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Tweet Monday 27th September 2021

The Euromeeting in Switzerland saw good performances from the GB team

At the weekend there was a team of 15 athletes who represented Great Britain at Euromeeting, Bettmeralp, Switzerland.

The races took place over terrain between 1800m - 2700m above sea-level, with the bigger part being open grassland and meadows but also included some alpine ski terrain with good runability.  In the lower parts there were alpine forest which was tough to run in and with a lot of details, stones and contours.

There were some good performances from the British team with Grace Molloy, Laura King and Hector Haines finishing well up the field in both the Middle distance and the Long distance races, and with some juniors making their debut senior performances.

Hector Haines, said: 
“Fantastic open terrain at over 2000m altitude felt exotic but in reality, not dissimilar to some terrain in the Lakes or in Scotland.

The races themselves were exciting, but an aggressive strategy paid off as the visibility was excellent and underfoot conditions good, so the technicalities of the terrain were made more straight forward.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, the viability was not excellent for the duration of the races with athletes commenting that they could see more in the night races!

Joe Woodley, said:  “This was some of the most challenging orienteering I have done with a maximum of 10m visibility for the duration of the Long distance race.”

 

 

 

 

Small misses counted for a lot in the events and losing a minute or so in the Middle distance race put you back a dozen or so places.

In summary it was described as fast racing, physically challenging with small margins for error.

 

GB Team
Men

Middle Distance 25.09.2021 Results

Long Distance 26.09.2021 Results

Hector Haines

25th

30th

Alastair Thomas

64th

75th

Peter Molloy

61st

67th

Chris Smithard

71st

MP

Matthew Gooch

72nd

40th

Alasdair Pedley

73rd

45th

Joshua Dudley

75th

59th

Joe Woodley

77th

49th

Flurry Grierson

83rd

81stt

Women

 

 

Grace Molloy

20th

16th

Laura King

24th

29th

Jo Shepherd

35th

41st

Fiona Bunn

44th

54th

Mairi Eades

54th

36th

Eilidh Campbell

58th

40th

Some of the team will now travelling to Cansiglio and Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy for the World Cup Final, meeting the rest of the GB team in Italy today supported by Team Managers Andy Kitchin and Mark Hayman.

The Long distance will take place on Thursday 30 September, the Middle distance on Saturday 2 October and the Sprint Relay on Sunday 3 October 2021.

World Cup Final Team

Men

Joshua Dudley

Women

Cecilie Andersen

Hector Haines

Fiona Bunn

Ben Mitchell

Megan Carter-Davies

Chris Smithard

Laura King

Ralph Street

Grace Molloy

Alastair Thomas

Jo Shepherd

Follow the live action here:

Find out more about the World Orienteering Final - Round 3 here.

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British Orienteering wishes the GB team all the best in the final round of the World Cup Competitions and looking forward to their performances capitalising on a great season of International Racing.

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Tweet Friday 24th September 2021

Scottish 6-Day, Lochaber 2021 – reflections from a first timer

Report by Ric Gamble, Development Officer and Chair of Lagan Valley Orienteers

Pre-event

In the summer of 2019, I travelled for my first big orienteering competition at Kainuu in Finland, but I had yet to experience a large multi-day event in the UK and neither had my wife Sarah or son Peter. So when entries opened for the Scottish 6-Days at Lochaber we were quick to add our names, living in hope that lockdown restrictions would be lifted. Whether the event would go ahead at all certainly seemed 50/50 at times. The organising team did an amazing job negotiating all the ups and down, twists and turns and in the end it did turn out 50/50, the event was arranged into two separate groups so that competitors ran on half of the allocated 6 days.

We along with 20 others travelling over from Northern Ireland, mainly from Lagan Valley Orienteers, were arranged to run in Group A on Days 1, 2 and 5. It was a great idea from the organisers to keep the club atmosphere on these days and having the whole of Day 6 to travel down and catch the ferry home, took the pressure off on the last day. Going by some of the times out on the hill on earlier days this was appreciated – but more about that later!

