EckO heads to the Irish Orienteering Championships 2022


Suse sprinting at the final tree
Credit: JC

Posted: Fri 6 May 2022

Congratulations to EckO members, John and Suse Coon on their latest escapade across the pond in the South West Of Ireland.

“Good effort,” I said.
“Good effort my foot!” came the quick reply “but it's very kind of you to say so. I set off on the sprint without my glasses so couldn't even read the map never mind find the controls!”

You see orienteering is not all about competition but having fun, problem solving and enjoying the moment.

Read on for a very entertaining account of some of their adventures.

Day 1 - Friday evening Sprint
Imagine my panic on going through the start boxes hatched red on the map
(through a courtyard, down stairs, round and through another courtyard
so now completely discombobulated) to find I didn't have my glasses with
me. It took 8 minutes to get to the first control as I couldn't see the
line and the figure 1 on the map. (Blame the overprinting?) But Muckross
is a beautiful garden so I was happy running around the gunnera and
rockeries in the sunshine.

Day 2 - Saturday Middle Distance
As we approached Cappanalea on Day 2, it began to look a bit familiar.
About 25 years ago we had left Emily at the Outdoor Centre for a week of
activities and gone off camping and walking. The Centre has greatly
expanded since then and only by special dispensation could you drive and
park there. Most people parked in Killorglin and rode the shuttle buses
along the single track roads to the Centre, which provided lockers,
toilets and tea and coffee.
Our walk to the start took us half way up and round the lake and the
course took us most of the rest of the way round and back down. Dry
weather meant the bogs were not unpleasant other than in the peat bog
pits (#8). I again messed up the first control so was determined to get it
right on Day 3.

Day 3 - Sunday Classic
Val and Ted Finch were there too and Ted and John were battling it out. Val was getting round with a stick and managed well until Sunday when warnings of how tough Crohane was, deterred her from starting. There were two car parks, one with a short walk to the start but a long walk back from the finish and the other with a long walk to the start and a short walk back to the car park. We had orienteered at Crohane many years ago and remembered being fooled by the lack of rain causing the level of the lake to fall by several contours. This time we
didn't reach the lake. There was again plenty of open moorland and parallel rock features. I overshot the third control and despite being able to see it below me, I convinced myself it was control 2 and couldn't persuade my feet to clamber back down - my relocation skills were affected by a severe case of 'I'm not going back down there-itis!'. After that, it was fine until the final controls in the dark forest – not helped by it starting to rain and mess up my glasses. John and Ted had a right old battle so John was very pleased to beat Ted at last by forty something seconds.
A nice feature was the QR code on the maps which directly linked you to
live results.
Being Ireland there was a social event on the Saturday evening and
Sunday evening featured the AGM and prizegiving. With two buses of park
world tour Scandinavians I suspect they had to go a fair way down the
results to get the Irish Champions. But I'm sure everyone enjoyed the
courses, the weather was fair and it is a lovely part of the world.