SLOWprint 146

January 2004

 

 

Team Success at the Yvette Baker Trophy

 

http://www.sloweb.org.uk/


 

Club Officers 2003–2004

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Chair: Chris Robinson,

 

:

Secretary: Don McKerrow,  

:

Ladies’ Captain: Karen Jones,

 

:

Treasurer: Liz Armitage,

 

:

Mapping Officer, SEOA Rep. and Fixtures Secretary: Andy Robinson,  

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Club Kit: Teresa Turner,

 

Men’s Captain: Peter Huzan,

 

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Publicity Officer: Paul Canham,

 

:

Social Secretary; VACANT

Membership Secretary: Ginny Catmur,  

:

Beginners’ Rep. and Training Officer: Heather Walton,

 

:Heather.

Equipment Officer: Chris Fry,

 

:

Archivist: Sue Lumas,

 

SLOWprint Editor: Sarah Brown,

 

:

Webmaster: Andrew Trimble,  

:

 

Copy date for Issue 147 will be March 04. Letters, event reports, articles, cartoons, gossip, scandal, notices, small ads, court circulars, births, deaths and marriages should be posted to Sarah Brown (address above); electronic copies via e-mail are particularly welcome.

 

New Members: If you are new to SLOW, you might not know about ... Training:

PLEASE  READ about our winter season  page 9, and also Hot Picks page 10 - a chance to meet other members

 

 

 

            … and Transport: we can organise lifts to events: ring any of the club’s officers, as listed above, and one of us will sort this out for you.


 

MIDGE'S MUTTERINGS

 

 

Well done to our Junior Squad who rounded off a very successful year by taking 5th place in the Yvette Baker Trophy National Final in early December.  The club decided to splash out by heavily subsidising a coach to take (most of) the team plus supporters to Norfolk.  Everybody seems to agree this was a good use of the club's money.

 

The following weekend SLOW staged the Southern Night Championships on Hankley Common with the

OK Nuts Trophy the next day.  For the OK Nuts, we had to 'borrow' Puttenham Common from Guildford Orienteers, for which we are very grateful.  This was due to Hankley not being available for the Sunday.  For the first time, the OK Nuts featured loop races (a one-person relay is the simplest explanation).  We asked for feedback on this format and I have heard many positive remarks (exciting, different, fun, head-to-head racing), so it's a format we are likely to repeat.  Any further comments would be welcome.  We have applied for Ranking Status for this event, and it could be adopted into the South East League with a bit of tweaking.

 

We held our monthly club nights/street Os in December and January.  Please do come along to these evenings.  Now we are not running or going to the pub every Tuesday, they are our only chance to meet and discuss club matters, aside from committee meetings.  So do make the effort to come, even if, possibly especially if, you don't run.

 

We're in the throes of organising the Box Hill Race, which should have happened by the time you read this.  Then it's our coaching weekend in the Lake District: time to start thinking about the big competitions coming up.

 

Happy New Year!

 

Chris Robinson

Chair

 

 

Selected Highlights!!!

page 6: Volunteers needed at the Outdoor Show, NEC, Birmingham  (advert for show on back page)

 

page 8: Team Events

 

page 9: Training Events

 

page 10:  Hot Picks


SLOW members’ news,   June – October 2003  

from Ginny Catmur, Membership Secretary 

 

 

 

With this issue ‘local’ members will find their membership renewal form. BOF members have been sent their renewal reminders directly by BOF.

Liz, our Treasurer, provides the following explanation of the slight increase in fees to ‘local’ members:

Membership / Subscriptions update for ‘local’ members

BOF / SEOA have recently decided that SEOA is to be funded based on the number of members in each club.

This doesn’t affect existing BOF members, but will mean that local (ie non- BOF) members will pay more in subscriptions in 2004.

You can carry on paying the existing SLOW membership rate (£10 individual, family & groups, £1 junior / students) if you qualify as an ‘associate’ member ie if you are in another club as a BOF member, or if you live overseas and are non-BOF.

Local members not in the ‘associate’ category will unfortunately have to be charged extra for SEOA: family £6, individuals £3, juniors / students £1.50 and this will be passed on to SEOA; SLOW fees remain unchanged.

The full list of fees is on the website.

E Armitage (Treasurer)

 

I will send out the Address List for 2004 with the next issue of SLOWprint.

