- NOR & SUFFOC Summer Series’ – informal events every Sunday in June.
- Maze Orienteering – Lingwood Village Hall – 21st July. Full details soon here.
Well, this was all a bit different to what I’m used to! While an indoor base is welcome, all our equipment is designed to be hammered into the ground – a bit difficult in a townscape!
The start lanes in particular required some thought. We have a lovely ready-made grid, but how to fix it in place so no-one tripped on it? OK, let’s get some sticky tape to stick it down with. Alan suggested a paintbrush to clean the surface so it actually stuck. Then we had showers the day before – it won’t stick if it’s wet! So a rummage in the garage, and I found 4 large plastic bottles I had kept for …. something, who knows now? Add some water and they served to weight the corners down.
Thank you to all our helpers, it was looking a bit thin on the ground even a few days ago, but things seemed to run smoothly. Special thanks to Alan and Pat Bedder, they do so much behind the scenes, and their advice is invaluable.
Thank you for coming, from the comments I overheard you went away happy.
It seems odd now that it is all over. I’ve been working on the event for the best part of a year, first with the mapping and then the planning. Ideally I would not have wanted to plan on an area that I had mapped. One, because of the amount of work involved, and two, it is a good idea to get a second pair of eyes to look at the map and point out any mistakes / improvements. However, the map was taking longer than expected, and I didn’t think it was fair to potentially make the planner’s life difficult because I was late with the map. I also knew that my the controller, Michael Chopping, would be able to sanity check the map.
In initial discussions with the local council, they were adamant that they did not want us to use the central area (Vancouver Quarter), as GEAR (Great East Anglia Run) was taking place 2 weeks before our event and they did not want to cause the shopkeepers any more problems so soon after – the streets are closed for GEAR. Unfortunately, the central area is ideal for junior courses, as it is mainly pedestrianised, and it has a couple of multi-level areas, which could have provided some interest. It also made it difficult to connect the south and north of the map, particularly as east of Vancouver Quarter isn’t particularly good for urban orienteering. I therefore decided to use the thin bit of land between the high street and the river to get all the courses from the north to the south and back again.
The terrain in King’s Lynn is subtly different to Norwich, where it is relatively easy to locate controls in small courtyards to make runners navigate all the way to the centre of the control circle. I wasn’t able to find may of these control sites in King’s Lynn, so concentrated on route choice and a few “planners traps”, e.g. what side of the wall is the control going to be. Hopefully, you enjoyed the courses.
On the day, I guess the biggest “discussion point” was the sea wall by #212 (courses 1,3,6 & 8). Lots of people said that they found it difficult to see the wall on the map (it’s a grey line), so were quite surprised that they couldn’t see the control as they ran up to it. I agree it was hard to see, but wasn’t sure how to make it clearer. I might try highlighting it with the “edge of paved area symbol”. Unsurprisingly, this affected people’s route choices as many didn’t feel that they could get over it. It was interesting to hear some people saying that they went round because they weren’t sure whether they were allowed to cross it. I guess that it means the message about not crossing un-crossable walls is getting through, but you do need to know your map symbols!
Thanks to Michael for controlling. To effectively run this event in parallel with the British Championships was above and beyond the call of duty. Fortunately, we were aware that if anything cropped up at BOC, Mike would have to drop everything for our event to concentrate on that, so we made sure that we finalised courses etc. early. And boy, did something crop up at BOC. So, thanks again Michael.
I hope you enjoyed your run in King’s Lynn, which really is a lovely town.
This is an old habit that I have got into the habit recently of forgetting. This is not because I do not have anything to say (I can hear Michael C quiet, never) it is because I have been in the recent past going from one event to the next in very close order. It is nice to be wanted and in demand, but I really do need to learn to say NO. I accepted a year ago, and some, to control at the beginning of the this year for WAOC then just after much later in the year for SuffOC. This seemed very manageable, but the controller for this years British Champs dropped out and I was asked if I could step in, this was in between the two. But as usual in East Anglia finding controllers is a problem and NOR could not find a controller for today, I live 8 miles south of Lynn and work there so I said I would step in providing they kept looking, but no one could be found so two weeks after a difficult British from a controllers point of view, Lynn arrived.
I had a very nice bike round (so much easier) checking the controls this morning in the fog. Only one vandalised control and one landowner complaint and we had a great event. I heard nothing but compliments for Jonathan’s courses with lots of ‘you sent me the wrong way here’ and ‘I should have read the control descriptions more carefully’. I hope you enjoyed the many nooks and side streets of King’s Lynn, as I did finding Jonathan’s controls. As usual Julia is an excellent organiser, but did have a big problem with a lack of volunteers, which she sorted with some imaginative shift rostering and some last minute badgering. Now to controlling Bury Urban in Oct. O’ yes and now I have been asked to plan Shouldham Warren in Dec.