from 2 to 5 formed a bow shape and attention to the contour detail in this area of the map may have helped avoid some additional climb. A lot of orienteers believe in good flow while running and this might have influenced some contestants route choices on the night. The key objective being to run in and out of the control site without doubling back on oneself.The shore line was a valid route option when approaching controls 7 and 13. Given high tide was around 5pm many of the early starters may have had a somewhat narrower path to manoeuvre along. The water levels receded a little for the later participants but only to reveal more slippery seaweed which required some nimble footwork to avoid. From the post run discussions it seems that control 8 proved the most troublesome on the night. Located in the runnable forest it was difficult to see amongst the surrounding vegetation and it was very easy to get disorientated in this area.The flourishing vegetation encroached a little on some of the narrower paths forcing competitors to rub against many beech and oat saplings. A lot of the forest tracks were very dry and the springy surface had competitors bounding along the paths. Although there were nice jellies available at the finish some competitors might have sampled some unsavoury treats while running along these trails as the fine evening meant there were plenty of insects flying around the woods. Both courses concluded with a tough sprint finish along the cobbled road which led to the wood. The faster runners in the field who had a strong finishing kick could have clawed back some vital seconds on this run in.

After a brief Summer League absence Josh O’Sullivan-Hourihan was back in action in Ballyannon Wood this week and had another very convincing win on the Long course. He completed the 4.6km course in just 25 minutes and 29 seconds and had over four minutes to spare over his nearest challenger. He clearly has been training hard in the past few weeks. It makes it four event wins from four appearances by Josh in the 2015 Summer League but the key question is will he be able to attend the two remaining events to complete the league?It was a good deal closer in the contest for the runners-up honour in Ballyannon Wood as just twenty one seconds separated the next two finishers. Donal Murphy narrowly edged passed Conrad Daly to take the title. Donal punched all 16 controls in a time of 29:50. After two event wins in the last two weeks Conrad had to settle for third place in Ballyannon when he finished in a time of 30:11. No doubt this third place finish will improve his overall league points total and will further strengthen his lead at the top of the results table.With Niamh Corbett involved in planning the event this was the perfect opportunity for some of the other ladies in the field to capitalise on her absence and improve their overall points tally. It was Eibhlin Cleary who took full advantage on the night and claimed the title of the fastest lady around Ballyannon Wood. Eibhlin had a super run and finished the course in a time of 35:11 which also placed her tenth in the overall Long course results on Tuesday. Local lady Norah O’Brien was second on the night. She finished the course in a time of 40:06 and perhaps her local knowledge was beneficial on the course. The final podium place went to Trishia O’Mahony who completed the course in a time of 42:19.Three ladies topped the results on the 2.3km Short course this week. Eadaoin Murphy took the Short course event winner title when she completed the course in a time of 15:07. Just 8 seconds differentiated the final two podium finishers. Claire Lane obtained the runners up title when she inched passed Sienna Bosonnet to complete the course in a time of 16:24. After narrowly missing out on a podium place last week Sienna showed great determination and orienteering skill this week as she punched all 8 controls in a time of 16:32 to stake her claim on the final rostrum spot.Well done to all who participated. Full individual results with split times are available here:We tried to capture some the charm of this picturesque location and some photos from the event can be viewed on the Gallery page of our to Niamh Corbett for planning the courses and to Brian Corbett and Liz Deane for controlling and organising the event. Thanks also to Liam O’Brien for assisting with control collection and parking access and to Gerald Duffy for taking charge of the refreshments at the finish.Next week we will be heading even further Eastwards as we make the journey to Glenbower Wood, Killeagh. It has been several years since our Summer League stopped by this forest so it will surely present new challenges to all who attend. Two of our club members have been busy re surveying the area and have performed extensive map updates. This wood is renowned for the disappearing lake. The lake was constructed in the middle of the 19th century to provide power to the corn mills at Killagh however it was drained in the 1980s due to safety concerns. Next weeks competitors might encounter some of the old mill stones as they traverse this woodland. Further forest trivia and a location map are available here.

Hope you can join us.