All posts by Angus Lund

Katie McInnes wins SLOW's 2013 Spring Handicap Series

Congratulations to Katie McInnes who wins SLOW’s inaugural Spring Handicap series. The competition was run over five events run by other clubs from January to March, with the best three adjusted scores counting.

Angus Liu was the runner-up and first man. Katie and Angus both scored top marks at one event (Verdley and Balcombe respectively) with Katie getting a second and two third places at other events.

Full results of the 2013 series are available here.

The handicap scores are based on ranking points over the 12 months to the start of the series. In the results, the handicap column shows the mean and standard deviation up to the start of the series in January 2013, and the two columns for each event show the series points, the ranking points awarded by BOF and the adjusted value used to calculate the series points.

Great results for SLOW across the JK weekend

The annual Jan Kjellström weekend of orienteering proved very successful for South London Orienteers, and in particular for the Street/Brown family. SLOW achieved the second highest turn-out of any club: 81 members ran in at least one individual competition, and five competed in the Trail-O.

Day 1: Sprint at Whiteknights Campus, Reading University

Reading University hosted the sprint event on day one of the JK. The area is not as complex as some urban areas, so the focus had to be on speed and avoiding making mistakes rather than careful navigation.

SLOW got two podium placings with Sarah Brown finishing second on W60 and Di Leakey third on W55. Ralph Street narrowly missed the Men’s Elite sprint podium with a fourth place finish.

Day 2: Hambleden

Ralph Street taking first place on M21E at Hambleden
Ralph Street taking first place on M21E at Hambleden
Hambleden was the location for day two’s elite middle distance with the rest of the field running long distance. The area is largely runnable open woodland and fields broken up by steep climbs over the hills that run across the area. The sun broke through the cloud cover occasionally providing respite from a bitingly cold wind. Club tents lined the run in to the finish giving spectators a great view of the fast-moving competitors. The atmosphere was great, with SLOW club tops clearly in evidence.

Ralph Street won the M21E middle distance race by almost 45 seconds (pictured right), which secured him the best place in the chasing start for the final day’s classic length course. This is a great result for Ralph, particularly so given that injury ruled him out of much of 2012.

Results were coming in well for the Street-Brown family: Sarah Brown won W60L by almost two minutes. Anja Stratford was second on W40L, clear of third place by over five minutes. Chris Robinson also won the shorter W55S by over a minute.

Day 3: Cold Ash

Cold Ash was different to Hambleden: a less steep area but much wetter underfoot with mapped marshy areas extending beyond their marked areas. All courses were long distance, with Men’s Elite running 17.9km.

Ralph started last and unfortunately made an early mistake at control six, losing around three minutes and dropping to 36th, and was left with a long and lonely run in. Despite this, he recovered to run six fastest legs over the remainder of the course – the joint highest number with winner Matthew Speake – and came home fifth. This was enough to secure him third place on the podium, an excellent result.

Titles were secured by other SLOW members who had performed well in the previous day’s racing:

  • Anja won the W40L race by almost two minutes which was enough to overcome her Day 1 deficit and she took the W40L title by almost thirty seconds.
  • Sarah Brown won again in W60 and took the title by nearly four minutes.
  • Chris Robinson won again in W55S, winning overall by over eight minutes.
  • Paul Street completed a hat-trick of podium finishes for the family finishing first on M55S to improve on his sixth at Hambleden and took the top spot by over six minutes.

Day 4: Relays at Hambleden

Monday saw a return to Hambleden for the mass-start relays, and SLOW runners secured another medal. Di Leakey joined in the successful weekend that Sarah Brown and Chris Robinson were enjoying to take silver together in the Women’s Veterans Relay.

The Men’s JK Trophy relay team of Ed Catmur, Jev Petrovs and Ralph Street came sixth – a tremendous achievement for the club in a very competitive field. This is the best result that the club has achieved in the top men’s relay class, at least as far as anyone can remember!