Day 1 – Ardchattan (Sunday 1 August)

After a long day in the car travelling up to Fort William the day before, it wasn’t too early a start on the Sunday for the first race at Ardchattan – just as well, as it was a fair jaunt down towards Oban. The weather was beautiful and the views along the sea lochs of Linnhe, Creran and Etive were stunning and made the drive a joy.

Ardchattan was described in the Event Information as “an area of fast open moorland offering fine views over Loch Etive down to Connel Bridge and the Falls of Lora”. I don’t think I will ever know what fast means on moorland but at least I can appreciate fine views. To get to the start was an effort in itself but fortunately I gave myself enough time to catch my breath and take in the stunning views before adjusting my focus on the start. Entered for M45L, the C3 course which was down as 7.9km with 335m climb; I knew I was going to be out for a while, so I needed to pace myself. Planners Graham McIntyre & Mike Stewart (INT) ensured I wasn’t going to go out too quick, with a good climb up to control 1, thanks! The course heavily relied on keeping tabs on contour detail which I was happy with until things started unravel a little as I sped up going off the hill to the finish and my oxygen starved brain was even less alert than normal. But I got home, all controls visited in the correct order, job done!

Back to the field where the cars were parked, food and water and a good catch up with friends from the club and even some sun bathing (if an exhausted person lying in a heap in the heat can be classified as sunbathing).

Day 2 – Inverlochy (Monday 2 August)

No commute today, this course was situated just outside Fort William at the golf course with more fantastic views up towards the North and West faces of Ben Nevis, which was clear all the way to the summit.

So, a Middle-distance run on a golf course, can’t be that hard surely?! The planners Nick Hale & Dan Gooch (MAROC) I think had different ideas. The first half of the course took me up into steep, mixed wooded slopes. Although Peel Land Surveys produced an excellent map, especially the areas of bracken, I had errors galore and not quite the start I was hoping for. The move into the commercial forested area went a lot more smoothly and I relaxed a bit too much as I looked forward to getting into the easy golf club area - well, I shouldn’t have. I quickly proved that orienteering is a more frustrating sport than golf. It was heard that there were more lost golf balls found out there in the rough than controls.

A lovely undulating fairway provided a natural finish arena and allowed club members to catch up again after their runs and cheer on later finishers.

It was a fairway round that course. 

‘Rest’ Days (Tuesday 3 – Thursday 5 August)

Instead of the usual one we had three rest days in a row this year. You can’t go to an area like this and rest for three days, there is too much to see and do.

Many from Lagan Valley Orienteers club decided the first ‘rest’ day would involve a climb up Ben Nevis, others went to seek out some eagerly anticipated local beverage or do a MapRun of Fort William. The Gambles opted for a climb up past the Pap of Glencoe to the Munroe, Sgorr nam Fiannaidh for views along the Aonach Eagach ridge and south over to the Three Sisters. Afterwards we took the short Corran Ferry trip over to Ardgour to enjoy the evening with family.

The other two ‘rest’ days involved white-water rafting and at last some proper rest, a bit of sightseeing, shopping and coffee shop hopping.

Rest day option 1: Having Lunch with Ben – LVO top club in Scotland, literally. 
Rest day option 2: white-water rafting

Day 5 – Creag Dhubh (Friday 6 August)

We awoke on our third and final race day to look out on a grey and damp landscape, a markable change in the weather. As we drove to the venue the weather deteriorated further, the thunder storms fortunately did not materialise, but we felt for the early starters and hoped the weather would lift for our runs. I’m pleased to report it did, instead of getting wet from above the later starters got soaked from the bottom up by the saturated, oxter high bracken.

