Welcome to British Orienteering

Orienteering is an exciting and challenging outdoor sport that exercises both mind and body. The aim is to navigate between control points marked on an orienteering map; as a competitive sport the challenge is to complete the course in the quickest time choosing your own best route; as a recreational activity it does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run or walk making progress at your own pace on the courses planned to suit you.

Orienteering can take place anywhere from remote forest and countryside to urban areas, parks and school playgrounds. Orienteering is a fulfilling sport for runners and walkers of all ages who want to test themselves mentally as well as physically or who want to add variety to their leisure activities. Read More


Emily Benham finally gets what she deserves, a GOLD medal!

The Elite are gathered in northern Portugal for this years Mountain Bike Orienteering World Championships. Great Britain has three women competing this year.

Yesterday saw the first race, the Sprint held in and around the town of Cantanhede. With a start on the edge of town in an industrial estate, the courses quickly went into a wooded area with a complex track network before the last few controls led into the centre of the town. Clare Dallimore in her debut race at a World Championships was frustrated with her ride having lost time on some indistinct junctions in the middle part. She is however riding with a chipped bone on the top of her humerus from a fall two weeks ago.

Natalie Creswick achieved her best ever result and was pleased with her flow around the course. She feels she has really improved since her debut to the sport last year. She is looking forward to the hills later in the week which will suit her as a strong rider.

Emily Benham having won so many World Cup races has not won a World Championship race. Starting in the heat of the day with temperatures in the high 30s she commented that as soon as she saw the map she knew a win was possible. Half way through her race she began catching her 1 minute rider which confirmed she was going well. A near perfect race where she always felt in control saw her take the overall lead which is where she remained as the last riders came in. GOLD for Emily!


Item posted by Jennie Taylor, Marketing Manager


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JWOC relays - 5th position for Great Britain women!

The final events of JWOC 2016  were the relays that took place yesterday in Tarasp writes Harrison McCartney. 


The  competition took place over the river valley from the central town of Scuol. Following the previous day that provided good performances to build on along with disappointing results to be rectified, everyone was in good spirits and ready to take on the relay in arguably the most suitable terrain of the entire competition for our British runners- highly runnable and visible forest with very clear contour detail throughout.

Having seen Megan Carter Davies match the record for the best GB position in a JWOC middle and break the record for the best female GB position in a JWOC sprint and catching glimpses of serious speed from Fiona Bunn in the initial stages of the long and in the middle qualification event, it was evident that we had two of the strongest first leg runners on paper heading out in British colours. They didn’t disappoint, Fiona Bunn using her speed to keep with the best, without faltering technically, saying “it was the best race to finish the week on and I really enjoyed it”. Whilst initially Megan and Fiona were leading the front pack together (coming in the 1st and 2nd respectively at the radio control 15 minutes in, Megan dropped into 8th due to “a stitch near the end of the race”, although on a leg filled out with many of the nations’ fastest athletes this is still a highly commendable performance and ensured that both girls teams were still in the mix for a podium place.

Megan handed over the Sarah Jones who put in a solid performance (10th best on her leg) to give Julie Emmerson the job of moving the team onto the podium from 7th position. The pressure clearly didn’t faze her, and the team spectating the GPS trail steadily completing the final loop were certain that the job was done. Once again, the girls set another record, beating the previous relay best of 7th (in 2009).


Jenny Rickett's smooth 2nd leg run put the ‘second’ team in podium contention, though the team dropped back to (a highly respectable) 16th place (and 5th overall 2nd team) with Alice Rigby on last leg. However, seeing that all of these girls could be back to run next year, I think we can safely say that some more record breaking performances are yet to come for the girls.

The second team boys reciprocated the girls’ performance, finishing 16th place overall after gradually climbing up the results table during the course of the race. Whilst Will Rigg was disappointed with a 3 minute mistake along the intricate re-entrants of the slope section (4-7) on first leg, the performance on the whole ensured that no British team finished outside the top 20. The strength of depth in both teams in the boys and girls ensured that the team finished 5th in the team relay standings (which contribute to the overall team standings). Having come 10th last year, the first team boys had a lot to live up to and delivered. There was brief elation, followed by nervousness, as the commentator announced Daniel Stansfield taking a clear lead early on, before mentioning that he was making a mistake, which pushed him back just outside the top 10. Dan described afterwards the slight confusion when he began to stride 50m into the lead after control 3- but this was a good omen as to what could be achieved next year by him. Dane put in a good performance, gaining 2 places before handing over to Sasha, who similarly pushed on to catch the boys in front of him, before overtaking them into the top 10 position.

