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21 MAY 2006



Officials' Reports:   Planners   Organiser   Controller 

Photo gallery

Spot Prize winners:

40th Finisher, Philip Gristwood, MV
80th Finisher, Simon Rowlett, MV
120th Finisher, Rachel Collins, DFOK
Finished during prize giving, Alison Gourd, CROC
1st senior finisher, Ted McDonald, MV
1st junior finisher, Stephen Green, MV
Reddest faced finisher, Christopher Schofield, MV
First orange squash supervisor to finish race, Nicholas Jarvis, SO
Most bedraggled finisher, Cynthia Ling, MV
Collapsed at finish, Nicholas Yudin, HH
Best sprint finish, Mike Hooper, SO
Most bent over person running into finish, Julia Jarvis, SO
Collapsed at finish, Mark Collins, DFOK
Wearing Mole colours, Emma Blundell, DFOK
Smallest finisher, Becky Young, HH
Falling over in finish field, Mark Purkis, SAX

Pre-event information 
Flyer         Final details  
Relay team listing by team    Relay team listing with individual runners


Planners' Report
What a contrast to the scorching heat of Epping Forest in 2005. While heavy rain and slippery slopes may be among the clearest memories of Balcombe Waterside we hope you enjoyed the challenging terrain, control picking, views, cake, spot prizes, spectator controls, sizzling barbecues and - for Blue and Green runners - the detail of the old pleasure gardens to the south.

There is no doubt early runners had the best of the area - creating the slippery conditions for others and missing some of the heaviest rain.

Courses were deliberately planned to make the best use of the variety of features Balcombe has to offer. Tunnels, 4m crags, boulder clusters and rocky pits are all too rare in southern terrain and made good use of some of those rarer pictorial descriptions.

Apologies to those disappointed not to see prizes for the first womens' team in the open class. We were unaware of this competition. The results have been calculated now and can be seen in the photo gallery. Congratulations to Southdowns. SE Relays historians have also told us of a competition for the first junior team in the Open class, but none were entered this year.

The decision not to have a Yellow course in the Junior competition was deliberate since the open areas are bereft of the handrails necessary to meet the standard.

Thanks to Simon Greenwood not only for the kind use of his land but also for the support he provided - from firming up car parks and creating crossing points to personally mowing the pitching area for the tents. At one early stage he even offered to alter the crop rotation to fit!

Thanks also to the Mole team which turned out in force to celebrate our 40th anniversary and was rewarded with weather that lived up to the best traditions of our events over the years. It isn't for nothing that our club motto in the past was 'pluvium ad infinitum'. Jackie Olive, Simon Ling and Nick Green deserve your particular thanks for long hours during and before the day, as does Mike Elliot for the excellent map. Thanks are also due to Steve Jarvis for his firm but fair controlling and trimming the courses so winning times were kept in bounds. We were aiming at the fastest time on the Blue being in the low 40 minutes. This was foiled by the combination of slippery conditions, rain and an undergrowth spurt in the last fortnight which brought out the brambles, bracken and wild garlic in profusion (but also the bluebells).

We would be interested in your feedback on the event, the courses, your routes, the format for the SE Relays, or anything else. Some questions to get you started: was the upper or lower gate the best for the first control on the Green? What about for control 20 on either Blue? If you have any comments - positive or otherwise - then email us at or


Sandra Vogel, Tony Burton (Mole Valley)


Organiser's Report

The organisation of this year's SE Relays was very much a joint effort with several key players contributing to making it a seamless operation.

Tony Burton masterminded the blueprint for the day and worked out what needed to be done. Nick Green handled the team entries, coped with all the changes (mainly MV) on the day and produced results for the web site with great efficiency. Mike Elliot got to grips with the relay software. Simon Ling worked out the detailed logistics of getting everyone to the right place at the right time and laid out possibly the longest piece of tape in MV's 40 year history. Mark Rowe organised prize giving, dreamt up the wacky ideas for spot prizes and bought the booze. Julianna Grant managed to find time from packing up her life in England to organise the toilets. And I bought the cake.

The rest was down to the army of Moles who carried equipment up and down the hill and stayed at their posts through gales and more gales.

Thanks to all who played a part in atrocious conditions, and thanks most of all to the teams from the 11 clubs who came and took part in such good spirits. We had hoped we would have been soaking up the beauty of this sunken valley relaxing on the sunkissed hillside, but that was not to be.

Despite the elements, my impression was that a good time was had by most, and orienteers proved yet again it takes more than a bit of mud and torrential rain to dampen out spirits.

And congratulations to the gifted few who managed to get their barbecues to light!

Jackie Olive (Mole Valley)


Controller's Report
I hope you all enjoyed your run around Balcombe Waterside. As you have all found out the area is quite physical.....but does require a decent amount of navigation skills and in relay race conditions errors tend to be made more easily than when navigating alone. The setting of the changeover was fantastic, even on this foulest of days. Times were longer than expected, not helped of course by the recent heavy rain which made underfoot conditions quite a bit tougher.

I know that an awful lot of preparation went into this event to celebrate MV's 40th anniversary, just a shame the weather put a bit of a dampener on it.

Congratulations go to SN (Open winners), GO (Handicap winners), MV (Junior winners) and also to SO for winning the Womens' category. Unfortunately the Womens' category somehow got overlooked in both the pre-event information and the on the day prizegiving. I understand a new trophy will be appearing for this category and it will be strongly contested at next year's SE Relay Champs on 20th May on Hampstead Heath, courtesy of LOK.

Finally a bit thank-you on behalf of all the competitors to Tony, Sandra, Jackie and all of the other Moles who helped make this a memorable event.

Steve Jarvis (SO)


Mole Valley Orienteering Club

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