|Officials||Paul Looker & Ray Quan|
Rockwood Park in the days leading up this event was beautiful. It had actually been quite nice weather-wise and I had enjoyed setting out most of the controls. Sunday rolls around, and the prediction was for it to rain. And, as it would turn out, it rained harder and harder as the day progressed.
I set out the remaining controls early that morning, and though it had rained a bit, it was not bad. As it came closer to event time I was glad that Ray Quan had volunteered to assist me. His skills in jerry-rigging shelters would come in handy for when the rain commenced in earnest.
I was faced with the decision prior to the start of the meet of cancelling or postponing the race. Maybe, if I had been aware of the predictions for weather in advance I could have cancelled. But, people had already travelled up to 2 hours to participate. And I thought the weather would hold out a little longer. The venue being a city park in the center of Saint John, with emergency services and facilities within easy reach, helped assuage my concerns. And, the rain was still not too bad at the start of the event, maybe it would pass quickly. But, after all the participants had already started the real deluge started. It was like the faucet which had only been trickling to that moment had suddenly been opened to full capacity. I had not seen rain that hard in Saint John...well... at least not since the last time it rained. (We had a lot of rain this spring).
I waited nervously as the minutes ticked by. Each minute seemed like an eternity as the rain kept getting harder and harder. I kept thinking, maybe I should have cancelled. But, how was I to know it would get this bad? The participants are running, at least they should be warm. But, what if someone hurts themselves? How long would it take for hypothermia to set in on a day like this? I remembered how cold I had been on a few occasions when hiking in the rain on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Please, everyone, start coming in soon! I don't believe that I made the courses too difficult. On a sunny day they would have actually been beautiful to run. I had the water boiling for tea or hot chocolate, and goodies for people to eat. But, just standing there at the finish line I was getting quite cold myself.
At last people started to come in. And they appeared none the worse for the adverse weather conditions. People were soaked to the bone, but still smiling. The hot chocolate and cookies hit the spot. Some competitors were out for a long time, but everyone made it back eventually. Was hypothermia a risk this day? Definitely. Should I have cancelled the event? Well hindsight being 20/20, maybe. Did everyone enjoy themselves? I believe so. Orienteers are a hearty bunch and I don't believe that too many of the participants worried as much as I did on this wet, windy, and cold day. The results are included below:
|Ariane and Aydan Looker||Fundy||52:32|
|Barbara St. Laurent||Foxes||72:41|
|Ray St. Laurent||Foxes||128:13|
|Nathan McGillivray *||Cadets||120:00|
|* Shortened Course #3|
|Jeremy Leblanc *||Falcons||110:00|
|David Ross **||Falcons||141:00|
|* Shortened Course #4|
|** Aided injured runner in Park|
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