Jackie Newton, Performance Manager, reflected on the Championships, saying: “The week has provided us with a mix of highs and lows, celebrations and commiserations, but there is an overriding sense of pride in our athletes who have worked incredibly hard and finished the week off with a superb all-round performance in the relays, putting us as 5th overall in that particular race. 


JWOC is one of two main targets of our year - WOC being the other - and we are working long term towards achieving more podiums and top twenty places at both of these competitions, in line with our performance vision. We have come up slightly short of our Sport England target this year, purely on an individual basis, but are proud to have achieved three podiums in the last three years and also in the overall performance of the junior squad, at both JWOC and EYOC. The team's performance at the latter, in particular, was particularly impressive, as we secured our best ever results at this level, with 10 top twenties and 2 podia in the sprint, and this bodes well for the future. 


A number of athletes have stepped up this year at JWOC and deserve a special mention. Megan Carter-Davies has achieved great results against all the odds, having broken her leg at the start of the year, and Fiona Bunn has announced herself on the international stage, with two fantastic runs in the week, and she still has three years left at this level! Sasha Chepelin has also put down solid performances to build upon, as he moves into his last year as a junior. Generally, this year's JWOC has seen a good all-round performance from the team and has been a positive learning experience for everyone involved."


Results from the relay can be found here.

The athletes would like to thank all of their supporters:

Family and friends

Personal coaches

Clubs and regions

Sport England

No Name

Fuel-it Sport

Manchester Metropolitan University - Sport Science support

SportsAid, Winning Students, TASS, Elite Sports Performance Scheme (Sheffield), Team Durham

Big thanks also for the hard work put in by the staff of the Talent Programme - Paul Murgatroyd (Head Coach for Talent), Jackie Newton (Performance Manager), Mark Nixon (Technical Lead), Heather Thomson (Phyisiotherapist).



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JWOC middle final - 4th position for Megan Carter-Davies!

After Great Britain's success in the middle qualifiers yesterday, spirits were high heading into the finals in Susch-Lavin writes Sarah Jones
A drop in temperature overnight, helped the athletes feel just like they were back in Britain, although the snow appearing on the surrounding mountains was not something we expected to witness in July! 
The athletes were faced with well planned middle courses with tricky controls, meaning even the top runners couldn't be completely clean.
Daniel Stansfield described the area as 'a shock and completely unexpected, nothing like the model areas' which we had visited earlier in the week.

Megan Carter-Davies (pictured above) continued an incredible week, finishing in 4th position. She said of her run 'it was a really good and safe run' and after her injury earlier in the year, and minimal time for training and racing in forests she knew she 'had to be careful' so she 'didn't worry about the running and spiked most of the controls, which paid off'.
Jenny Ricketts also executed a safe run and delivered a solid 43rd position at her first JWOC.
Fiona Bunn planned to do the same as in the qualifier. She 'took number 1 carefully, but unfortunately 'lost concentration on the downhill section to a tricky number 2.' After her first experience in a middle final, she was disappointed but has moved on and is 'ready to smash the relay' 

Another impressive GB run came from Alexander Chepelin (pictured above), whose 'slow and steady' strategy gave him a clean run for 16th.
The relays tomorrow will be the final competition of the week and the team are buzzing, lessons learnt from the other disciplines will be taken forward into Tarasp, for what will hopefully be a successful day in the forest.
Today's results can be found here.
Photo credit and thanks to Wendy Carlyle.
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JWOC middle qualifier

It was a very good day in the forest today for the Brits writes Will Rigg. Seven out of 11 of the team qualified for the A final. Commiserations to Sarah, Joe, Harrison and Alice just missing out. All of the above showed some really good parts in their race that they can take as positives into the Relay. 
Alexander Chepelin (pictured on the run-in) had a solid run coming in 11th today. Sasha had a stable first half of the race and was enjoying it so much he gave the others in his heat a chance by making two and half minutes mistakes! However Sasha got his 'stuff' together and cruised back into the finish to be comfortably in the top 20. Sasha was leading in 2nd until his mistake so it will be exciting to see what the Russian born skog (Swedish word for forest) monster can do in the final.
Dan Stansfield aka 'Brutus' started steady and, despite being careful in the beginning of the race, made an early miss! However the Dunblane resident showed he still had some Andy Murray fight in him, regaining focus to finish strong and romping back 20 places to qualify well in 14th.
Dane Blomquist snerkled into the A final in 19th place. Dane said "I was just keeping the fans entertained, I know I'll bring the big guns out for the final." Coached by Mick Woods, who coached Steph Twell to European Athletics bronze medal last week, Dane found the track route choices saved him today.
The British girls were the best today with some really strong performances! Jenny Ricketts finished in a fabulous 18th position in her heat in her first JWOC.
Julie Emerson finished  12th in her heat and was satisfied with her race despite some early mistakes, she recovered well and put a good shift in the latter stages of the race to qualify well in her heat.
Megan Carter-Davies (pictured after the last control) continued her excellent form to finish 3rd in her heat! Meg said her tactics were to "take safe routes to the controls and trust in her fitness." The Welsh dragon said "Job done for today, looking forward to the final!"
But the best performance of the day was 17 year old Fiona Bunn (pictured showing the photographer a clean pair of heels!) with a storming 2nd in her heat! Fiona says she is in great shape at the moment, took clean and safe routes and is now really excited for what the final brings! 
With some outstanding results today the team and very excited to give it everything in tomorrow's final!
Full results can be found here.
Photo credit and thanks to Wendy Carlyle
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Headcams and other wearable cams

