Chiltern Challenge

Level B

24th March 2024


Note: The longer courses (Black – Short Blue) are a separate event under Routegadget

Splitsbrowser (Black – Short Blue)
Splitsbrowser (Green – Yellow)

The SCOA Championship full results are here, just the top 3 are here

Organiser's Comments

There is always a question mark over holding a larger event the Sunday before Easter. Will people bother to come when there are days of competition later in the week. We were therefore delighted with the number of entries we received. Thank you for your support, and I hope you felt the trip to Penn was well worth it.

Car parking is becoming a major issue in organising events these days, particularly bearing in mind the very wet winters we now seem to get. On the positive side, we have access to hard standing parking at Penn Street. But unfortunately its size is limited. Parking 500-odd competitors, so 250 cars, would be a challenge. We have previously used a field up the road as an overflow car park, but that is pretty muddy right now. Our plan therefore was to extend the start window and ask early runners to head home soon after their runs, thereby releasing space for later runners to park. And by and large that did work well. But it was a close-run thing. Apologies to any of you who arrived at the crunch time of 11 o’clock or soon after, when we were forced to park you up the road.

The combination of Penn Wood, Common Wood and Penn Estate provides a good-sized piece of forest, and allows courses to flow round in a large arc. The only issue is that it involves two road crossings, plus ones to and from the Start and Finish. Combined with the lengthened start window, the net result was a need for an army of helpers. TVOC is a decent sized club, but raising all the helpers - some 60 of them - was a challenge. So big thanks to all those who helped to make the event happen, and especially those who did a double-shift.

Sorting out helpers is pretty easy for us in TVOC, as we have dedicated teams. It just requires an email to the team leaders, and they do all that is required to organise their helpers. Thanks guys. But if I may single out one, I would like to say a special thank you to Marie-Anne, who organised the car park team AND the road crossing teams.

Thanks also to the landowners for allowing us access to their forests, to Sam Buckles from the commercial estate for permission to use the space, to White Star for their efficient handling of the handful of casualties we had, and to Helen Marsden for controlling and for her helpful advice and support. Finally thank you to all of you who turned up today and made all the hard work worthwhile.

Alun Jones

Planner's Comments

In planning this event my idea was to generate courses (apart from Yellow!) having route choice on as many legs as possible. I feel that route choice is an aspect that has dropped out of course planning in recent years. I would argue that this has come about from an increasing number of controls on courses since the introduction of electronic punching.

Penn and Common Wood is certainly a pleasure to run around due to its open nature and lack of undergrowth. Thankfully the muddy paths had dried considerably in the week or so before the event. Bob and Pattie Beresford provided us with a fine map. I didn’t find anything during my travels in the woods that prompted a request for alterations.

My thanks go to Helen Marsden, the Controller, for keeping an eye on things, and suggesting a couple of crucial alterations. Also to Peter Riches, Marie-Anne Fischer and Ian Marsden for help with setting out controls on the Sunday morning.

Neville Baker

Controller's Comments

It is a joy to work with a team of people who are so on top of their roles, that the job of the controller is little more than spotting the occasional oversight. Nev, Alun and the rest of the TVOC team functioned like a well-oiled machine, with map updates, permissions, planned courses, risk assessments etc all coming together (seemingly) effortlessly. I couldn’t have asked for a smoother event to control. Well done to all the team, and all the TVOC members who played their part on the day, for delivering a fantastic event (and for laying on the sunshine too!). I only heard complimentary comments, which I take to mean you all enjoyed your run out in the beautiful, and deceptively tricky, Penn Wood too.

Helen Marsden, HH