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Kendal Urban Event

  • Monday, 07 May 2012

I’ve spent most of the last year catatonic with fear that Some-one Would Get Killed at Kendal. I’m not good at crossing roads and we only got one shot at Looking at the Area under similar conditions (I guess August Bank Holiday might be different? Who knows?). So I dragged my feet a bit here, hoping the Event would Go Away. I have run in a few Urban events (and loved them) and Organised one, but never Planned one. So I was a bit under-experienced and under-qualified for the job. That’s never stopped me before - but perhaps this is the job where I really should have said No.

All the Competitors’ feedback concurs with my view that Steve Buckley did an excellent job with planning really good courses. He put a lot of thought and effort into ensuring safety for the Juniors. There was a significant hazard difference between Senior & Junior Courses and the Entries Secretary checked the ages of M/W16s running Open, re-assigning the one Under 16 year old to the Junior Course.

Timed-Out Legs are not ideal, but having watched Senior competitors crossing Highgate around the Brewery area, I’m still doubtful about the fairness of having to dodge traffic, although in practice none of the Adults I spoke to expressed disfavour.

Dick Towler’s invaluable help as Planner’s/Controller’s Assistant ensured that dawn had broken before we needed to put out controls. Help much appreciated. Definitely a useful Way Forward for Old Controllers.

The Organisation went extremely smoothly, particularly with the unexpectedly high EOD, so congratulations to Organiser Tony Richardson and all the people involved over the last year or so.

That there are only two pages on Nope Sport confirms this – if there are No Complaints, you’ve succeeded.  (And I’ve learned what a Narrow Passage is).

The only totally unforeseen hiccup was the gentleman who ran nearly twice round his course having missed a control and who ran out of space on his dibber, which raises a few interesting points for the future.

It really was a great event and I’m delighted to have been part of the success story.


Angela Whitworth (BL)


The left hand finish box was 17 seconds ahead of the right hand one prior to it being removed at about 12.00

All those who punched the left hand box have been given a 17 second bonus,  reducing the calculated time.

Revised results have now been uploaded to British Orienteering and NOPESPORT.

Our thanks to Open Adventure who hired us the plasma screen with stand and the download tent with its weights.

Kendal is a great place for this type of event and Steve Buckley planned some excellent courses with Controller Angela Whitworth ensuring that the whole event was safe and fair. The fact that the vast majority of competitors left Kendal in good spirits is principally down to their efforts.

As Organiser for this urban event I was relieved of a couple of the major tasks associated with normal events, ie. provision of car parking and toilets, but was presented with some different ones.

Observing activity in the town on the May Day Bank Holiday last year confirmed to us that this day would be ideal for holding the event - minimal traffic, empty car parks, not many pedestrians on the streets but cafes open by midday.

From the first contact with South Lakeland District Council, its officers were very supportive in facilitating use of the Town Hall and Market Place as key locations. Kendal Town Council also encouraged us as promoters of the town.

Steve’s selection of start and finish locations presented initial concerns. Potential conflict between starters and public on a popular riverside right of way was averted by doing away with the usual layout of start lanes. The Market Place paving

precluded knocking stakes and tent pegs into the ground (not usually a problem in a field), but was overcome by using gazebos and barriers. One of my greatest fears, in view of an unfavourable weather forecast, was of inadequately secured gazebos blowing away to expose download laptops - it isn’t the best use of helpers for them to perform as human guy lines.

The use of a plasma screen enhanced the results service on the day and removed the chore of how and where to display updated, printed results – the contingency plan was an arrangement with Nero Café to display paper results in their window.

I regret not being able to satisfy all on-the-day entrants. The event was level B, for which pre-entries are the norm, but we printed an extra 10% maps and kept the same allowance of slots for EOD in an already extended start list. The failure of some competitors to pre-enter appears to have been their lack of appreciation of the status of this ‘Club’ event as being separate from the ‘BOF’ Championship events with its own entry arrangements.

Thanks are due to:

James Thurlow of Open Adventure for the supply of plasma screen, gazebo and banner frame and the attendance of Charlotte to assist setting them up on the day.

Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake for the donation of appropriate gifts to finishers.

Cumbria Kendal Scaffolding for the provision of barriers.

Tony Richardson (LOC)


 The following items were left in the Town Hall:- 'Blue Harbour' Golf Gillet - Colour Black, Size Large

- One sock - Colour black with purple toe and heel
- Pair of 'Sloggi' knickers - Colour Black
- 'Vapro' Control Description holder

Contact kendalurban@lakeland-orienteering.org.uk to reclaim.

I do hope you enjoyed the end of the BOC weekend as much as did. Seeing the spiralling of you all at Wainwright Yard made my day!

Kendal Town Centre has been used for photocopies of the black and white maps for many years with a few footpaths added to do a Night Score Event. I moved into the South Lakes in 2005 and settled in the area of Kendal but the enthusiasm for Night Events had waned by then. With the BOF Development Plan of More People to More Podiums I felt that

LOC could try and set up a Community Club to balance the Ulverston Community. With BOF funding extra small maps were found to add to the set of schools maps developed over the early 2000s. One of these small maps became the west side of the Highgate & Stricklandgate Urban map up to Serpentine Wood which gave us the steep steps housing and the Wainwright Yard final controls that caused the total confusion towards the finish.

The old town has lost many part of its old centre and every section of the town now has its estate which has its own community, often with a one way in and out roadway. The southwest town block was my choice for the most difficult for the A to D courses before the long run back into town.

My general principal for all courses was to make every leg to have a route choice. This was because the majority of the town centre has private ownership with elderly residents or has shopping areas with their excess rubbish. Finding interesting difficult controls proved impossible so the controls should have been easy if competitors were in the correct place.

Trying to go west of Highgate revealed only two options and that one needed a sign to indicate that the gate could be opened at the gate at the top of the Brewery steps. All the other routes led to steep rocks in back gardens.

Urban Events have been late to arrive in South Lakeland and many local club members have felt that it was unnecessary. Your participation shows that you enjoy this aspect of the sport. I hope that Kendal will be as memorable to you as Vienna, London and Zermatt has been to my wife and me.

Steve Buckley LOC

Last Modified: Sunday, 20 January 2013