JWOC and EYOC Teams
Sumer is Icumen In
The Shamrock O-Ringen is just a few days away, the weekday evening events have started, the Senior Team are away in France at WOC selection events and the exams are with us … Summer has arrived!
First reports from Aix-les-Bains are of a number of non-finishes from the elite teams. Ireland’s Toni O’Donovan reports:
“It’s been a pretty tough weekend with physical, technical terrain. The race today was a bit of a monster. Roz and Aislinn finished for the girls with only Marcus, Andrew and Nick finishing the boys race. Toni picked up an injury yesterday so went straight from the start to finish after collecting her map, David made it to 5 before going over on his ankle and at various points throughout the course there was attrition. Other teams faired in a similar way with, for example, the British team having even fewer finishers than the Irish team. A few have been particularly surprised by the rough nature of the terrain with more brashings and felled areas than expected. We’re back in Le Revard tomorrow to do some more training in the area…..” Follow the team’s fortunes here.
The 17th Shamrock O-Ringen is on the June Bank Holiday weekend on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula, Co. Cork. The first event is a Middle Distance race at Gortnakilly, then Day 2 a Classic Distance at Maulnaskehy and Day 3 a Chasing Start at Rosskerrig. The open mountain terrain of West Cork, and the unique atmosphere of the Shamrock, attract many competitors from abroad again year after year. This year there are more than 260 entries from sixteen countries, from Europe, Australia, New Zealand and USA. Check the event details here.
This year Kerry Orienteers are staging a prologue Sprint event on Friday evening June 3rd at Rinn na gCros, Kenmare.
The annual CNOC series of Tuesday evening events has started and there are three to go: Hill Wood, Monasterevan, on May 31st, probably Donadea on June 14th and Hollywood (with a barbecue) on June 21st. Start times are from 6 to 7.30 pm and there are normally three courses plus an “adventure run”, a mid-length, simple course following line features (like the no-longer-used Red course in colour events).
Cork Orienteering Club’s evening events are on Tuesdays: details here. The series started on May 10th and runs until July 19th.
Evening events in NIOA clubs continue on Wednesdays (LVO WEE series) and Thursdays (NWOC). Details here.
The IOA Annual General Meeting was held on the weekend of the Irish Championships, at Kippure Estate, Co. Wicklow. The outgoing Committee were all prepared to stand again and there were no controversial motions or exciting moments. Details of the meeting can be found here. (Well, maybe not …!)
At the IOA AGM, the following awards were announced for 2011:
Niamh Corbett (CorkO) got the Mactíre Trophy for her 4th place in W16 at last year’s European Youth O-Championships in Spain;
Mike Long and Catherine King got one of the the Silva Awards, for their support for the entire Irish orienteering disapora for last year’s World Championships in Trondheim, Norway;
Rory Costello (KerryO) got the Silva Trophy for his orienteering activity through the years in Kerry.
IOA at Adventure Weekend
The Irish Orienteering Association was represented at the recent Adventure Weekend at the RDS in Dublin, where outdoor centres and a variety of high-adrenaline activities were being promoted.
IOA shared a stand with the environmental group Leave No Trace and with Mountaineering Ireland.
Interest in orienteering was steady, with a number of lapsed orienteers returning to the fold, or people who had orienteered in other countries but who never tried it here.
Mainstay of the event was IOA Communications Officer Finn Van Gelderen, who took the chance to show his excellent one-minute film advertising orienteering whenever possible.
Another facet of the weekend was the Dublin urban adventure race “DARE”, involving running, cycling, kayaking, assault courses and street orienteering … with SI results processing by CNOC’s Short family.
Leinster Inter-club Championships
GEN are hosting this event at Carrickgolligan, Kilternan, Co. Dublin on Sunday June 19th. All runners can count for your club, so come along and support it if you’re not in Finland at Jukola. Make a weekend of it ant take in the LVO NI Series event at Tollymore, near Newcastle, Co. Down on Saturday 18th.
Congratulations to LVO’s Alan Gartside on becoming British Trail Orienteering Champion this month. Alan has pioneered trail orienteering in Ireland almost single handed and his events in conjunction with the JK at Easter involved the usual head-scratching deviousness we have come to expect of Alan.
Follow the fortunes of the Irish teams at the European Youth O-Champs in the Czech Republic here, the Junior World Championships in Poland here and the World Championships in France here.
