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Regional Event at Sandall Beat

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Sun 20th Sep 2020 Start Times 09:00 - 11:00

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Hope everyone enjoyed their run around Sandall Beat. It is a nice wood this time of year. Sorry the starts had to be so early but it was at the request of the council.  Huge thanks to Robyn who was organising her first event, Ian for updating the map, including to the new spec, Planners Ian & Monica for the great courses and Colin for controlling.  Thank you also to all of our helpers who made the event run smoothly. 

Thank you also to Richard Parkin for stopping his course to help an injured competitor.

Results are available on the link above.  Brown and Blue courses now have the timeouts for both directions applied.  The start and finish controls were slow by 66 seconds  -although that has been corrected the splits look a little wonky, I've taken 66 seconds from the first control but then realised that we would have to modify the total elapsed time for all of the legs which would take more work than I'm willing to do!  So splits are up along with routegadget, all on the links above - you will just find you are all 66 seconds longer than you were on the way to control 2 and super quick at the end... because of this the autofit function in Routegadget will also not work.

Links to photos by Dave Todd are also on the link above.

Organiser's Comments

I am so glad that the weather was good as it made the day so much easier and more pleasant for everyone – the woods were beautiful and Monika’s excellent courses meant we could explore them to the full.

Huge thanks to Colin (controller), Ian (mapping), all the helpers on the day and everyone in the wider SYO team who assisted me as a rookie-organiser and contributed to making the event possible.  With permissions only granted at the 11½th hour and with additional (unexpected) conditions it was no mean feat.  We were all ready to go, but had to commit to map numbers for printing before entries had even opened.  The entry window was tight, but clearly everyone was watching and waiting, and the event sold out within a few hours – the desire to be out in the forest is as strong as ever (even the imposed early start didn’t put people off)!  Getting up in the dark was a bit of a shock for our household of helpers – a brief taste of winter before the light and warmth of the day reminded us that summer has only just disappeared.

Thank you also to all competitors who demonstrated good social distancing throughout the event, and showed courtesy to members of the public – this is so important to the continuation of our sport as times get harder.  Stay calm and let’s keep orienteering!

Robyn Stanyon

Planner's Comments

Well, what an enjoyable event. We didn't become planners until a month ago but Ian managed to update the map and I really enjoyed the planning. It's nice for a W75 to have a clean wood, with no contours, an updated map and where she has planned a few years earlier. We even had a previous SYO member and mapper from 41 years ago, John Helliwell who lives nearby, visit just to see what Ian had done to his map.

We grippled all controls, but we did not need to - the non-orienteers we met were really friendly as were their dogs so we think we should have only grippled about 20. I think, and you as competitors, got a big tick for today from the general public - thank you. 

Sandall Beat is challenging. Although the vegetation is really good for the summer/autumn it's low visibility and easy to drift or overrun. The railway crossing is obviously a challenge just now - we checked it out several times and 3 minutes seemed to be the correct time out. But we also specifically restricted the courses crossing to Brown & Blue. the 'uncrossable' ditch is also a problem but it was pretty dry today - it is not always so and can be unsafe to cross (especially for my age group!). Lots of paths - good for the younger courses but not so easy if hitting at 90 degrees.

Thanks to Pete Tryner who helped with control hanging because of the 0900 start, and to Dave Todd and the Grooms for helping with control collecting - really appreciated.

Thanks to Robin Stanyon for our good cooperation - it was her first 'big' event and she did a great job.

And thanks to Colin Drury for his useful comments on the planning and help on the day.

We got there, in a short time, and by your comments you all appeared to enjoy it. We only wish more could have been competing but we were limited to 180.

See you again in a forest, or on a street, somewhere - O is back,

Monika Cooper


Join us for an exciting middle distance race in the lovely runnable ancient woodland of Sandall Beat.  This event is open to SYO/British Orienteering members only and must be entered in advance.

Sm Sandall Beat 14

How to enter

All entries must be made in advance via Fabian4 .  Entries open Tueday 15th September and close on Friday 18th September. There is a strict entry limit of 180 so those wishing to run are encouraged to enter promptly. There will be no entry on the day.

Go to Fabian 4 Entries

Important extra Covid restriction

Unfortunately Doncaster council have put an additional COvid related restriction in place for this event. Participants from any area that is subject to additional local restrictions are not permitted to enter. More info here.


Location & Parking

Sandall Beat Rd Doncaster. Follow signs to Doncaster racecourse. Signed from the A18 500m NE of the roundabout with the A638.   

Nearest post code DN2 6JP.
What3words: winks.taking.minus

Parking on the flat grassy verge area to the south of Sandall Beat Road near the woods. Please park according to the marshal’s instructions. Parking charge included in entry fees.

Terrain & Map

SB extract 2

For this time of year this is one of Yorkshire's best areas, fast run with little undergrowth, no contours, an intricate ditch network, tricky vegetation and many paths. There is a timed out railway footbridge crossing for blue and brown courses (see below). North of the railway there are areas of holly bushes whereas south of the railway it is more open with individual holly/cypress/rhododendron trees.These are mapped as dark green thickets or as prominent trees/bushes (symbol 418). There are a few significant trees which are mapped as such (symbol 417).

