Day 3: Creag Mhic Chailein
Edited on 03rd Aug 2011
Tuesday, 2nd August
Report from the field
Creag Mhic is one of the West Coast’s finest areas and competitors today were challenged mentally and physically but rewarded with wonderful views over Lorn and the surrounding mountains. Thanks to help from EventScotland we managed a first in British Orienteering – GPS tracking and live footage of runners displayed on a massive 6x5 metre “big screen” provided by Racing Scotland. Technical gurus Brian Bullen and Ted Finch (both FVO) worked closely with suppliers Eseye and TracTrac (Denmark) to come up with a working system despite potential problems of poor GPRS (mobile) signal and having to link up to a local resident’s home broadband to allow connection to the server in Denmark!
The commentary team of Wolfgang Poetsch plus volunteers Mike Edwards and Mick Lucking were kept busy with a constant flow of information from radio controls, finish boxes and GPS tracks, but everything came together and Margaret Dalgleish (ESOC) is to be congratulated on staging a great event. One of our greatest fears had been crossing the busy A85 from parking to assembly, but a hired set of traffic lights plus a contingent of Royal Military Police ensured all traffic stopped.
Oli Johnson won M21E yet again, but Claire Ward of ESOC came in with a clear 3 minute lead on W21E to beat winners of the previous two days. In other classes the favourites to win the Scottish 6 Day are starting to emerge. Tomorrow’s rest day includes mountain bike orienteering and sprint racing, but hopefully competitors will leave enough energy to tackle day 4 at Torinturk.
Scottish Orienteering Association
Gaelic/Norse: Creag Mhic Chailein
Pronounced: krek vikhk khelin
ESOC; SOLWAY; EUOC
Bill Stevenson (ESOC), Katy Lessells (ESOC)
Margaret Dalgleish (ESOC), Clive Masson (ESOC)
Brian Bullen (FVO), Tim O’Donoghue (SOLWAY)
Car park is the same as Day 2, accessed off the A85 road, turning to the north.
Car Park: Grid Ref. NM 950336, Postcode PA37 1PR, Lat/Long 56.44N 5.32W
After parking, competitors will be directed on foot towards the marshalled and traffic controlled (by traffic lights) crossing point across the busy A85. After the crossing, follow tapes to Assembly.
Competitors MUST not cross the main road anywhere other than at the marked crossing point. Bus passengers must follow directions of the marshals and must not attempt to cross the road anywhere else.
Children must not be allowed to walk from parking to assembly unaccompanied.
Leaving the car park
There is only one entrance/ exit to today’s car park so there will be no exit before 12.30pm. Please take care and be patient when leaving the parking field today as the traffic lights being used to help competitors cross the road safely may alter traffic flow along the A85.
The maximum distance from the furthest point in the car park to assembly is 800m in total via the marshalled road crossing point.
Assembly comprises 3 adjoining sloping fields, separated by ditches, and the farmyard across a track. Please do not climb the fences in the assembly area as shortcuts either to traders, toilets or to starts. The estate manager has been very accommodating but has asked specially that these new fences in and surrounding the assembly area are not climbed.
The ditches in the assembly fields will have water in them. Children should be supervised when near these, especially if there is heavy rain in the days before the event in which case they may be full and fast flowing.
A main railway line adjoins assembly and separates assembly from the string course. The railway line is out of bounds at all times. Children especially must be reminded of this and supervised at all times in the assembly and string course area.
There will be farm implements, some of them old, around the assembly area. Please keep away from these.
There is a power line across the assembly fields. Care should be taken if erecting high poles, flags etc.
The White/Elite Start is in the south west part of the assembly field and is visible from almost all the assembly area. The Yellow/Green Start is 400m maximum from assembly uphill on a rough path. The route to the Red/Blue start is 500m in the same direction.
The route to the String Course and Off String Course is also from the northern end of the assembly and is northwards on the main track under the railway bridge. Competitors will pass the string course on their way to assembly from parking.
