A week on, and having dealt with all the post-event collation, publication (and occasional correction and re-publication) of results, now seems the time to look back at the Springtime in Shropshire (or SinS) weekend.

And what a weekend it was! Three very varied events presenting equally different orienteering styles and challenges. What they shared were very high quality courses – and glorious weather!

First up was an urban event based around Telford Town Park, but including the often tricky adjacent housing estates, where those running the longer courses spent most of their time. It was obvious from their comments at download that many of the runners had really enjoyed the challenge. I had gone for an early run so I could be back at my post for most of the busy period, and was glad I had, not only because an event with 400+ competitors keeps download really busy, but also because the hot weather was taking its toll on some of those who ran later. Towards the end of the day, when only a few competitors were still to return, the concern was not so much about them getting lost but that they may have become dehydrated. All was well in the end, though, and everyone returned safely. Our event centre hosts at the Telford Hornets Rugby Club could not have been more welcoming, and their bar and ice cream chest were deservedly popular – also a bit of free chilli left over at the end of the day went down a treat!

The second day was organised by Harlequins at Brampton Bryan – no volunteering for me, other than dropping off and collecting some equipment we were lending them for the day. The venue provided traditional forest orienteering on a hill top, with a steep descent to an open fast finish. The event also served as the Midlands Area Championships for 2023, and Wrekin came away with two class winners: Adrian Pickles (M65) and Richard Pay (M60).

Day three at Corndon Hill, and I was back “on duty”. Again an early run, and the conditions at the time made me think a bit before deciding that a T shirt would be enough – it felt chilly in the wind and cloudy skies walking up to the start, but as the sun broke through and I built up my own heat as I ran, the decision was vindicated. The terrain here was open moorland, with boulders and crags providing most of the control sites until we reached the lumps and hollows of the former quarry area towards the finish. This time we had nearly 600 competitors so download was even more hectic, but the positive comments we got from finishers about the event and the weekend as a whole more than made up for any feelings of stress.

Now it’s time for a little breather before our next big event (Woodside urban in October), but I’ll certainly be looking forward to the next SinS.

My thanks go in particular to everyone who helped at download, but also all those who helped in any capacity, either “on the day” at one or more of the events or in the planning and organising stages. Together you all gave a lot of people a lot of pleasure.

Richard Rogers, download team leader

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