Record numbers of entries make for a exciting start to the Urban Orienteering Series

With over 150 entries, the first event of the BOK Urban Orienteering Series 2022 proved to be an exciting race at a complex (and hilly) Bristol University Halls campus.  Last years season opener at the end of April was not blessed with the best of weather (those that were there might remember the constant rain and dark skies). However, despite the evening being pretty cold this year the weather was good to us and we even had a beautiful sunset to view over the Bristol Channel whilst standing at the finish and watching late starters come in.

The racing was pretty fast and complicated in the Uni Halls campus, with the longer courses also getting to run out into the surrounding Stoke Lodge roads.  The courses were planned with a complex opening few controls, making for a quick navigational challenge to get into the map, looking at routegadget afterwards it's clear that the early leaders were those that didn’t make many mistakes in navigation here (rather than always the fastest runners).  The longer legs into the housing areas were where time could be made up if you were a faster runner.  Then it was back into the Uni Halls for a complex finish, and also a few ‘hill reps’ based upon the comments on social media after the event!  

Adam Potter won the Long course in a time of 32:23, with only another 3 runners under the 40 minute mark (Owain Jones, Steven Denby, and Scott Bailey).  The top Women runner on the Long was Emily Elms in 47:57, with Sara Currie, Alys Smith and Amy-Lee Jones all in the top 4.

Rachel Leathwood won the Medium course in a time of 30:54, followed by Alex Massie, Graham Hartley and Alex Smith.  Top four Women were Rachel (clearly faster than the men as well as the women!), Louise Tonge, Jackie Hallett, and Lindsey Kennedy.

Carol Iddles won the Short course in at time of 20:45, followed by Sophie Leathwood, Emily Leathwood and Issy Cload.  Making a clean sweep for women on the Short course!, and also a very successful evening for the Leathwood household. Full results and splits are available online.

There was plenty of praise afterwards for the expert organisation and planning of the event by the UBOC team (particular thanks to Robert Elston, Dan Weaver, and Sophie Jones).  It has set a very high bar for the rest of the races in the series.

With next weeks event at Emersons Green, we are looking forward to getting an early view of league positions. Will last years winners still be strong? Stay tuned to find out!