The name “Spring in Sheffield” clearly sealed the fate of the weather last weekend – there was no way it was ever going to be anything other than grim! Future weekends will be called “Stormy Sheffield” or “Sheffield in the depths of Winter” and the weather will be glorious! However despite the rain, sleet, snow, hailstorms and mud SYO delivered two fantastic days of competition in two very different areas. The weekend also formed part of Sheffield City Council’s Festival of the Outdoors.
Saturday's Ponderosa urban orienteering race offered fast and furious orienteering through intricate areas of social housing and inner city parkland. The races, which attracted close to 500 entrants, were part of the UK orienteering league and the Elite orienteering league. There were many positive comments on Colin’s tricky courses. The inclement conditions meant participants and helpers alike were very appreciative of Bill’s indoor event centre and the “SYO Junior Café” proved very popular.
The Elites were first out into the terrain with a challenging sprint race and then it was the turn of the juniors, veterans and non-elites. The men’s elite race was won by Will Gardener (OD), Dom was the highest placed SYO runner in 20th place. The women’s elite race was won by Megan Carter-Davies (MWOC) with Mary the highest placed SYO female in 4th place. In the other classes there were good results for Peter G winning the ultra vet class and Lucy taking 3rd on women’s open. SYO showed the strength of their junior section with Euan winning the junior men’s race and Matthew taking 3rd place. In the young Junior races it was a clean sweep for SYO with Robbie, James & Joseph taking 1st, 2nd & 3rd in the young junior men and Freya, Anna & Charlotte finishing 1st, 2nd & 3rd in the young junior girls.
Sunday saw the turn of the Northern Championships. The race, with close to 900 entrants, was again part of the UK and Elite orienteering leagues. We are sure everyone’s hearts sank as the sleet lashed down and they drove through the grotty industrial tracks to the swamp that constituted the assembly area. It was slightly unfortunate that the lovely tree-lined assembly had just been felled prior to the competition but, on the upside, at least the building of 800 houses had been delayed to the end of March! Fortunately helpers and participants made the best of the grim conditions and were surprisingly chipper as they went about their business.
Wharncliffe is incredibly physically and technically challenging and Oli and Jenny’s courses tested competitors to the limit. While the challenge of competing and volunteering affected many members’ results, there were still plenty of hardy SYOers that performed superby. Well done to the following:
W10A 1st Charlotte, 2nd Alice, 3rd Ella
W10B 1st Ellen
W12A 1st Freya, 3rd Anna
W14A 1st Imogen
W16B – 1st Hannah D
W18L – 1st Isobel
W35L – 2nd Rachael
W40S – 1st Susan
W45S – 1st Emily
W50L – 3rd Janet
W70L – 3rd Jill
M10A – 1st Maxwell, 3rd Lawrence
M12A – 1st James, 3rd Robbie
M12B – 1st Ben A
M16A – 3rd Euan
M16B – 1st Alfie
M40L – 1st Kim (not a mistake!)
M45L – 1st Pete T
M50L – 1st Dave P
M70L – 3rd Peter G
M75L – 1st Brian
A huge thank you to everyone who braving the horrendous conditions while helping over the weekend but particular thanks to Lucy, Bill, Oli, Jenny & Colin who fulfilled our major official roles. A big thank you also to the two controllers – Steve Kimberley and Andy Yeates.