News Headlines

This year’s Association & Club Conference is all about you and the events you organise locally, particularly Level D events.
The Great Britain team found the going tough in the JWOC Long race today
The course is particularly suited to volunteers and staff who may have occasional or irregular contact with children
Congratulations to Zoe Harding, who finished 11th in the JWOC 2014 sprint race that took place today.
Tuesday 22nd July
IOF Secretary General
Interested in becoming the Secretary General?
The 2014 Junior World Orienteering Championships will take place from July 22-27 2014, in the mountain resort of Borovets, Bulgaria
British Orienteering is seeking to appoint an experienced and self-motivated individual to fill the role of Performance Manager.
The 2013 Scottish 6 Day Event, Moray2013, has been nominated as a finalist in the Sports category of the 2014 Scottish Event Awards.
Emily follows up the Middle race win with two further victories.
Friday 18th July
MTBO World Cup Middle
Middle Race win today for Emily Benham.

[RSS] RSS Feed

Welcome to British Orienteering

Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure sport that exercises both the mind and the body. The aim is to navigate in sequence between control points marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace.

Orienteering can take place anywhere from remote forest and countryside to urban parks and school playgrounds.  It's a great sport for runners, joggers and walkers who want to improve their navigation skills or for anyone who loves the outdoors. Orienteering - The adventure sport for all. Read More

Tough going in the JWOC long race today

Today was the second day of competition at JWOC 2014 and the athletes were challenged with particularly tough courses in the mountainous terrain of Borovets in Bulgaria.


Here, Aidan Smith, who finished 25th speaks of his experience.




Photograph - Aidan Smith running towards the finish


At the time of 'going to print' the full results were not available but should be posted here shortly.


It should be noted that Alexander Chepelin had a very good run in his first JWOC with a top 50 result.


Despite some very gritty effort and displays of perseverance against the course and the terrain, however, most of the British team were disappointed with their results and are in sombre mood in the hotel.There is a welcome rest day tomorrow and the athletes will be ensuring that they recover as best they can from today's efforts as well as preparing for the rest of their campaign.


Unfortunately, Zoe Harding had to retire from the race because of illness. She is now recovering at the team hotel and hopes to make a full recovery before the middle qualifying races on Friday.

Zoe Harding - 11th JWOC sprint

JWOC 2014 started today, with the sprint race, in the town of Samokov in Bulgaria. The early starters benefitted from near perfect and dry conditions but the thunderstorm, that had been threatening, arrived with a vengeance making conditions extremely difficult for the mid and late starters. As the spectators ran for cover the commentator spoke of raining cats and dogs and the athletes struggled to keep their pace and to stop themselves from slipping. The rain eventually eased but the surfaces were still lethal in parts.


Before the race, there was plenty of speculation regarding the quarantine conditions as the athletes had been told that the warm-up map would be non-relevant to the competition, the toilets and changing and out-of-bounds would be marked on the map and that they would be 'safe and warm'. Their suspicion, that it would be an indoor quarantine, proved to be correct.


Lucy Butt commented, "The allocated warm up area, loops of a basketball court, was great. The floor was springloaded so everyone felt good in the warm up! Having pre-start down some stairs and the minus three boxes along a hallway meant you were thrown straight into the area after picking your map up."


The town of Samokov is surprisingly flat, considering it is set amongst mountains, and many of the athletes commented that, because it was easy to fun fast, they had to 'keep their heads' to avoid mistakes.


In similar fashion to many of the other teams, Great Britain had mixed fortunes. Zoe Harding finished with a very well earned 11th place, after an early start and the excitement of holding joint 1st place for a short time!


Click on the button below to hear Zoe talk about her race.


Picture: Zoe being interviewed by the race commentator





For full results click here.

MTBO World Cup Sprint and Long

This weekend saw the next two rounds of the MTBO World Cup in Sweden, with a Sprint distance race on Saturday and a Long distance race today.  Emily Benham followed up on her great result on Friday by winning both races, an incredible performance!  She now leads the MTBO World Cup standings, and has improved her IOF World Ranking position to 2nd, only behind the current World Champion at Long and Middle, Marika Hara.


