Assembly at Pippingford Park


Sarum has developed a bit of a habit of taking 4th place in Orienteering competitions of all sorts and so it was again at the Compass Sport Cup and Trophy Finals held this year at Pippingford Park in E. Sussex. After all the heavy rain of the previous week it was nice to have a dry weekend although this made for a very misty start for the day. The sun soon burned this off and the weather for the race itself was reasonably bright but a cold wind made it worthwhile for spectators to keep a warm coat to hand.

Thanks to Team Captain Dan Gallagher persistence there was a huge Sarum entry of 57 Just 1 short of the largest team on the day. It was great to see so many relatively new faces including juniors and their families coming along to run and support the Sarum team. Some of our less experienced team must have found their first exposure to full on inter-club competition rather challenging but everyone contributed with their best and one can’t ask for more.

About half of the SARUM team

The terrain and courses proved tough. The large open areas were deceptive with thick bracken and soggy conditions underfoot making it all hard going. The contours were extremely hard going in places and the map itself was very detailed which itself can be confusing.  The final insult was the long run uphill to the last control and the finish run in. So, all in all, this made for some hard orienteering. 

There were some fine runs from Sarum but other small clubs seemed able to go just that little bit better.  For much of the day Sarum held a good first place but with other clubs holding their better runners for later starts our lead was slowly but surely chipped away and we slipped to 4th place (1225 points) behind, Interlopers (1240), WAOC  (1247) and winners Harlequins (1251); our congratulations to the worthy winners.

With the best 13 results to count Sarum’s scoring runners were Paul Lane (99), Lucy Butt (98), Michael James (97), Edward Dickins (96), Rob Ashton (95), Dan Gallagher (95), Jackie Butt (95), Charles Bromley Gardner  (94), Kerry Corkery (94), Chris Huthwaite (91), Ian Pierce (91), Charlotte Thornton (90) and an outstanding contribution from one of our juniors,  Bea Halsey (W14) of 90 points. Full results for the event can be found here. More action shots from the day can be found in a gallery here.

Although Sarum missed out on a podium place there are good omens for the future. We had a wonderful turnout from our juniors and their Mums and Dads. With another year’s experience and training we could well be back in contention this time next year.

It was nice that Brian Hart was able to present two of our juniors (Elara and Ben Jacobs) with trophies celebrating their wins in this year’s Club Championships. It is juniors such as Ben and Elara that hold the promise for future success for Sarum.