UK Orienteering League 2017 starts this weekend

This weekend sees the start of the UK Orienteering League (UKOL), a competition for all age categories from 16 upwards held at events across the country between February and November. UKOL Races 1 and 2 are both being hosted by Lakeland Orienteering Club (LOC) this coming weekend - firstly the British Night Orienteering Championships, followed the next day by the Northern Championships.

The British Night Orienteering Championships will take place on Great Tower Wood, a small but technically complex area of woodland near Newby Bridge in the Lake District.  The organisers say "competitors should look forward to a significant navigational challenge." What is already a tricky area during daylight will no doubt be a lot harder at night, and the experienced planner Derek Allison will set courses that will really test the best orienteers.

The Northern Championships will be held on Bigland Estate, one of LOC's best areas for orienteering, and used for a World Ranking Event in April 2015. The organisers describe it as follows: "a superb and varied mix of Lake District terrain with almost no green on the map. The most testing part of the area in terms of both running and navigation is an area of broadleaf woodland on a steep slope. This includes many knolls, re-entrants and rock features. Above the wooded slope lies a plateau visited by longer courses, divided by numerous walls into enclosures of open and semi-open fell and woodland. These all contain intricate contour, rock and marsh detail."  With the longest course for Elite Men being 14km (with 730m of ascent), it'll be a good test of early season fitness. The Elite Women have 9.6km to cover, with 460m of ascent.

Results from the races will be on the LOC website by Sunday evening. Results for the UKOL races, both this weekend and the remainder of the season, will be published on the UKOL web page.

Thanks in advance to Lakeland OC for hosting the races this weekend. Good luck to everyone competing in them!

Item posted by Martin Ward.

Posted on Friday 24th February 2017