Orienteering will enjoy live television coverage this summer as the JOK Chasing Sprint – which takes place at Callendar House, Falkirk, on Friday 28 June - will be shown on TV and online, via the new BBC Scotland TV channel.
Available to TV viewers across Scotland and online via BBC iPlayer across the UK, BBC Scotland was launched in Spring and has been showcasing Scottish sport to new audiences. The JOK Chasing Sprint is set to appear as part of “The Adventure Show”, a programme which has promoted outdoor activity in Scotland for many years.
Competitors from across the UK and further afield are being encouraged to sign up for this year’s edition of the race. The JOK Chasing Sprint was first staged in 1995 and it's Flying Pig’ trophies show an illustrious list of previous winners including several former World Champions. The format has every competitor run two short races - a Prologue and the Chase - with the overall results in each category decided by the head-to-head racing in the various Chase races.
Pictured above: 2014 Chasing Sprint at Birsemore on Royal Deeside in Scotland, with elite winners Daniel Hubmann of Switzerland and Hollie Orr of Scotland/GBR.
Event Organiser Jon Cross of JOK said:
“The creation of the new BBC Scotland TV channel – and its appetite for live sport - has generated a great opportunity for Scottish sport and we’re really excited orienteering is a part of this. Live television will be a first for the JOK Chasing Sprint, and the event setting within Callendar Park should look beautiful on a Scottish summer evening.
“With the Adventure Show being broadcast live on BBC Scotland on Friday evenings, the head-to-head format of this event makes it an ideal choice for their coverage. It’s great that the sport and its competitors will be getting this exposure. We hope to deliver some close and exciting races – so we hope as many orienteers as possible will take their chance to come along and be part of it!”
There are a number of different age categories and courses, and start times for the Prologue round are likely to be from 3.30pm-5.15pm. Start times for the various different Chase finals will be determined by the Prologue results, and all will be between 7pm-9pm during the live broadcast.
The Adventure Show coverage will be a two-hour live show on BBC Scotland, from 7pm-9pm. It will feature highlights from the Prologue, with the main focus being the live coverage of the different Chase races taking place during the programme. The live coverage of the Chase will benefit from GPS tracking of the leading runners from the Prologue, and from live footage via a number of cameras on the courses, allowing viewers to follow the races closely as they unfold.
Further race information including details of how to enter is available now at https://www.jok.org.uk/chasing_sprint/2019
Deadline for entries is Thursday 13 June, though may close sooner dependent on demand.
World Orienteering Week: Interview with Ralph Street
The elite orienteer on discovering a love of running through orienteering
Ralph Street was born and raised in London and admits that to have ended up among the world’s elite in a sport that has its origins in the Scandinavian wilderness is probably fairly unexpected.
He first competed for Great Britain in 2007 and since then orienteering has taken up more and more of his life. After finishing university in 2012 he moved to Scandinavia to really chase his orienteering dreams and last year finished 13th in the middle distance at the World Championships which is his best individual result so far.
Ahead of August’s World Orienteering Championships in Norway and as part of World Orienteering Week, Street shares some insight into his sport and its crossover with running.
Athletics Weekly: What was your route into orienteering? Were you a runner, or an orienteer, first?
Ralph Street: I was an orienteer first as both my parents were involved in the sport so I started competing as a youngster. Orienteering gave me a love of running, particularly cross country, so I took that up at school when it was on offer.
AW: What do you love most about orienteering?
RS: I like the challenge that orienteering presents: it is always different. The forests vary as well as the courses; sometimes there are short straight legs or longer routes that are more complex. You have to keep thinking and concentrating the whole time, so the key is to match your physical ability and mental alertness. I like the sense of adventure in orienteering, it’s no exaggeration to say you are heading off into the unknown and even at a big race you can find yourself completely alone in the terrain.
AW: How do you prepare for major championships? Do you have an ‘average’ training week?
RS: At the start of the year I sit down with my coaches and we set a plan for the year filling in the races, training camps and key sessions. I usually follow a single peak periodisation plan focused towards the World Championships where, like all other athletes, I am trying to be in the best possible shape both physically, technically and mentally. On the physical side, I have found that focusing on threshold training is the best way for me to hit my peak, so this forms a key part of my taper. For mental and technical training, I try and work out what kind of challenges I am likely to face while out in the forest and how I can overcome them in the best possible way.