The venue was used the previous day by the other 1,000 odd competitors in Group B and was down as a World Ranking Event. In the event information, Creag Dhubh (pronounced Craig Doo, or alternatively pronounced badly by anyone not from Scotland), was described as “Rough open birch forest on fairly uniform slopes either side of a spur projecting from Creag Dhubh with longer courses out on rough open moorland. Boulder fields and areas of scree.  Bracken areas are generally navigable.  Slow runnability for the majority”. My course certainly didn’t disappoint, I had a good mix of all this varied terrain. This time I learnt from day 2 and didn’t rush off, allowing my head to get into the map. Unaware at the time, there were many first controls quite close together and in slightly different directions, so the elephant tracks made by yesterday’s runners could be very misleading. In fact, they did prove very misleading for a number of runners, losing great amounts of time before they hardly started. Having found my first three controls though challenging terrain, my next leg led me 195m straight up onto the open hill. The route choice may have been obvious for some, skirt round to the north of the boulder field and cliffs, but I once considering myself to be a keen climber, so I fancied a more exciting direct approach. On this lonely climb I was joined by a few hundred small, flying, buzzing things, like tiny vultures waiting for me to drop – unfortunately for them I didn’t. When I topped out there was enough of a breeze to blow away my climbing companions only to be replaced by fellow competitors who could have proved equally fierce and distracting if I had allowed. With the big climb out of the way and with more open terrain the course started to run more smoothly, until I got back into the bracken again. Only a few short controls off the finish and I lost my position on the map and stupidly ran along a wayward elephant track. Afraid of losing height, I ended up wandering around for 15 minutes about 20m above my control. Eventually the illusive control was located and a quick finish followed, happy to have completed all the courses over the three days.

Back at the car, soon joined by my son Peter, we got ourselves dried off and some much-needed sustenance. The car park was clearing and uncharacteristically, Sarah was not back, so we went over to chat with the download officials near the finish. With not long before the courses closed, there were half a dozen people still out on the hill. Looking up we could see a frenzy of activity in the vegetation above and they all streamed out, Sarah being the last back with seconds to spare. It turned out she was one of the many who lost a lot of time on the first control. But was Sarah the last out there? On Sarah’s run in, Peter and I were joined by our friend Denis from LVO and Richard Oxlade the event organising coordinator. Denis was looking for the driver of his lift home (who will remain anonymous) and Richard was also interested in a last runner out there. When Richard asked, “Is he the determined type?”, Denis answered, “He is not the type to let things beat him”. Richard pondered this and then asked, “Is he a good navigator”, Denis was less complimentary with his answer this time. Within a few minutes, Denis’ lift arrived and to the applause of those remaining, and not involved in dismantling the site, he managed even to skip to the finish.

Staying to the very last moment of our last day, I and Lagan Valley Orienteers made the most of our 6/3 days. Not all of the NI bunch had their full monies worth though, some ran round their courses more quickly - congratulations to those who performed really well overall: Richard McCourt LVO, M75S 2nd, Olivia Baxter LVO, W21S 2nd, Helen Baxter LVO W65S 1st and Teresa Finlay Fermo W70S 1st.

Thank you all involved in putting this great event together - coordinators, organisers, planners, mappers, landowners, army of helpers and volunteers. In the circumstances, I think everyone appreciates that this was a very challenging and stressful event to stage and you did a fantastic job, well done!

Lochaber no more...............Moray for more!

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Have you attended any orienteering events for the first time this year which you would like to share with others? 
Email:  jtaylor@britishorienteering.org.uk

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Tweet Wednesday 22nd September 2021

National Fitness Day : Five Health Benefits of Orienteering

More and more people are discovering that orienteering is a fun and challenging activity that gets them exploring the great outdoors.  

The challenge is to discover checkpoints in the form of posts or plaques, in forests, heathlands, parks and green spaces across the UK. The combination of physical and mental exercise often in stunning locations is like no other, and you can find, navigate and complete courses at any time, and at your own pace. 

The sport of orienteering offers many benefits, but its foremost attraction is that it’s great fun!

1.  Time outdoors is great for us physiologically:

For one it improves our Vitamin D levels. Getting enough vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.

The Vitamin D Council says, “your body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight”.