Original survey 1992 by Stirling Surveys and Robert Bloor, for the GB squad; Updated regularly since then and the most recent in 2011. Scale 1:15,000 for M/W21E only, all other classes at 1:10,000; Contours 5m
Classic Scottish terrain with a wealth of contour, marsh and rock detail. Courses will go through ancient oak forest and across rough open pasture. There are some areas of bracken, mapped with the normal green screens. The longest course will traverse some hillside with undergrowth heavy in places.
Used previously for British Champs and Regional events it should be visited at least once in an orienteer’s lifetime!
There are few paths but the terrain is sectioned by fences for cattle management – some new and others in poor repair. A purple overprint highlights fences not to be crossed except at a marked crossing point. Where there is a choice of crossing points, the line between controls is cut but not bent. Fences not marked in purple may be crossed at any point but please avoid damage – any damage should be reported to Enquiries.
The area used by the junior courses goes close to the main road and to the railway lines. These are marked on the map with an un-crossable purple line. Where necessary, courses are taped to keep them away from danger points. Please make sure any juniors running are suitably briefed.
A ‘rescue point’ will be marked on the map with a purple cross. This location will be manned and is there to provide a contact point for injured competitors or for those who need to report an injured competitor on the course. In addition there is an aid point near the mid-point of the men’s elite course. This is unmanned but contains a phone, numbers and some 1st aid equipment.
Club Flags and Banners
There are overhead power lines across part of the main spectator area of the Day 3 assembly field. There will be a taped zone in this part of the field where, in the interests of safety, flags and banners must not be erected. Extreme care must also be taken when handling tent poles in the vicinity. Club flags and banners are an important part of the event and add to the atmosphere. It is extremely important however to heed this taped exclusion zone.
M/W21E courses have been planned for Classic winning times (90min/75min). Water points are provided. No water will be provided for any other competitors. In addition, there is an aid point near the mid-point of today‘s men‘s elite course. This is unmanned but contains a phone, numbers to call and some 1st aid equipment.
Special Information / Large screen and GPS tracking
White/Elite Start in Assembly Field - Competitors will be able to watch competitors leaving from the Elite/White start which is in the assembly field. They will also be able to keep up with the elite action on a screen which will be visible from all parts of the assembly fields.
There will be a large screen that will display live video from the competition area and GPS tracking of some Elite runners. This is very experimental and so we are not quite sure what we will be able to achieve, but it will be worth bringing along your laptops and smart phones to take advantage of it. Read more about it here.
The theme for the course today is based on the well known story of The Gruffalo. Younger competitors are welcome to ‘take a stroll through a deep dark wood’ – although the wood this time is neither deep nor dark.
Junior Courses - To assist the youngest competitors today, there will be suitably colour coded ‘smiley faces’ placed at certain points of the courses. These will be on a white background for White and course 1, and a yellow background for courses 2 & 6. Please ensure youngsters understand this.
Colour-Coded Courses - Courses 2, 4, 6(yellow) and 8 (long orange ) on Day 3 have a control on a pylon and some then follow the power line as a line feature. As all descriptions are pictorial only, it is just possible that some juniors or colour coded competitors will not recognise the symbol. If you are entering one of these courses or are responsible for a junior who is likely to enter one of these courses on Day 3 then please take note of this and make sure juniors are reminded before their run.
Dogs are not allowed in the assembly area. If you have arrived by car your dog can be left on a short leash next to your car in the event car park.
If you have arrived by bus there is a small designated “dog area” that you will be directed to by the bus marshall. Thank you for your understanding.
Reasons why this is necessary.
Today’s organising clubs are especially grateful to 8 members of KNOBOC, 2 members of SYO, several members of Borderliners and to other friends and family of ESOC members for their help on Day 3. We are also indebted to 8 members of the British Army who will be manning the traffic lights and marshalling at the road crossing over the A85. We couldn’t have managed without this extra help.
We would also like to thank the Estate Owner, Lorne Nelson and Tenant, Jane Nelson for their permission to use the area. We also very much appreciate the help and support of Sarah Illingworth, Estate Manager and Peter Sinclair, Farm Manager.
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