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Tweet Friday 20th September 2019

British Middle Championships 2019

By Sal Chaffey and Ranald Macdonald, Derwent Valley Orienteers

British Middle Distance Championships
Sunday 15 September 2019
 

Organiser Sal Chaffey from Derwent Valley Orienteers, comments:

Our day for “the Middles” was a foggy one, amidst days of blue autumnal skies. This was certainly true on the Friday, when a small team met at Piece Farm to place the eight temporary stiles on the moor, and on Saturday when the marquee arrived and we set up the arena, cheered by news of Derwent Valley Orienteers' medals at the British Sprint Championships in Loughborough. Again, the Monday and Tuesday after the event provided excellent drying days for the soggy assortment of kites and kit!

However, on Sunday morning you couldn’t see the portaloos from the marquee – it was like being on another planet and I was relieved when the first non-DVO competitors emerged from the mists as I knew that others would surely follow.

Above photo on left:  The Arena on Saturday. Piece Farm (on the left), Lantern Pike (on the right). 

Above photo on right:  The first brave spectators set up tents in the mists of Sunday morning!

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And they did. Some 877 competed on the day, 859 of those on Championship courses. 

We had about 80 helpers from DVO, most of whom undertook an array of different jobs as the day progressed – thank you all!  Thank you to Viv Macdonald who liaised with the DVO Teams and dealt with road signs, making my job so much easier. Mike Godfree handled entries.  

Thanks also to the Prize-giving Team of Val Johnson and the Duckworth and O’Donnell families who enabled the Hallam family from Piece Farm to be involved. 

Unclaimed medals and maps will be available at DVO’s Regional event at Longshaw on Saturday 26 October. Longshaw is a beautiful National Trust area just 10 miles SW of Sheffield, and the event is part of the East Midlands League.

It’s been great to be part of an event of this scale, and it certainly makes you appreciate the efforts put on behind the scenes by other clubs and by staff at British Orienteering. We are privileged to be part of a sport in which there’s always room to learn, and where age is no barrier in participation, as borne out by our competitors, who ranged from 8 to 88!

Planner Ranald Macdonald, Derwent Valley Orienteers, comments:

Scheduling the British Middles in the first half of September is always going to limit the areas a club like DVO can use because the undergrowth is at its worst. However, we do have a couple of upland areas that are more suitable. The first we looked at was deemed unsuitable for the level of event and we have subsequently had significant access issues with that area. We had only used Chinley Churn a few times since its initial mapping in 2015 and, whilst it also has limitations, it seemed worthy of consideration.

The area comprises tiered quarry workings and steep scree/boulder fields on the eastern side, marshy moorland on the top and then fields sloping down to the west and the assembly area on Piece Farm. The area is divided up by uncrossable walls and fences meaning that we had to construct eight stiles to provide reasonable straight line routes or to avoid stiles on public rights of way that could be busy on an early autumn Sunday as it’s a very popular walking area.

I had never planned a championship/level A event before and was really only third or fourth choice as other potential planners were too busy in their work or were injured. The whole exercise was therefore a very steep learning curve for me, though greatly assisted by the ever-patient Chris Burden (AIRE), my Controller.

The Finish was largely determined by the area chosen for Assembly and car parking. It provided a good arena with visible final controls across the skyline and downhill to the Finish.

Finally, some thank yous:

  • To Sal and her assistant, Viv, for a very well organised event
  • To the DVO teams who once again rallied round in large numbers to ensure the event ran smoothly
  • To Chris Burden for his help, advice and support when needed – I learned a lot about planning and controlling from Chris
  • To Paul Addison and Dave Chaffey for their help in various ways, not least control hanging and waking up, and supporting Stuart Swalwell when dealing with the injured competitor
  • To the small army of stile installers on the Friday before the event, helped by the farmer who transported six of them to the top of the area
  • To Mike Godfree for administering entries and map printing and constructed the stiles as well as managing the Download team.
  • To Richard Parkin, for his excellent map and forbearance when we asked for even more map changes
  • To Andy Yeates (WCH), BOF Major Events Consultant, for his support and advice on all aspects of the event.
  • And of course, to the landowners, Henry and Jason Hallam for allowing us to park at Piece Farm and run on their land, Judge George Needham and George and Steven Wainright for letting us use their land as our temporary stadium. Without their help we could not compete. Jason Hallam, in particular, couldn’t do enough to help and he and his wife, Beth, seemed to be delighted to be asked to do the Prize Giving, along with Amanda Roberts, EMOA Chair.
  • And finally to you, the competitors, all 877 of you, who made the effort over the last two years all worthwhile, not least with your positive and constructive comments.

Photo credits:  Steve Rush (BOK)

Final results can be found here.

Results, as well as WinSplits and Routegadget, are here.

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Event officials
Organiser: Sal Chaffey assisted by Viv Macdonald, both DVO
Planner: Ranald Macdonald assisted by Dave Chaffey, both DVO
Controller: Chris Burden, Aire
Mapper: Richard Parkin, DVO
 

British Orienteering would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the Organiser Sal Chaffey and all event officials, to Derwent Valley Orienteers and surrounding clubs for all their hard work and behind the scenes activities in making this a great British Middle Championships.

