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Tweet Wednesday 26th June 2019

World TrailO Championships Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal

The first competition in this year’s World TrailO Championships was the PreO competition.

Round 1 was held yesterday, Tuesday 25 June, at Quinto de Valero, just outside Idanha-a-Nova, a picturesque area of undulating grassland with plenty of exposed rock features amidst copses of cork oak. The weather was an improvement from the previous day's rain, starting cloudy but quickly becoming very warm, with the temperature rising to around 30C.

There was one course for both Open and Para classes, of 1.1k with 28 controls and with timed controls at the beginning and at the end of the course, each having three problems. The time allowance for the course was 120 minutes for the Open class and 125 for the Para class.

Scores were very close with many positions decided on the time controls. In the Open class, only Pinja Makinen of Finland had a faultless round with all 28 correct.

John Kewley (MDOC ) was the best GBR finisher in the Open class. John’s score of 28 with no faults on the timed controls puts him in 25th place. Tom Dobra (BOK) also got 25, but made one error on the timed controls, putting him in 35th place in a field of 65. Charles Bromley Gardner (BAOC), the third team member, had a day he would rather forget and finished well down the list.

In the Para competition, Colin Duckworth (TVOC), making his team debut, put in the best British performance of the day.

Colin’s score of 24 points and no errors on the timed controls leaves him in 8th place at the halfway point. Veteran Dick Keighley (WIM) scored 20 points and one timed control error placed him 25th/39.

This is of course only the midpoint of this competition with a second PreO round to follow on Thursday.

Full results via

Today is another model event, modelling not only the terrain for PreO Day 2 but also the Relay and TempO competitions, as well as an IOF Advisors’ Clinic which a number of the GBR team and its officials plan to attend.

Tweet Wednesday 26th June 2019

EYOC 2019 Preview

This coming weekend sees the first of the junior international competitions, with European Youth Orienteering Championships (EYOC) taking place in Grodno, Belarus between Thursday 27th June and Sunday 30th June. 

There is a team of 9 athletes heading out to represent Great Britain and this sees a mixture of returning and first-time international runners taking to the Sprint, Long and Relay races. Four debutants will be Alice Wilson (CLYDE) in W18 and in 16s Jim Bailey (BOK), Rachel Brown (ESOC) and Joe Hudd (WCOC), all eager to make an impression in Belarus and begin their international careers in a positive fashion. 

In the MW18 category we see returning David Bunn (TVOC), Matthew Gooch (MAROC), Flurry Grierson (DEVON), Lizzie Stansfield (FVO) and Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla (EBOR) .

The teams discussion at the pre-EYOC camp revolved around the likely challenges of the forest which for both the Long and Relay looks very green and contoured but with no prior maps available the model events will be all important on Thursday to work out the chellenges the forest will present. The Sprint will take place in central Grodno and the pre-EYOC camp focused on the challenges of a very traditional city urban area which is likely to be quite fast and not overly technical.

The programme starts with the Long distance on the Friday morning, Relay Saturday and a Sprint race on the Sunday. We wish the athletes all the best for this and the remainder of the races next weekend. 

You can follow the action here: 

Tweet Tuesday 25th June 2019

GB team set to compete at World Trail Orienteering Championships today!

The peak of the 2019 Trail Orienteering season is reached this weekend when the World Championships (WTOC) begin in Idanha-a-Nova in eastern central Portugal. 25 nations are set to compete at this year's World Trail Orienteering Championships.  The Open class has 89 competitors and the para class 43.

The Championships started with the Opening Ceremony on Sunday, and on Saturday and Sunday a pre-WTOC event, part of this year’s European Cup in TrailO (ECTO), was held not far away on similar terrain.

Today sees the World Trail Orienteering Championships 2019 - PreO Day 1.

The GB team are all prepared for the first WTOC 2019 PreO event to be held today, very near to Idanha-a-nova, where the team are staying.

Charles Bromley Gardner
Tom Dobra
John Kewley
Colin Duckworth
Richard Keighley

Great Britain: Open

Charles Bromley Gardner (BAOC)
World Ranking

Tom Dobra (BOK)
World Ranking

John Kewley (MDOC)
World Ranking

Great Britain: Para

Colin Duckworth (TVOC)
World Ranking

Richard Keighley (WIM)
World Ranking

Start lists can be found here.

