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Spring in Sheffield - Urban & Sprint Race at Ponderosa

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Sat 9th Mar 2019

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Results are published - see links above.

Photos (thanks to Steve Rush): Urban / Sprint

 We are hopeful that there will be an article about this event in the Sheffield Telegraph on Thursday 14th March.

Organiser's Comments

When I agreed to organise this event last year, I thought that there was a high chance of poor weather, and an indoor venue was not only desirable but possible. An urban event gives the opportunity to provide an indoor meeting place with facilities to increase the comfort, enjoyment and social interaction of participants. I think this is particularly important for competitors travelling by public transport, who then have somewhere reasonable to store bags and get changed. Hopefully the event centre went some way to meeting these aims, enhanced by the excellent SYO fundraising cafe. An additional extra was the massage therapist, and hopefully this can become more popular at the bigger events.

Colin (planner)and Steve (controller) were a great pleasure to work with and produced challenging courses. I think this is particularly the case for the two junior courses which had road crossing marshals and raised the quality of what an urban race can provide.

A massive thanks is due to the large number of helpers, some of whom didn’t run. Those with roles outside were rewarded with a combination of bracing wind and character building rain. Additional helpers ran the busy cafe area and I hoped you enjoyed this facility as well. As a result of an extended visit by a Sheffield Telegraph reporter there should be a big feature, with photos, about the event in the paper. My contribution was given outside in driving rain, so not sure how that will come out....! The SYO website will post details.

Thank you all for taking part and I hope you enjoyed the event. Bill.

Lost property; Black and grey Karrimor windproof, Karrimor Cap, Kalenji hat, comic relief wrist band, Little Tix watch, Aptonia water bottle and Aptonia Thermal bottle. Please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07432 705317. I will be at the Sherwood Pines CSC next week.

Planner's Comments

I’m pleased so many of you commented on how they enjoyed the challenge of the courses.

Course 5 runners mispunched 101/135 to a greater extent than any others. This tends to show that the unfortunate lack of loose control descriptions contributed to the situation. I had put the controls on quite different features, steps & a tree and given them widely differing numbers. With hindsight, I could have put them farther apart. Sorry to those of you whose runs were spoiled.

There were several issues during the past couple of weeks, some self-inflicted, some life’s rich tapestry & most were caught & rectified. Having in effect four versions of the same map for practical reasons meant that there was an increased risk of late amendments causing inconsistencies. We finished up very late getting the maps printed so that although Steve saw the proofs, he didn’t see the final versions which I picked up on Wednesday. I didn’t check the loose descriptions in detail as “how could they be different to those on the map? I now know they can.

The map used for the sprints & U5 had part of the map was inadvertently moved by me when making last minute amendments after the proofs (A road finished up under the houses & tiny runnable forests appeared on the streets of Sheffield). Ian Cooper’s base maps were accurate & hence other course maps which I had amended without the inadvertent move were fine.

Course times were slightly long but it’s quite hard to estimate how much runners are slowed down by lots of corners, narrow alleys & hence other competitors & having to think hard throughout the course. Hope you’re not too tired to enjoy the rigours of Wharncliffe.

I can’t take responsibility for the wind, rain & hail which I hope didn’t spoil your enjoyment too much.

The Zest centre sorted out by Bill proved ideal in generating atmosphere. Steve was a great Controller to work with, making good suggestions for improvements to courses in a very warm & constructive way. Lots of other people contributed a lot of time such as Ian Cooper with the maps, Martin Ward & Pete Tryner on SI. I have a massive gratitude to Colin Best & Dave Peel for helping put out controls & to Fiona & Jordan, Colin Lynch, Steve Dempsey plus father & learner driver pair Mark & Dom Dakin for collecting them in. As I grow steadily more decrepit, that help is essential.

Colin Drury

Controller's Comments

[Coming later]


Planner: Colin Drury

Organiser: Bill Hanley 07432-795317 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for all queries.
Controller: Steve Kimberley (DVO)


Venue Details

Ponderosa is a smallish area of parkland across the road from Crookes Valley Park.  The shortest courses will normally stay within the parkland, but the surrounding area includes interesting estates with intricate alleys and inner city parkland, which provides an excellent urban orienteering challenge.

Safety & risk

A comprehensive risk assessment will have been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event. If a competitor has a pre-existing medical condition that they think should be declared, please complete a medical form at enquiries. The sealed envelope will only be opened in an emergency.


SYO has an agreed policy on the taking of photographs at events, based on national guidance. This provides a sensible balance between the benefits and risks associated with the taking and use of images. If you are unsure about acceptable practice, please speak to the event organiser. Read our photography policy.


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