Noble Park Results
Clarendon Park Results
WinSplits - Noble Park
WinSplits - Clarendon Park
Splitsbrowser - Noble Park
Splitsbrowser - Clarendon Park
Routegadget - Noble Park
Routegadget - Clarendon Park
Planner’s Comments - Tim and Sarah Scarbrough:-
What a busy day! Two sprints in different locations makes for a long day. The fine weather helped, as well as the number of helpers, the flexibility of the Old Moat Garden Centre and, in particular the understanding of the runners.
The morning event was on a modern residential estate not previously used for orienteering : Clarendon Park, formally known as 'Long Grove' hospital site. It's a little smaller than the ideal size for a sprint race, not helped by the restriction of the council to not use the surrounding Horton Country Park orchard areas. Hence you may have found yourselves running along roads twice - when planning the courses we tried to minimise this to (ideal) routes going over trod ground only in reverse. Due to the network of streets there was a fair amount of route choice on the adult courses, but late in the day some was restricted by not being able to use the orchard to the west. Nevertheless we were on the whole well received by the residents, and very positive encouragement from the residents association. We hope to use it again in the future. It was telling that when going to collect all the controls at 4-6pm they were all still present and correct!
The afternoon race was held at Noble Park, an area previously used as part of an Urban a couple of years ago. The estate is privately owned by a management company, who had granted us permission to use the estate and signed off the courses. Unfortunately a minority of the residents disagreed with this permission and despite us offering to meet them beforehand to alleviate their concerns, they acted like disruptive teenagers in ripping off flags, picking up controls and discarding them in the bushes. They shall remain nameless but we hope they find something purposeful to do with their lives. Noble Park is now a part residential estate and part NHS site, having used to be - along with Clarendon Park - part of the world's largest collection of mental health hospitals when it was 'West Park'. This means there is an interesting set of buildings new and conversions, as well as alleys, but also some buildings still in active use that courses had to be planned to avoid running in front of patients' windows, hence why courses 1, 2 and 3 all did clockwise loops round to the finish. There are many more interesting control sites tucked under canopy entrance car parks that we didn't use to avoid annoying the residents, which would have otherwise allowed for even greater variation in courses. Nevertheless there was still a good amount of route choice and changes in direction. The course 4 had to have road crossings to get up the length needed but the roads are very quiet. Thanks in particular to a young Nikita Jasiunas DFOK who helped spot two of the discarded controls 249 and 231 in thick brambles a long way from where they had been sited, and to the helpful runner (sorry I didn't catch your name!) who spontaneously acted as a 'human control' whilst number 249 was missing. It was trying to resolve these difficulties and more that meant we were delayed in getting all the boxes to all locations for which we can only apologise. Thank you so much for your understanding on the day, we really appreciated it.
We hope you enjoyed running the courses. It was our first time as planners, so have gained a lot from it, and we would like to encourage more people to volunteer for such roles. It's even possible to do (though more challenging) with young children in tow. We have not been put off by the angry minority of residents but will think twice about using Noble Park again.