Conditions for Coumshingaun were far from ideal - rain, mist and wind - but that didn't seem to deter winners like Darren Burke (CorkO) in M21 and Ros Hussey (DUO) in W21. Disintegrating bags, dissolving ink and mushy maps may have affected the slower runners more, and the intervention of a local farmer who didn't like the location of one of the controls marred the competition for some, but by and large the runners seemed to have enjoyed the challenge.
Pat O'Connor kept the courses in the open for all except the very first and very last part, with the more technical courses climbing towards the corry lake and its detailed contours and erratic rock features (imagine that at 1:5000 scale or larger!) and for a large part of the courses the runners luckily had the wind and rain at their backs.
Results of the Championships are here.
Monday's relays at JFK were a more casual affair, with teams made up from multiple clubs in a range of age classes. Again, rain provided refreshment and showers at the same time, and the on site café (on its last day of the season) provided hot chocolate and shelter for the prizegiving.
The open men's class was won by the Irish Junior Squad (Cillín Corbett and brothers Jonny and Laurence Quinn) with only seconds to spare over the more seasoned Aonghus OCléirigh, Brian Corbett and Colm Hill. Fingal (Eileen Young, Kathryn Walley and Jean O'Neill) were the only team in the Women's Open class. Results (containing some anomalies due to SportIdent issues) are here.
Entry form and full details of the event are here.
What is Trail-O anyway? It started out as orienteering for the likes of wheelchair users who had to stay on paths but who still wanted a navigational challenge. Anybody can take part and most of the "legs" (if you can call them that) involve choosing which control, of maybe 4 or 5 visible ones, is the one shown on your map. Typically two "legs" are timed as a tie-breaker: the fastest at making the correct choice. No timing is involved on the other legs, where the competitor travels along a path and looks at controls in the terrain (sometimes wuite a distance away). Sounds easy, doesn't it? Don't be misled: the controls may only be a metre apart, and none of them might be in the right place ...
It's a tough mental and navigational workout and planners Wilbert Hollinger and Stephen Gilmore (not Alan Gartside as I had previously thought) will have you begging for mercy at the end. Give it a try! Get all the information you need on Trail-O at www.trailo.org here.
Lagan Valley Orienteers' Wednesday evening night-O training series starts on November 9th at Ormeau Park in Belfast with a mass start at 7.30 pm. Though aimed primarily at LVO members, they probably wouldn't mind a few interlopers ...
Meanwhile, the annual "Dublin by Night" series starts with Fingal's Howth event on Saturday, December 10th. More about this closer to the time.
The Junior Squad were put through their paces at Glengarra, on the slopes of the Galtee Mountains in Co. Tipperary, in a training day before the recent Munster Chmpionships. Several new faces were notable, particularly with a new wave of girls coming into the squad - that's great to see. Ruth and the other coaches ran training exercises in the forest and on the open mountain, prepared by Brian Corbett, before retiring for chicken curry at the Rathgormack hiking centre.
Plans are afoot for a Junior tour next summer, with families voting on the alternatives of the Welsh 6-Day, Swedish O-Ringen, the OO Cup in Slovenia and the World Championships tour in Switzerland. There may also be a training weekend for JWOC hopefuls before Christmas, and further training at February mid-term and again before March.
Over 4300 are entered for the event this year. Just because it's urban doesn't make it a sprint: the longest course is Men's Elite at 11.1 km, so the running distance will be about 16 km or more. Entry is still open, by the way, at only €15 for late entries. Details here. There's also a Park-O event the day before.