I had just finish 2 successful controller jobs for Suffolk and Norfolk OC’s in close succession, closely followed by coaching day for the EAOA junior squad, was patting myself for getting through with all concerned happy. An email hit the inbox from Rory, CUOC were have problems finding a controller for the up and coming Iceni, firstly I did not really look at the date and must have been on small high after getting through the previous few weeks, but I said yes, I could help. Helen got in touch with the map and I went down to look around, now not happy teddy bear. The map was very out of date and had a couple of run ins with rude mountain bikers. CUOC found someone to update the map and after a re-plan by Helen we started to get somewhere. But we were now into the middle of January, with a small fast ball of my College being OFSTED inspected we got all checked and maps off to printer on time. The only minor issue was how was I going to get all the controls check before first start with sunrise at 7:30ish, well with the aid of new head touch and some planning of which controls I could get around in the dark and asking for the starts to be delayed I thought I could get round in time. Well 24Km and 4 hours after starting and a minor delay waiting for the final controls to be put out I checked the printout at 10:30 just in time to not delay the starts to much.
Hope you all had a good day, Helen did a good job with the limitations of the forest and the ever-present mountain bikers. Rory and Jeremy did a good job especially with Auto download giving up the ghost mid-morning (with some help from Daniel the NOR download guru and later for other members of the CUOC team in sorting it out). Then, when a competitor that had punched the start with different dibber to the one registered and then decided not to complete the course, also did not report to download, while further compounding the problem by taking her children off to the High Lodge play equipment. Everything was sorted before we had to start a real search, it is a reminder to competitors that a lot is done on your behalf to ensure a safe e`vent takes place and we who look after the e`vent for you need you to take responsibility to follow the rules.
If you enter, use the dibber you have entered with, or ensure you change that detail before going to the start, if you punch the start always report to download. Those of you with access to more than one dibber do not use a different to the one registered.
Thanks to all of the competitors who helped in the search of the High Lodge facilities and for keeping myself informed while we tried to find the lady.
I really enjoyed the CUOC members enthusiastic help and the way they pulled together when things need doing.
There were a lot of very positive comments on the day and although I was having a minor panic at 9:45 while waiting for the final controls to go out I had a good day and happy I could run 24Km and still be with it enough to have some helpful talks with the competitor throughout the day. Well done CUOC and a big congratulation to my Club NOR for winning the cup.
Since CUOC use their areas in Thetford forest in rotation for the Icenian, it was already decided that we would be using Highlodge for the Icenian. Despite problems including re-mapping the area 1 month before the e`vent and MTB tracks through the best parts of the area, planning the courses was still an interesting challenge, with lots of route choice legs through and around the various blocks of forest. It was a shame that only the longest courses made it into the north west part of the area, a complex area with lots of depressions and pits, but hopefully there was still plenty of navigational challenge on all the courses. Looking at Routegadget after the e`vent has been very interesting, as the variety of routes taken is far greater than i imagined it would be. I hope everyone enjoyed the running at the Icenian.
With an additional 418 emails in my inbox, another Icenian is finished! It was great to see so many orienteers supporting the race (I will get in trouble if the e-v-e-n-t word is used), and lots of happy faces at the finish. Apart from the hiccup with a malfunctioning download (thank you to everyone for their patience and advice with this), I felt everything went well, with only a few other minor problems. A big thank you must go to the team of 21 helpers from CUOC, DRONGO and elsewhere who took a day out of some very hectic schedules to make sure everything ran smoothly. Your help was very much appreciated.
As the first major race for both Rory and I, the Icenian wouldn’t have been possible without the support of a team of DRONGO’s. Massive thanks must therefore go to Ben Windsor for answering our endless list of questions, Matthew Vokes for coming all the way from the Lakes to help out and John Ockenden for an emergency mapping trip in some pretty poor weather. The number of emails I received is a reflection of just how much support they provided in keeping us on track.
Once again, CUOC is very grateful for the help, lifts and equipment provided by WAOC and EAOA members. The Icenian wouldn’t have been possible without it. The Forestry Commission were also very cooperative and accommodating, contrary to many of the stories I had heard about previous Icenians in Highlodge, even agreeing to discount the car parking! The St John ambulance volunteers also deserve a mention for giving up their time to keep the race safe, and were very helpful as an extra pair of eyes out on the courses – thank you.
We are very grateful to Michael Chopping for agreeing to control; he did an excellent job. He was very accommodating of some tight deadlines due to the last minute remapping, was very efficient at answering emails, and made sure we were on top of everything. His advice regarding the mountain bike trails was also very useful. Thank you for all your work.
Helen did a brilliant job to get some interesting courses out of the area, despite working off a constantly changing map and losing some of the most interesting features to mountain bike OOB half way through the planning stage. Finally, thanks must also go to my co-organiser Rory Burford, who despite leaving CUOC and having a huge amount of work himself, put in many hours to make the Icenian happen.
See you all at the city race on 28th October!