Wednesday evening welcomed the returned of the WEE series for 2011. The first event kicked off at Belmont Park in East Belfast. The park, which is divided in two by the dual carriageway, is quite compact with the map scale 1:3000. David Wilson was the planner for both the long and short courses and made good use of the small area, with plenty of controls to keep everyone busy. The courses were short and made it more like a sprint rather that a gentle jog. A few people were a wee bit concerned before the start, when they noticed the distance on the ‘long’ control descriptions read 9.1km. They were quickly put at ease when they were told of a few scale misjudgements and the true distance was 2.7km.
Nearly 100 runners turned out, which was great to see for the first WEE of the year. The small park was buzzing with runners zipping around here and there looking for the control sites. On the long course there were 22 controls, which included a couple of butterfly loops. Over the whole course I had a clear run with no obvious mistakes. I did lose a few seconds running to CP8 and not cutting the corner to the bridge well enough and also running from CP11 to CP12, again not cutting the corner properly and losing maybe 5-10 seconds.
I also had problems trying to dib at the butterfly control at 8,11,15. There was not much room left between the plastic cable tie and the wire strops that went through the control box for your dibber to fit and it took a few attempts to finally get the box to beep and flash. No doubt it was an issue for most runners, but it was only a few seconds lost and nothing to spoil the course.
In the end it was an enjoyable little course and it was nice to get back to some mid week orienteering. With the footie season nearly over, I might get back most of my Wednesday evenings again, so I looking forward to the rest of the year’s WEE series.
Next week’s event is at Lagan Meadows.