29/06/2011 Lincolnshire Challenge Shield

Well what an occasion/location for the 2nd Lincolnshire Challenge Shield. Some loggers did a round trip of 180 miles to represent their club – what dedication and loyalty. HALO also put out an excellent team. However, on the night LOG were able to clinch the race by a mere 24 minutes – I make that a 6% lead - and, using the Brian Slater ‘swingommitor’ we could easily take the Shield back next year if Brian Ward (planner 2011) runs and Paul Murgatroyd (planner 2012?) doesn't!

Brian Ward had produced some well thought through legs on the terrain giving excruciating choices around the lake. There were twists and turns to test competitors’ abilities to concentrate under pressure. The 2 tripods in the wood on the hill on the 'Chase' were a good test of compass work or pure directional choice. On the chase I chose to circumnavigate the lake to the left. I was able to see lots of happy runners’ faces having negotiated legs 15 to 16 to 17 to 18 which also gave choices of route testing the participants’ abilities to make quick decisions. The more equal the routes appear, the more difficult the route choice. However, you might approach such route choices by choosing one or the other quickly, knowing that Brian, being HALO’s top planner, would have equalised the routes meticulously.

Up and coming HALO runners such as Lewis Tuck, Dave Offler, David Jolly, Andrew Houlden and Fran Humphrey, excelled to score surprisingly in the top 10. Well done! Regulars Jake & Neil both Poacher Champions kept our cumulative total time pretty low. Helena, who has been putting in some quality training recently, scored competently in the senior women class. There was a lot of pressure on the women for this race, because failure to complete would mean that their class could not score at all. Dean, Poacher Master’s runner-up, always dependable when it comes to these crucial competitions, was just 5 minutes down on top LOG runner, Liam. Charlotte, our star England runner, put in a creditable result just 6 ½ minutes behind the leader. Congratulations to all of you scorers and thanks to all the rest of HALO runners for competing – you never know when your result might count.

LOG's strength was in its senior men and vet women not forgetting the junior men who made a creditable contribution. LOG was supreme on this occasion and credit to them.

The two clubs that cover the Lincolnshire County are obviously fairly equal overall in ability. Each has a little bit of help from its friends i.e. LOG has RAFO cadets, and HALO has SYO (1st claim club members), The Family Fields. This is a mutual club agreement which speaks for the integrity and commitment to the sport of both clubs.

I took a trip to ‘Riseholme’ (LOG evening series) on Thursday with a special mission, not just for the exercise on the ‘Short’ course but to present the Shield to those ‘Loggers’ present. I was reluctant to let the Shield go but expressed admiration for LOG participants who always compete with seriousness (mostly humour) and fairness. The only consolation from my point of view was that we, HALO, at least came second.

When perusing the results please be aware that because there was an administrative error on the Chase D 2nd Maze description, the legs 51 to 98 were voided on all Chase 'loops'. The event does not lend itself to Route Gadget analysis so please send in your comments and or articles on your successes or other to your newsletter editor.

For me as organiser it was a pleasure to be at the event – thanks to all who helped to make it a success.

See you next year on LOG home terrain.

Brian Slater HALO


Firstly a BIG thank-you to those (few) people who took the time to say how much they enjoyed the event - either by e-mail or on-the-night. Secondly a big BOOOO to certain people who obviously do not appreciate how much time and effort (to name but two ) went in to planning and organising the event. Sometimes you wonder if it's worthwhile, especially when you take leave from work especially to make sure the event goes ahead.
I'm still agonising over the mistake with the Maze D Chase descriptions but refuse to investigate how it happened for fear of getting really upset with myself!
and so to the actual event - Originally I asked Brian (S) if he could map the surrounding roads to add an Urban element, but after initial arm-chair planning realised this would not be necessary!
I wanted to keep the format the same as last year so used a variation of a maze supplied by Neil (thanks Neil!) and then planned a Prologue and Chase "conventional" course withing the Country Park with the key route choice being leg 14-15 across the lake where the best route is actually to the left giving a much cleaner entry into the control site (anyone actually use this route?).
Using a complex twisty/turny maze meant that basically, this is where the race was going to be won and lost, which is why it's a real shame there was an error with the Chase Maze description for Course D :(
For the Maze I used "psi" loops, you have 2 x combinations - a "through and round" option or a "round and through" option, with a maze to start and finish this gave 4 x combinations for the Proplogue and same for the Chase. I may experiment with butterfly loops next time - especially out on the "conventional" course to split runners up :)
Moment of the night for me was standing at the start and watching around 30 or so runners trying to navigate in and around the maze, I believe it's on film and so am really looking forward to seeing it sometime.
Thanks to Brian S. for his exceptional organisational work, both before, during and after the competition, and to Charlotte's on-the-day help, who without I would NEVER have everything ready to go for the 5 o'clock kick off - Thank-You Brian (S), Thank-You Charlotte!
Brian (W) - Planner
Full results
Brian Slater
Brian Ward