The next time the world’s MTB orienteering elite get together is for the World MTB Orienteering Championships, which will take place at Bialystok, Poland from 24th to 30th August.


Item posted by Martin Ward.

MTBO World Cup Middle

The second round of the MTB-O World Cup has been organized in conjunction with the biggest orienteering event in the world: O-Ringen.  It's in the region of Skåne in the south of Sweden, and today was the Middle distance race.  Congratulations to Emily Benham, GBR, who won the race by over a minute.  Commenting on Twitter, Emily said "Happy to take the win today at #mtbo #worldcup in Aspet, Sweden. A technically demanding course and physical terrain! Mostly solid orienteering but not completely mistake free."



The MTB-O World Cup races continue with a city-centre Sprint race tomorrow, and a Long distance race on Sunday.


Item posted by Martin Ward.  Picture from Emily Benham.


News from the WOC Team 10

Having declared sunny climes in the report written earlier today about the Middle race, the weather did what it does best and changed to the more typical WOC 2014 Relay weather (see WOC Sprint Relay..).  This didn't prevent the crowds from staying to watch the races after their own last day in the terrain.  The event arena was the same as for the Middle race, in a grassy bowl between areas of complex, karst terrain and was the perfect setting for watching the races.  The speaker, Per Forsberg, promised 'tough, tough races today, that is for sure' and this was borne out with both races taking the runners directly up a steep hillside for the first control. 


For the Ladies' team, GBR had Tessa Hill on the first leg.  Tessa is not a stranger to hill running and takes part in the Skyrunning race series as an Arcteryx Team runner, so the team were confident in her physical shape.  A few mistakes were made which meant that she was in the chasing group but she was strong in the final loop and this brought the team back into contention.  Tessa handed over to Claire Ward, who had already run well in this terrain yesterday and Claire fought hard again and had a good,strong race and handed over to Cat Taylor in 8th position.  Cat started alone but positions were constantly changing due to the technical nature of the terrain and Cat held it together and popped out into the finish field in 6th place to bring the GBR Ladies' team to the best result in 10 years.  It is worth mentioning (I suppose it isn't all about team GBR!) that the race as a whole was hugely exciting with the lead changing hands several times.  Many of the big teams were at one time in the lead, only to lose that lead when their runner made a mistake.  At one point it looked like it was going to be a head to head race down the run in for Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden, but Tove Alexanderson (SWE) made a 2 minute mistake in the last loop and it was left to Switzerland's Judith Wyder and Denmark's Mia Alm to battle for the Gold and Silver.  Judith again came out top, confirming that she may well be the person to fill Simone's shoes.


And to the Men's race... as always, the start was thrilling to watch, seeing the best men in the world thunder out of the arena into the forest.  And for Team GBR it was a good start with Scott Fraser on first leg finding his form in the hills.  Scott ran a great race and came in in 6th spot just under 2 minutes down on the lead set by the Frenchman Frederic Trenchard.  Individual times are however hard to judge because of the considerable difference in times to run the various gaffles.  Scott handed over to Hector Haines on second leg, sending him back out into the terrain that he had run so well in yesterday.  Hector did drop a couple of places in his leg and wondered whether perhaps he had not raced hard enough, perhaps giving the orienteering too much respect, but he came in in the mix setting Graham Gristwood up for the final leg in the chasing pack.  And GG didn't let GBR down.  Yes, this wasn't a clean run, but he displayed the skills of a great last leg runner, working hard with the group whilst also chosing his own routes and picking off places.  The most exciting part of cheering for GBR today though has to come down to the sprint finish that GG found himself in with the Austrian last leg runner.  GG popped out into the arena with the Austrian hard on his heels and it was only on the last turn where GG finally put on a last blast of speed that the GBR fans could stop screaming and breath again.  Family Gristwood were in the crowd and aged several years by all accounts.  A brilliant 7th place for the men's team, just 1min 19 down on 4th place.  To complete the picture, the winners of the men's race were Sweden after a storming run by their last leg runner Gustav Bergman.  He was just over a minute clear of the exciting, sprint finish between Matthias Kyburz of Switzerland and Thierry Gueorgiou of France, Kyburz just holding off Thierry who was unable to make up the ground between them. 


