Thanks to all of you for coming and for the kind comments. It was good fun checking out all the bridleways (in the winter of course when at least half were deep in mud) and planning the course. The turnout was almost as good as at Markington, which was pleasing given that Pool is at the south edge of NYMBO’s usual terrain.
From a quick scan of the routes, there was no consensus about the right order to tackle the controls. Exactly as I had hoped. Most people chose to avoid the north east and many started along the south edge, although the two sites in Danefield were strenuous and a bit harder to locate than most of the others. Ian, Ian and Andy who finished within 7 points of each other at the top used quite different strategies. Ian Nixon did by far the most cycling, but got stuck on almost the only really grotty bridleway in Stainburn Forest and finished up a bit late.
MapRun is by no means perfect but it does reduce the need to find ‘clues’ and involves no hardware in the terrain – although I did put out a couple of tapes at sites where there was no feature, in case MapRun didn’t work there. Most of the MapRun failings in the results were down to human errors, for example failing to start the App or losing a phone. And control 24, which I had failed to get to work twice, was fine for everyone. As the GPS signal seems to vary with weather as well as terrain, it may be that we need to hold our events on nice days? But there were a worrying handful of you whose GPS dropped out during the event, just as mine did at Markington. I wonder if MapRun cannot reconnect easily with a phone on a bike that is moving – on the whole – faster than with a static or slower moving phone? I think, on balance, that MapRun is here to stay for Trailquest type events, but it needs a slightly different approach to planning, and may not do for events in steep wooded terrain on wet days.
My thanks to Quentin Harding for uploading the MapRun files for me, to Tim for map printing, to Steve and Dave for managing the NYMBO website, to Cecily at Pool Memorial Hall and to Alistair Wood for all sorts of help with the event. I was going to put a control in his garden in Leathley but decided that it might be a bit too confusing.