Day 1 - Glending

Day 1 -Glending- Friday 28th April 2023


Sprint Event

Planner – Ruairi Short (CNOC)

Organiser – Don Short (CNOC)

Controller - Marcus Geoghegan (AJAX)

Mapper – Ruth Lynam (CNOC)


The Sprint is 100% forest and takes place in Glending Forest near Blessington Co Wicklow, last used for Orienteering in 1984. Thanks to Roadstone and the OPW for permissions.


● Allow additional time to get to the event as there will be extra traffic in Blessington over the weekend.

● Parking, Registration, Finish and Download are all adjacent to one another in the GAA grounds. Please take care when entering the grounds as competitors will be walking to the start.

● Start is in the forest and will be accessed via Blessington No.1 School  beside the GAA grounds.

● Early starters will have their maps collected at the finish and they can be retrieved once the elites have started.

● We have been kindly permitted by the GAA and No.1 School to use their facilities. Please dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully and leave no trace in the forest.

● The competition area is open to the public, please be courteous to members of the public.

Directions and traffic information

This event takes place on a bank holiday weekend and there is likely to be heavy traffic on all approach roads.  Please carpool where possible to minimise the number of cars. Punchestown races taking place in Punchestown will also cause significant traffic particularly around Naas. Everyone is advised to check traffic and plan their route accordingly.  Google maps ‘Blessington GAA’. Eircode is W91RW22.  Lat, 53.18083, Long -6.53945.


There will be no Orienteering signs.


15:00            Car Park Opens.

15:30            Registration Opens. Forms for Relay teams available, SIAC rental, SI Changes, Entry on the Day.

15:30            Enquiries, Trophy Returns, Bib Collection Opens.

15:30            Cafe Opens

17.00            First Start

19.30            Last Start

20.00            Course Closes

21.00            Carpark Closes


Parking is at the Blessington GAA grounds by kind permission.

Camper vans and buses will park on the approach road. Please follow the marshals’ instructions.


The parking will open at 15:00 and close at 21.00.

Enquiries & Registration:

Registration will be in the arena area beside the carpark. Only Elite Runners need to wear a bib which can be collected at Registration. If you are running with a SI card other than the one registered, you must inform Registration.

The start window is from 17.00 until 19.30. Callup is - 4 minutes, descriptions are provided at - 3. The start interval is 1 minute, on the minute. Clocks will only show real time.


Scale: 1:4000, contour interval 5m, mapped to ISSprOM 2019 inFebruary-March 2023. Note the contour interval. The standard 2.5m contour interval was deemed unsuitable owing to the steepness of parts of the area. Map Size is SRA4 (24cm x 33 cm) printed on Antius waterproof paper.

There is a network of old earthbanks, a legacy of long-gone field boundaries.  These are only mapped if they are distinctive in the terrain.

Special symbols:

Symbol 531 Prominent man-made feature (black X)  is used to show both hides and prominent mountain biking structures.

Fallen trees are mapped with symbol 419 Prominent vegetation feature (green X) for the rootstock, and where the tree obstructs running it is mapped with symbol 409 Vegetation: walk - hedge.


The area lies along the edge of a ridge of glacial outwash deposits which slopes steeply down to the Blessington Lakes plain.  The terrain consists mainly of very mature coniferous forest with stands of old oak and beech woods.  There are some areas of bramble and fallen trees but most of the forest gives very fast running with good visibility.. There is one vehicle track, and a good network of paths, many made by mountain bikers.


Two areas on the map are of significant archaeological interest and are strictly out of bounds during the competition. The first, Rathturtle moat, a ring fort was last used by the Vikings in the 11th century but may have been constructed over 2,000 years ago.  The second is an enclosure from the same period. These are marked out of bounds on the map and an Office of Public Works person will be on site during the competition so please do not enter the areas marked. They are not taped off.

Planners’ Notes

The last control is at a narrow gate and only one person will be able to pass at a time. Please check behind and allow Elite runners priority. We’ve had a lot of entries and all courses pass through here so please take care. 

Course distances have been reduced to account for the high amounts of climb for a sprint course and we still expect winning times of under 15 minutes. Remember that the map uses 5m contours. 

The Northern part of the area has extensive quarrying activity and all quarry areas are out of bounds. If you find yourself looking into a steep stony quarry area, turn back, you have gone the wrong way! 

Note that there will be members of the public in the terrain. Beware of old fallen barbed wire in some areas, we have tried to tape this and tidy it up where possible.


The start is 1km and 65m climb from the parking through uphill forest terrain and on forest road.  There is a spectator control that you can view once you enter the forest. A manned crossing will be in place in the forest and runners have 100% priority. You will be permitted on a forest road at the start for warmup but no entry into the forest.

Control descriptions will be on the map, and loose description sheets will be available at the start. Courses 1 to 6 and Light Green have symbol description, Course 7 and Orange have text descriptions.

The route to the start goes through the forest and the competition area will be taped off and strictly out of bounds to competitors.

Please note that the final information states that the clocks will only show real time. At the start we will have a PRE-START clock that shows the CALL UP TIME. When this clock shows your start time you should enter the first box.

There is no start punch and your pre-allocated start time will be used to calculate your time. Start interval is 1 minute, on the minute. It is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure they are in time for their pre-allocated start time. Late arrivals must go into the late start lane and you will be allowed to start at the half minute at the discretion of the late start official.  The late start official will record your start time but your race time will be taken from your pre-allocated start time. Any complaints must be in writing and handed in at Registration.


Note: to balance the courses some adjustments from the IOC sprint rules have been made and approved by the IOA technical officer.


Sportident SIAC Air+ touch-free punching will be used which, of course, allows standard punching with previous version SI cards.  It is the competitors responsibility to ensure they register at their correct controls. In the sprint race Elite runners may request a SIAC which will be provided at registration, free of charge.  We will also have a limited supply of SIAC’s for rent at €2.50 per day. If the SIAC is lost or not returned you will be charged the cost of a replacement. The finish control will NOT be SIAC enabled and must be punched.

Entry on the Day

We will have a limited supply of EOD maps for Lt Green & Orange  and you can enter and get a rental SI card for €5.

Safety Bearing

If you get lost in the forest, head South and you will meet a forest road. Turn left on this and it will bring you back to the  start tapes. Follow these down  and head to the finish.


It is a forest so full cover is recommended. Orienteering shoes are advised if it is dry and essential if wet. Running shoes with no grip are not suitable.

Results and Prizes

Full 5G mobile coverage  is available in the arena and Live results can be accessed from any device via the QR code in the arena.

Prize giving will be in Lynhams Hotel in Laragh on Sunday at 19.00.


The Arena coffee shop will open at 15:30 and close at 19:30  pm to facilitate the competitors.  They will serve tea/ coffee/ snacks.

There will be drinking water in the arena. No cups will be provided.

First Aid.

There will be a manned first aid station in the arena.


Dogs are not permitted in the parking area for Day 1. 


Toilets are available in the arena.  There are no toilets at the start.


In the event of a complaint that the organiser is unable to resolve a jury composed of Mary Healy GEN, Brendan O Brien Kerry O, & John McCullough 3Roc will be convened to rule on the complaint.


We have been trying to hold an event here for many years and a lot of stars had to align to get the various permissions etc. We hope you enjoy this wonderful forest.


The GAA have generously allowed us the use of their facility free of charge. There will be a charity collection on the day to support children's cancer and we would be very grateful if you could support it with a couple of euro.

For more information see


Don Short


Day 1