 

 

 

2.  Increased time being outdoors with nature improves people’s health and happiness:

Increased time being outdoors with nature has been shown to significantly improve people’s health and happiness. The UK’s first month-long nature challenge, which took place in 2015 by the University of Derby involved people "doing something wild" every day for 30 consecutive days. It showed that children exposed to the natural showed increases in self-esteem. They also felt it taught them how to take risks, unleashed their creativity and gave them a chance to exercise, play, and discover. In some cases, nature can significantly improve the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), providing a calming influence and helping them concentrate. “Intuitively we knew that nature was good for us as humans, but the results were beyond brilliant.” said Lucy McRobert, Nature Matters Campaigns Manager for The Wildlife Trusts.

3.  Increased cardiovascular capacity:

Orienteering involves walking, jogging, and running, often in rough terrain. All three of these activities increase aerobic capacity and cardiovascular strength.

The Department of Health in their Start Active, Stay Active report state: “regular physical activity can reduce the risk of many chronic conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions.”

 

 

 

 

4.  Sharpens decision making skills:

Orienteering offers the development of individual skills in navigating while problem solving to locate each control. Decision making is paramount: Should I go left, or right? Should I climb that hill or go the long way around it? These decisions that constantly arise require thinking more than quick reactions or instinct; again, that is why orienteering is often called the thinking sport.

Research shows even one 30-minute cardio session pumps extra blood to your brain, delivering the oxygen and nutrients it needs to perform at max efficiency. Cardio also floods the brain with chemicals that enhance functions such as memory, problem solving, and decision-making.

5.  Balance between the physical and the mind:

The ultimate quest for the orienteer is to find that balance between mental and physical exertion, to know how fast they can go and still be able to interpret the terrain around them and execute their route choice successfully.

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Go Orienteering

The sport of Orienteering is the perfect activity for not only National Fitness Day but can be enjoyed all year round. 

Permanent and Virtual (GPS / Smartphone) Orienteering Courses are a great way to get outside and go orienteering at a time and place that suits you. Find out more and visit:  www.goorienteering.org.uk and use the search facility to locate your next orienteering adventure.  

British Orienteering's new web portal is useful to help you find Permanent and Virtual Orienteering Courses; www.GoOrienteering.org.uk.

Here you can use the postcode search facility, choose a location, download the map and get started.

Just enter you postcode or theh area you want to visit and explore.  There are a list of other options too, for example you can select from Parkland, Forest, Town, as well as the number of miles you would like the search to be within.  Then simply click on the 'Search' button on the top right.

Read through the different courses available, download a map and Go Orienteering! 

Interested, but want to know more?  Check out this video produced by The Orienteering Foundation which explains more.

 

#NationalFitnessDay  #PhysicalActivity 
#Orienteering #Navigation

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Tweet Friday 7th September 2018

British Orienteering to launch live on-line training

An exciting new programme of online training is launching this month. As originally announced in the August member newsletter, the pilot sees three different live training sessions delivered online and free. The confirmed dates and subjects are:

  • Thursday 27th September – Coaching for mixed abilities
  • Thursday 4th October – Planning
  • Thursday 18th October – Developing you club

All sessions will start at 7 pm and run for approximately 45 minutes.

To access each session, you simply need to follow the advertised link and log on at the right time and date.

There will be the opportunity to ask questions throughout the session and we would encourage anyone with a question prior to the session to send it in and we’ll answer it live on air.

We’ve been fortunate to secure some excellent people to deliver the sessions, commencing with Hilary Palmer and coaching.

Each session will be delivered using Microsoft Teams which you can sign in using your Microsoft account or join anonymously.

To view the session;

  • Click on the advertised link
  • Click watch live event
  • Sign in with a Microsoft account or join anonymously

With the first session fast approaching the link for coaching for mixed abilities is;

Coaching for mixed abilities  

To send in any questions to be answered during the webinar or want to know more information, simply contact Peter Brooke on pbrooke@britishorienteering.org.uk

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