SprintO History

...and a step back in time: the CUOC inaugural SprintO in 1987

(From the contemporary CUOC November 1987 newsletter*, written by someone called Richard Holme, summing up the conception, execution and evaluation of the first ever race of this type to be held in the forests of East Anglia):

  • 17 days to go**: Steve and Richard Baxter get pissed in the Maypole and decide to hold the inaugural CUOC SPRINT O - prestigious or what!
  • 16 days to go: Ricky starts planning.Steve starts organising.Phil starts worrying.
  • 15 days to go: Steve invites 15 Universities to come for a piss-up.
  • 09 days to go: Ricky checks his planning at Rowney and gets hassled by the Forestry Comission.
  • 08 days to go: The Forestry say that everything's O.K. and that WAOC will be in Rowney on the same day.
  • 06 days to go: WAOC say everything O.K. - they don't mind us using the forest too.
  • 05 days to go: WAOC say everything not O.K. - they don't want us using the forest! Phil says 'Tough Luck'!
  • 04 days to go: The maps arrive at last. Ricky's overprinting party. Phil overprints 60 maps; Mark numbers 120 maps; Steve bags 120 maps; Richard does everything else. We decide to put the wrong description sheet on Paul's map to see if he'll notice.
  • 01 day to go! Phil awakens to discover a transport crisis of simply epic proportions! Willhire cancel our minibus booking for Sunday. Phil has a fit. Chris Thorne says he's not coming on Sunday. Phil throws another fit. Phil and Steve go on an expedition to Sainsbury's to buy £50 worth of alcohol: 2 bottles of Vodka, 2 boxes of wine, 3 bottles of fizzy, 44 cans of beer. [Can you spot the statistical mind?? - Ed.]
  • SPRINT O-ff: Gill looks for a hand under Steve's car. [Can anyone come up with a plausible explanation? - Ed.] SHUOC arrive, OUOC arrive, ULOC arrive, CUOC don't arrive. Ricky goes mental. CUOC arrive (with NUOC). THE START! 60 people tell us control AO is wrong. Steve says 'the CASIO watches are ace!' Miss Sexy from ULOC gets Paul's DRONGO map and DNFs. Paul gets another Ballsed up map but doesn't notice because he follows Ben all the way round his course. He then runs in the consolation race 2B and makes a complete fool of himself! (Who else could get lost whilst following someone?) Now - the exciting bit!The finals are underway; the crowd are cheering; the P.A. is blowing out Michael Jackson and the Cure; the Tension mounts- Deep in the forest, Paul and Phil are erecting the cocktail control. Unfortunately, there seems to be some Vodka and Orange left over. But this is no problem. Paul hoovers the orange and…you've guessed it…Phil hoovers the Vodka. By the time the first competitors arrive, Phil is on his back (or so I'm told). The captain of Oxford is up the tree (metaphorically) and the captain of ULOC is up the tree (literally) - and we can't get her down! Meanwhile, Simon was exhoovering his way to first place, and Ricky had begun to commune with nature at the 4th control.
  • That night: Ricky dances on the pool table in Emma bar. Steve climbs a lamppost and head-butts the pavement. An ambulance and a rather bemused newsletter editor arrive. Both leave, the former containing Steve. Phil stays in bed.
  • Quote of the day: 'Bleagh….'

* And I hope I'm not infringing any strict copyrights here!!

** See, it's not that hard a job being SprintO organiser, is it?

Written (partly) by Blanka Sengerová

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