Di Leakey, Chris Robinson and Sarah Brown, runners-up in the Women's Veterans Relay
Di Leakey, Chris Robinson and Sarah Brown, runners-up in the Women’s Veterans Relay (Pete Huzan)


The Trail-O was held at Reading and Hambledon, between the areas used for the middle distance and relay races. The second day in particular presented difficult challenges and was also a British ranking event. Sarah-Jane Gaffney secured fourth place, missing a podium position by one point and one second.

Success beyond racing

The great set of results above were complemented off the course. On the Friday evening, SLOW was selected as British Orienteering’s Club of the Year 2013 and Oliver O’Brien was awarded the Bonington Trophy for his outstanding contribution to mapping over the last few years.

Selected SLOW results over the JK 2013 weekend

  • M21E: Ralph Street, third
  • W40L: Anja Stratford, first
  • W60L: Sarah Brown, first
  • M55S: Paul Street, first
  • W55S: Chris Robinson, first
  • JK Trophy Relay: Ed Catmur, Jev Petrovs and Ralph Street, sixth
  • Women’s Veterans Relay: Sarah Brown, Chris Robinson and Di Leakey, second
  • Trail-O: Sarah-Jane Gaffney, fourth
  • 2013 Club of the Year: South London Orienteers
  • Bonington Trophy for mapping: Oliver O’Brien
SLOW members at the 2013 JK Relays, Hambleden
SLOW members at the 2013 JK Relays, Hambleden (Pete Huzan)

SLOW is British Orienteering's Club of the Year 2013

In a weekend full of highlights for South London Orienteers and its members, SLOW was selected as British Orienteering’s Club of the Year 2013 on Friday 29 March. Third place went to Swansea Bay Orienteering Club and runner-up was Cambridge University. The award was based on the club’s performance across five areas:

  • Programmes the club delivers. SLOW has a full schedule of races throughout the year, from introductory Park Races and Street-Os through to the successful high-profile London City Race, and has a weekly club training night.
  • Volunteer Management. Organisers come from across the club, with many people planning smaller events, and the club coming together to deliver superb organisation at the largest events.
  • Partnerships and relationships. Good relationships with local administrators, local authorities and other clubs, both within orienteering and in other sports.
  • Creative Diversity. Club events are targeted at bringing new people into the sport, with many on weekday evenings around central London to attract people after work, and the club has an active social media presence to appeal to younger people.
  • The future. Plans for the future include bringing more London non-orienteers to the City Race and improving the club’s provision for junior members.

Club of the Year 2013
Andy Robinson, Angus Lund, Dan Findlay-Robinson and Chris Robinson collecting the British Orienteering Club of the Year 2013 award and Oliver O’Brien’s Bonington Trophy for outstanding services to mapping

Oliver O'Brien awarded prestigious mapping trophy

Congratulations to Oliver O’Brien who has been awarded British Orienteering’s Bonington Trophy for the best contribution to mapping. The award was announced at British Orienteering’s AGM on Friday 29 March.

Ollie’s involvement with maps and mapping reaches far beyond the limits that are normally found in an orienteering mapper.

  • He has created the 6km² City of London map over the last five years, one of the most popular and highly-used orienteering maps in the UK.
  • His on-line event map has become a key directory for orienteers across the country to find events.
  • His Open Orienteering Map tool has helped to grow the sport by making it substantially easier and quicker to generate basic maps.

The trophy was donated to British Orienteering by its honorary President, Sir Chris Bonington, the world famous mountaineer. It consists of a piece of rock collected from the summit of Mount Everest on Chris’s 1985 expedition, mounted on a wooden plinth.

Ollie’s City of London map was also highly commended in the Walsh Trophy for 2012. This trophy is awarded for the best urban or sprint map drawn to ISSOM specification.

SLOW Night-O Series 2012-13 Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural SLOW Night-O Series. The final race to decide the 2012-13 series was held on Wimbledon Common. The final results showed that it was a very close competition with five points separating the top three places. First place winners received lanterns as trophies; second place received candles.

