☔ollymore Festival – Thanks to Everyone Involved!

This weekend LVO put on another really enjoyable festival of orienteering at Tollymore, thanks to all the fantastic people who helped out in many ways (and no thanks to the windy and wet conditions 🌨🌪).

The whole weekend was expertly organised and coordinated by Gordon Stephens, with three events and the general organisation of camping and BBQ he had his hands full, or should I say hand, as he was doing it all with one arm in a cast! 💪

👏 A special mention must go to Mark Pruzina who like an iceberg is super cool and what you see on the surface is a fraction of what he actually does with SI entries and computers. Alan Gartside is another person who needs a mention, between the June WEEs and the 4 events this weekend, the amount of printing and bagging of maps he has done in the last few weeks is incredible, he and his printer will need a good rest.

Friday

🏠🏃‍♀️🏡🏃‍♂️ Kicking things off on the Friday evening we enjoyed an Urban race on a new map of Dundrum. I think the complexity of the small town was a surprise to all except for maybe mapper, Stephen Gilmore, planner George Savell and controller Richard McCourt. Thanks gents for your work on producing excellent courses for the 74 competitors to enjoy. Thanks also to the many others who helped on the day with marshalling, collecting controls, registration, downloads, starts….. The run up to the castle at the end will live long in our memories, fortunately the views eased the pain.

🥇🥈🥉 Well done to James Ewart, Deirbhile Hassett and Sam Graham first three finishers on the Short Course; Gerry Browne, Oscar Rowe and Peter Gamble along with Fionnuala Rowe, Aoife Masterson and Sadhbh Hassett first male and female finishers on the Middle and Frazer Howe, Daniel Earnshaw, Moire O’Sullivan, Aine McCann, Olivia Baxter and Lyle Fleming top six finishers on the Long.

There was the threat of rain but fortunately most of us returned to the campsite at Tollymore Forest park dry and in good form. With the forecast for wind and rain overnight we battened down for the night.

Saturday

🌲🌳 Well that was some night. For those whose who managed to sleep through the stormy night we woke to find others were not so well rested. Unfortunately some tents didn’t survive but we can’t let that dampen the spirits for a fun day of orienteering ahead in Castlewellan Forest for the latest NI Colour Series event. There was a great turn out with 141 participants competing on eight different courses. Click here to check out all the results.

👏 Thanks to planner Ivan Millar, Raymond Finlay for controlling and Aileen McCarron for organising challenging courses, again on a new map for us all to enjoy. Thanks also to all those who supported in other ways, especially those who went out again after their run to collect controls, some quite a distance away.

🍗🥂 Although very blustery, the rain steered clear, both for the event and for the rest of the afternoon and the evening BBQ we enjoyed later on. Many sat and chatted late on into the evening, fuelled by the food and drink we enjoyed together and by the radiant heat from the firepits (when not blown over!).

Sunday

🌲🌳 Those who braved another night of camping woke to a damp scene. Fortunately for those taking part in the ‘Sunday is Funday Score’, planner, Ric Gamble’ woke early (did he sleep at all?) and set out to place controls. With the Shimna river in spate a few alterations were made to the Tollymore course. Reducing the number of controls from 25 to 21 meant that completing the full course in an hour was now more achievable and this was done so by speedsters Fraser Howe and Daniel Earnshaw.

👏 Thanks to Barbara for helping with registration and downloads and again to control collectors, including Colin Smith and Sharon Dickenson who didn’t run but came specifically to collect.

🟡 Along side the score, Steph Pruzina organised a special Yellow course race for the junior juniors to enjoy and build skills to progress in future competitions.

👍 It is impossible to thank everyone who contributed support throughout the weekend to make it such a success. It was enjoyed by all and I am sure we will already have it pencilled in our diaries for next year. How well it is attended by LVO club members and those from other clubs around the whole of the island, is a testament not only to the quality of the orienteering events provided but to the welcome people receive from the members of Lagan Valley Orienteers. 👋

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