Ginny Catmur

 

SLOW members’ news, October 2003 – January 2004

Welcome to the following new members

Sarah Covey-Crump (W21),  , Mitcham, 

Chris Cox (M35), Julia (W21), Martin (M14) and Danny (M14) Bage

Julia (W45), Marcus (M16) and Jessica (W12) King, 

David (M40), June (W35), Laura (W12) and Stuart (M8) Ashforth

Karen (W35), Nicola (W10) and Robert (M8) Hanson,

Rachel Oxburgh (W35) and Matt Rowe (M21)

Jenny Costigan (W21),   Putney, London SW15

Rachael Holmes (W21),  , Clapham, London, SW4

Oliver O’Brien (M21),  LondonSE1 1BE

Births: Kinnon: Heather Louise, born on 7th April 2003, weighing 7lb 6oz, followed 3 mins later by her twin brother David Robert weighing 6lb 14oz.Congratulations to Alison and Richard.

      

   From the Editor:

Apologies to David May whom I omitted to mention when reviewing Slow members who were running for their national teams. David ran for Wales at the Veterans’ Home International last September and had the distinction of winning his class.

 

Congratulations to Ralph Street and Mike Murray for being picked to run for England at the Interland Competition between Holland, Belgium and England which is to be held at the Guildford event on February 1st. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

COACHING CORNER                                             from Heather Walton

 

 

 

Many congratulations to our junior team for coming 5th in the Yvette Baker Trophy final on page 7.  Well done for all your efforts.  Many thanks to Sarah Brown for organising the coach up there and to Pete Huzan and Chris Fry for team management and the team pep talk – it obviously worked!

 

Next up is a coaching weekend in the Lake District, hot on the heels of this SLOWPRINT.   News of how people conquered Lake District terrain in the next SLOWPRINT. 

 

No date has been fixed for the next beginners/junior coaching day but there will probably be one in late March/April.  But there will be many club members around at the Hot Pick events (see page ??) if you want some advice. 

 

Well done to Ralph Street, 3rd on M14A at the November Classic and to James McMillan and Michael May adventuring round a tough M16A course in preparation for this year.  A symmetrical result for the Haynes family at Epping – Matthew was 2nd on JM1 and James 2nd on JM2.  Michael May won JM5S and Ali McKerrow won JW5S by 10 minutes.  Congratulations to Ralph Street who won the junior OO trophy with a win on Light Green at Ambersham and to Greg Street 3rd on Yellow at the same event.  It was the McMillan’s turn for a symmetrical result at Headley Heath James 5th on Green and Charles 5th on Light Green and well done to Robert Jones 2nd on Orange and Matthew Jones 3rd on Yellow. 

 

Finally, good luck to all at the Compass Sport cup.

Heather.

The Outdoors Show 2004 2-4 April NEC Birmingham

        Volunteers needed             HELP PROMOTE ORIENTEERING

 

The stand requires a maximum of 5-6 volunteers per day. To enable us to reach all target markets the stand will need a GB squad member and a junior each day or ½ day.

 

WE CAN OFFER VOLUNTEERS IN RETURN:

 

EXPENSES PAID (travel expenses & accommodation if necessary)

FREE PARKING

FREE GOODY BAG  - LAST YEAR VOLUNTEERS RECEIVED A HAGLOFS POWERSTRETCH TOP – TBC what it will be for 2004

FREE ENTRY TO OUTDOOR SHOW – ON THE OTHER DAYS

 

If you would like further information please contact Sophie Furness, Marketing and Communications Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Calling all Juniors

 

 

SLOW Juniors Excel at the Yvette Baker Trophy Final

Congratulations to our junior team who came 5th (!!) in the National Final of the Yvette Baker Trophy on December 7th in Norfolk. This is the most important junior team competition of the year, and the standard is very high. We had one of our strongest teams out, and everyone ran really well. Relative to the big guns of the competition, we have a much smaller squad so everyone's run was important to the team.

The result:

 1 - AIRE [Leeds] (881). 2 - WCH [Birmingham] (880). 3 - NOC [Nottingham] (879). 4 - SARUM [Salisbury] (860). 5 - SLOW (846). 6 - DEE [Chester] (840). 7 - SOS [Essex] (830). 8 - EBOR [York] (822). 9 - SROC [Lancashire] (783). 10 - CLOK [Cleveland] (775). Look how close the top three teams were - these are clubs with a large number of juniors.

