All posts by Ollie O'Brien

Entries open for the London City Race 2016 Weekend

Entries are now open for the London City Race 2016 weekend, including the 9th London City Race, part of the City Race Euro Tour, in a brand new area for urban orienteering, Rotherhithe, as well as a Friday evening park sprint in scenic Crystal Palace Park in south London and a Sunday morning urban sprint in Soho, the historic heart of the capital and another brand new area for urban orienteering. All three areas are easily accessible by train from all parts of London.

See full details on our dedicated page or go directly to our online entry page. There is a discount for entering all three races at once. Advance online entry is essential and please note that some of the events may have restrictions on numbers in some courses, due to start window constraints. Early entry is therefore advised!


Photo by DncnH on Flickr.

Results for the Elthorne Park Race

Results for the Elthorne Park Race, which took place on 19 July (Facebook event here), are now available. 100 people competed in the race which took place in Elthorne Park and Boston Manor Park (linked together by a canal towpath section), in very hot weather conditions. The map was drawn by Don McKerrow who organised the event, with the course planned by Andy Robinson. Thank you also to the management at The Royal for accommodating us.

Any results queries, please contact Don at

This was the final race of the London Park Race Series 2016. Congratulations to the series winners and the other prizewinners, at the prizegiving yesterday:

  • First overall: Laurence Ball in absentia
  • Second overall: Michael Crone
  • Third overall: Matthew Schepisi
  • First woman: Helen Gardner
  • Second woman: Claire Heliot
  • Third woman: Sue Carter
  • First M40+: Dmitry Ushakov
  • First W40+: Sue Carter
  • All scoring races: Michael Crone, Scott Collier, Francis Carr
  • Spot prize (mapper & organiser, Race 10): Don McKerrow
  • Spot prize (fourth overall): James Lyne

Thank you to all the race organisers, course planners and event helpers across the series of 10 events, from the London clubs SLOW, LOK, DFOK and MV.

The next SLOW race is the Barnes Common GLOSS, on Sunday 24 July.

Results for the Hackney Wick Park Race MOBO

Results for the Hackney Wick Park Race MOBO have now been published, below, along with series rankings (this event is not included) at the bottom.

Organiser’s Comments

Thank you to everyone who came along and tried out “MOBO” orienteering with smartphones and QR codes. Following the cancellation of the original park race event that was planned to be in east London this week, there was an opportunity to stage one of SLOW’s occasional free test format events, following in the footsteps of the Wimbledon Common Mobile-O and the Esher Commons MicrO, taking advantage of the new Permanent Orienteering Course which had been installed in the adjacent park, only a few weeks ago, with QR codes allowing for smartphone orienteering.

As we discovered on the night, the success of the format is very much down to people’s individual phones. Some people’s app crashed a few times, others struggled to load in the initial map, and some couldn’t access the options needed to get the map in the first place, due to UI quirks. Short battery lives, old cameras struggling to focus in the gloomy conditions, and screens being difficult to operate in rain also proved to be challenges. But most did get set up, around the courses, and enjoyed the terrain of the new park adjoining Hackney Wick. Out on the course, a gate that was closed late in the race blocked one route to/from a control. Temporary barriers (which have been moving every day) also meant some route choices were less optimum than the map suggested.

Thanks to Tarmo Klaar (creator of MOBO) for setting up a custom event page, Andy and Suki for co-planning and Number 90 Bar for hosting us. The next Park Race is in Beckenham Place Park in south London and is organised by DFOK – details here and Facebook event here.

One item of lost property: Black/turqouise Talon running shoes – they are behind the bar at Number 90. Ollie O’Brien.


