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Planner's Comments

Castle Carr

A Northern Area Championship Event
UK Orienteering League

Sunday, 23rd June 2013

 

Planner’s comments

I started planning Castle Carr after receiving the updated map in September. The initial decision was to use the area anti-clockwise with a high start finishing adjacent to the ruined castle. I never dreamt the weather was going to be so poor at this time of year so apologies for the exposed start location particularly to the start team.
We agreed the children would be better located lower down with a separate start and although not ideal it seemed to work due to a fair amount of strimming and clearing and my thanks to Amanda and team for this.
The start location gave the opportunity for some tough first controls except 183 which unfortunately got allocated to Course 9 when spreading for throughput. The moor has a wide variety of terrain much of which is very physical. One or two have commented it was better than they remembered hopefully this was partly down to the planning (I tried to use the easier bits) as there isn’t much livestock on the Moor these days.
The main difficulty planning wise was how to bring people off the moor and spread the load on the pockets of woodland between the moor and the finish. I decided the southernmost wood, which is the best, was too steep for the older competitors and brought them down the track before using a couple of the wooded areas including the block nearest the finish with controls 189 and 235. The pressure on the stiles for everyone to use this area would have been too great so this resulted in the leg 219 to 230 which a lot of people found very physical. Unfortunately a lot missed the best route using the two crossing points North West of 219 which resulted in contouring into rather than climbing up to the control. The whole hillside is very steep and slippy (particularly after previous runners have been there) and I apologise for those who lost the will to live at the time.
For the elite runners I provided a spectator control (with no spectators!) and a 360 degree loop around the bottom area back to the finish.
The times seem to be about right which is pleasing considering the conditions.
My thanks go to Mike Richardson my controller who, through his wisdom and experience, ensured I kept my feet on the ground (not when in the woods!) and calmed me in moments of panic. Also to Alistair who acted as assistant controller but also helped me and Amanda on many of the planning and organisation issues before and on the day. Finally to those who helped to collect the controls including the local mountain rescue team.
It was quite a task to plan both events. I have to say retirement helps but the remoteness of Castle Carr meant I could put the controls out on the Thursday and Friday before switching the Halifax on the Saturday.
Finally thanks to all of you who competed. To have 500 people running was a satisfying result for all the effort.

Richard Payne

 

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