The best results were from Katherine Skingsley (2nd on yellow) & Ralph Street (4th on light green). However these performances were backed up so well by the others - I'm proud of you all. The rest of the team was James McMillan, Michael May, Chris Wroe, Charles McMillan, Ali McKerrow, Alex Robinson, Greg Street, James Haynes, Matthew Haynes, Anna Steinitz & Jenny Steinitz. Unfortunately the Jones family was ill, but still supporting from long distance.

Congratulations to Chris Fry & Heather Walton for their work in coaching the juniors during the year. I also thought it was great to travel together in a team coach (thanks Sarah for helping to organise) - maybe something to consider for other events like the Scandinavians do! And thanks to Ursula & the rest of WAOC for putting on the event.

Looking forward to next year, there are several events where juniors are especially welcome. The major competitions in the spring (JK, British Champs) will have junior relay teams. In the autumn will be the Peter Palmer Relays & the Yvette Baker Trophy again.

There are also junior courses at the Compass Sport Cup. The best things to attend are our junior coaching days at weekends - look out for these next year.

Best wishes

Pete Huzan

(SLOW Team Captain)


TEAM EVENTS                                                                   Peter Huzan                           

Here is some information on the forthcoming team events.



 

 

Compass Sport Cup (March 14 Esher, & hopefully May 9 East Yorkshire) The scoring rules have changed substantially this year - and I'm sure they'll change again next year! This will shake things up a little. And I still believe we have a good chance of doing well as long as we have good representation at the above events - so please make a note of the dates now.

The age group scoring is now based more on the current age profile of orienteering, rather than for example our desired age profile! Whatever the scoring, it is so often important to have good backup. And this should be one of those enjoyable events, especially given SLOW are putting it on. Therefore I hope that as many of you come along, & especially our better
orienteers - your run may make the difference between winning & losing.

The scoring profile (subject to running people up an age class) is:
1. Brown - M21 (2 counters), M35/40 (1)
2. Blue - W21 (1), W35/40 (1)
3. Blue - M20/45 (2), M50 (2)
4. Green - W20/45 (1), W50+ (2)
5. Green - M60+ (2)
6. Light Green - M16/18 (1), W16/18 (1)
7. Orange - M14- (1), W14- (1).

Major Relays (April 12 JK Lake District, May 3 Forest of Dean)
These two relays are part of Bank Holiday weekends. They should be great mini-breaks. The JK Relays use the now traditional format of combining age groups (eg W120 means 3 women whose combined age groups add up to <= 120).
The Forest of Dean event has a novel format - a Harris format for the first leg where 3 people start at the same time, with some controls that must be visited by each person separately & some by just one person, followed, when all 3 are back, by 2 standard legs with gaffling (ie variation). There will be courses suitable for everyone, so if you are going to the individual
events then please stay on for the relays - they are also great sociable occasions for meeting other team members. Unfortunately the British Relay Champs have been postponed. Watch out for further information later in the year.

May Relays (15/16 Harvester Sussex, 23 South-East Relays Croydon, 30 Scottish)
Quite a variety here. I hope that the Harvester Night/Day relays will be well attended by club members. It is not too late to practice your night-O skills. Look out for the low-key south-east night league this winter - about 50% of people will need to run at night. The South-East Relays will appeal to those who do not want to make the trip up to Holme Fell in the
Lake District that weekend. The Scottish Champs weekend is at Blair Atholl & will likely involve a train or plane journey for those keen enough.

Other Competitions
The North Downs Way Footpath Relay will be in June again. For juniors, the Peter Palmer Night/Day Relays will be in September, & the Yvette Baker Trophy will be in October.

 


 SLOW Winter club nights 2004

 

 

Editor’s note: As this is a new training scheme, I have republished these notes in a shortened form from the last issue.

SLOW is putting on a club night once a month during the winter. Each evening will be a mix of social where you can meet up with club members and also a night street orienteering event.

What is a street event? : Usually a one hour street O score event where you run round looking for clues that are visible under street lights – eg “Control 1 – name of the pub. There may be two courses – short and a long – short could be 45 mins and long 60 minutes.

What does the map look like? : A black and white photocopy on A4 paper. The map has a question for each control on the map, usually about 20.

