Sunday 16th November 2008
Richard Dearden (HOC)
I hope all the runners enjoyed Hawkbatch. Old-timers tell me it used to be a lovely place to run, but unfortunately it has seen large amounts of brambles and brashings in recent years. It seems that the brashings are getting better, so a lot of the forest seemed easier when we planned the courses than it had been last year, but there are still large areas of brambles. We tried to keep the courses away from these, but competitors on the blue and brown courses that used the far Northeast part of the wood may have found parts a bit brambly. Unfortunately we needed that area to get the distances right. I did cut a path through the worst of it, but I suspect that not all competitors found it. We may have to print crossing points on the map if we use that area in future.
The wood was particularly lovely the day before the event, with dry leaves blowing around and lots of autumn colour. Unfortunately the rain early on the day probably reduced this for competitors. It was also unfortunate that the Shining Cliff event was on the same day. We had a very low turnout, and I would suggest that events of this type simply aren't running if there's a bigger event so close. Planners and particularly organisers are unlikely to be willing to put in all the effort required for an event for fewer than 100 competitors.
We only had seven takers for the retro event, which was a shame, but I think in retrospect that having it as an add-on to the main event probably didn't really work. Many were caught out by the two almost parallel paths from control 3 towards control 4, only one of which was mapped, and ended up hunting for number 4 in completely the wrong place. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves regardless.
Finally I'd like to thank the farmer, Mark Gatehouse, for the use of his
field for parking, as well as all those who helped with the event on the
day, particularly those who arrived early and stayed late, such as the
Start team, John Embrey, and the White family, and the Organiser, Rachel
Rachel White (HOC)
Although the Hawkbatch event was poorly attended with only 75
competitors, all who ran enjoyed the challenges set by Richard. Thanks
to Richard for working hard on the courses (and for dragging me around
the forest on numerous weekends!). His retro courses were also enjoyed
by a few of the competitors, although there were complaints about
pre-marked maps ... you made it too easy for them Richard! Many
thanks go to 20% of competitors who also helped out on the various
tasks of carparking, start, registration, download and control
collecting. In particular our appreciation goes to those who came
early and stayed late to help out with numerous chores. In addition,
thanks to those who have given me advise during the past few months on
how to organise an event. For those who haven't yet organised one, the
organisers job is made significantly easier by the 'team' structure of
the Harlequins volunteering system which reduces the work load for the
We are indebted to the following people:
Phil Ruddlin - Forest Enterprise.