21/02/2011 Beverley Westwood Night Event

Fields demolish the field

The Field family demonstrated their excellence in the twilight world of Night Orienteering on beverley Westwood. Zac was the leading runner in the "experienced" section closely followed by younger brother Jake, Dad Dean and sister Yasmin. Not to be outdone Mum Rosie with son Joe topped the results in the "parent/child and inexperienced" section. It was a very close run competition between Zac and Jake, if Zac had been 7 seconds slower, Jake would have won. Also if Jake had gone to 42 between 52 and 38 (it looks like a straight line) he would have been victorious. How easy it is to choose a route with hindsight!

The full results of the odds and evens Night Score can be found by clicking here. The results include the order that each runner visited the controls.

A special mention must go to Katie, Lynn, Marylyn and the Rodgers and Gibbs families who took part in the event despite only recently taking up orienteering. Most people would probably wait a couple of years before having a go in the dark but they all had a go within a month (two days for some!) of their first orienteering experience. Brilliant!

I was impressed with how close most people were to the 45 minute time limit. Mary was only six seconds over (something of a minor miracle). On the right side of the limit was Helen who finished with eleven seconds to spare. That's pretty good but was beaten by birthday boy, Brian, who finished with one second to spare. But that was eclipsed by Katie who finished exactly on 45 minutes - impressive!

What was the best route? When I set about planning the control sites I was looking for an optimum length of about 7.5km, I thought that at a potential 6 minute kilometre pace, international Zac might be tempted to try for them all. When I checked what I thought was the optimum route I got 6.5km. Initially I was tempted to reposition some controls to extend the length, but I decided to leave it to give more runners chance to maybe get to all the controls. But just before I printed I saw an even better route which came to 5.6 km. It was too late to change anything so I expected a number of runners to visit all controls. On the night no-one got all the controls, Zac being closest only missing out number 54. It just goes to show how difficult it is, under time pressure, to plot the perfect route. Now that you are comfortably sat in your armchair have a good look at the map, can you find an even better route than 5.6km? Answers on a postcard to . . . (OK email me ).

I apologise for the waiting around at the end to download the results - and thank-you all for your patience on what was quite a cold and damp evening. There was a power problem which I thought was the inverter (which hadn't been used before). If I'd realised that the inverter was OK I could have plugged it directly into either mine or Brian's car. Big thanks to Brian for sorting it out when he got back from his run - on his birthday as well!

Full results
Neil Harvatt
Neil Harvatt
John Butler