When and where are the events? : Starts from 7pm onwards on the following Tuesday’s

Date Location Organiser

1: February 2nd 2004 54 Ingelow Rd, Battersea

2: March 2nd 2004 26 Geneva Road, Kingston

3: April 6th 2004 Christopher Squash Club, Plough Lane, Wimbledon

Go on to the Slow web site and then you can click on the location to see a map and on the organiser name to send an email, otherwise please check the SLOW membership list for phone numbers.

What kit do you need? : Running kit and a pen, you don’t need a headlamp.

Will I be safe? : Most people prefer to run in pairs although you can choose to run alone. Clues are on well lit paths and avoid dark alleyways.

What about the social? : The social side starts from about 8pm, you DON’T have to run, just come and have a chat, pick up coaching tips, analyse your last O race or join us for a drink.

What is the cost? : Event is usually free, small charge if someone is providing food and drink Who can take part? : Any SLOW member can come, (juniors as well but suits 14+ best ) .

Are you interested?

If you would like to take part in these fun training / social events please contact the relevant organiser about a week before the event. This helps to plan numbers for the number of maps needed and if food/drink are planned for the social.

Series Coordinator:

Andrew Trimble


HOT PICKS (and more!)

 

 

At each of these fixtures, SLOW will organise:

I.Transport from south west London

II.Suggested block of start times so we can meet up (11.00-12.00)

III.Club tent for changing, coaching – or whatever

 

1st February           National Event 1, Blackheath, near Guilford

Sandy Surrey heathland and runnable forest.  CD: 20/01/04 or online until 24/01/04. EOD for colour courses only, limited to W, Y, O, R, LG. www.go-pages.fsnet.co.uk

 

22nd February        Regional Event, Hindleap Warren, Tunbridge Wells

Runnable mixed forest.   CD: 09/02/04.  EOD for colour courses.

www.saxons-oc.org

 

14th March             Compass Sport Cup–Regional Qualifier, Esher Common

Our ticket to the National Final will be assured with victory here!  3 line whips all round! www.sloweb.org.uk

 

20th March   British Orienteering Champs, Simonside, Northumberland

Simonside is one of the best orienteering areas in Northumberland combining a mixed rugged and detailed forest with open moorland.  CD: 20/02/04.  www.muddy.org/boc2004

 

10th-12th April        JK, Ulverston, Lake District

10th & 11th - Individual days - Graythwaite

12th – Relays - Graythwaite

CD: 07/03/04 or internet late entry by 20/03/04 for higher fee.

 

25th April              District Event, Frith Hill, Camberley

Frith Hill is nice pine forest and just a quick dash down the M3. www.geocities.com/southern_nav
 All EOD
1st – 3rd May                   Triple O Severn, Forest of Dean.

1st – Short Race – Russell’s Enclosure

2nd – Classic Race – Lydney Park

3rd – Relay – Moseley Green

www.ngoc.org.uk for further details and special entry form.  CD: unknown

16th May       Harvester Night/Day Relays, Pipingford Park, Crowborough.

CD: unknown.  www.mvoc.org.uk

To arrange transport, contact Ginny Catmur

CD = closing date, often possible to get late entry.  EOD = entry on the day available


 

North Downs Way Relay

 

 

 

This an early notification for all the probables and possibles for the 2004 fixture which is almost certain to be 19th June this year.

 

SLOW have an excellent record in the event, winning it on many occasions and also holding the all-time record. The regulars won’t need telling that it is a good “runner’s day out” and anyone who enjoys a cross-country run of around 8 miles on a summer’s day should definitely be considering running a leg. We also congregate for food and other refreshments at the end of the day. I expect this to be The Good Intent at Puttenham again, which was pretty good last year.

 

Starts are available from 05:00 in Dover through to late afternoon from Puttenham. Early starters are particularly appreciated, as getting up first thing and running isn’t everyone’s choice.

 

Teams are mixed and usually contain a mix of “hot shots”, regular runners and those who enjoy something slightly faster than a jog.