The category winners are:

  • Men’s Open – Ed Catmur
  • Women’s Open – Jayne Sales
  • Men’s Veterans – Andy Robinson
  • Women’s Veterans – Fran Kenden

SLOW Night-O Series 2012-13 Winners
Trophy winners Andy Robinson, Ed Catmur, Don McKerrow, Jayne Sales and Nicky Adams at the Hand in Hand on Wimbledon Common.

The series has been successful with 57 competitors in total, and may be expanded to five races for 2013-14.

Many thanks to the coordinator of the series, Don McKerrow and to each of the individual event organisers and planners.

Event Date Organiser
Richmond Park 30 Oct 2012 Don McKerrow
Wimbledon Common 27 Nov 2012 Paul Couldridge
Richmond Park 29 Jan 2013 James Lyne
Wimbledon Common 26 Feb 2013 Dan Findlay-Robinson

Results from the Wimbledon Common Night-O, 26 February 2013

Results from the Wimbledon Common Night-O:

Organiser’s comments

I want to thank everyone for coming and hope they enjoyed the ‘runners’ course I set. The emphasis was upon selecting the right route choice between the controls, with the technical difficulty of the controls being lower than other events. Spending time ‘hunting’ for a control in the dark defeats the object of a night race for me! That said, I do know some of you found it a challenging course, but everyone seemed to enjoy the event!

Dan Findlay-Robinson

Highbury & Islington Street-O: 12 March 2013

The sixth Street-O race of the 2012-13 series takes place in Highbury & Islington. This event will use electronic timing for the start and finish – please bring your SI card if you have one.

This event is on FacebookThis event is on Facebook. Say you are coming here!

Like all our Street-Os, this a public race – all are welcome. Please RSVP to the event via Facebook (link above) to let us know you are coming – you can also see who else is coming here and post queries. If you are not on Facebook, please let the organiser know you are coming so that the correct number of maps are printed.

LocationHighbury & Islington
AddressThe Barnsbury, 209-211 Liverpool Road
Latitude/longitude51.539, -0.1071
OS grid referenceTQ314839
MapsGoogle Maps, OpenStreetMap


At The Barnsbury pub on Liverpool Road between Angel and Highbury & Islington tube stations.

Public Transport

The pub is about 10 minutes walk on Liverpool Road, half a mile from both Angel and Highbury & Islington tube stations. There are also plenty of buses running on Upper Street, parallel to Liverpool Road, between the two stations.

Entry Fee

£1 for SLOW members, students and juniors, £2 for others.


RegistrationBetween 1815 and 1930
Start TimesBetween 1830 and 1930

Race Format

Normal Street-O format with clues located at each control site. You have 60 minutes to visit as many controls as possible, in any order, and return to the finish. The map is 1:10000. All checkpoints are in lit areas, and it is possible to visit all on lit (albeit sometimes dimly) roads and paths. Some runners may choose to take unlit paths in some places, so a headtorch is advisable.

SI will be used to time the start and finish, so please bring your SI card if you have one. Don’t forget to bring a pen to write down your answers to the clues as you go around, and a watch. General information about street orienteering.


Fluorescent clothing is recommended for safety. All competitors take part at their own risk. You MUST be over 16 to take part in this event, unless you are accompanied by a parent or guardian. This is a condition of our insurance.


Food, drink and active debate about optimum route choice at the pub. The pub is opening its kitchen mid-week specially for us, so please support them by eating there after your run.


Results will be available on the SLOW website shortly after the event.


Organiser/Planner: Rob Patterson.

Club Night Talk from UK International Ralph Street

Next Tuesday we are lucky enough that top SLOW Orienteer Ralph Street will be giving a talk at our Clubnight. Ralph will go over a few tips that will help you not only on the evening’s training (route choice) but also how to improve on your skills to make you a better Orienteer! Please try to get there early so that Ralph can start by 18:35 and be finished by 19:00 giving you time to try out your new found knowledge.

We are again at the Thames Hare & Hounds clubhouse just east of the Robin Hood Roundabout. The entrance is at the south end of the building leading up the stairs to the clubroom.