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Tweet Thursday 16th May 2019

British Orienteering Championships report relays days of intense racing

Last weekend the Yorkshire and Humberside Orienteering Association clubs hosted the British Champs weekend, three days of intense orienteering racing on varied terrain. Bradford University and College was the venue for the British Mixed Sprints event, for teams of two men and two women (in the open class) and at least one woman (in the junior and vets classes).

The arena was right in the heart of Bradford University at the Student Central, making an ideal venue for the handover between each leg of the relay. Being a Sprint relay, course leaders were only taking around 15 minutes per leg, so it was action packed for the spectators with great live commentary from Katherine Bett. Winners of the Open Class were Edinburgh University (Fay Walsh, Alistair Masson, Alexander Chepelin, Zoe Harding) with almost a 2-minute lead, but the battle for 2nd and 3rd was incredibly close, with Forth Valley just beating Bristol to the finish line.

Mixed Relays Start. Photo: by Wendy Carlyle
Veteran’s (40+) Podium. Photo: by Wendy Carlyle

The British Long Distance Championships were held on the open hillside of the Yorkshire Dales, at Arncliffe and Kilnsey. Runnability was very fast, but there were areas of detailed contours and rock, making sections of the courses technically very challenging. Winners had to combine fast running over the terrain with careful navigation in the complex sections.

Competitors on the Arncliffe courses. Photo: by Steve Rush (BOK)
Photo: by Rob Lines
Men and Women Elite podium. Photo: by Rob Lines

The British Relay Championships completed the three-day weekend of events, and were held in Middleton Park in Leeds. The arena was the South Leeds Stadium, with runners completing half a lap of the track at the end of each leg. Another fantastic venue for relay spectators! Middleton Park is full of old mine workings, with a lot of bell pits and some intricate bushy vegetation in the woods, so again the challenge for runners was to combine fast running with careful navigation through the controls.

Competitors leave the stadium. Photo: by Rob Lines
Juniors Mini-Relay podium. Photo: by Rob Lines

The weekend was a great success and the YHOA organising committee would like to thank all the members of YHOA clubs who volunteered at one, two or even all three races to help ensure they went smoothly. Thanks also to photographers Steve Rush, Wendy Carlyle, Rob Lines and Crawford Lindsay for providing access to their Flickr photo albums of the races.

Full results and photos of all three British Champs Weekend races are here.

The British Long Distance Championships was also a UK Orienteering League race.
See the latest standings in the league here:

The Elite Classes at the British Long Distance Championships were the final race in the UK Elite Orienteering League.
Final results of that are here: