On a cold November night 45 intrepid orienteers assembled in The New Inn in Amesbury to try out the new urban orienteering map of Amesbury in a Wessex Night League event. The event was a Score type with a few twists organised by Sarum Orienteers’ Charlotte Thornton. There were thirty controls to visit in the allowed time of one hour but there was an added twist making route planning decisions more difficult. To gain the early finish time bonuses on offer (10 points for each minute under the hour) then runners had to start by first visiting all the controls valued at ten points, followed by the twenty point controls and finally the thirty point controls, rather than simply finding the shortest routes to visit all the controls. For each minute taken over the hour there was a 10 point penalty.
Some competitors took on the challenge of trying to gain bonus points and three managed to do this. Jamie Ranson (Wimbourne) won in 53.48 minutes with 560 points with fellow club member John Oakes second (540 points) and Mike Frizzell (Basingstoke) third with 530 points. Three other runners attempted the bonus challenge but two, Paul Pickering (WIM) and Paul Lane (Sarum) each missed one control. Jeff Butt of Sarum visited all the controls but failed to complete the task in under the hour by two minutes. Best placed Sarum runner was Martin Goddard (10th) with 500 points in 48 min. but not qualifying for bonus time points as he opted not to take on the sequence challenge.
Simon Branford (WIM) gave a personal description of his experience: On a cold November evening we made the trip to Amesbury to run on a new map that covers the town centre.. On starting I took a quick look at the map and decided that I’d struggle to make all the controls in the bonus order and still finish inside an hour, especially with a new pair of shoes purchased earlier in the day to replace the ones I destroyed in Salisbury a couple of days before! Instead, I set out to visit all thirty in any order. I started by going north and east and then continued around the eastern controls, before crossing back over near the start to complete the western group. The only mistake I made was trying to follow an indistinct path through a small wooded section – I lost the path and ended up stuck in the vegetation – when just running around would have been more sensible. Having finished I went back into the pub for food and a pint. Several people commented that they’d tried to go for the bonus points, but had either not finished in under the hour, missed a control, or punched controls in the wrong point order. I’d found just keeping track of which controls I’d visited difficult enough! Thanks go to Charlotte, Ricky, and Liz for an interesting and challenging evening.
SARUM RESULTS FOR AMESBURY NIGHT ORIENTEERING 7TH NOVEMBER