Italy has certainly put on a great show this week culminating in the WOC Relay which was perfectly planned to provide great excitement for the crowds and a very physical and mental challenge for the competitors.  And it is exciting to consider that Team GBR are again in a position where they have 'stepped up'.  The WOC 2015 countdown has begun and with the closing ceremony the IOF flag has been handed over to the organisers for Scotland next year.  There is no doubt that what lies between now and August 2015 is going to be lots of hard work for the athletes and the organisers.  Team GBR are determined to be ready.  See you there.


Item posted by Liz Campbell. Pictures by Martin Ward.

Bronze medal for John Crosby at WTOC

Although final results have not yet been announced, the provisional results show that John Crosby was placed third overall in the Paralympic Class after the two days of the WTOC PreO competition.  John had been placed 21st after Day 1, but a great performance today, scoring 19 out of 20, pushed him well up the standings into third overall.


John Crosby, right, receives his bronze medal and diploma.


Item posted by Martin Ward.  Photo by Dick Keighley.

News from the WOC Team 9

Friday 11th July saw the WOC Middle race take place in Campomulo, an alpine cross country ski arena not far from Asiago.  The beautiful, grassy arena was perfectly placed in the centre of the map with the complex karst limestone terrain surrounding it on all sides.  The runners passed through the arena to be cheered by their teams and fans who could then watch them face a challenging climb up a slope to start the last loop of their race.

The GBR Team had a day that reflects their WOC week.  Another two team members added to the already 5 top 20’s, bringing the total to 7 top 20’s for the week and in fact 4 top 15’s.  The first of these was Claire Ward who displayed her strength and determination by racing to 12th spot.  The terrain was tough and technical and this is where Claire was able to shine. 

The second of these was Hector Haines who, if you were following the live results, seemed to keep skipping upwards as those below him made mistakes from the first TV control to the first radio control.  Hector says he by no means had a clean race and so his result reflects his considerable physical fitness this year along with his ability to stabilise his technique in the changing terrain that challenged orienteering flow.  Despite his imperfect race, he achieved a fantastic 12th (equal) spot as well.

All the runners found the going hard work.  The altitude definitely affected the breathing and lactate levels on the hills.  Hollie Orr and Helen Palmer both reflected on the physicality of the race and it may be that as small errors start to creep in, the effect of the altitude impacts more negatively on the feel of the race.  Helen felt that although her orienteering was stable, her physical shape was not as she had felt in the early part of the season and that her result reflects an ‘average’ performance rather than the special race you hope for at WOC.  Doug Tullie made a mistake early on, navigating well for the majority of the leg and then dropping into where he expected the control to be and then becoming unsettled when it wasn’t.  His GPS tracking shows him taking good routes, matching Olav Lundanes’ route on the last loop for one of the controls but perhaps due to the altitude or perhaps due to it being ‘one of those days’ he then didn’t see the control once in the circle.  It’s interesting to consider the effect of being in a positive place can have on mental alertness in these instances and vice versa.

So, all the individual forest races are done.  Team GBR have lots of take away, including some great results but more importantly a solid platform on which to build for WOC 2015.  Just a few years ago 7 top 20’s would have been unthinkable and now it almost just isn’t enough with an appetite for so much more.  It’s this appetite which makes WOC 2015 in Scotland so hugely exciting. 

However, before we get too excited about the prospect of beautiful Scottish terrain there is just the WOC Relay to race; the same arena, the same area, the same challenges but this time head to head against the best teams in the world.  The GBR teams are Tessa Hill, Clare Ward and Cat Taylor and Scott Fraser, Hector Haines and Graham Gristwood.  And, thankfully, a sunny day awaits…. in so many ways.


Claire Ward urged on by Kim and Sarah, as she heads for 12th place.

Hector Haines also finished 12th in the Middle race.


Item posted by Liz Campbell.  Photos by Martin Ward.

Junior European Cup 2014 Selection Announcement

Many congratulations to the following athletes who have been selected to the TEAM to represent Great Britain in the 2014 Junior European Cup, which are being held in Lommel, Belgium from 3rd – 5th October 2014.  It should be noted that some athletes in the M/W18 age group have been selected to run in the older age group (M/W20) for development purposes.


