This year the JK happened in the South East, as always over the Easter Weekend. Four CUOCers made the trip down on the Friday to Brunel University for the Sprint. This was a fast, flat and not particularly technical University campus, and we had some good results from everyone: Paul was 5th on M20E, Helen and Pippa came 7th and 8th on W20E and Lindsay was 36th on WOpen.
On Day 2, we moved to the North end of the South Downs for the Middle Distance at Ambersham, a mixture of quite runnable open forest and heather-covered heathland, which was harder than it looked! Result of the day went to PIppa, who was 3rd on W20E! Helen was 6th, Paul came 11th and Lindsay came 33rd on W21S.
The Long Distance on Sunday was held at Holmbush and St Leonard's, which were really two separate areas - St Leonard's, where the courses started, was forest with lots of bracken on the floor, meaning that routes around by paths were often faster, and there was a decent amount of climb to be done. After a time-stop road crossing, the courses continued in Holmbush, which was completely different - fast, runnable mostly native woodland with lots of rhododendrons to make things tricky. It was quite interesting having such different areas in the same course. Today, Lindsay was 28th, Helen 4th, Pippa 7th and Paul 10th.
Lastly, on Monday the relay races were held at Pippingford Park, in the same forest as the Winnie the Pooh books were set! This was a mixture of very runnable woodland and very runnable heathland, and was super speedy terrain. There were no CUOC relay teams, so everyone competed for different clubs. Paul came back 12th on leg 1 of the JK Trophy for LVO's 'Lagan Behind', Lindsay was was 26th on Leg 2 of Men's Short for 'Large HaDRON GOllider', Helen was 13th on the 1st leg of Women's trophy for SROC, and Pippa had a great run for 'SYO on Fire' to take the win on Women's Trophy!
All in all, it was a great weekend for everyone, with really nice weather and some fun courses in lovely forests. Bring on next year in the West Midlands!