Summer League #9: Curragh Wood Tuesday July 4th Results and Report

Post date: Jul 06, 2017 9:44:46 AM

Over 100 orienteers descended on Curragh Wood in Midleton on Tuesday evening for the penultimate competitive event in the 2017 CorkO Summer League. Another fine summer’s evening and a lovely opportunity to have some fun in the outdoors contributed to the large attendance on the night.

We were delighted to welcome so many families to the event among them were Larsen, Collins, O’Brien, Weronik, Meldrum and Mannix families to name just a few. It was also great to see a visiting member from Lagan Valley Orienteering club at the event. We hope you all enjoyed the testing courses our planner set out on the night.This week’s experienced planner was Dermot O’Sullivan and he last took charge of the planning for the 2016 Munster Orienteering Championship courses. So, compared to that assignment the task of planning the Summer League courses in Curragh Wood was a lot less onerous. Curragh Wood is renowned for its physicality and Dermot took sympathy on his fellow orienteers and thoughtfully positioned the start some 600m up the hill from the parking area which substantially reduced the climb on the courses. Following the steep climb to the start participants could take the time to catch their breath before the race really begun.The Short course comprised a great clockwise loop around the hill top along some charming forest trails before the fast descent to the finish. The Long course had plenty of route choice from the start with several options on offer to get to the first control. This was followed by a short leg to control two before another long leg to control three. Exiting control three competitors needed to pay careful attention to the trails and contour detail to ensure they were on the correct path to control four. One thing you don’t want to do in this wood is drop too low and add extra climb to an already arduous course. The legs from four to eight involved a nice cluster of controls in the west section of the map around the ruin. There were plenty of tracks in this region to throw competitors off their intended routes as well as some grueling climbs to endure.Even since our last visit to this area there has been extensive felling in a number of sections of the wood and his was most evident in the area around controls nine and ten. The felling and resultant rough terrain caused issues for some on the night especially on the leg from nine to ten. Again, there were several route choices on offer on this leg but the boundary between the forest and felled area was difficult to decipher on the map which led some competitors to look for control 10 too soon which proved costly on the night.This wood is very popular with mountain bikers and no doubt some of the bumps and mounds on some of the trails have been constructed for their enjoyment. However, running along these tracks was difficult at times and between the roots and the uneven surfaces competitors needed to watch their footing in places as there were plenty of trip hazards out there. In fact, one competitor had the misfortune to fall on one of these trails and a fellow competitor who was following him at speed simply jumped over him! Thankfully other less competitive orienteers ensured he was ok to continue. Needless to say, this driven competitor got some slagging at the finish for his ruthless competitive streak.Following control ten there was some fast downhill running to control 11 before one final climb on the approach to control 12. From here the downhill finish began in earnest as participants ran the gauntlet along a narrow trail at the forest boundary. It was important not to get too carried away with this enjoyable downward running as three controls needed to be punched along this route and it would be terrible to overshoot them and have to climb back up the hill again. Some might have taken the time to observe or even enjoy the interesting man-made shelter that control 228 was situated in while others may not even have noticed it in their haste to reach the finish.

Many summer league regulars were looking to improve on their current league standings and while some succeeded in their goal the heat and the exhausting terrain made it difficult for others. On the Long course, the Curragh Wood event winner was Midleton local Jens Waechter he completed the 4.1km course in a time of 28:58. This wood is a regular training haunt for Jens so I’m sure local knowledge and familiarity with this hilly terrain stood to him on Tuesday night. This week Conrad Daly had to settle for the runner-up spot having completed the course in a time of 31:14. This placing further improves his overall points total and now makes it impossible for any of the chasers to catch him so Conrad will be the 2017 Long Course Men’s Champion. The battle for the league runners-up honour is very much open. Dan McDonnell took the final podium spot on Tuesday night when he punched the finish in a time of 31:54. This third-place finish moves him into second place in the league. However, he still could be overtaken so he will need another good run at our final competitive league event to secure the runner-up title.Niamh Corbett was back in Summer League action this week and she once again proved to be the fastest lady on the night. She completed the physically demanding course in a time of 33:49 which also saw her finish 4th in the overall Long course results. This first place finished combined with her previous five top finishes gives her a perfect tally of 6 points which can’t be equalled which means she will be crowned the 2017 Long Course Women’s Champion at our prize giving ceremony in Farran in two weeks’ time. There was a very close contest for the runner-up honour on Tuesday night and a mere 13 seconds separated our next two finishers. Sinead O’Donoghue just edged out Trishia O’Mahony when she punched all 15 controls in a time of 40:32. Trishia took third place in a time of 40:45. No doubt these results will improve their overall points total in the league table.There were 29 competitors in action on the Short course and it was Isaac Bosonnet who took the event winner title when he completed the 2.4km course in a time of 20:35. This first-place finish will elevate Isaac up the leaderboard to third place. Just one point now separates Isaac from his sister Chiara. Unfortunately, Chiara had a GAA match on Tuesday night and missed out on the opportunity to improve her current points tally. These siblings could be battling it out for podium placing and bragging right at Ballyannon Wood next week. Runner-up on the short course was Joanna Murphy she punched all 12 controls in a time of 21:55. The final podium spot when to Liam Twomey who finished in a time of 24:50. This third-place finish will strengthen Liam’s position as the leader in the Short course league but he could be overtaken by either of the Bosonnet siblings if they attend Ballyannon and run well. It all makes for an exciting conclusion to the Short course league next week.

Well done to all who competed on the night. Special colour badges were award to all those who finished at the event. Long course finishers got Green badges while Short course finishers were awarded Orange badges. We hope you'll wear them with pride. Full individual results with split times are available here.Huge thanks this week to Dermot O’Sullivan for planning two great courses. Thanks also to Brendan Wall and Liam O’Brien for assisting with registration and data entry and Robert O’Connor for directing parking at the event. Thanks to Liam, Conrad Daly and Dan McDonnell for assisting with control collection. Once again thanks to Gerald Duffy for providing the welcome refreshments at the finish.The final competitive event in the 2017 Summer League will take place at 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.Hope you can join us.