2022/23 HAVOC-SOS Winter Series Winners announced

Posted: Wed 22 Mar 2023

Gary Chandler was the runaway winner on the short course with Chris Prince taking the crown on the long course

Thanks to everyone who raced in any of the events in the joint 2022/23 HAVOC-SOS street O series this winter. We increased the number of races this year to ten with the final league tables calculated using the best six scores. We continued with the MapRun bonus of 50 points for running in an Essex MapRun during the series. This has definitely increased the usage of our MapRuns, and between the two clubs we now have over 60 courses to choose from. We are considering whether this bonus should be increased to a full event worth of 100 points.

In total, we had 49 entries for the short course, and 53 for the long. This includes people who ran in both series. There were 114 runs overall on the Short, including MapRun catchups, 194 on the Long. 15 people grabbed their 50 point MapRun bonus. Congratulations to Melanie Sirett, Colin Jackson and Alan Sibthorp on the Short, and Chris Prince and Jackie Sibthorp on the Long, who all ran in all ten events.

On the short course, we had a runaway victory for Gary Chandler, the reigning Long course summer series champion. He took 100 points in five of the races, and was close at Wickford. With a 50 point bonus for a MapRun as well, he was within 3 points of the theoretical top score! Defending champion Melanie Sirett took third this year, pipped into second by Colin Jackson, who got his 50 point MapRun bonus just in time.

Chris Prince took the Long course crown this year. He planned the courses at Basildon, and took the win on three other occasions. With his MapRun bonus he scored an impressive 639 points, 20 clear of Paul Beckett in second. Rounding out the top three and with three wins from the last six events was Sebastian Parris.

All the events were line events this season, with the regular Long and Short course options. Mostly we had winning times in the 40-50 minute range, although a couple of outliers were longer or shorter than this, as the planner tried to make sure the courses visited the best or most challenging areas. Although mostly based on streets in the winter, we did have some parks and footpaths and the odd bit of woodland to run through. We had one event postponed due to the snow and ice, but mostly the weather was kind, just a couple of the races having rain. It was pretty cold out there for a few of the events though! Mostly we based the races in a local pub – just a few of the races necessitating a start away from a pub, but we always nominated one after for post race analysis and refreshment which gives a social atmosphere to the event.

HAVOC continued with the format of MapRun for the events, allowing for a catch up in the two weeks after the event. MapRun definitely makes for some more animated post race discussion, as you can see the route you took, and the mistakes you made! SOS also put one of their events up on MapRun after the event.

Thanks everyone, for making the series a success. A special thanks to all who planned and organised an event – David Game, David Float, Jackie Sibthorp, Chris Prince, Colin & Lyn West, Graham Batty, Chris Panton, Paul Beckett and Kevin Machin. Without these volunteers we could not run these events. Thanks also to Chris Childs and David Float for co-ordination of the series.

We are currently planning the next summer series, which will start towards the end of April when the evenings are light enough for even late start runners to get round in daylight and not require a headtorch. It looks like an eight race series, taking us through to the start of the school summer holidays. If you can volunteer to organise and plan an event then please consider doing so. There is plenty of support available and it is a good introduction to organising or planning an event. David Game and Gary Chandler are the defending champions. Look out for further details on both the HAVOC and SOS websites.