JK Sprint race report - by Tracy Tse
This Easter, 10 brave and keen UBOCers entered themselves to the biggest annual orienteering event in the UK – The JK. The first day began with a bit of stress for those of us travelling from Bristol. First there was the miscommunication between two young men who live in the same house, then the big trucks at the gas station, followed by the annoying traffic on M5. Matt P, Tom Ds (Dobra and Dixon) and I managed to arrive at MOD Stafford just in time for my start. Greeted by a sergeant armed with a gun at the car park entrance (everyone was shocked when we saw real guns), I rushed off to the start. The area was quite straightforward to navigate. It was more of a challenge of fast running and making spot-on route decision. Rachel (50th), Sophie (38th) and I (31st) ran WOpen; Abi came 18th in W20E; Tom Dixon came 6th in M20L; Tom Dobra (32nd), Kit (48th), Matt P (60th), Lawrence (71st) and Michael (72nd) ran the M21E (Lawrence beat Michael by only 0.02s!). Finally, a huge congratulation to Megan who came first in W21E! Although the day ended with the disappointment of early shower closure and a sudden heavy rain, the Walton village hall crew had a fun food shop and were surprised by the amount of food we bought. Joined by the DUOC lads, the night was wrapped up with the game Werewolf.
TempO - by Tom Dobra
I didn’t get on at all well with the TempO course, adjacent to the sprint area, coming 12th with far too many errors, behind both Matt Pickering (2nd - superb!) and Rachel Khan (10th). On the face of it, the course was reasonably well planned, with a mixture of urban and woodland stations, so it was good to see several from UBOC taking part. And then Matt was kind enough to (accidentally) drive off with my bags and phone before I could finish the course, leaving me to walk to the car park in a heavy downpour to find no car - just like in the cartoons!
Middle - by Tom Dobra
The middle was my favourite race of the JK: fast, runnable terrain, leaving no room for switching off. Most of the area was woodland, with a few open bits and lots of moderate sized hills to make you work hard physically. It was perhaps one of my best ever middle race performances, with only a few errors of a few minutes, leaving me in 49th. The top performance was Megan Carter-Davies in 2nd, only 11s off the lead.
Long - by Sophie Gordon
After some good Middle performances we were all raring to go for the Long race on Sunday - with some trepidation on the part of those running the 18 km M21 Elite course! Beaudesert was a lovely area with some nice bits of runnable woodland and lots of spurs and re-entrants. I started off well until I got to number 17, cursing whilst searching for a pit in some featureless woodland, until I found my number 14 and realised I was in the adjacent bit of woods. Well done to Ben, Adam, Kit, Tom Dobra and Michael for surviving the Elite course, and to Megan and Lawrence for great performances on the W21 Elite and M21 Long.
PreO - by Rachel Khan
After the shock results from the TempO on Friday, all was to play for at the PreO..
I went round the 20 control Elite course, my feet still tired and muddy from the long distance. The allowed time was 88 minutes but my new technique following the success from the TempO was to not dwindle too much.... (Mistake right there may I can tell you now). Some control sights seemed straightforward, others much more tricky, and some just a bit dodgy.. The area was very pleasant though and the two timed controls at the end were in interesting locations. In the end, Matt came 20th, Tom 22nd, and I came 43rd. It seems my rogue technique of not thinking too hard about it was not the way, moreover, I got told off for dithering by one of the punching stations.. Alas, It seems I still have a long way to go in the world of TrailO.
Relay - by Sophie Gordon
Monday dawned grey and drizzly as we returned to Beaudesert for the relay (thankfully not using the same car parking field that we'd had to push cars out of the day before...) Before long, the assembly area was such a mud bath it could be mistaken for Glastonbury if the Foo Fighters had turned up. We slithered our way around getting thoroughly splattered, with several people sliding off their feet completely on the final bend to the changeover point. Congratulations to Megan's team for coming third in their relay (sadly not competing for UBOC), as well as many strong UBOC runs.