As I am based in Oslo my training varies a lot from winter to summer; I do a lot more cross training (mostly cross country skiing) and gym work when the snow is here. On a snow-free average week, I will fit in two hard sessions, two gym sessions and a long run. I then fill in the rest with as much running and orienteering as my body can sensibly tolerate.
AW: Can you talk about the crossover between the two sports and the necessary skill sets?
RS: All the top orienteers have to be very good runners. The main difference is that orienteers have to prepare for a great variety of terrain: hills, marshes, forest, rocks, so we learn to be most efficient over rough terrain. Even running on a forest trail can be different from a tartan track. Another big difference is most orienteering competitions are run as a time trial which means that you are alone in the forest and have to judge the pace and effort yourself; there is no lead pack to hang on to.
AW: What are your key 2019 targets in both running and orienteering?
RS: My main focus this year is the World Championships in Norway in August. Before then I hope to go to Finland in June for some World Cup races and I will also compete in the big Scandinavian club races (think National Road Relays but along with about 20,000 other orienteers at the largest race) which is good for dealing with pressure but also great fun. The key for me now is managing the transition back into a high running volume after a winter largely on the cross country skis so that I avoid any injury setbacks.
AW: What are you most proud of having achieved in your elite career so far?
RS: Fourth place in the World Championships relay when it was held in Scotland in 2015 was a great result in front of a home crowd.
If you are part of a small club, you are probably dealing with some of the same problems as us at SBOC;
In order to try to solve some of these issues for the future, we are trialling some beginner-focused coaching sessions this spring as a way of getting more people signed up for events and spreading the love for this amazing sport. If this sounds like something that you are/would consider for your club, read on.
Firstly, the idea came out of discussions by the club committee. We have always done our best to break people into the sport gently by giving a bit of help on their first event, however, this often means a 2min lesson in how to orientate the map then showing them how the dibber works before sending them on their first course. Some of these people have returned for a second event but some probably haven’t. A bit of more formal coaching, we thought, might encourage more of them to stick at it and get some success.
A plan was duly hatched and a programme of sessions was together with help from some of the committee sorting out maps, funding, incentives and access etc. The original plan was to book people onto four consecutive sessions which would follow a series of logical progressive skills based on the ‘step system’, each including a short practise competition and culminating in an introductory event using SI punching in a relatively friendly area that would hopefully give people the confidence to enter events such as our summer league events. As an incentive, we planned to offer free membership for a year and a free copy of Carol McNeil’s book for people booking onto the full series. To promote the sessions we spent about £20 on Facebook advertising and put an Ad in the local ‘What’s on’ publication. Of the two, Facebook gave the best results, possibly as social media makes it easy to click on details and booking forms and also encourages sharing with friends. 50% funding support from the Welsh Orienteering Association helped to run the programme, incentives and advertising and make it affordable for the club.
Locations are a key factor in providing an enjoyable event and even more so for getting beginners hooked. We opted for Pembrey Country Park, Clyne Valley and Clyne Gardens, all easily accessed from the Swansea/Llanelli area and with reasonably non-intimidating, safe terrain with good path networks. Having some open areas where it is easy to keep an eye on the junior beginners was also useful.
Each session basically consisted of a map walk with coaches helping out beginners, some coaching exercises followed by a small event using old school control cards for the first few then SI punching on the final session. Club members helped out with the coaching so we could work with groups of 3-5 beginners for most exercises. Getting buy-in from the more experienced club members is essential to get the programme to work and we are fortunate at SBOC to have some very enthusiastic and capable orienteers who are happy to pass on their expertise.
15th - 21st May 2019
How are you planning to get involved in World Orienteering Week?
World Orienteering Week is approaching! If you haven't planned an orienteering activity yet there is still plenty of time to get involved.
Together let's get Great Britain on the world map and help in making this the best World Orienteering Week ever!
The International Orienteering Federation's (IOF’s) Vision for World Orienteering Day
Increasing the visibility and accessibility of orienteering to young people, increasing the number of participants both in the schools’ activities, as well and in the clubs’ activities in all countries of National Federations, helping teachers to implement orienteering in a fun and educational way and to get more new countries to take part in orienteering.
All schools, all orienteering clubs and all countries all over the world are encouraged to participate in World Orienteering Day. We hope you are all considering how to implement a fun activity in your school, in your club, in your village, in your city or in your country.
What event are you planning? FREE Resources available.
There are many inspirational event ideas and free promotional resources to download available here.
Register your Event or Activity
Don't forget to register your event on the world map here.
For more information email Project Leader: firstname.lastname@example.org