Men 20

Women 20

Dane Blomquist (M18) - BAOC

Christopher Galloway – INT/EUOC

Ben Maliphant – BOK/ShUOC

Adam Potter - BOK

William Rigg (M18) - LOC

Joe Woodley (M18) - AIRE


Non Travelling Reserve:

Mark Purkis - SAX

Carrie Beadle - LOC

Lucy Butt – SARUM/UDOC

Julie Emmerson (W18) - OD

Florence Haines – AIRE/EUOC

Tamsin Moran – SOC/ShUOC

Katie Reynolds – SBOC/EUOC


None Travelling Reserve:


Men 18

Women 18

Michael Adams - SYO

Andrew Barr – MOR

Alexander Chepelin - GRAMP

Nathan Lawson - OD

Tim Morgan - SOC

Daniel Stansfield - FVO


None Travelling Reserve:

Thomas Wilson - CLYDE

Natalie Beadle - LOC

Megan Carter Davies - MWOC

Hannah Cox - LEI

Sarah Jones - LOC

Helen Ockenden - SROC

Alice Rigby - CLOK


Non Travelling Reserve:

Jennifer Ricketts - MAROC



Item Posted by Jackie Newton

News from the WOC Team 8

Yesterday was a rest day for Team GB, a chance for the Long distance athletes to recover and for the middle and relay athletes to have one last visit to the technically demanding Asiago 'trenches' terrain. 

It is traditional on the rest day to have a 'team picnic' and we were flattered to be joined by nearly 50 British team supporters. A great opportunity to meet the athletes and talk about the maps and races. The support here has been amazing and although 'the brits' might be outnumbered by other nations we are still one of the most vocal on the run in and all our athletes have remarked how encouraging that is.


many thanks to all the supporters who have made the effort to travel to Italy to support the team.




News from the WOC Team 7

The WOC Long race lived up to its expectations today providing a tough challenge for all runners and the British Team raced and fought hard.  The results on paper don’t reflect the effort and determination shown by all in the Team. 

Graham Gristwood, who for a long time was amongst the top of his start group, only dropped through to his final position of 20th once the ‘red group’ (top ranked orienteers) went through the radio controls.  This is a great result of the ex-sprint specialist.  He looked the part as he raced through the spectator control with blood all down the side of his face having had a disagreement with a branch.   


Graham Gristwood still giving his all as he races up the run in


Clare Ward described the forest as ‘really nice’ although for the purposes of this report perhaps it could be described as beautiful alpine forest – a mix of pine, spruce and beech, mainly runnable (parts of it looked lovely on the TV!).  And a few hills…  Clare dropped 4 minutes to control 2 unfortunately but fought back hard from there to the end, finishing in 29th place.

Scott Fraser suffered from an early start today, not having the ranking points in the new system to take him into the later start groups.  Apart from this however, Scott just didn’t feel physically in the right place today and found the course, in his own words, ‘brutal’. 

Cat Taylor was the highest placed girl in 19th but we all know that Cat has the head, lungs and legs for a higher placing. Today was just one of those days where it didn’t come together and Cat describes that she felt unable to make the ‘right’ decision on the route choices.  It will be a feeling that anyone and everyone who orienteers will recognise!

And to Hollie Orr… Hollie had a good race, not error free but good, and she would have placed in the mid 20’s.  A solid result.  But Hollie has unfortunately now joined the group of orienteers who have fallen victim to the Sport Ident system.  At the last control there were two punches.  She was running close with Judith Wyder and so she took the punch on one side while Judith punched the other one.  The video, because of course Judith was the centre of attention, shows Hollie punching first.  Judith then puts her punch in and the image shows Hollie with her dibber still in the Unit.  The next image in the series shows them both leaving the control.  So it appears that Hollie in fact had her Sport Ident chip in the unit longer than Judith.  Despite this, once downloaded, the control had not registered on her dibber.  The GBR team put in a protest as is usual in these situations but the Jury did not uphold the protest, the argument being that it is the responsibility of the athlete to ensure that they punch correctly at every control (IOF rule 20.5)

So a mixed day for Team GB with the solid performance from GG tempered by the disappointment of Hollie’s disqualification.  All is well in Team GBR though.  Sport will always bring lows along with the highs.  It is the journey together towards those highs that keeps us strong.