Summer League #8: Tramore Valley Park Results and Report

Post date: Jun 27, 2012 12:47:55 PM

The newly mapped Tramore Valley Park was the destination for the eighth event in the Cork Orienteering Club Summer League. Thankfully the rain that was forecasted never materialised which was a blessing as the grass landfill hill that forms the central area of the map wouldn't provide much shelter against the elements! The convenient city centre location and the lure of a new area attracted an entry of 84 contestants. However, some of these entrants did comprise of a number of groups who opted to pool their navigational resources and work together to complete their course.When orienteering in Tramore Valley Park you are very much aware that you are in the middle of a busy city with the sound of rush hour traffic reverberating from the busy roads surrounding the park yet the area manages to distract you from this commotion as none of this traffic is visible. Instead the central hill provides fantastic views of the cityscape with the Elysian building clearly visible to the North, Vernon Mount House prominent in the South and the grassy pitches of Nemo Ranges evident in the East. The view to the West is a clear reminder of the sites former use. The grassy hill with its network of paths, marsh, rough open, dense vegetation and numerous carefully constructed footbridges across the swale provides a very suitable location for Park O. You can check out some photos from the event here.Last night’s Short course involved a nice loop around the perimeter of the grassy landfill hill but the Long course required participants to traverse the hill on numerous occasions. At the start of the Long course competitors had the option to take the direct route to the first control by crossing the rugby pitch which was possibly the flattest area of the whole map. From here the planner took competitors up and down the hill and provided the route choice on several instances of either contouring round the hill or adopting the more direct approach of up and over. Unfortunately on legs 5-6 and 17-18 the only way was up! Judging by the splits control 7 in the rough open area proved costly for some. On leg 8-9 some competitors were drawn once again to the rugby pitch while others opted to take the rougher track along its boundary. Check out the event Route Gadget to see which was faster. The leg from control 11 to 12 showed a long diagonal line across the map and while the path through the marshy ground looked like a reasonable route choice on the map after a few steps on said path one quickly realised that this path was submerged in the marsh. Some folks spotted this before any damage was done and did a u-turn while their feet were still dry and continued along the wider track but for others having taken one step too many there was no going back and they simply splashed their way through the marsh. The splits would indicate that control 17 was another which proved somewhat troublesome particularly if you attempted to approach it from the easterly side or slightly overshot it. After one final climb to the last control there was a fast sprint to the finish. The Park O nature of the event meant that the going was always going to be fast. However given this was the first occasion that the majority of the field got to orienteer on this area, the only exceptions being anyone who participated in the schools event held here in the past, small mistakes or poor route choices were inevitable. The splits suggest that even the fastest competitors weren't immune to some minor slip-ups and this week the fastest splits were actually spread across the top six finishers on the Long course.

Over the 19 controls and the 5.8km of the Long course it was Josh O’Sullivan Hourihan who emerged top of the field. He completed the sprint style course in a time of 32:28. His speed over the terrain made up for a few minor mishaps along the way and he finished with plenty of time to spare over the second place finishers. Incredibly for the second week in succession we had a tie, this time for second place on the Long course with both John Chandler and Brian Corbett finishing with a time of 34:18. Two other Summer League contenders were hot on their heels with Rob McEvoy 30 seconds behind them and Donal Murphy a measly 5 seconds adrift of Rob. Any trivial blunders definitely cost these guys valuable league positions.

The fastest Lady was Norah O’Brien who completed the course in a time of 50:12. Second place went to Una Buckley who finished in 51:53 and Elaine Sheridan took third place with a time of 55:48.

There was a bit of a mix up in this week’s Short course results with Paul Barry claiming first place with a time of 17:35. Fintan Cadogan completed the course in 18:42 to take second place and the final podium place went to Sienna Bosonnet who finished in 19:29. Perhaps her experience of this area from the schools event was beneficial.

UCC had the best team performance on the Long course gaining 25 points. The Defence Forces team were second with 48 points. With the more experienced runners from team Fitzob involved in planning and organising yesterday's event the young guns flew the flag for team Fitzob and bagged 105 points for the team. On the Short team Bosonnet once again top the table with the addition of 13 points to their league total.

Full individual results, splits and Route Gadget are available here:

Special thanks to last night’s planner Liam O’Brien and controller Willie Fitzgerald. Thanks also to Cork Schools Orienteering for the use of the map which was surveyed by Liam O’Brien. Thanks again to Dave and Frances O’Donovan for helping with starts and registration and to Gerald Duffy and John Scannell for helping with control collection.

We are also very grateful to Cork City Council for granting us permission to use the area for our Summer League.

Next week we’re heading East for the last in our Park O style orienteering events. The location is the ancient woodland of Ballyannon Wood, Midleton. This wood is quite compact and has a diverse range of features from ruined cottages and boathouses to sandy shore lines. Further forest trivia and directions are available here.

As there are only two competitive events left in the 2012 Summer League don't miss the opportunity to gain some crucial league points or improve on some earlier misadventures! Looking at the results all the Summer League titles are still up for grabs and I'm sure everyone has one opponent they would like to overtake in the coming weeks.