9/12/2012 Swinemoor Pastures (C) (League)
Note: The map used for RouteGadget has the power lines shown. These were not shown on the Light Green, Green and Blue maps on the day.
Swinemoor (Swinemere to some) is a challenging area to map. Despite being a very fast open area, it is populated by ponds which come and go depending on recent rains and the height of the water table. Hence final touches have to be put to the map in the days running up to the event. Even so one pond appeared between visits on Wednesday and Friday. Despite being added to the map this pond had the alacrity to practically dissappear by the time the first competitors set off on Sunday morning. It did however stay long enough to wet the feet of the Night competitors!
Planning courses for the White and Yellow courses is also a challenge due to a lack of obvious paths on the ground. The only way to get the necessary line features was to use the power lines and pylons (these features were only shown on the shorter courses). The next challenge for these courses is to find a way around without having to cross too much water.
Recent flooding of the River Hull had made the eastern part of the map practically unusable, although the longer courses did have a slight venture into this area. Consequently the drier (a relative term) areas were crossed a number of times.
Swinemere is particularly challenging at night requiring accurate compass and pacing work, complicated by not being able to run straight due to the many ponds. Not challenging for all though as the long course was won in a very fast 5 minute kilometre time.
On the day blue skies greeted the competitors who had made the journey to the east of Beverley to take part in the first regional event on Swinemoor for over 20 years. The wet conditions underfoot did not seem to put off the competitors.
Although everybody finished with wet feet, they also nearly all finished with smiles on their faces and no complaints.
The many positive comments received about the map and the courses justified the decision to go ahead with the event.
A big thank you to all the HALO helpers who ensured the event went ahead without any hitches.