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Organisers Report - Darnaway Colour Coded Feb 2011

Darnaway National Ranking Colour Coded Event 13 February 2011 - Organiser's Report
(Written on behalf of Liz Barr)


So, definitely a wet day but, hopefully, an enjoyable day for the 225 people who attended today's colour coded event in the great forest of Darnaway. Even though the forest is on the door step for Moravian Orienteers, it still doesn't fail to impress - even in the pouring rain!

I write this as the husband of the real Organiser - although Liz and I were both down as joint Organisers, I have to admit that Liz has done much more of the organising than me, so this is one of my minor contributions.

The task of organising came our way late last year, when Mike Rodgers, not known for mincing his words, kindly informed us that we were doing it. Sort of. Anyway, what ever the truth was, we ended up accepting the task, and there began the learning curve of organisation.

One of the organising wins was securing the Conicavel village hall. Not a salubrious hall, but spacious and warm, and exactly what 200+ wet, hungry and chatty orienteers needed both pre and post a day of great orienteering in the rain. Thanks go to the folk of Conicavel who not only lent us their hall, but also put up with a lot of cars invading their usually very quiet village. Thanks also to Lord Doune for the use of the estate land for a magnificent orienteering event once again.

The second good idea was to entice the help of the lovely ladies of the local school PTA with the offer of a great fundraising opportunity if they were to bake and then sell cakes and soup to all those hungry orienteers. This proved to be a success and I'm sure they would relish the chance to repeat it next year. They were even moved to say that orienteers are a lovely bunch of folk who were very appreciative - well done all those that smiled.

Moving on to more mundane matters, events like this are so much easier when you have a willing pool of volunteers to help… so after the early trawls for volunteers were met with muted responses, then resorting to persistence and nagging seemed to cure the problem! Eventually, the seemingly endless list of tasks was allocated. Planning, overseeing of planning and controlling were all in the capable hands of experienced orienteers, so at least we didn't have to worry about that at all. What we did realise, and all those involved agreed with, was that having a separate person, who wasn't an organiser, looking after entries proved to be extremely effective and undoubtedly took a lot of hard work and inevitable pressure off the shoulders of the Organisers. The end result was that almost all the participants could turn up and all they had to do was pick up an envelope containing route description and a brikke. This, in addition to the marvellous array of computers, printers, seamless downloads and live results pages, all led to a smooth user experience. A plea for future participants of orienteering events - please, if at all possible, pre-enter via the internet or at least ring to say you'll be coming, as this saves so much time and effort on the day and ensures you'll have a map. 184 people pre-entered and 225 ran on the day.

Thanks go to all those who contributed to the success of the day - far too numerous to mention, but without whom a big event like this just isn't a success. From an Organiser's point of view, one person does warrant a special mention and that's Mike Rodgers, not only for his seemingly infinite supply of enthusiasm for orienteering, but particularly for his valued guidance and many good ideas, such as taking on the sorting-out-the-entries job; thanks Mike.


All in all, a very enjoyable day, despite the weather - it's still raining as I write this and drink tea.


Controllers Comments - Darnaway Colour Coded Feb 2011

Considering that the weather was most definitely against us, this was a very successful event at Darnaway with an extremely good turn out. In fact the mad panic a few days before as the ordered maps were rapidly swallowed up by the huge number of people entering online nearly caught us on the hop. However, with an emergency order of maps we managed on the day to get everyone a run on their desired course. Well done to Paul Rogan for some great courses and to Liz Barr (ably assisted by Nick) for terrific organising; it would have been a far more miserable time for everyone had we not had the luxury of the Village Hall at Conicavel and the teas and cake afterwards.


Unfortunately there was one incident where a participant sustained a suspected broken arm and again thanks to Dr Liz Barr being on hand this was handled quickly and efficiently.


Sadly one control which was visited by those on the Brown, Blue and Green course was not where it was supposed to be! Although this was corrected as soon as possible, quite a number of runners had already suffered the consequences. After due consideration of the rules it was decided that the leg to control 70 would be voided and Jason Inman's run re-instated as he had successfully completed his course after failing to find control 70; this resulted in him gaining 3rd place on the Blue course. On the Green course there were a number of significant movers and a change at the top that resulted in 2nd and 3rd place swapping; Andrew Barr moved into 2nd place and Callum White into 3rd. The finishing order on the Brown course was not affected, however, to all those who were affected we can only apologise.


Ade Chapman



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