Footfalls at Woodfalls

Sarum Orienteers’ New Years Day events are well known for being a bit different. Although Copehill Down has attracted high turnouts in recent years high land charges have made this impractical for the time being. This year, Alice Butt took on the task of planning a memorable start to the New Year and devised a score course involving a mix of urban and woodland orienteering. This attracted over 130 orienteers to Woodfalls, on the edge of The New Forest, to run off their seasonal excesses. For those preferring to pedal rather than be bi-pedal there was an MTBO course as well.


Using her local resident’s knowledge, Alice created a challenging but enjoyable course designed to be completed, just, within a one hour time limit. There were 23 control points in and around the streets and lanes of Woodfalls with a further 17 in the small but complicated (and muddy) Tinney’s Firs. Ten points were available for each control site visited with a further 5 bonus controls worth 20 points. These were not marked on the map and runners had to memorise their locations. Time over the 1 hour limit resulted in penalty deductions of 10 points per minute.


Local knowledge was probably important as first three runners came from the home club with winner Lucy Butt claiming a magnificent 480 points out of the 500 maximum in 59:18. In second place was William White (460 points; 58:42) and third was Tom Butt (420; 54:07) just beating Roger Thetford of Thames Valley OC (420; 59:24).

On the Junior Yellow Course Sarum’s Ben Jacobs took second place between brothers Harry and Monty Bratcher-Howard from Wimborne OC.


For those who preferred two wheels and complicated suspension systems to two legs Nigel Benham planned a Mountain Bike O course with 20 controls to be visited in 120 minutes. 15 bikers competed in a hard ‘who can get covered in the most mud’ competition with Ifor Powell of BOK, who scored 160 points in 117 minutes, winning ahead of Peter Simmonds of Pedal O second with 150 points. With hindsight it would have been interesting to have weighed the MTBO competitors before and after to see who carried around the most mud. Maybe next time.









Thanks to Alice and Nigel for planning the courses, Jeff for controlling and Mark for organising and to the volunteers who provided support with registration, results and placing and collecting controls. Thanks also to Redlynch Sports and Social Club, especially Lisa Crocker, for giving us access to their splendid clubhouse; that was the comfiest the computer team has been for a long time.  Oh, and a big, big thank you to everyone who turned up on the day to enjoy what was on offer. See you again next year, we hope.

Results for the foot-O score and Yellow courses are here.

Results for the MTBO are here.

Shane Wilkinson’s full portfolio of images from the day can be found here (until April 2018).