3ROC Sprint Championships Review 4th December 2017

20171201_201036Well, we hope you all enjoyed the Sprint Championships at DCU on Saturday. The results and runners’ routes are available here. Photographs taken by John Shiels are on the IOA Facebook page and should also be here shortly.

Thanks to planner Aidan McCullough, Organiser John McCullough, Controllers Neil Dobbs and Val Jones, and to all the 3ROC members who helped on the day. Thanks also to DCU and Dublin City Council for permission to run the event, to LVO, WATO and GEN for the loan of equipment, and to Amalia Naughton for designing the prizes. The prizes, by the way, represent the big wooden sculpture at the main entrance to the college.

Maybe the most memorable aspect of the event was the start in the pedestrian tunnel between the multi-storey car park and the Helix theatre. We only discovered this by accident, about a week before the event, and adjusted the courses to take it into account, moving the start into the tunnel. The whole event had to come together very quickly because of delays in getting access approved by DCU, with entries open for less than two weeks. However, in the true Irish tradition, half of the entries came in during the last two days, with another 5 after the closing date!

Coaster01firststart1One competitor was disqualified for crossing a forbidden fence: this is something we all need to be aware of in Sprint and Urban orienteering – just because you are physically able to cross an obstacle doesn’t mean that you are allowed to.

The Men’s course was very competitive, with the top 7 runners separated by only 45 seconds, and some close finishes on other courses too. In retrospect, maybe the Men’s course was a bit too long, with a 17 minute winning time. If the controls in the park were omitted it would have brought the time down to about 13.5 minutes, but the inclusion of the park meant that runners had to change gear twice, speeding up in the park and slowing down again getting back into the buildings.

The feedback at the finish and download was overwhelmingly positive, proof that sprint-O can be both challenging and enjoyable, and it appears that the competitors were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the map, the courses and the organisation, so winners all round!

Congratulations to all the Irish Champions, particularly the UCDO pair Niall McCarthy and Aoife McCavana, winners of the M21 and W21 classes. UCDO (of which the event organiser John was a founder member and Captain) continues strongly 40 years on.

We also have to mention our 3ROC winners Clodagh Moran (W18), Mary O’Connell (W55), Vera Murtagh (W75), Frank Martindale (M75) and Con Carroll (M85). Well done!

The next 3ROC event is our Christmas Score event at Three Rock on St. Stephen’s Day, December 26th. This year we will have both pre-entry and entry on the day. If you enter in advance on Fabian4.co.uk you will get cheaper entry fees and avoid queues to register on the day. Start times will be 10.30 to 12.00. See the event information here.