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Tweet Wednesday 18th July 2018

World University Championships - Middle Distance

In 2016, it was a Swedish domination of the Middle distance, taking the titles in both the Men’s and Women’s courses. Neither Lillian Forsgren nor Oskar Sj?rberg were in attendance to defend their titles, so two new champions were guaranteed to be crowned.

Runners were met with hot conditions once again as temperatures creeped over 30 degrees, and it could have been that heat combined with the technical forests which caused some of the big mistakes which we saw out on courses. The courses were as expected; a combination of vague but visible forest, with low visibility sections to put the runners under pressure, and with 2.5m contours it would always be a challenge to have a good feel for the terrain.

The first British athlete out into the terrain was Nathan Lawson, who posted solid splits throughout the first half, being the only man to match the pace of the Finnish runners. Some mistakes crept into Nathan’s run towards the finish as he began to tire, with the runners he was catching possibly providing a distraction from some of the tricky navigation in the final section.

Next up it would be the first two British women out in the forest: Sarah Jones and Fay Walsh. Both made early mistakes on the technical slopes around the first 5 controls, stabilising towards the end but clearly the forest was incredibly demanding. Ben Mitchell was next into the forest, and started positively. Stable throughout he made no major mistakes until the final controls, but didn’t seem to be on the pace of the leaders, and was just pipped by Nathan at the finish.

Chole Potter started well, hitting the first 5 controls cleanly and overtaking all 3 of the runners who started before her. A wide safe route to 6 didn’t lose her time, before again the middle section of the course in the green, low visibility section saw her race came unstuck. Joe Woodley suffered a similar fate, coming unstuck early in the course. There was initial speculation of an injury, but it seems that he retired to save his legs for the Long Distance (possibly a good choice with the state of some runners by the finish).

The last two starters for Britain had it all to play for, with Sasha Chepelin and Megan Carter-Davies both the best chances of a top British result. Megan had a fantastic start, running on the same pace as eventual winner from Sweden Emma Bjessmo. As happened with so many others, the long leg across the vague terrain into the green (arguably the hardest control on both the courses) cost Megan dearly, and although she worked hard to regain the time, another mistake on the 14th pushed her outside the top-10. Bjessmo would go on to take the win in an emphatic day for the Swedish women which saw them have four runners in the top-6. Sasha managed to put together a fantastic run, performing stably throughout, just gradually slipping back from the leaders. The smallest of errors on the 10th control would cost him a 5th place at the finish by a handful of seconds, but he was safely back in the finish with a good run under the belt. It was then a waiting game to see what the final positions for the Brits would be. The Medals in the Women’s race seemed set, but it was all up for grabs with the Men, with Aleksi Karppinen (FIN), Paul Sirum (NOR), Jens Ronnols (SWE) and Tim Robertson (NZL) all fighting for a medal. It would be the Fin though, that held together the best, taking the first medal for the championships for the host nation.

In the end Sasha would hold onto 8th position, 5 places better than the 13th place of Will Gardner at the 2016 championships. Megan’s result gave here 13th in the end, 6 places higher than the best 2016 championship result of Lucy Butt in 19th.

 

Other results are as follows:

Men: Nathan Lawson – 29th, Ben Mitchell – 34th, Joe Woodley – RTD.

Women: Fay Walsh – 40th, Sarah Jones – 43rd, Chloe Potter – 46th.

 

The Sprint Distance:

Thursday sees the runners return to the urban discipline. If the Mixed Sprint Relay is anything to judge by, it will be an extremely fast race. It is again urban, with parkland sections interspersed. With expected winning times of 13:25 and 13:20 for the Women and Men respectively, be prepared for some tired runners by the end of the day, particularly if the heat reaches the same levels as the Middle Distance. It again all starts at 08:00 UK time.

At the 2016 championships, the British dominated the sprint discipline, with a gold medal and 3 other men in the top-12 and 2 women in the top-8. Let’s hope that the team can pull off something similar this time. With the team rotations involved, out go Joe Woodley and Ben Mitchell and in come Matthew Elkington and Jonathan Crickmore, whilst in the Women’s race Katie Reynolds and Cecile Anderson come in for Megan Carter-Davies, Fay Walsh and Sarah Jones.

 

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Tweet Wednesday 18th July 2018

British Orienteering Major Events Consultant

An exciting opportunity for a short-term Major Events Consultant to assist British Orienteering to deliver specific major events within our portfolio of events.