No announcements have been made about the EYOC and JWOC teams, but piecing the evidence together suggests that the EYOC team will be: W16 Niamh Corbett and Clíona McCullough, M16 Jonny Quinn and Harry Millar; M18 Laurence Quinn, Eoin McCullough and Mark Stephens.
Equally, piecing together the evidence for JWOC suggests that the team will be Colm Moran, Conor Short, Cillín Corbett, Josh O-Sullivan-Hourihan and Jack Millar. Check for corrections when the teams are announced! (I got the teams right – they were named on 30th May. Visit the Irish Junior Squad page here.)
The 14th Setanta Rogaine (6 hour individual, 6 hour team, 24 hour team) score event in the Wicklow mountains) is on June 25th/26th and entries close on June 17th.
A Rogaine is basically a mountain navigation race, (or long score event) where you locate as many controls in the mountains as you can, in the allocated time period (6 or 24 hours). When doing the 24 hour event you can come back to the hash house for some food and a few hours sleep in your tent. The hardier competitors will stay out all night and will bivvy for a bit under a bush although some keep going without any sleep. The 6 hour would be a good event for those of you new to Rogaines and long events who want to practice your skills! See details here.
Good luck to all the young orienteers doing exams in June! Getting out for a run is a good break from studying and will help keep your brain working and your fitness maintained for those summer races to come …
A Look back at IOC2011
Monday saw a move to the blasted heath on the west side of Glendoo ridge for the Relays. Similar terrain to the Middle Distance – a bit wetter underfoot but with relatively less climb. The wind and the dust blew and the army tents and Buff-ed and buffeted bystanders with dust-smeared faces suggested Outer Mongolia rather than the Featherbeds, but the orienteering went ahead regardless. Planner Marcus Geoghegan brought the runners gradually up the hillside in full view of the start. Mass starts became specks of colourful ants scurrying across the turf, coalescing into small groups to confer before splitting up and moving on. The running was fast and the thinking required, faster still. The dust caused problems for the results team (see below) but Pat Healy kept everyone up to date with a commentary aided by Martin Flynn’s live display (unfortunately only visible to Pat).
It does appear that there is an anomaly in the IOA Rules which require a runner in a relay team at the Irish Championships to (among other things) have been present in Ireland for at least 6 of the 12 months before the event, while no such restriction applies to the individual race. I gather that the IOA will be looking into ironing out any wrinkles in the rules in this area.
I feel my mind shutting down as my body rises involuntarily out of the chair in a futile attempt to make a run for it.
It has all gone so well up to this. Downloading 500 pre-entry competitors is a lot easier than EOD for 100. The nearest thing to a problem was having to use the genny – generators are noisy, smelly, heavy things and I prefer to use batteries. After ‘fixing’ the results of Saturday, I was in bed by 1 am and the relay teams were entered by about midnight on Sunday. On a Shamrock, this would constitute short-time working. The live results screens had worked reasonably well, apart from the occasional power issues. It looks like the radio controls were working, despite some last-minute problems with the WIFI. Pat Healy is giving it large on the PA.
Then the first finisher downloads and the world comes crashing down.
In what is to become an all too familiar sight, the Ór Finishers panel flashes multi-colour, a sure sign that the course was wrong. Why is this happening? Did she do the wrong course? Is the course wrong in Ór? Was she given the wrong course in Ór? Was she given the wrong map? Is there a bug? With only one relay per year, I did not have a chance to fully test it beforehand but I am reasonably sure that it should work.
They say that everyone has a guardian angel on their shoulder. Mine is named Denis Deasy. This is a typical conversation:
Ór: Wrong Course.
Me: Hold on a minute, I have the wrong course for you and I’ll need to sort it out. What course did you do?
Downloader: Ehhhhh. (a reasonable enough response)
Me: OK, what class were you on?
Me: What is your name?
(OK, I made that part up.)
Denis (finds it in the spreadsheet): Team 123, leg 1. Course H6-L
Course changed, blob green, move on.
With the time taken up fixing the course, I am up to high do and have visions of the download queue reaching back to the last control. I have lost confidence in the system. I am reasonably sure that there will be results but maybe not today.
People want to re-download to get a good splits sheet. Can’t they see that I’m stressed out here and there’s a queue building up behind them? Some people’s blobs don’t go green when their courses are fixed. I don’t like this. I check them as best I can. One or two have obviously mis-punched. Others are just missing a control or two. I am always suspicious of this but don’t have time to investigate. When Toni O’Donovan has a missed control, she takes it on the chin. I can’t be sure if she realizes that she missed it or what. I’m sure she will be back if there is a problem.
