Jason’s Review of the Wessex Night League Event
Clubs from around the south east came together to race at Basingstoke and organised by BADO for the 2nd event in the 2020-21 Wessex Night League. Club members present included those from SN, WIM, WSX, SARUM, SOC, TVOC and the winner from SLOW. These were dedicated competitors showing their strength on a dark rainy night which saw 66 racing and only 1 DNS from the whole field. Last use in 2018 Night League this area used an extended part of Hatch Warren on Alan Kersley's great mapping, impassable lines shown in bold its a modern estate with many alleys and challenging sections. Also interspersed with small sections of woods and trails the planner really gave about a 50/50 street / woodland mix- so loads of decision making.
Using the touch free EMIT timing system managed by Allan Farrington of EMITUK in his specially adapted van, runners collected timing chips and went off in safe socially distanced spaces onto the large parkland in the centre of the map..
As always the skill is in the sequencing of the route choice, aiming for all controls within the hour. Having several of the controls requiring you to read the descriptions closely to discover how to get into them is quality planning. Robin also gave us a surprise allowing runners through his garden into another woodland section, with spooky control addition.
My own run was calculated on the basis of collecting all top value controls in an anti-clockwise route, I got 19 of 30 leaving out some 10’s. Happy with my sequence although Strava stopped timing somehow probably when I stopped to take the pictures of Robin's control 101, so I hadn’t any idea of my remaining time and headed to finish 10 minutes before time. Soloing the whole run the quality of the mapping made it a total pleasure, every locality covered distinctly in exact detail. The top end of the field were all round in 52 Minutes and recording about 10KM as is the standard complete distance on these events.
Good to see several Youth runners out accompanied by parents putting in some great efforts too.
For social time after many had booked tables at the Holly Blue pub and we went to the Queens Inn at Dummer also local enjoying the meals there. Great night racing thanks to BADO, our next challenge the more local Alderholt (postponed after writing this), another urban area for Event 3, then after that Event 4 on Martin Down (also postponed)for a full night immersion on the open heath and forest.
Allan in his well equipped van
Robin's garden where control 101 was.
Father and Son
Alan K’s Review of Beggarwood
This event was conceived to be the first of BADO’s usual 2 event contribution to this year’s fixture list (2020/21). It has been the case previously that Mike Frizzell and Bernie Fowler alongside myself have shared official roles over the past few seasons to put on these fixtures , thus adding several new venues for the regulars to sample.
On this occasion, Robin Smith (SO) having now moved into the local area approached us to plan, we accepted his offer and came up with the idea of staging the event unusually for us on a Friday evening so that we could in theory support the usual November Classic weekend. As circumstances progressed, we became last event standing, as access restrictions wreaked havoc with other event aspirations.
Knowing pointedly we had COVID protocols to observe it seemed obvious to me that we should follow the example and proven process we all experience at the recent BAOC’s MLS Wednesday fixtures as civilians and therefore chose to request use of EMIT’s touch free equipment, courtesy of Allan Farrington. In addition, of course, I chose to support that by utilising the excellent new RACESIGNUP UK online offering for the necessary Pre-entry and administration tools.
Having set up the administration, we needed to decide how many might attend, so Mike configured possible entry slots for 60 participants and in the event sold them all inside 48hours, once entries opened!! Many were regulars but we attracted numerous others from far and wide for the ever popular Score event format. Later on that rose to 66 as we accommodated a ‘waiting list’ and figured out we needed to relocate parking slightly to safely meet the demand. Our thanks to EMedia Marketing for the use of their car park to avoid using the originally identified limited public facilities.
It was odd not having an actual Assembly building, but we coped admirably with using the EMIT vehicle for ETag distribution and Download, coupled with distributing Control Descriptions online beforehand. The weather was sort of kind, just a bit of drizzle on and off and sure enough people arrived in good cheer, had a great 60 minutes runaround in the dark and left with smiles on their faces. Job done.... zero complaints, just lots of gratitude.
A post mortem of results had the3 Podium places remarkably separated over a spread of just 9 seconds after 30 Controls. I hesitate to suggest within ‘touching distance’, but of course that’s not allowed unfortunately.
The next planned BADO Wessex Night League event is due to be on Monday February 1st 2021 in Alresford.
A newly mapped area, you will be the first to run on it. Alresford is a town 7 miles east of Winchester, it is a mixture of housing, parkland and some country areas. There is a chalk stream river running through the area as well as the preserved steam railway - the Watercress Line. We believe it will produce some good and fun orienteering.