You will need to have excellent communication, organisational, diplomatic skills and attention to detail. Previous experience in major orienteering events is a must as you will need to manage expectations, working to a budget and proved excellent customer service in a challenging environment.

You will help maintain, influence and enhance what is a crucial part of our events portfolio.

A brief overview of the role is:

  • Managing the partnership agreement between British Orienteering and the JK2019 organising team
  • Monitoring timelines and priorities for the JK2019
  • Provide leadership, motivation, direction and support to the JK2019 team
  • Being responsible for monitoring the JK2019 budget
  • To assist in managing supplier relationships
  • To monitor and report back on the agreement for the British Sprint / Middle Championships 2018
  • To monitor and report back the agreement for the British Long / Relay Championships 2019
  • Communicating, maintaining and developing the relationship between British Orienteering and the organisers

Skills

  • Significant experience organising orienteering events
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks, working within a team but also independently
  • Excellent negotiation and diplomatic skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to travel as required including site inspections and onsite support.
  • May include evenings and weekends.

Time Commitment

The role is based on the equivalent of five days a month over a period of three months.

Remuneration

The day rate =                                   £150 inclusive of any VAT

Based on three months =              £2,250

Expense budget =                            £750

Total budget =                                   £3,000

Further information

If you would like further information about the role then please contact:

Peter Hart, Chief Executive, via email phart@britishorienteering.org.uk or via phone 07384 462432

Applying for the role

Orienteering is an ambitious sport, as such, we are keen to attract a wider pool of talent to their board to help the sport attract and integrate with a wider participant base, better reflecting today's society. We welcome applications from all sections of the community, regardless of age, race, colour, sex, marital status, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, disability or sexual orientation.

Please submit a covering letter and CV demonstrating your suitability to the role paying close attention to the required skills and experience contained within the above section on skills.

Please highlight in your application when you would be available to potentially start this role.

Please keep covering letters to a maximum of two sides of A4 and CVs to a maximum of two sides of A4.

Please submit your application via email info@britishorienteering.org.uk

Closing date for applications

17:00, Friday 3rd August 2018

Interviews week commencing 13th August 2018

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Tweet Tuesday 17th July 2018

World University Championships - GB take 4th in the Mixed Sprint Relay

Hot and humid conditions met the athletes for the first race of the 2018 World University Championships. The terrain was not as the athletes expected. Initially most had presumed artificial barriers would be used to make the terrain a real technical challenge. Instead, they were met with a combination of flat, urban sections, interspersed with featureless forest. Though there were some routechoices, these were minimal and primarily located at the beginning and end of the courses, with a long ungaffled section in the middle of each course, meaning that any navigation mistake would be amplified. With temperatures climbing to 32 degrees, the athletes would have to keep calm and not push too soon and risk blowing early in the race; a cool temperament would be essential if a team slipped behind the leaders.

Cecile Anderson began proceedings for GBR, with a long first leg putting everyone under-pressure and Hungary and France making an early split in the bunch. Although she had a couple of the longer gaffles initially, Cecile stabilised her run behind what had become a breakaway trio of France, Hungary and Switzerland. Handing over in 7th place, she sent Jonathan Crickmore out into the terrain just 30 seconds behind the leaders.

On leg 2, the leading trio began to extend their advantage, with Hungary initially breaking away, before France took the lead heading into the changeover. Behind Jonny was having a tough day, holding place in the group but making no inroads into the leaders, with the gap drifting out to 1:16 by the changeover.

On Leg 3, it was time for GBR to start making a comeback. Alexander Chepelin blitzed through the first splits, gaining time incessantly on Hungary, Poland and Spain in 4th, 5th and 6th. Picking clean routechoices when the other runners were focusing on the running pace, by the changeover Sasha had pulled the team up to 6th, just 1 second behind Hungary, but 50 seconds down on a medal position.

This left it up to Megan Carter-Davies to try to anchor the team to a second medal in successive championships for Great Britain. Megan started phenomenally quickly, and it was GBR and Poland moving the quickest of anyone in the terrain. By a third of the way through, Megan had already caught Norway, who had begun the leg in 3rd and had dropped Hungary, but with Poland moving just as quick, it would be tough to get a medal. On the commentary it was announced that the French last leg was beginning to suffer at the spectator run-through, offering a small glimmer of hope to Megan (who had already clawed back 40 seconds). A late mistake by both France and Poland opened the door, but sadly it was too much of a gap to close. It was, however, a fantastic run to bring the British team back into 4th place.

