Those that competed at the Weston-Super-Mare Urban Race had a real treat, and not the ‘stick of rock’ type, but fast paced racing along the promenade of the sea-front with the wind in your hair and the smell of fish & chips as an incentive to finish quickly and get a local speciality supper!
The short course was a frantic sprint in and around Grove Park, where control code checking was essential to avoid going to the wrong one. The medium and long course both took advantage of the network of lanes and roads in and around the main shopping and residential areas before heading out along the sea front.
Blustery head-winds met competitors as they navigated their way around the Marine lake, and on towards the rocky outcrops close to Birnbeck Pier.
Strong legs were then needed for the final climb of stairs up towards Prince Consort Gardens and along the grand Georgian house lined streets back into the finish at Grove Park.
With early results on the Long course being fast, there was a debate if we would have our first sub-thirty minute win of the series. Adam Potter almost got there, winning in 30:32, perhaps if the run along the sea-front had not been into a headwind? Owain Jones was in 2nd, and another weekly improvement by Tom Cochrane brought him back in 3rd. Sara Currie continues her winning ways as fastest female on the Long finishing in 46:20.
Alex Smith won the Medium course in 32:02, and Rachel Leathwood was fastest female in 2nd place. The outstanding result of the evening was also on the Medium course, with Iain Large who recently completed the orienteering beginners course ‘Track to Terrain’ finishing in 3rd place!!!
The tricky Short course was won by Emily Leathwood in a time of 10:30, with sister Sophie in 2nd, and Roger Craddock in 3rd.
Full results, splits, routegadget and analysis are here.
Five races in, and the league is getting interesting as most competitors have at least a couple of results to help compare their position against rivals. When looking at the leagues using the typical age categories used for regional level Urban races - there are some interesting head-to-heads bubbling along. This week we highlight the Mens and Women’s Long course leagues (we will provide an update on the Medium and Short courses in future news articles).
Men’s Open - M21/M35
Adam Potter (M21 BOK) has maximum points of 500 on the Long, with Matt Haines (M21 UBOC) only 40 points behind him on 460.
Women’s Open - W21/35
Joanna Howell (W21 BOK) leads with 382, with Meredith Moody (W21 BOK) in 2nd on 193.
Men’s Veteran - M40+
Owain Jones (M40 BOK) leads with 490, but Tom Cochrane (M35 NGOC) is only 10 points behind on 480. There is also the head to head racing between Scott Bailey (M50 BOK) on 478, Tommi Grover (M45 BOK) on 443, and Paul Gebbett (M50 BOK) on 427 which provides the usual competitive edge in this category.
Women’s Veteran - W40+
Sara Currie (W40 BOK) leads on 497. Karen Crawford (W50 BOK) on 192 and Angela Modica (W50 Devon) on 189 are fighting it out for 2nd.
Men’s Super Vet - M55+
Nick Dennis (M60 BOK) is leading on 294, but David Pilling (M55 BOK) on 293 and Richard Rossington (M60 BOK) on 286 are both within touching distance.
Women’s Super Vet - W55+
Rachel Dennis (W55 BOK) in leading on 383, with Carolyn Dent (W60 BOK) close behind on 377.
Men’s Ultra Vet - M65+
Jon Orton (M65 NWO) is leading on 299, and Chris Kelsey (M65 BOK) in 2nd on 213.
Women’s Ultra Vet - W65+
Carol Sands (W70 BOK) is leading on 370, and Helen Kelsey (W65 BOK) is in 2nd on 192.
Men’s Hyper Vet - M75+
Incredibly, given the typical length and physical difficulty of the long course each week, we have Chris Branford (M75 WIM) on 130 in the Hyper Vet category - amazing effort!
Full League scores are available here.
A big thanks to Helen and Chris Kelsey for organising the races, and especially to Chris for keeping his sense of humour despite a local dog relieving itself in his bag whilst out placing controls!
Our next Urban Race is a special sprint format race at Hanham. Competitors will get two races and maps for the price of one! With an opportunity to be social with your fellow competitors between the shorten courses. Details here.