Having taken advice, I’m sorry to have to ask all competitors not to wear headcams whilst participating in orienteering. Further to this I’m instructing all event organisers to require participants to remove headcams prior to the start in all events registered with British Orienteering.

There are a number of issues around headcams including safeguarding and land access that have led to the taking of this decision. I do not see this ban on headcams being in place long, just until we are able to issue an updated policy and procedures relating to the wearing of headcams and other wearable cams. Hopefully this will be within a matter of weeks.

Apologies to all of our participants that might use a headcam or might be thinking of experimenting with a wearable cam.


Item posted by Mike Hamilton, Chief Executive.

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JWOC long

Today was the long race in Val Müstair at an altitude of up to 2300m writes Megan Carter-Davies and Julie Emmerson.


As well as the altitude, the temperatures were high and the terrain was steep, making for an extremely tough race for all the athletes. Planned by Swiss WOC athletes Fabian Hertner and Matthias Merz, the courses really challenged every aspect of orienteering – physical, technical and even mental. Some of the team GB runners returned disappointed having struggled under the extreme conditions, yet our athletes can take several positives from the day.


Fiona Bunn (pictured left), aged 17, placed a very respectable 47th in W20 after having an outstanding first section before faltering at the end of a long leg. “I can take some positives from the race even though it all didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to and I’m looking forward to the middle and relay” said Fiona. “The altitude made it really tough. The area was as I had imagined it to be, apart from the white forest being harder to run through than expected with a lot of fallen trees.” Many stated that even the downhills were tough since they were so steep.
















The top GB result of the day came from Will Rigg (pictured right) who placed 31st in M20. “It felt like a normal race and I felt pretty relaxed having already raced the Sprint. My early start time didn’t seem to make too much of a difference. However I made a 3 minute mistake on number 6 which seems to have cost me a top 20 position but I bounced back well. I felt in pretty good shape and kept pushing all the way” said Will. “Big shout-out to Winning Students and Mark Nixon, Head of Performance Orienteering at Edinburgh University. I’d like to thank team-mates, Joe and Dane for their unconditional love and support. We are a unit!”


The team had spent much time studying the map and aerial photos, as a group, over the preparation camps and through social media. Will felt he “had prepared well for the route choices.” Coming out early to acclimatise to the heat and altitude helped the athletes feel more prepared.


Now the athletes have a rest day before the middle qualification races on Wednesday.



Will Rigg - 31st

Sasha Chepelin - 42nd

Harrison McCartney - 95th

Daniel Stansfield - 100th

Joe Woodley - 116th


Fiona Bunn - 47th

Alice Rigby - 88th

Jenny Ricketts - 99th


Full results can be found here.


Photo credit and thanks to Wendy Carlyle.


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JWOC sprint

Today’s Sprint Race took place in Scuol, with the Arena located around the main event centre for the whole JWOC competition writes Harrison McCartney.

The atmosphere was certainly fitting for a World Championships race, with extensive TV coverage on the big screen in the arena (utilising GPS and drones) for a crowd of spectators, most of whom were taking shelter from the heat. The conditions added to the physically tough race (both courses having approximately 100m of climb), with all the competitors taking on the steep alpine town under a glaring sun. The mental toll of high intensity racing became noticeable after the spectator control, as competitors entered a small parkland section which had been transformed by a myriad of artificial fences intended to draw poor route choices from tired runners. Dane Blomquist, who was flying into a top 20 place at the spectator, said he suffered from a “lack of concentration, crumbling under the heat of the race and the conditions” in the final section, losing considerable time near the end to come in 41st.


