Trig Points Race Report

Local newspaper report

The 33rd race was pretty eventful and there is a fuller description elsewhere.

In short two runners managed to swap numbers before the race. One got lost and the various in race safety checks meant that the wrong person was identified as not reaching the 3rd check point. The phone number on his form was not recognized - too many digits - and the emergency contact did not answer. Of course, with hindsight this was not the lost runners contacts but his friends. By a process of elimination, the saving grace of digital back up checks on the SI timing system in place, and his being local and known to some at the race, we identified and eventually made contact with the actual lost runner. He had got lost, it was nearer to run home rather than back to a marshal (who he was not confident to find) and did not think to contact us. Race Organisers do not need this.

To the race itself: 141 starters, 1 retiree, 1 lost but found so 139 finishers. An almost 100% completion rate that reflected the dry underfoot conditions and relatively benign weather. Although forestry working meant a bit of care and a few churned-up tracks around the Castle Ring area a new record was on the cards. It was not to be though and Paul Jones (M45, Mercia) who had been near to victory in the last few races did make it back first. He was followed just under 2 minutes later by club mate Hew Davies. Analysis of their split times at the check points shows Hew had a 30 second lead at Castle ring (54 minutes into race) but Paul gradually and steadily pulled this back and established a lead by the return to Moorse Gorse.

A new name goes on the ladies’ shield. Relative newcomer and rising local contender Sara Willhoit was 5 minutes off the record but still 8 minutes ahead of W45 English Champion Mel Price. Sara was the first lady through all checkpoints.

As ever thanks to the 26 marshals who gave up their day and some their race to ensure others had a great day out. To the Cricket Club for an excellent and warm venue for registration and refreshments. Especial thanks to Wrekin Orienteers and particularly Steve Parker who stepped in to provide a full SI service at very short notice. Lastly Stafford CC and the Forestry Commission who have been ever helpful in granting access to the Chase.

Any surplus when final costs are known will be split between Mercia and the Maternity Unit at North Staffs hospital.

Finally, despite all, next year same place, same time and 1st or 2nd Sunday in January.