Full results can be found here.

 

Quotes from the Team:

Sasha Chepelin – My race was good. I felt a bit overheated at the start and wished I’d kept a bit cooler instead of warming up for so long. Luckily for me (but possibly not so for the rest of the team) it was more about flat out running today. A bit more technical orienteering would have been better for us, plus slightly cooler weather.

 

The Middle Distance:

After this solid start for the team, the athletes will move to the forest tomorrow for the Middle distance. Though vague the forest is apparently rough underfoot. There will be a high focus on good compass direction and again a high physical capacity will be needed to take a medal. First starts are from 08:00 UK time with medals expected to be decided around 12:00.

Two years ago, it was Lucy Butt who provided the top performance for Britain in the Women’s race, placing 19th, with William Gardner being the best of the Brits in the Men’s race, placing 13th. Let’s hope for even better from the runners tomorrow – good luck to all.

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Tweet Sunday 15th April 2018

Sunset and Beyond - A Relay with a Difference!

Southampton Orienteering Club is celebrating its 50th year.

As part of our celebrations, we wanted to introduce a new event in an exciting format. The Sunset and Beyond Relay. Colin Hicks came up with the idea of a Harvester style event but in an Urban/Park setting.

The Sunset and Beyond Relay pits teams of six against each other in a parkland and urban setting. The early runners start in daylight then, as the sun sets, later runners compete in the dark. Each team must have at least two female runners and a maximum handicap of 40 points using the Harvesters system.

Handicap points are based on age class:

Class

10

12

14

16

18

20

21

35

40

45

50

55

60

65+

Men

1

2

4

6

8

9

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

Women

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

The aim was to keep the competition close, with mini-mass starts just a few minutes later than the winning time for the previous Leg.

A tight schedule to complete the event including prize giving by 10 pm, by which time we had to vacate our event centre venue.

So we had all the excitement of the Harvester in a four to five-hour event!

There were prizes and medals for the first three teams and a brand new Trophy for the winning team to hold for the year.

The event was on Saturday 24th March at Fleming Park, Eastleigh (Southampton). The Leg lengths were as follows:

Leg

1

2

3

4

5

6

Length

4.0km

5.0km

7.0km

5.0km

7.0km

4.0km

Legs 1 and 6 were in the Park so were suitable to be run by under 16s.

The Start, Change over pen and Finish were right outside the event centre building along with a spectator control visited by all courses. The atmosphere around the hand over pen was electric while inside those preparing to run were bubbling as news of runners going through the spectator control filtered in.

Colin Hicks planned the event and got the courses spot on with a great mix of Urban and parkland running.

The whole event was put on by some 11 helpers including Phil Cooper (WIMBORNE ORIENTEERS) who Controlled the event and helped set up. Terry Smith led the computer team and put in a lot of time and effort in pre-event preparation and coped admirably with all the challenges on the night. Pete Davis put in the hours up front dealing with the publicity, advertising and innovative online entries and payment system and I did my best to keep everything on time on the night.

Nine teams took part and the first three teams home finished within 8 minutes of each other after just under 4 hours of racing. The winning team from Wessex Orienteers, 'Wessex We Six,' consisted of Tracy Crickmore, James Crickmore, Peter Suba, Dale Paget, Alan Blanchflower and Julie Astin. They won in 3:44.25, 'SLOW A' was second in 3:48.34 and 'Wessex Hex' were third in 3:52.12.

Wessex Orienteers - the winning team

Southampton Orienteering Club (SOC) were pleased and very grateful to Kevin from 'UP AND RUNNING' Eastleigh who sponsored the event and came along on the night with some offers on running kit. Also to Tim from SILVA who also came along and offered the chance for runners to test out some of the Silva head torches.

SILVA also very generously donated some great spot prizes.

SOC would like to thank all who helped make the event a great success on the night and all who came along and took part.

Save the date!
Southampton Orienteering Club will be putting this event on again next year on the 2nd of March 2019 and they hope to attract more teams to the Sunset and Beyond Relay!

Sunset and Beyond - Finish
Sunset and Beyond - At the Start
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