This bank-holiday weekend the Yorkshire and Humberside Orienteering Association hosts the British Long Distance and Relays Championships. Over 1,300 competitors from all over the country will be taking part over three days in what is sure to be a varied set of races in three different types of terrain.
On Saturday the relatively newer format of Mixed Sprint Relays takes place in Bradford, based at the University and adjacent College. There is a record entry for this event compared to previous years, which features the Open Class (for two men and two women) in which many of GBR's best sprinters will compete, alongside classes for Juniors and Veterans. This will be a great event for spectators as well as competitors, with close head-to-head racing over short but highly technical courses in the urban university campus environment. The biggest race of the weekend will be the Long Distance Championships on Sunday, on the open hillsides above Kilnsey and Arncliffe in Wharfedale. Age classes from 10 to 90 will compete over 27 different courses ranging in length from 2km to 16km. This race is a UK Orienteering League and UK Elite Orienteering League competition, and a selection race for international competitions later in the year. The terrain is typical Dales limestone with extensive pasture and some detailed contouring, and rock features scattered throughout. Winners will need to combine fast running with careful navigation in the technical sections.
By coincidence, the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race also passes through Wharfedale on the afternoon of the British Champs, and orienteers will be ideally located to spectate that on leaving the event.
The final event of the weekend, on bank holiday Monday, is the British Relay Championships for club teams (3 runners). Held in Middleton Park on the outskirts of Leeds, this terrain is wooded parkland with some intricate details and over 270 pits left from historic coal mining. The arena for the event is the South Leeds Stadium, from where courses will start and finish, adding to the excitement for spectators.
Results of the competitions will be published each day on the event website: www.boc2019.org.uk
Live results updates in the event arenas will be available on wi-fi (BOC2019) and news updates will be on social media (#boc2019).
British Orienteering would like to thank the organisers for all of their hard work and wishes all competitors travelling to the championships a great long weekend of orienteering.