MOBO Courses (Long 4.0km, Short 2.5k)
See splits here

Position Name Course Time Remarks
1 danlewington  Long 00:27:45
2 FRBlackSheep  Long 00:29:32 1 control missing – results allowed to stand.
3 Angus  Long 00:29:37
4 remox  Long 00:29:54
5 Miro Torma  Long 00:30:07 2 controls missing – results allowed to stand.
6   Long 00:31:01
7 Hugh hurley  Long 00:31:19 1 control missing – results allowed to stand.
8 Vince Roper  Long 00:32:24
9 JamesRH  Long 00:32:35
10 Gavinhurley  Long 00:32:39
11 Don McKerrow  Long 00:32:47
12 CliffMat  Long 00:33:10 3 controls missing – results allowed to stand.
13 Long 00:33:17
14 rattyrunner  Long 00:33:18
15 vasil peykov  Long 00:33:37
16 Tim Gage  Long 00:33:53 3 controls missing – results allowed to stand.
17 Carys  Long 00:34:12
18 Maprunner  Long 00:35:07
19 Neil Speers DFOK  Long 00:35:43
20 Heather Findlay  Long 00:35:44
21 Christophe Borysiewicz  Long 00:35:58
22 Ian Croft  Long 00:36:45
23 Ed Stott  Long 00:37:04
24 Buiscits  Long 00:37:27
25 tigger42  Long 00:37:51
26 richardwkirk  Long 00:38:03
27 Risto1980  Long 00:38:12
28 parkrace29  Long 00:38:23
29 NeilRickards  Long 00:39:15
30 Iris Lüke  Long 00:40:38
31 Lukas Tretera  Long 00:40:48
32 Jo  Long 00:40:55
33 alexwheeller  Long 00:41:11
34 Ester Bonmati  Long 00:41:12
35 Maria Carmen Jimenez Camp  Long 00:41:21
36 sivals  Long 00:41:41
37 Marcus Bateman  Long 00:43:59 1 control missing – results allowed to stand.
38 Catherine Galvin (LOK)  Long 00:44:13
39 fiona  Long 00:44:29
40 Geoff Goodwin  Long 00:44:47
41 toddf  Long 00:45:20
42 ChrisM  Long 00:47:58
43 Slowson  Long 00:48:04
44 Matthewpritchard  Long 00:48:44
45 Chris Robinson  Long 00:51:23 Manual result time applied.
46 Fionasibley  Long 00:52:19
47 Molecule  Long 00:53:02
48 Greencricketer  Long 00:53:28
49 firhayes  Long 00:55:23
50 Irene Petersen  Long 00:58:46
51 Robrunbikeman  Long 01:06:02 Missed start control – 3 minute penalty applied.
bazgooner  Long DSQ
1 Dianeuk 2000  Short 00:35:50 Missed finish control – 1 minute penalty applied.
2 tke  Short 00:42:28 4 controls missing – results allowe to stand.
3 Eoin O’Callaghan  Short 00:48:40
4 Jennifer Sibleyy  Short 00:49:44 1 control missing – results allowed to stand.
5 Judith Armitt  Short 00:50:50 Missed finish control – 1 minute penalty applied.

Paper Course (2.6km)
Jevgenijs Petrovs – 18:27
Guna Dubrovska – DNF
Scott Collier – 20:12

Protests to

Series rankings here.

Hackney Wick Park Race MOBO, Wednesday 29 June

The seventh event in the 2016 London Park Race series takes place on Wednesday 29 June 2016 in Hackney Wick, near Stratford in east London. Like all events in the series, the event is suitable for beginners. Full leg cover is not mandatory, running in a T-shirt, shorts and trainers will be fine.

Note this event is different to the rest in the series – you will be using your smartphone to show the orienteering map and to punch controls, not SI. Please follow the steps below to set up your smartphone for the event, ideally before you arrive at the venue. If you do not have a smartphone, we will have a limited number of printed maps for you to use, BUT you will not get a time or splits for your run. You will find the event more enjoyable, and the run easier, if you bring and use your smartphone.

This is an activity rather than a registered event, therefore we are unable to formally publish complete results, however it is still orienteering in a great area, with real controls, on a proper map, and it’s free!

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Event Centre

The event centre is in Number 90 Bar & Kitchen, an industrial-chic bar/restaurant in Hackney Wick, very close to Hackney Wick station (on the Overground) which is one stop from Stratford station. It is strongly recommended that you approach from Hackney Wick station as it’s a 2 minute walk away (turn right at the bottom of the ramp, walk along Wallis Road, turn right (street is still Wallis Road), and then it’s on the right at the end. There’s a small amount of pay-and-display parking space nearby, or free parking in Westfield Stratford City (15 min walk). We’ve booked a few tables at the bar, behind which you will be able to store bags. Please come ready to run or change in the venue toilets. Please stay after to enjoy good food and beers on the canalside terrace, overlooking the park.