The course consisted of several distinct sections, with, initially, a technically straightforward section on a steep slope, then a descent through some short and sharp legs, before a long leg that divided competitors. Noticeably, this included the route of Joey Hadorn (winner of the men’s), who opted for a longer route to maximise pace along the Northern road, compared to the vast majority of similarly paced runners, who cut past the event arena in view of the spectators. This was a crunch leg for many - Will Rigg mentioned that a mistake midway through the long leg cost him a “potential Top 30”. Despite this setback, he “kept pushing until the end”, spurred on by the support of others (with a particular “shout-out to Tony Carlyle”).

One GB runner who didn’t seem to falter under the pressure of racing was Megan Carter Davies (pictured), who came in an incredible 7th. This was especially so, when placed in the context of only having run a few races beforehand, due to a serious leg injury which put her out of running training completely up until May, therefore leaving her with only 2 months to prepare physically. Clearly, the transition from “power walking” the British Long to nailing a World Championship sprint was made to look relatively easy, despite being “nervous giving the lack of recent racing”. Her resolve was clear, saying that she just needed to “not get distracted” and “get all the controls”, overcoming “tiring in the second half”, which clearly affected a lot of competitors, who were previously looking strong at the spectator.

*Megan's 7th is the best position ever accomplished in the women's JWOC sprint competition.


After a solid set of performances for the GB athletes, focus has quickly turned to the very different challenges that will be faced in the Long Distance race taking place tomorrow. Those who were not running in the sprint today were watching at the arena, itching to run and waiting in anticipation for what should be a classically tough, Long Race. The sprinters would all like to thank the coaching team for their support at the Start and Finish, Fuel-It for the provision of pre and post-race nutrition and everyone from Great Britain who came out and gave their support as spectators.






7th Megan Carter Davies

51st Julie Emmerson

84th Sarah Jones




41st Dane Blomquist

61st Will Rigg


*report updated 0608hrs 11th July.



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JWOC starts tomorrow!



Photo GB team:

Back row - Will Rigg, Daniel Stansfield, Dane Blomquist, Joe Woodley, Sssha Chepelin, Harrison McCartney

Front row - Alice Rigby, Julie Emmerson, Sarah Jones, Jenny Ricketts, Megan Carter-Davies, Fiona Bunn

After a full day of travelling on Wednesday 6th July, the British team arrived in the town of Scuol in the Engadin valley of Switzerland ready for JWOC 2016 writes Fiona Bunn.

The stunning mountainous scenery makes us all want to be out there running already but we are having to restrain our enthusiasm for now so we come into our competitions fresh and ready to race!

Our time has been spent visiting model and training maps and gradually becoming more confident in the terrain: understanding the mapping style and what techniques will be most useful for navigation, as well as getting used to the warm climate and experimenting with shoe and kit combinations. Harrison said “The terrain was very similar to what we had experienced before in St Moritz”, so athletes who attended the pre-JWOC camp last August are well-prepared. We have also been spending some time running at altitude in order to acclimatise, as the Long distance in particular will be at an elevation of 2300m above sea level. Yesterday the ice bath recovery was standing (or swimming, depending on bravery) in a lake at over 2350m above sea level which had an iceberg floating in the middle. Despite the pain it was definitely worth it!

A lot of teams are staying in the same youth hostel as us, and we are excited to get to know them over the coming days, starting with the opening ceremony this evening. Julie (Women’s team captain) said “There’s a great spirit in the team and we are all ready for the first race to kick off tomorrow”.

We are proud to be wearing the new GB kit supplied by No Name and the additional support has been great with Heather Thompson (physio) ensuring we get to the start-line with our bodies in top condition, an osmo-testing machine from MMU to test our hydration every morning (and scores posted by Jackie on the corridor for everyone to see) and nutritional support from Fuel-It who have kindly provided us all with Beet-It Pro Elite shots and HI5 hydration tablets to help us maximise our performance during the race. Athletes have been trialling the beetroot shots with variable success!

The team this year and their disciplines are below:


Alice Rigby (Debut) Middle, Long

Jenny Ricketts (Debut) Middle, Long

Fiona Bunn Middle, Long

Sarah Jones Middle, Sprint

Megan Carter-Davies Middle, Sprint

Julie Emmerson (Captain) Middle, Sprint


Harrison McCartney (Debut) Middle, Long

Joe Woodley (Debut) Middle, Long

Daniel Stansfield (Debut) Middle, Long

Will Rigg Sprint, Long

Sasha Chepelin Middle, Long

Dane Blomquist (Captain) Sprint, Middle

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Grace and Alastair on the podium at EYOC sprint


The final day of the European Youth Orienteering Championships took place today with the sprint event in Jaroslaw, Poland.