The area features many ditches and small erosion gullies. Depending on the weather, the gullies may appear to be ditches or the smaller ditches may be dry. The main drainage ditch running NW to SE through the area is dangerous and uncrossable – this is mapped with a continuous purple line, with crossing points marked on the map. All competitors should use the marked crossing points on this ditch. Other ditches are in the main easy and safe to cross, though take care of course.

The railway is out of bounds and can only be crossed by a narrow footbridge.  Only the longer courses – Blue and Brown – visit the area SE of the railway.  For all competitors on Blue and Brown courses the footbridge crossing is ‘timed-out’ with 3 minutes maximum allowed (in both directions).  There are controls on both sides of the bridge, but away from the bridge, that are to be punched on each crossing of the bridge. The purpose of the 3-minute time out is to ensure that competitors have ample time to cross over the bridge in a controlled and socially distanced manner.  Please be considerate to other users of the bridge and exercise care when meeting people (runners or the general public) on the bridge. Please do not congregate at the bridge steps or at the control after you have crossed.

1:5000 map (with symbols to ISOM 2017-2). Re-surveyed by Ian Cooper August 2020.Printed on waterproof paper by Hassall and Lucking.

Special map symbols:-

X = seat or bench                     X = large tree stump            O - hide or play equipment


Start times from 9.00am to11.00am.  You will need to select from the available start times when you pre-enter on Fabian. There will be no entry on the day. Courses close 12.00pm promptly. If you think you might take a long time, please select an early start time.

To complete your entry you will need to agree to "abide by the Participant Code of Conduct".  This can be found here.

There will be two start locations just inside the wood, which will be signed from the small public car park at the end of Sandall Beat Road.  Distance from competitor parking to each start approximately 50 – 400m (50m from entry into woods).  Call up time -3 minutes.

Start 1 for Brown and Blue courses.

Start 2 for Green,  Very Short Green,  Orange,  Yellow,  &  White


White - 1.5km, 9 controls

Yellow -  2.2 km, 12 controls

Orange - 2.6km, 13 controls

Very Short Green - 2.6km, 15 controls

Green - 3.7km, 18 controls

Blue - 4.5km, 23 controls  (inc 4 controls for bridge crossing)

Brown - 5.3km, 25 controls (inc 4 controls for bridge crossing)

SI controls and timing will be used, SIAC enabled.

Green/Blue/Brown are middle distance; other courses are standard distance. The longer courses have been planned to keep you in the forest and to minimise path runs.

Control descriptions are printed on the maps.Green/Blue/Brown have maps (Part 1 and Part 2) printed on both sides.  There will be no loose control descriptions, but you can download a copy and print your own

Control Descriptions.

Fees (BOF members only)                                                   

Seniors - £8
Family (2 Senior + up to 4 juniors) - £20
Juniors/Students/ Adults on courses up to Long Orange  - £4
SI card hire:  £1      (must be ordered in advance)

Lost SI card compensation:   £30

Helpers receive a 50% discount off their entry fee and we welcome helpers from any club. Please enter using discount code: SYOHELPER


COVID Guidance for competitors & volunteers

Some key points from the code of conduct:

  • You must not take part in any form of orienteering if you or any member of your household have had recent Covid-19 symptoms.
  • Minimise contact with people from outside your household before, during and after your run.  Practice social distancing at all times, including before and after your run as well as when you are out on your course.  Take particular care to keep the required distance from other people in the vicinity of the Start, at download and when passing other competitors or members of the public on narrow paths, going through gates, etc.
  • Do not congregate in groups greater than 6 at the event.
  • Sanitise your hands before and after your run.
  • Do not touch the controls. If using a SIAC dibber hover your hand above the SI unit. If dibbing, just place the dibber in the hole, without touching the box.
  • Sandall Beat is well used by the public.  Please be super courteous to any members of the public that you come across before, during or after the event, and observe social distancing at all times.

We strongly encourage the following:

  • Arrive in time for your start already kitted up and ready to run. Both starts are within 50m from the entrance to the woods at the end of the road where cars are parked.  There will be a start clock at the entrance to the woods, so that you can see the current call-up time.
  • You should aim to arrive at the start for your start time with the minimum of standing around – realistically this means entering the woods at most 3 mins before your call up time.
  • On the course, socially distance from other competitors and the public.  
  • At control points please be patient if waiting to dib the SI box.
  • You have to ‘dib’ the Finish box.  Please move away from the finish as quickly as you can and go straight to download.
  • Download will be positioned at a COVID safe position both for competitors and the download team. There will be a ‘splits’ printer for your timings, with a hand sanitiser.  Please avoid gathering to discuss split times. If you do have to queue please maintain social distancing.
  • Once you have successfully downloaded please make your way to your car.

Additional Event Information / Safety

  • Please abide by the out of bounds on the map - they are not marked on the ground
  • Full leg cover compulsory, whistles advised.
  • Nearest hospital location:  Doncaster Royal Infirmary, DN2 5LT
  • We are desperately trying to source toilet facilities and will update our progress here!
  • Dogs welcome in the car park and the woods, but not on the courses.

Event Officials

Organiser – Robyn Stanyon  email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Planners – Monika and Ian Cooper

Controller – Colin Drury

Venue Details

Flat but attractive runnable woodland.

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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