LocationHackney Wick
AddressNumber 90 Bar, Wallis Road
Latitude/longitude51.5444, -0.0229
OS grid referenceTQ372847
MapsGoogle Maps, OpenStreetMap


Entry to this event is FREE for all. To enter the event, you need to follow the setup below. You can do most of these steps in advance of the day, but you also need to visit registration on the day.

1. Download MOBO on your smartphone: follow the link at It’s free and available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and Nokia Mobile. If you don’t have a smartphone, see step 6. Your smartphone needs to have a camera and have an internet data connection. Connected tablets may also be suitable, but check in advance of the day by trying to install the app.

2. Familiarise yourself with how MOBO works by seeing the “MOBO 1-2-3” section on the above webpage. (Basically, the map is on the phone, you scroll around it to see where the controls are. There is also an integrated compass shown on the screen, if your smartphone has a compass capability. At a control, press the camera button to “punch” the control, but holding the phone camera around 50cm from the QR code on the control. Your phone will flash green and beep when you successfully punch.)

Here’s a cheesy video showing how it works:

3. Make sure you’ve entered a MOBO user name (from the Main Menu, Options -> Setup -> (enter user name) -> Save.) Otherwise we won’t know who you are on the results!

4. Make sure your smartphone is charged on the day. Also, if it’s raining during the event, you may want to bring a case or cover for your phone, or other protection, so it doesn’t get too wet.

5. We will give you a special code at the registration desk, which you should then enter into MOBO to load the course for your run, for this event. Register by writing your name and MOBO user name on the registration sheet.

6. If you don’t have a smartphone, we’ll have a small number of paper maps for you, BUT you won’t get timing for your run. You’ll also need to bring along a pen to note down the letter codes on each control, to prove you’ve been there. You can self-time if you want, using a stopwatch etc. We may have a facility at registration for you to write down your time, and we may publish this. The paper map course is different and shorter.

RegistrationBetween 1815 and 1930
Start TimesBetween 1830 and 2000

Courses close at sunset (21:20).


These are both a five minute walk from the event centre. The route to/from these are not taped, but you can see them on the map you’ll receive at the event centre (which is just off the western edge of the map). The start is SELF SERVICE. Wait at least 30 seconds (or 60 seconds if no queue), after the person who starts before you. Start by scanning the start control (if you are using MOBO) or writing down the code on the map. The other controls, including the finish control, work in the same way – point your smartphone at the control’s QR code, while in the MOBO app. Then press the photo button, line it up and hear for the beep!

We are not using SI for this event, so no need to bring your SI card, but you do need your smartphone.


Course name Straight line
Long 4.1km
Short 2.5km
Paper Map 2.6km

Courses are suitable for all. Both courses include a road crossing to get to the start.

Juniors are allowed, but must use the tunnel underneath the road (by the crossing point) when racing, and the pedestrian crossing lights to get to the start.

Further Information

If you have any questions not addressed above, please email the organiser Ollie at

Planners: Ollie, Suki and Robbo.

London City Race Weekend 2016

collogoFor the ninth running of the London City Race, we bring you 3 orienteering races in 3 days, in one great city! Run and navigate through iconic London locations. Entries are now closed.

Please ensure that you refer to the v3 Final Details for each day.


1. Friday 9 Sep 2016
– Crystal Palace Park Sprint

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Start times from 1800 – 1915. Courses will be of mid length (2.0-4.5km) around the park of Crystal Palace. The park is a large urban park, generally open parkland with scattered trees and some lakes. It also contains the remains of the Crystal Palace, originally used for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park and the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre used for major athletic and swimming competitions. SI timing. The race is a short walk from Crystal Palace station (20-30 minutes by train from central London). Car parking available.

LocationCrystal Palace Park
AddressCrystal Palace National Sports Centre SE19 2AZ
Latitude/longitude51.4207, -0.0676
OS grid referenceTQ345708
MapsGoogle Maps, OpenStreetMap

Final details for Friday (Crystal Palace)
Start times for Friday (Crystal Palace)

View from Stave Hill

2. Saturday 10 Sep 2016
– The 9th London City Race, Rotherhithe

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This event is on AttackpointThis event is on Attackpoint. Say you are coming here!

