Tricky first few controls in the forest at Emersons Green Urban

Our 2nd race in the BOK Urban Orienteering Series took us to Emersons Green and the tricky hillsides of Rodway Common. All courses started with controls that went into the complex contoured forest area, which proved a challenge for competitors with many comments afterwards about lost time trying to ‘find number 1’. This didn’t seem to put people off though, as the overwhelming feedback after the race was that the mix of forest and urban on a sunny Wednesday evening was the right combination of fun and challenging.

Rodway Common
Tricky start on Rodway Common

The courses were planned to maximise the navigational challenge in the first section, this can be seen in the race results (and routegadget) where many people lost time on at least one control in the forest. The second half of courses then made their way into the housing estate of Emersons Green, where route choice was the deciding factor on those that had faster runs. The longer leg controls had multiple routes, most of which were not on a straight-line, and made competitors constantly need to make rapid decisions on ‘should I go left or right here?’

Emersons Green long leg
Emersons Green route choice on long leg from 11 to 12

It was a 2nd win in a row for Adam Potter on the Long course in a time of 32:25 (top female on the Long course was Sara Currie in a time of 58:22). Cecilie Andersen made a similarly impressive win on the Medium course in a time of 29:23. Emily Leathwood took the win over her sister on the Short course in a time of 15:55. The full results and splits are available online.

With 2 races now complete, we also get a first view of the early leaders in the league: 

  • Top 3 on the Long are Adam Potter, Owain Jones and Scott Bailey - will Adam take the title this year over last years winner Owain? On the women’s Long the table is headed by Sara Currie, Rachel Dennis and Joanna Howell - will Sara go one better than her position of 2nd last year?
  • Rachel Leathwood, Graham Hartley and Kevin Howe top the table on the Medium - Rachel has made a great start to retaining her title. The Women’s medium table is topped by Rachel Leathwood, Louise Tonge and Rachel Potter - which is very similar to the way things ended up in 2021.
  • Joint first on the Short are Emily and Sophie Leathwood, with Alan Kempton in third - will it be a Leathwood clean sweep at the end of the season or will we see the return of last years winner Marcus Perry? The Women’s short table is similarly topped by Emily and Sophie with Evie Brown in third which is a mighty impressive set of results from a W10!

Full league positions are available online.

A big thank you to the organising team of Amy Curtis, Dudley Budden and David Faulkner who all stepped in at short notice to help put on a very much enjoyed event - they even seemed to have arranged for the fine weather!

Next weeks event is at Bradford-on-Avon, and again there is a large turn out of over 100 competitors so the racing should be pretty exciting. Can our early league leaders triumph again? Or will we see a new set of winners?

Photos available for download on Flickr