The 3rd City of London Orienteering Race
Course Designer's Comments: Matthias MahrWell, there's no denying city races are a lot more work than forest ones, at least in London - every control site seems to need its own permission (some of which withdrawn very late), building sites come and go, and there's lots of bits that end up out of bounds for one reason or another.
But of course the day itself always makes up for it, especially with the weather - the finish area in particular was even more spectacular on the day than we had hoped. It was great to see lots of you linger and chat in the sunshine.
With all the constraints mentioned above (and the map layout limiting options further) it turned out to be very hard to plan good courses. I was pretty happy in the end with courses 1 to 3, slightly less so with 4 to 7 because there was a fair bit of easy running - but I really couldn't come up with a better answer.
Without the Barbican, we didn't really have any super-hard bits, so I tried to get you to the best areas and in between to make sure you needed to stay alert. I also tried to take you past as many sights as possible so I hope you noticed a few of them.
Overall though I think we've created a pretty cool race in the yearly calendar (and with good weather guaranteed) so I do hope you enjoyed it and will spread the word and come back next year.
Race Director's Comments: Alan LeakeyThis was the third time of running this event and once again we were able to change the competition area and the Assembly/Start(s)/Finish although we recognised that going south of the River Thames for Assembly would mean losing the Barbican for this year. However our objective is to make the City of London a race that people will want to come back to year after year, and to me that means that we have to offer variety and not over use any one part of the area - hence the switch. Unfortunately we didn't get our first choices of Assembly area, which was the area around the Finish, partly because of City Hall having an open day and partly due to a planned but subsequently cancelled children's theatre event in the amphitheatre below the Finish. However, it seemed such a spectacular location for the Finish that we persevered. In addition we had a challenge when we realised the restrictions in the BOF Insurance policy on children crossing roads . something we could only accommodate using the pedestrianised area along the South Bank. Having a split Finish and Assembly was always very much second choice but the T47 complex gave us changing and toilets . something in short supply in that part of London! The later runners in particular did encounter patches of dense pedestrian traffic, this was always going to be a price for coming to some of the more dramatic parts of tourist London. Hopefully if you were slowed down it just gave you a chance to catch your breath before speeding up on the next part of the course!
As with any urban race we had the usual last minute crises. On Tuesday before the event one parks department responded just before the race to restrict access to the park just to the west of the Far Start. And whilst hanging controls on the morning of the event I was called by a security guard to be informed that we had a control fixed to private property without permission. Some quick negotiations (thanks Vince) meant that we were allowed to keep the control in place - otherwise you would have found a helper standing there holding the unit, like a strange form of Christmas tree. But in general estates and councils were remarkably friendly and laid back - once we managed to find the right person to talk to!
We also had a fright at download when some early finishers had some very strange times for the first leg on their course. It seemed that there was a problem with the (Far) Start SI unit so we decided to replace it. We therefore stopped the Far Start whilst Ollie sprinted across from Assembly on a bicycle with a reprogrammed unit - which is why some of you encountered a 10 minute break in starts. Better safe than sorry. It turned out that the problem was due to some SLOW members starting before the official zero hour programmed into the Start unit - our mistake. Fortunately the benign weather just meant that you had another 10 minutes to laze in the sun so I trust that it didn't cause any problems. And mentioning SLOW members, I should say a big thank you to all the SLOW members who responded so quickly to our request for helpers that staffing the race was straightforward.
Our ambition is to continue to grow the City of London race into a high profile sporting event that can, amongst other things, be used to gain positive publicity for the sport. This year we had nearly a hundred overseas entries and a mass of people who do not belong to an orienteering club (yet), so we must be doing something right! I have already started on permissions for next year's event. If all goes to plan then Assembly will be on the north side of the City, there will be a further extension to the mapped area and we shall be visiting the Barbican again on Saturday 10th September 2011 - see you there.
Race Controller's Comments: Neville MyersTo follow.
Found propertyRed Decathlon rain jacket (runner on course 6/7)
Green Ron Hill bumbag containing Peter Storm cagoule
SLOW TeamRace Director: Alan Leakey
Volunteer Coordinator: Andy Robinson
Course Designer: Matthias Mahr
Race Controller: Neville Myers
Logistics Manager: Vince Roper
Entries Manager: Nigel Saker
Publicity Coordinator: Abi Weeds
Publicity Designer: Brooner
Far Start Team Leader: Don McKerrow
Near Start Team Leader: Mike Garvin
Results Team Leader: Gordon Parker
Enquiries Team Leader: Dan Findlay-Robinson
EOD Entries Team Leader: Ginny Catmur
Numbers Team Leader: Anya Stratford
Bag Storage Team Leader: Ed Catmur
Map and Website: Oliver O'Brien
On-the-day: Various members of SLOW
AcknowledgementsCity of London Corporation
Tower Hamlets Council
City of London Police
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The historic website with results from previous years will be available on Monday.
The City of London Orienteering Race is organised
by volunteers from South London Orienteers
and is sponsored by CLIF Bar