BOK Local Event & ASO - Leigh Woods, Bristol - 9th February 2019
When offered the chance to plan a WNL event at Leigh Woods, I jumped at the chance, and whilst doing that I figured that it wouldn't hurt to plan the accompanying day event while I was at it. It's one of my favourite areas to run in locally, and with so many paths criss-crossing the area it can easily catch you out. Trevor Crowe's new lidar based map had explained (or removed) some of the dodgy control locations of previous maps of the area, and it was a pleasure to start to sketch out some ideas for courses. Thankfully Jo Foster prompted me to get a move on early (while at the Frankfurt Bookfair) or I would probably have prevaricated and postponed until too late to really plan courses properly.
My first concern was to spread the Night event controls widely enough that we would not have to use the Odds and evens format. This was achieved by going right to the edges, and introducing a nasty climb in the North of the map. I always intended to move some controls between the day and night events, so the next goal was to plan these in such a way that I would not have to run too far in the few hours between the day course closure and nightfall.
I really wanted to get a couple of good long route choice legs on the TD5 courses, and if possible introduce an obvious route choice leg on the Night score event. Since there are no TD5 control sites in Leigh Woods (there is ALWAYS a catching feature or attackpoint very close by), I figured that the difficulty would have to come from trying to keep contact with the map over a long distance while planning a sensible route. Giving the option of crossing the railway and running on the towpath was a good one, although I do accept that perhaps for out of town runners with no local knowledge, it required seeing that there were crossing points and a path by the river.
Ted McDonald gave very valuable feedback, including the addition of a control on the Blue course which meant that the slog up the steep hill to Control 5 wasn't followed by an immediate dogleg back again. In hindsight I really should have checked the terrain between controls 6-7, I was expecting the route choices to be high path or low path, but there was an option of contouring to a middle path and then running up the slope at an angle. Apparently this was a very grotty route which wasn't really reflected on the map.
Ted also suggested I move control 1 on the green course away from the boulder on the steep slope, commenting that it was perhaps a bit too slippy and precarious for the older competitors. On checking the site after heavy rain, I concluded it was also too precarious for middle aged planners and so agreed with Ted.
Ted McDonald and John Parfitt were a delight to work with, John very kindly taped the majority of locations for me and also commented on one of these being a bit messy on the map (and provided an alternative), without his help I would have struggled to find the time to get it all done.