The area initially appeared to be relatively simple but was complicated with temporary barriers that provided more interesting route choices but caught many athletes out. The weather was cooler and suited better the team from Great Britain but a heavy downpour, shortly after the first start times made conditions slippery underfoot for much of the competition, although there were periods when the ground dried up quickly.

By the end of the competition, Great Britain had two athletes on the podium, with Grace Molloy achieving 4th in W16 and Alastair Thomas achieving 5th in M16. The prize-giving ceremony was held in the main square of the city with a grand stage and plenty of atmosphere. The British team gave their two superstars rousing cheers and applause as they celebrated with them.




After coming down from the stage, Grace said "It was exciting to be on the podium. I am very happy that I managed a good run. When I was out there, I didn't realise that I was that high up, but I knew it was quick and I didn't lose much time. I made sure I knew where I was and where I was going".










Alastair was beaming as he came down from the podium and said, "That was a good feeling! I didn't expect to get as good a result as this, in this event, but I knew I was running fast and so suspected that I could be up there. Physically, I felt good but there is room for improvement with my technique. I spoke to my coach, Lewis Taylor, and he told me to have confidence and just go for it. I was last starter but I handled quarantine well and am very happy with how it went."








Head Coach for Talent, Paul Murgatroyd, worked with the team at this event and said, “This was one of the toughest EYOC’s I’ve experienced in my time with the squad. The two forest events were incredibly physical and technical throughout, and that, combined with the extreme temperatures, made for a truly challenging weekend. What was so pleasing, though, was seeing some of the best GB juniors work so hard and make such impressive improvements throughout the competition, culminating in two outstanding results in the sprint today! The squad’s dedication and work ethic bodes well for the future.”



Photo credit - Lisa Boileau

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Long lessons taken into relay at EYOC today

The European Youth Orienteering Championships continued today with the relay events. Once again, the athletes awoke to baking-hot temperatures and, once again, they faced particularly tough courses with "gully after gully after gully" (Aidan Rigby).

Last night, the team got together to discuss lessons learnt from yesterday's long event and approaches that would be taken today. Many of the athletes also got on the phone to personal coaches and family at home and went into the relay with solid plans.




The W18s and M18s started together at 0930hrs. Alex Carcas (pictured left) put in a solid run, on first leg, that brought him back in 8th place to hand over to Aidan Rigby who ran very well and brought the team up to 7th. Matt Fellbaum ran the anchor leg and also put in a very credible performance that secured the team in 10th place.






Meanwhile, Emma Wilson (pictured right) went out on the first leg for the W18s. Unfortunately, things didn't go well for Emma and she handed over to Laura King in 21st position. Laura used the opportunity of being on her own to concentrate on her navigation, that hadn't gone so well the day before and, by doing, this, achieved the 10th fastest time on her leg. Lucy Haines put in another very good performance on the last leg and also ran the 10th fastest time, bringing the team back in 14th.

After the race, Aidan Rigby said, "I had a completely different approach today after a very disappointing run yesterday that saw me pull out at the spectator control. I had tried to run too fast early in the race yesterday and hadn't quite appreciated the conditions or the level of technical difficulty. Last night I discussed it with my coach, Sarah Hague, and my family and they helped me to decide on my plan. My aim was to go out slower and be technically correct.  It was nice to hit the first control well and then run solidly through the rest of the course. Physically, I am very fit at the moment and I think I found ‘the edge’ but it was the right side of the edge!"

Laura King also explained how a more steady approach paid off: "I was a lot cleaner. I took my time, concentrated on not going fast and stuck to my compass better. I used the contours rather than paths and the plan and picture came together."

The M16s and W16s also started together. For Great Britain this was a combined team of 16s with Alastair Thomas, Jake Chapman and Grace Molloy running the M16 race. Alastair (pictured left) went out first and handed over to Jake in 8th place. Jake had a storming run, clocking the 5th fastest time on his leg before handing over to Grace who used the experience positively and worked well throughout the course.

Afterwards, Jake spoke with satisfaction of how he laid yesterday's diappointment to rest. "Neither speed nor outcome was on my mind. I wanted to be clean. I started nervously and hesitated to number one but nailed it and then got on with the rest of the course. It was a huge improvement on yesterday."





The mixed team relay was the third race of the day and Great Britain's Pippa Dakin (pictured) ran with W18s from Denmark and Austria. Pippa ran the first leg and she too enjoyed the race and improved her performance from yesterday. At the time of going to print the mixed results were not ready but can be found on the link below once they have been finalised.


Photo credit - Lisa Boileau

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