British Orienteering would like to take this opportunity to wish the GB team all the very best as they compete in the World TrailO Championships PreO event today.

The main competition days are:

  • Tuesday 25 June:  PreO stage 1
  • Thursday 27 June:  PreO stage 2
  • Friday 28 June:  Relay
  • Saturday 29 June:  TempO Qualification and Final

Reports and leading results can be found here on the event website

Tweet Monday 20th May 2019

World Orienteering Week: Interview with Cat Taylor

World Orienteering Week: Interview with Cat Taylor

Posted by  | May 19, 2019 |

The elite orienteer discusses her route into the sport and its crossover with running.

Cat Taylor started orienteering at the age of seven and made her GB debut in 2012, going on to achieve results including bronze at the European Championships and a win at a World Cup round.

After seven years of living and training in Sweden, the South Yorkshire Orienteers athlete now lives in Sheffield and combines training with work as a translator. In the spring and summer she is often on the road for camps and competitions and is currently on a training camp in Norway.

Ahead of August’s World Orienteering Championships in Norway and as part of World Orienteering Week, Taylor shares some insight into her sport and its crossover with running.

Athletics Weekly: What was your route into orienteering? Were you a runner, or an orienteer, first?

Cat Taylor: I’ve been orienteering since I was tiny, I was definitely an orienteer first! I did cross country at school, along with lots of other sports, and I was okay but never great. Of course I do a lot of running now but it’s all as training for orienteering. I run a few fell races and have done a couple of 10km on the roads (my best is 35:32) but it’s never been a main focus. I do enjoy racing any kind of running where I can fit it in but I always have quite a packed programme.

Cat Taylor

AW: What do you love most about orienteering?

CT: I first got hooked when I started running off the paths, just straight through the forest. It’s a great feeling of freedom. I also like that the physical and technical challenge is really different from place to place. A track is the same anywhere but for example, a forest near Stockholm is a lot different from one near Madrid and to be consistently good at orienteering you have to be very adaptable.

AW: How do you prepare for major championships? Do you have an ‘average’ training week?

CT: At home, I try to do a good mix of running training – a bit of everything on all surfaces – and consistent technique training. It means quite a bit of variety but I do have a consistent week plan. The toughest thing with this sport is that specific preparation for a championship means travelling to terrain and race in similar conditions to those you’ll face on the big day. You’re not allowed to run or even visit the area you will race in before you actually start but can get a good idea of the kind of challenge by training in the forests nearby. So this year I’m spending altogether about five weeks on World Championships training camps (near Oslo, Norway). All the travel can sometimes disrupt training but it’s a necessary compromise.

AW: Can you talk about the crossover between the two sports and the necessary skill sets?

CT: Once you’ve learned the basic navigation techniques you need to orienteer, it’s mainly about managing the balance between running quickly but still concentrating on navigation. The higher your aerobic threshold, the faster you can run without being in the “red zone” (where you need to concentrate hard on the running, meaning you can’t make decisions as well and risk getting lost!). My physical training works towards being as good an all-round runner as possible; you have to be strong up hills, down hills, in rough terrain, through marshes, over rocks and on flatter, fast surfaces.

The biggest difference for me is the feeling on the start line. Even in cross country you know exactly where the course will go, where it’s going to hurt, you can have a pretty exact plan for how to run each bit. In orienteering you can have very little idea of where you’ll be going until the clock starts, you pick up the map and runoff. You’re also often alone all the way and have to be very good at pushing yourself and keeping positive because it’s almost impossible to run completely without technical mistakes.

AW: What are your key 2019 targets in both running and orienteering?

CT: I’ve actually had a pretty rubbish time this last winter. I’ve been injured and doing a lot of alternative training but I’m still aiming to be back in top shape by August to fight for the very highest positions in the World Orienteering Championships (near Oslo, Norway). I’ve frustratingly had to reign in running plans while I recover but am gradually getting back into action. Because all the most important competitions this summer are in soft terrain I’ll not prioritise racing on the road or running much track at all, but I’ll hopefully have time for some local fell races in the coming months.

AW: What are you most proud of having achieved in your elite career so far?

CT: I’ve had a few good international results so far, including a win at a World Cup round and a bronze medal at the European Championships. I’m happy any time I feel like I’ve got the most from myself on an important day, it means that the project I’ve been working on for months or even more has been successful and it’s that feeling that makes all the pain and expense worthwhile!

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Photo by Rob Lines