November Classic


Stunning view of the New Forest

One of the largest Regional events of the year took place in the New Forest today, with SOCs 37th running of the November Classic (is this the longest running club event in the country?) playing host to over 1000 competitors on what turned out to be an overcast but mainly dry day. Dry, however, was not what could be said of conditions underfoot for some courses, although the planners had done their best to avoid the worst of the marshes. The bussing system worked well, with people queuing for no more than 15 minutes, and having a slightly undercover clothing dump meant people could stay warm until their starts.

The emit electronic punching was being used for this event, and it appears that in the south of England many large events are opting for this due to the great effort put in by the emitUK team under the supervision of Allan Farrington, and there were no problems at all with the system.

The area itself was a typical New Forest mix of natural wood, forestry plantations and heather-covered rough open land with a myriad of rides and paths, although you invariably found yourself crossing these rather than running along them unless you were prepared to go along way round. The going proved to be very fast for those who could keep the pace up for the whole course with winners on the mens courses running at less than 5.5mins/km, and W21L winner Gillian Godfree (INT) going under 6.5mins/km.

The event was somewhat marred for the M21L course as control #5 was positioned in the wrong place for the early runners. The decision was made to extract legs 4-5 and 5-6 from everyones time, although this might be little consolation for those who had lost heart from having spent so long searching for the control which was placed in a different re-entrant 75m from where it should have been.

There were some impressive performances from a few veterans, with Michael Murray (SLOW) winning the M60L class by 10 minutes, and Andy Hemsted (HOC) winning the M55L by over 5 minutes (Mike won the battle between Andy and himself by a mere 17 seconds!) Pauline Ward (DVO) was unreachable in the W60L winning by a massive margin of 15 minutes! In the junior classes Julia Blomquist (SARUM) won the JW4 by nearly 6 minutes, and Swiss runner Sara Luscher won JW5L by 8 minutes. In the senior classes, new GB Squad member Pippa Whitehouse (OUOC) was 2 minutes behind Gillian, with GB Junior Squad member Cerys Manning (SWOC) a further 5 minutes behind in 3rd place. In M21L former local lad Ian Nixon (AIRE) won by 2 minutes from Tim Tett (SYO), and an impressive performance from M45 Colin Dickson saw him a further minute behind in 3rd place.

For full results see SOCs website

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