Why has nobody come to get results? I try to look at them to make sure they make some sort of sense. I can only see one leg runner per team. There must be something wrong. No,it’s OK, only first leg runners have downloaded so far.
There are downloaders with times of over 600 minutes. A sure sign that they didn’t clear before starting. I am going to have to sort this out but when and how? All the time, Denis and I have to figure out what course people did and fix it – over 200 people. Some people are on the correct course. Somehow, it seemed weird when this happened. There is definitely something odd about the OP courses. They always give a green blob – maybe they don’t have any controls defined on them. I will have to sort it out later. A guy downloads. “You’re not Don Short”, I say.
Don Short. Whenever I see him or his name, I know that some wacky and interesting form of chaos is on its way. For a long time, I have been convinced that the Shorts have a bag of SI cards and grab a random one out for each event, just to torture the results guy.
It turns out that Don’s team is running in a different order to the one they declared. Or that they are running in the correct order but with different SI cards. Or that they are in a different order with different cards. Or that they are actually aliens from another dimension. One symptom of PTSD is that the exact details are removed to help save the victim from insanity. As it turns out, several teams have done something similar. I’m sure it happens all the time and is normal, though I wouldn’t like to test this theory at a JK. I will just have to add a mechanism to make swapping easier in Ór.
At some stage, the queue disappears briefly. I am up to date and try to figure out what’s going on. Paddy Joe is still belting it out on the PA. The radio controls must still be working. Who’d a thunk it!? I wonder what people think of the commentary.
I had assumed that my dry gritty mouth was caused by the stress until my mouse packed it in. Then I saw the dust. Everything was covered in it. Could it damaging the laptops, printers etc? Who knows, gotta keep going and hope for the best.
Ór starts to become slow and unresponsive. In a moment of hysteria I think maybe it’s because of the dust. More likely it’s a bug. I will fix it when this is over. Hopefully, it won’t grind to a halt in the mean time. I look down – 200 downloads, less than 60 to go. I see light at the end of the tunnel.
People continue downloading (slowly) and Denis and I continue fixing their course. The immediate panic is abating and I have renewed confidence in the software but will the results be OK? There seem to be a number of problems. The results show FermO winning but Ruth downloaded ages before Sharon.
Why is Oisin Wickham DNF? Indeed why? He has a start & finish time and punched all the controls. I have since fixed the bug that caused the problem but I still don’t know what happened.
At last, Marcus appears and demands results. I print out a set and try to explain that some of the times are wrong (no clear) and he will need to look for anything else that looks dodgy. He doesn’t seem too happy but that’s his problem, I am still trying to figure out how to sort out the problems I know about.
Finally, after fixing a few errors, Marcus is happy enough with the results to call a prizegiving. I think that one or two winners are mis-declared but this is quickly rectified. The last finisher arrives. I can pack up and try to remove the dust from my gear, my car and myself.
I come home and fix up the results. I remove the dodgy punches from the non-cleared cards and add the EODs. I still don’t know what happened to the courses in Ór between midnight and 10 am but manage to figure everything else out to my satisfaction. Results uploaded. Routegadget looks OK. Time for sleep.
So, if you found me even ruder than normal on Monday, I apologise. You have to realize, I was having a very bad day.
– Martin Flynn
Entries for the Shamrock O-Ringen on the Sheep’s Head peninsula in West Cork were to close on Friday 6th May but have just been extended to May 15th. The event is on the June Bank Holiday weekend (June 4, 5, 6) and the entry list so far is dominated by runners from outside Ireland who have discovered them selves, or heard others talk about, the unique atmosphere of the Shamrock which makes people come back again and again. The format is a middle distance race on Saturday, a classic distance on the Sunday and a chasing start on the Monday, all on the wonderful craggy, contour-rich terrain with the smell of bog myrtle and the call of the cuckoo. What a way to spend the weekend!
As I write, entries have just crept up over the 200 mark, with slightly more than 50% from abroad, so there’s plenty of room for more. The relaxed, friendly atmosphere with challenging terrain and courses are what mark out the Shamrock as different from other events, so go on and enter if you’ve never been there – you won’t regret it!
Enter now at the Shamrock O-Ringen web site here.