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Tweet Thursday 19th September 2019

The British Orienteering Sprint Championships 2019

By Bob Haskins, Leicestershire Orienteering Club (LEI)

Saturday 14 September 2019 turned out to be a warm and sunny early Autumn day.  It couldn’t have been better for holding the British Sprint Championships at Loughborough University. 

There were 800 entrants who were able to enjoy a day of fast, and at times complex, sprint orienteering.  The Event Centre was at one of the University’s main facilities buildings, thanks to holding the event out of term time, and had plenty of capacity for enquiries, starts and results displays, and download.  Loughborough University is the premier sporting campus in the UK, and the University authorities were very accommodating, as they had been when the event was held here previously in 2013.  It is also the largest single campus site in the country and we still have about one third of the campus which has not been used for a Championship event.  It is also a quickly changing environment, and our mapper, Peter Hornsby was making changes up until just a few days prior to the event.

As the available area is so large, it enables the heats and finals to be on adjoining areas, but with no overlap.  This makes life more difficult for the

Planner, Iain Phillips, of course, who effectively plans two separate large events for use on one day with 40+ separate courses and 150+ control sites.  However, this makes for a much more interesting event for the competitors, with the most complex areas being used for the Finals.

From an organisational point of view, having good facilities makes putting on the event a bit less challenging.  There is a 630-space multi-storey car park available, so no muddy fields for us.  The arena area seemed to work well and it was possible to look down over the finish run-in from the grass banks or the hard standing next to the event centre.

The biggest challenge of the Sprints is the timetable for the day.  We started all the morning heats over one hour, setting off 20 competitors at a time in full minutes.  This was thanks to our 18-member start team and some pre-event practices and much thinking.  The big pressure then comes to process the heats into the start lists for the Finals, and we were very thankful that this was contracted out by us to SIEntries.  The printout I have of the finals start lists shows a time of 12:38 pm, ready for the first finals starts at 1:30 pm.  The Finals were over a larger window, and therefore a bit more relaxed. 

The Open class Final was also a World Ranking Event which necessitated a variation from normal practice, in that all the three finals were the same course.  Only an A Finalist could be British Champion, but any of the finalists could win the WE race.  As it turned out it was the British Champions who won this race as well.  For the first time at the British Sprints, there were also separate class medals for M/W 18 and 20.  We also altered the usual ordering of the Finals, so that we had a stream of A Final winners coming in at regular intervals, culminating in the Open Class finalists at the end of the afternoon with most competitors back and watching this exciting finale and listening to the excellent commentary.

Juniors competing.   Photo credit: Phil Conway (GO)
Kris Jones.  Photo credit: Phil Conway (GO)
The University grounds

Kris Jones started strongly in the morning sprint qualifying race, winning his heat by over a minute. He followed this up with a superb run in the afternoon final, winning in 12.27 over 3km, 47 seconds clear of Peter Hodkinson in 2nd place and Jonny Crickmore in 3rd.

Megan Carter-Davies also won both her heat and final, finishing the final in 11.44 for 2.3km, ahead of Alice Leake (2nd) and Cecile Andersen (3rd).  

Megan commented:
“I was chuffed to take this win, my first British Sprints medal in senior”. 

 

 

 

Medals ready to be presented
Megan Carter Davies and Kris Jones take GOLD

Photo credits:  Bob Haskins (LEI)

Full results are available here.

Congratulations go to all the British champions! 

British Orienteering would like to thank Bob Haskins (LEI) and all members from the organising clubs for an excellent day of Sprint racing.

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Tweet Wednesday 18th September 2019

Caddihoe Chase 2019, Dartmoor – entries close on 22 September!

DAY 1:
Saturday 28 September 2019

South-West Championship event - Classic Distance (National level).

DAY 2:
Sunday 29 September 2019

Chasing start times will be computed on the basis of Day 1 running times, with a base-time of 10.00.

The terrain is typical Dartmoor, mixed woodland and moorland. The moorland is generally runnable with rocky tor outcrops. The profusion of pits and gullies, which add considerably to the technical challenge, is the unintended legacy of the former tin-miners.  

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Event Organiser, Alan Simpson from Devon Orienteering Club, says: "The Caddihoe Chase is an annual event in the South West. It was invented by Devon Orienteering Club, and we host the event alternate years, with other South West clubs taking their turn in between. We look forward to you joining us for a weekend of quality orienteering at the Caddihoe Chase, on the 28th and 29th September in what is a stunning location of south west Dartmoor."
 

Age-class Caddihoe trophies will be awarded on the Sunday, based on the two-day result.

The unique feature of the Chase is that, in every age class, the first runner across the finishing line is the Caddihoe Winner.

Caddihoe Chase - have you entered yet?

There is still time to enter!  On-line entry is via www.fabian4.co.uk, on or before 22 September 2019.

Late entries/Entries On Day may be available, but strictly subject to map availability.

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Officials:
Event Planner: Nicholas Maxwell, Devon Orienteering Club (DEVON)
Controller: Graham Pring, Cornwall Orienteering Club (KERNO)
Organiser: Alan Simpson, Devon Orienteering Club (DEVON)

Many thanks to the landowners SW Lakes Trust and Dartmoor National Park Authority for the use of their land for this event.  

Further event details are available on the Devon Orienteering Club website – here.

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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!

For more, see cattaylor.net

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Photo by Rob Lines

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