The event will be based about a 10 min walk from Canada Water Tube station. Starts will be from 1000 to 1300. The race will be on a completely new map of Rotherhithe, taking in some of the extensive parks and housing estates.

AddressBacons College SE16 6AT
Latitude/longitude51.5024, -0.0414
OS grid referenceTQ360800
MapsGoogle Maps, OpenStreetMap


This year the race is part of the City Race Euro Tour – and prizes are being offered for top 3 races over the whole series in most of the race categories. Note: Men/Women aged 21-34 at the end of the year should enter Men’s/Women’s Elite rather than Men’s/Women’s Open, in order to get City Race Euro Tour points.

Limited edition commemorative technical T-Shirts for the 2016 race were available to order when entering the race. The last date for ordering these was 28 August.

Final details for Saturday (Rotherhithe)
Start times for Saturday (Rotherhithe)


3. Sunday 11 Sep 2016
– Soho Urban Sprint

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Having finally got permission to race in this area of the heart of London we will be able to offer you to race around the small streets and alleyways. Courses are going to be fairly short – up to 5k for the longest course (more a sprint/middle distance race) but this will be subject to final mapping/planning. Course categories are as the main race on Saturday, although some will be combined together.

Full details to follow but this race will have early starts (probably between 8.30am and 9.30am) so as to avoid the mass of people shopping and eating on the Sunday but not so early as to bump into everyone leaving the clubs and bars. After running grab food, go shopping or watch the last day of the Tour of Britain finishing with a circuit race of central London.

Final details for Sunday (Soho)
Start times for Sunday (Soho)


Entries are now closed.


General enquiries: Vince Roper
Entry enquiries: Nigel Saker

The Crystal Palace Park Sprint is organised by DFOK, and the London City Race and the Soho Urban Sprint are organised by SLOW.

Race Officials

Race director & Saturday/Sunday organiser: Vince Roper, SLOW.
Entries manager: Nigel Saker, SLOW.
Friday organiser/planner: Neil Speers, DFOK.
Saturday planner: Ed Stott, SLOW.
Sunday planner: John Owens
For Saturday/Sunday:
Controller: Andy Robinson, SLOW.
Technology director: Gordon Parker, SLOW.
T-Shirts manager: Angus Lund, SLOW.
Volunteer manager: Andy Robinson, SLOW.
Website/Results: Oliver O’Brien, SLOW.

Top photo by DncnH on Flickr. Second photo by shirokazan on Flickr. Third photo by Matt Brown on Flickr. Bottom photo by Tony Hisgett on Flickr.

Results for the Streatham Common Park Race

Results for the Streatham Common Park Race which took place on Tuesday 7 June, are now available:

The next race in the London Park Race Series 2016 is hosted by MVOC at Mitcham Cricket Green Please RSVP as normal if you are planning on racing.

If you raced in last week’s Park Race in Clapham Common, you may be interested in seeing the organiser’s remarks which have now been posted to the results page.

Results for the Clapham Common Park Race

The third race in the London Park Race Series 2016 took place at Clapham Common on Tuesday 31 May. It was organised by Dmitry Adamskiy, with assistance from Oliver O’Brien, Don McKerrow, Vicky Whaley and Ed Stott.

Michael Crone was the fastest on the long course by over a minute, but second to fourth places were hotly-contested with only four seconds separating Paul Couldridge, James Lyne and Matt Schepisi. Jo Hurley was the fastest woman, ten seconds ahead of Helen Gardner.

Organiser’s Remarks

Thank you all for coming to Clapham Common! I hope you enjoyed the courses despite the rainy evening! I tried to make them alternate between unavoidable ultra-fast running sections and some more intricate bits in the two pockets of wood. This was achieved thanks to some crucial map updates by Don McKerrow. The additional challenge was to find control sites suitable for gripples as we were not allowed putting stakes in the ground (but actually this was not as restrictive as I thought it would be).

The event would not be possible without a team of SLOW helpers: thank you Vicky, Ollie, Ed and Hing! Special thanks to Don (who was a de facto co-organiser) and Nigel (who saved the day by delivering maps in person after a blunder made by delivery company!).

The next race in the series is at Streatham Common on Tuesday 7 June. Full details are published. Please RSVP here.