What a weekend, well-done Roxburgh Reivers – all the people I spoke to after the event were of a similar view.
The planner has already commented on some unexpected issues on the day; these were dealt with quickly and fairly with little fuss. The crossing out of the removed control (courses 1, 2 and 3) on the control descriptions in the pre-start boxes alerted competitors that something was amiss. The handing out of maps on the start-line allowed competitors to check their map and listen to the explanation that a control had been removed from their course without disturbing the concentration of competitors on the other courses.
In the run-up to the event, we wanted to ensure as many locals as possible were aware that there was going to be an orienteering race in the town on 11th June. Prior to the event, on my visits to check control sites I spoke to a number of residents and was pleased to hear that they were aware of the event and had no issues. On the day, as I was checking one of the controls high up on the east side of the valley, I was asked by a resident what I was doing. Sensing a possible issue, I began explaining and at the mention of orienteering her face broke into a smile. “Oh good” she said “I’ll be able to watch the race over the fence, I thought all the activity would be in the town centre and I’d miss out”. Job well done.
Discussions after urban/sprint races nearly always include comments such as “Oh I didn’t see that route” or “I took a different route as I wasn’t sure there was a way through” and at Jedburgh it was no different. I thought the Jedburgh map was excellent and we tried to ensure that all circles and lines were cut where appropriate, control numbers didn’t obscure detail and double-sided maps were printed where the overprint became too congested (a third pair of eyes were called in to double check). RouteGadget suggests sufficient competitors followed optimal routes for the courses to be considered fair but I think more consideration should be given to providing larger scale maps for the younger and the older competitors1. A related issue raised is whether or not there should be a new classification for M/W85+ competitors (there were two over 85 year old competitors at the weekend). Since the event I have seen that at the EuroRace weekend in Harrogate (15/16th July) there will be an M/WGV course (85+) and a 1:3000 map for M/WYJ, M/WJ, WHV, M/WGV. I also note that at the Scottish 6-Days Sprint whilst 1:4000 map will be used for MO, WO and MV all the other courses will have a 1:3000 scale map2. Points for people to consider.