Holmwood Common – Results
Results – SPORTident
WinSplits – (timed out crossings on longer courses show real times, they were excluded from cumulative times)
Routegadget – draw your route!
Congratulations to the OK Nuts trophy winners
Women’s open winner – Nesa Schiller CH
Men’s open winner – Graham Gristwood FVO
Best female junior – Charlotte Slade SN
Best male junior – Aidan Hilton SN
Planner – Kieran Marsh
I was a bit daunted when I first went to the common in March this year, with the old map before Charlie redrew it, and found very little green on the map was still accurate, and seemingly even less looked very pleasant to run in! So when I next went, with Charlie’s new map in hand, I was relieved to find that everything now lined up, and the vegetation looked much more forgiving when I knew where to avoid and where to look.
Given the extensive network of paths across the common, I decided that a long-middle style of course would be best suited, to ensure this was of as high a technical difficulty as possible on the area, rather than a path-route-choice affair. I tried to avoid the worst of the vegetation and to get everyone into the more technical and interesting areas, so sent the 3 longest courses across the road into the delightfully open and runnable Scammells Grove, and let everyone skip out the Western portion of the map where possible, where the brambles were well above my head in places.
From the comments I received on the day, it seems I got the high technical difficulty about right, as there were many discussions about route choices, rootstocks, and the dry but navigable narrow marshes. I think though, on reflection, and looking at the results, I could have stood to lose a few hundred metres on several of the courses to get the average times in the right place.
This was my first foray into Regional-level planning, so I was very glad for the direction of both Charlie and Neil to help me get everything right for the event. I am also grateful to all the helpers on the day, especially the control hangers, and collectors, without whom it would have been a very long day indeed. I’m already looking forward to planning my next event!
Organiser’s comments Charlie Turner
It is about 5½ years since SLOW last used Holmwood Common and some of you will recall a very muddy walk back from the Finish to the farmyard car park. For today’s event the same car park was not available due to additional storage barns having been built, so I was left with finding field parking. The local clay soil dictated that the event would have to be during the summer/ very early autumn and Rosemary Ford of Old Inholms Farm was very helpful and quick to say we could use her field, making the event possible.
Having secured a parking field an event was viable and I began remapping late last year. I mapped trying to imagine late summer undergrowth but by midsummer I realised I had underestimated how much change there is between the seasons. SLOW’s first map of Holmwood Common was mapped and drawn by Mike Murray in 1978 and in the 45 years since that first map much of the common has become very overgrown. Some parts now bear little resemblance to that time but also bear in mind that up about the time of WW1 the common would been generally clear of trees/scrub, as it would have been grazed by horses and cattle, under commoners rights. Coupled with this, in the last 30 years maps have become very much more detailed, so the original map and the current map, could almost be different places!
Earlier this year SLOW welcomed Kieran’s offer to plan this event and it is good to see a younger face taking on a big role. He made use of his Southdowns contacts, with his parents and brothers being his control hangers. Kieran’s courses were much defined by the large areas of bracken and from the comments I heard I think he provided some excellent courses, bearing in mind the restrictions of the area.
In the weeks leading up to the event many of the paths were found to be overgrown and some were no longer passable due to fallen trees. To make Kieran’s planned routes choices fair, Mike Murray and I undertook some clearance and apologies to anyone who came across blocked paths that we did not know about. A big thank you must go to the SLOW members who helped on the day, some of whom did several shifts and others who turned up to help but did not run. A great collective effort which made organising the event very straightforward. As ever, I am indebted to Gordon who was in the background for my initial queries but most importantly being the, equipment officer, handling Si Entries, running Download and presenting the results.
Neil, as the event’s controller was very thorough and had many good suggestions, all of which helped to make the day a success for the club. Lastly, I received great support from Jack at BML printers, when a little before the print deadline, a mapping software glitch was found and this created a big problem. Thanks to Jack you had a map to run on!
It is good to see SLOW bringing on the next generation of event planners and I would congratulate Kieran on making the most of the area, especially given the limitations. The runnable areas were generally towards the greener end of white but there were many positive competitor comments about their courses. Hopefully the preparation and today hasn’t been too traumatic for Kieran and we see him planning or organising again soon.
Charlie took on a lot as both the mapper and event organiser but did a very thorough job at both. In checking control sites I only found a few very minor map comments which was good to see.
Congratulations to Kieran, Charlie and the SLOW team for putting on a good event today and we were even blessed with great weather. See you in wood soon!
Neil Speers (DFOK)