The British Orienteering Sprint Championships takes place on Saturday 30th September in Campbell Park, Milton Keynes and the British Orienteering Middle Distance Championships on the Sunday 1st October in Wendover Woods, Aylesbury.
Preview of this year’s British Middle Championships.
Jennie Taylor Communications Officer caught up with Mike Cope, Event Organiser of this year’s British Middle Championships being held on Sunday 1 October at Wendover Woods near Aylesbury.
Mike, you successfully coordinated JK 2016 in Yorkshire, far away from Wendover. This British Orienteering event is being organised by orienteers from a number of different clubs. How did you get to be the Overall Event Organiser for this year's British Middle Distance Championships?
“The Championships are being organised by me in an unusual way. Due to East Anglia Orienteering Association not having the manpower to run both the Sprints and the Middles, or a suitable area near to the Sprint Championships, I agreed to take on the organisation of the Middles if I could get lots of help. And I have got lots of help. Thames Valley Orienteering Club has done most in providing the area, the planners, some other officials, and many helpers. Other clubs too will be making a big contribution, particularly South Midlands Orienteering Club, Happy Herts orienteering Club, Berkshire Orienteers and Basingstoke Andover District Orienteers , as well as smaller contributions from others. It is an interesting exercise in cooperation. I keep my fingers crossed but it seems to be working.”
Will you be making any changes this year?
“Seeding for most classes was trialled last year. The same will be done this year as it seemed to go down well. Mixed punching will be allowed as has been done at some other Major Events this year. One other change is that M/W 18/20s will not be on the same course as the M/W 21s so that they have winning times nearer to those used for the Junior World Orienteering Championships.”
Are you encouraging juniors to take part?
“The Wendover courses should suit juniors. It is pleasing that 3 weeks before entries close we already have nearly as many juniors as entered last year, and for the very youngest class M/W10s we already have more entries than last year.”
What do you think will make this a British Middle Championships worth going to?
“Wendover Woods is known to many orienteers in the south of the country, but there is a brand new map drawn specially for the event and using LIDAR data. Planners Mark Thomson and Peter Riches have been working hard to get the most out of the area. They asked Jim Prowting as the principal mapper to map an intricate area of knolls related to the 1987 storm. This will be encountered towards the end of the courses and it should provide a significant navigational challenge when competitors are getting tired.
Thanks to the cooperation of local farmers, the arena and car park are conveniently close in adjacent fields. There is ample room for club tents and spectators should get a good view as runners finish. Equipment and catering traders, commentary, and other activities will be in the arena. There is even an arrangement for campervans to stay overnight.”
What is your final message to British Orienteering members?
“There is an order in for better weather this year than we had for the event last year! Wendover Woods and the arena field are lovely places in good weather and that is what we hope for. Entries close on 10 September so hurry up if you have not entered yet and want to join us at a great event to find this year’s Middle Distance Champions.”
Thank you, Mike! We wish you and all the clubs and their volunteers who are involved in helping to put on this event all the very best with the final preparations. Fingers crossed for sunny weather! Thank you on behalf of British Orienteering.
If you haven’t yet entered you will need to do so very soon, as the entry closing date is fast approaching!
Closing date for all entries is midnight on Sunday 10 September 2017.
To enter visit: www.sientries.co.uk. See here for more details.
Please note: to enter all participants must be a member of British Orienteering. Please allow 5 working days after renewing British Orienteering membership for this to be updated in the online entries database.
Full details can be found on www.britishmiddlechamps.org.uk