WNL8 – Hillbourne Urban Night Event

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Event Details

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Results now uploaded with bonus points included.


Hillbourne – Roger Crickmore

This event was organised by Peter Suba of Wessex and must go down as  a score event with the one of the most complicated sets of rule ever. Basically  as well as the normal score event controls there were two bonus controls (or spider ) controls each connected like a web to a number of surrounding controls. You could visit the two spider controls multiple times but they each had strict, and totally different , rules about which controls in their web you must or must not visit before and after them. Even Peter admitted that he did not know what the best strategy was to maximise your points, and it was clear that even after the event nobody else did either ! Given the temperature was just around freezing I think most people did agree that it was a good idea to keep running stay warm, though brains were also having to work hard to try and figure out your best route.

Planners comments – Peter Suba

It was good to see the spirited discussion both before and after the event about the effects of the “spiders”! It was my aim to liven up the area which have had a fair bit of use recently with something new, and to make the minds of even people who know it working all the way through with something. To be fair though, as I explained on the day, some of you have probably confused yourself more than needed as the special rules only applied to 2 of 20 controls – even though getting those bonuses were key to getting to the top of the leaderboard.

Most of you managed to take advantage of the bonuses some way or another – so well done! As we were going through the bonus allocations, it looks like the differences in the rules on how the two spiders awarded bonuses did throw some people: the Red Spider did regretfully not give bonuses for a few people who expected it when they came from an allowed control, but then they were careless to leave to one which was connected with the red net. This was explained in the details as something that would not result in a bonus, but was also logical from the principle that “Red Spider does not like it if you use its web”!

As I was planning, I basically expected 3 possible strategies for collecting lots of points: 1.) just go to all controls without too much worry about bonuses 2.) Getting to Green Spider and running around it collecting it 5 times or 3.) Try and collect as many Red Spiders as possible – this became gradually less and less worthwhile as you had to run further and further each control, I have estimated that about 4-5 times would be the maximum realistically.

For me, the optimal strategy for people with the speed near the top of the league would have been to go to Red Spider straight after the start (only some of you realised that this is possible), then collect it about 2-3 more times, before going round to collect the “red net” edges (finishing it with 63 or 64), then running down to the “green net” via a few other controls, collect the Green Spider probably about 2-3 times, before running back to the Finish via the Red Spider for the last time (again, this only occured to some of you), sacrificing some of the controls on the west side in favour of the higher scoring Red Spider. There were a couple of key minor route choice aspects to shorten routes, for example using the gate at the edge of Broadstone Rec to get to 114 without running around on the streets – it looks like some of you have indeed done that, whilst some gave up as the gate “looked” locked (it wasn’t – I checked!).

I was basically expecting the winner to collect around 500 points doing a combination of the above – luckily this was indeed the case as Alan confessed he could have collected the Red Spider one more time sacrificing about a minutes woth of penalty for being over time, in which case he would have been bang on my estimate.

Well done for all of you who have turned up and ran in the freezing cold (hey – at least it did not rain), and a big thank you for Tim who have got very close to coming up with an automated computation (a SQL trigger on the Autodownload database) of the bonuses for the Spiders (which, from a computing perspective was actually quite complicated). It almost got to the point of being able to calculate at the time of downloading – just missing some testing time to iron out some of the bugs, which is why we ended up manually calculating the bonuses in the end. Next time I will work with him much sooner if I come up with another set of unique format!

League Competitions – Gavin Clegg

In the Open competition Dan Cope leads by 18 points and I can see him and Alan fighting it our for the rest of the season. Others will get closer as both Dan and Alan have run 7 races and are now looking to score points by beating their worst scores to date: 393 for Dan and 400 for Alan – so Dan has slightly the upper hand here. Apart from Gareth Radcliffe, currently in 17th I cant really see anyone else touching them. Of the top 20, Peter Suba is up 4 to 5th, Bernie Fowler up 6 to 14th and Steve Mallinson up 4 to 15th. For the Ladies Becca is brilliantly placed in 4th overall with her main challenger; Tereza-Maria Rush in 8th.

In the Handicap competition it is Ella-May Rush up 6 to 5th who is starting to challenge. Mike Frizzell in 2nd is the only male to break the Female domination here. Having said that some of the big hitters, handicap wise, have only competed in a few races. So I expect things to change here rather more than in the Open League. For example after a great run at the Southern night Champs, Robin Smith is up 18 places to 18th. Brighton up next, then Poole Town. By which time far more will have completed 7 races and we should be getting an indication of where the trophies will be going this season. However Poole is only the half way race. Lets see what the second half brings.

Pre-Event Bulletin:

Download the flyer here.

Directions and Parking

The Event Centre is the Blackwater Stream (Weatherspoons pub). Parking is available behind the pub – free after 4PM.


The Blackwater Stream is a fully featured pub, with hot food and drinks available as well as toilets. No designated changing rooms – in case of bad weather please be considerate and remove any muddy/wet shoes before entering the common areas.

Terrain Description

Parkland and urban areas. Undergrowth within the Broadstone Recreation area is now thinner in winter, but still there – consider appropriate dressing if you plan to go direct instead of using the extensive path network. The urban areas are mostly well lit, but the controls in the parkland areas will mean you would need to rely on your torch for navigation.


1:5000 with 5m contours, A4 size updated 2016. Control descriptions will be available as loose control descriptions.

Registration & Start Times

Registration from 17:30

Starts           from 18:00 to 19:00pm

Courses close at  20:15

Course Information

A straight 1 hour score option is available for those wanting to limit the challenges of the day.

For the Wessex Night Leage, a 1 hour score course is offered with some twists, as described below:

  • 10 penalty points for every minute a competitor is late beyond the 1 hour allotted time
  • NO bonus points for being early (but there are other options for collecting bonus points, see below)
  • You will find that two spiders left here from Halloween, who have woven their net on the map between some of the controls and both sit in the middle of their respective webs – which is also a control site. These spiders are precious about their net and offer bonus points depending on how people use their net, as below:
    • The Red Spider does NOT like it if people use its web! Therefore, you will ONLY be getting its score points, if you are not directly coming from, or going to a control its net is connected to. However, in every other circumstance, you will be able to collect the control’s score. You can visit as many times as you want and collect the score each time.
    • The Green Spider is the opposite of Red Spider. It likes it if people use its web! You will get its score every time you visit it when, and only when coming from a control its net connects to. This means you can return to the Green Spider as many times as you want, but you will only get a score if you have visited at least 2 controls in between consequent visits and – as already mentioned – you are coming from a connected control.
  • More detailed clarifications and examples are in the attached flyer.

Entry Details

Fill in the entry form until 6th December (alternatively, send an Email to the planner) to reserve a map. Entry on the day until maps last.

Entry fee         £5.00

The event will use SI timing.

Contacts / Officials

Planner:           Peter Suba (WSX), Email: [email protected] 

Safety and Risk

Participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event. Please note that this is a Night League event, hence whilst a large part of the event will take place in urban areas, torches are essential if you want to collect controls beyond those that will be in the well lit streets, and backup torches and whistles are also advised.

Privacy: when entering our events your name may appear in the results section of this website or in newspaper reports.

Last updated on Mon, 18th December 2017, 10:17 by Peter Suba