A brand new map ! But even at walking pace, this had me scratching my head a few times as we inspected the planned control sites. Yes, the contour data is generally excellent, but there’s a few spots where the clearings need a bit of work. We avoided the worst offenders and relocated control sites accordingly. Sections of the map are wonderful, with high visibility and great runnability on the pine-needled carpet. Sarah did a great job, as always with the planning, taking time to ensure an appropriately technical challenge for each class. Yes, for many of us, that means red, and red means as hard as can be ! So you’ll have to excuse the seemingly endless mid-block to mid-block legs that generally kept you off the paths and into the contour navigation. I also hope the Yellow course runners enjoyed the head-scratching with a great deal of route-choice on most legs – this is what differentiates the Yellows from the Whites !
I won’t apologise for the course lengths (!) we knew they would be longer than the standards suggest for a ‘Middle Distance’. But thinking of our beloved out-of-towners, who would want to visit Christchurch for 1.5 events ? 35-minutes ? Pah, that’s not getting your money’s worth. When I controlled the Nationals in 2013 at Tuhaitara, just a little up the coast, I did feel a duty to get the winning times spot-on. But for this Regional event, we knew you’d all be wanting more, and it for never to end… So we ensured the essence of a Middle Distance was captured with plenty of fast-and-furious short legs…and just kept it coming a little longer….
The weather was extraordinarily kind to us and this made the planner’s call for ice-lollies at the finish line all the more exquisite. We also hope the out-of-towners managed to grab a sausage on the barbeque in addition to the PAPO kids. A big thank-you to James for taking care of this.
And on the subject of thanks, thanks to all those who did raise a hand to help out, but in particular to our wonderful organiser Jan, overall co-ordinator Peter, and as so often, to Graeme for the SportIdent and miraculous appearance of the caravan.
Congratulations to all the course winners. We wonder which of you it was that has been busy putting out little pink tapes in some similar control locations in recent times – confessions to the Controller are available at any time. Wider congratulations to all who stuck at it and managed to complete your courses.
Yes, my minor over sight was to miss the title from the map, but given we were more Pines Beach than Kairaki (planner’s privilege) , this may have been serendipitous. This leaves plenty of scope for the forthcoming January event to be focused on a different area, and we can all ‘enjoy’ a new map all over again !
by Tim Wright | Peninsula and Plains Orienteers