238 Orienteers from as far apart as Cornwall and the Midlands, with ages from 10 to 93, joined Sarum Orienteers for the annual Sarum Saunter level B event held this year in the woods at Fonthill. Sarum Orienteers thank Mr. Morant for allowing, yet again, the use of Fonthill Wood for orienteering and for his generosity in giving access to the on-site toilets and buildings.
Course Planner Dave Mullins set 11 technically demanding courses for all age groups that made skilful use of the hilly terrain to add physical challenge to the senior courses. The wet weather of the previous week and a downpour overnight provided the Splash that made the going underfoot very soft, adding to the physicality of the terrain. Fortunately better weather moved in for most of the running only returning only later to soak the event team as they cleared up.
Fonthill suffers from the same problem of many woods these days – too much undergrowth – but it is much better than some. Dave’s inclusion of the remapped western section, across the road, made a nice change from running just on the main section of the map.
Thanks to Dave and Denise who worked their socks off to plan and organise a great event and to Controller Steve Robertson (QO) – even if he thought the hills (and mud) a bit wimpish by Quantock standards. David Oxenham led the customary efficient Start Team and, I think, managed to get everything cleared up before the real rain returned. Brian Hart provided slick computer services multitasking with training someone from BADO learning the operate Michael Napier’s software. Unusually, Brian had to deal with two lost EMIT bricks, a rare occurrence – they are still out there in the woods if anyone wants to look. A minor scare came late on when one competitor seemed to have been misplaced but all were accounted for in the end.
Pat Hart, ably supported by Lucy Wilkinson and Janet Thirkell, ran the String Course. The Sarum First Aid team provided suitable support for planner Dave Mullins when he sustained an injury whilst moonlighting as a roadside rescue crew. As always, the willing Sarum volunteer brigade made for a friendly and well run event. Shane Wilkinson took some great photos which you can see by clicking on the link at the end of this report.
The Registration and Results Teams were accommodated in relatively luxurious (and dry!) accommodation and which also served to keep the rain off when sorting out controls and other kit during the clear up – helped by the remains of the tin of Quality Street.
Coming to results, the Brown course (8.9k, 285m climb, 25 controls) was won by Peter Ward of North Gloucester OC (61.25 min); Gary Sawyer (M40) was the best placed Sarum runner. Phil Murray (Bristol OK, M50; 60.21min) won the Short Brown Course (7.7k, 245m climb, 22 controls), Chloe Potter (Bristol OK; W20; 41.35min) won the Blue course (5.6k, 155m climb,16 controls) with Paul Lane (M60) and Mark White (M55) from Sarum taking 10th and 11th places just 8 seconds apart. Other good Sarum results included Joan Hambleton (W75; 1st on Very Short Green), Short Green was won by Ian Ditchfield (M60; MV) with home runners Martin Goddard (M55) and Peter Hambleton (M70) 2nd and 3rd. ; Jan Belza (M70) and Hazel Cutler (W20) were 15th and 17th on Green and Lucy Wilkinson 11th on Orange.
Full results, Routegadget, splits etc. are available here.
Shane Wilkinson’s photos are here, until the end of May.
A Gallery of selected photos is here.