 

Start

GR

Start

Km

Record

Dover

308400

05:00

 

 

11.2

49:23

Castle Hill

213382

05:55

13.3

53:49

Stowting

120414

06:55

10.5

46:51

Wye

047469

07:45

11.0

40:49

Charing

957499

08:30

12.3

50:56

Hollingbourne

845554

09:25

16.7

79:29

Bluebell Hill

745621

10:50

8.0

29:06

Medway Bridge (W)

717673

11:25

13.2

54:44

Vigo Inn

631610

12:25

14.7

64:35

Dunton Green

507579

13:30

9.8

44:14

Betsom Hill Farm

441559

14:20

11.0

49:47

A22 Bridge (E)

349537

15:10

11.5

46:33

Reigate Hill

262523

16:00

11.8

46:41

Stepping Stones

172512

16:50

15.0

61:22

Newlands Corner

044923

17:55

12.4

47:54

Puttenham

934478

18:45

10.6

44:25

Farnham

 

19:30

 

 

 

 

Every runner is expected to recce their route prior to the serious bit on the day. In past years our preparedness not to get lost has made the difference between winning and not so. We expect to stick with fixed start times again this year, which will simplify planning for individuals on the day.

 

So aspiring competitors please put the date in your diary. Regulars please contact me to advise of your availability if known. New members who are interested just make contact with me electronically, verbally or in person and I’ll put you more in the picture.

 

Dick Clark

 


THE FIXTURES BIT                                                                ANDY ROBINSON

(this is a re-print of the AGM report from 2 months ago with some updating)

 

 

 

 

 The purpose of this report is to give credit where credit is due. As we all know orienteering is staffed and staged almost exclusively by volunteers. Whatever event you go to, every official  you see is a volunteer. As such there is an unwritten obligation for everyone who goes orienteering to put some time back in by volunteering. Most of us are very good at responding to one-off requests to help on the day. Rarer and more valued are those who take on jobs that involve putting in the preparation time prior to an event. This is the place to recognize and say thank you to these people.

 

The following fixtures were held in the last 12 months

15 December 2002. Hankley Common. OK Nuts Trophy. Organiser: Charlie Turner.  Planner: Chris Fry. SportId: Gavin Andrews. Controller: Tim Pugh (GO). Entries: Peter Huzan

8 February 2003. Wimbledon Common. Senile. Organiser: Andy Robinson. Planner: Chris Owen. SportIdent: Andrew Trimble

1 March. Box Hill Fell Race. Organiser: Andy Robinson. Entries: Dick Clark.

2 March. Holmwood Common. "District" event with two "trail challenge" courses. Organiser/SportIdent: Andrew Trimble.  Planner: John Dowty. Controller: Jon Coles (MV)

12 April. The Nower. Southern Express.  Organiser: Diane Leakey. Planner: Mike Murray. Controller: Charlie Turner. SportIdent: Andrew Trimble 

31 May (Saturday). Surrey Hills Races. Co-ordinated by Jeremy Denny. Colour-coded: Organiser: Kate Thomas, Planner: Nicky King, Controller: Mike Murray. SportIdent: Gordon Parker.

Summer evenings.

3 Trail Challenge races and other activities, with the following taking a major role in at least one of them – Alan Leakey (who also co-ordinated the programme), Peter Huzan, Gavin Andrews, Liz and Jeff Armitage, Andrew Trimble, Chris and Andy Robinson

20 July. Ham Riverside. Frolic. Organiser: Nigel Saker. Planner: Frank Lyness. SportIdent: Gavin Andrews.

5 October. Richmond Park. Yvette Baker Trophy regional heat. Organiser: Ginny Catmur. Planner: John Dowty. Controller: David May. SportIdent: Chris Fry.

 

I was particularly pleased with the user-friendliness of the event centres in all of these.

 

So… finding volunteers. This is very much the central and hardest part of the Fixtures Secretary's job. I would welcome (in addition to some volunteers now) a discussion on methods and problems involved in making these appointments. Ideas may include:

-          getting new and young blood involved (most 21s asked are either working all hours and/or are unable to commit to a date months in advance).

-          staging training courses to prevent people being daunted by task.

-          updating the organiser's manual (again to make it easier)

-          are we staging the right sort or quantity of events?

We can guarantee that all volunteers will be given as much support as possible, and I  believe all those who have already put their head above the parapet will agree with this.

 

Anyway this is what's pencilled in until the end of 2004, and most of them need staffing.

 

21 February. Holmwood Common. Senile.  SportId/ Pre-event enquiries: Andrew Trimble. Mark Vyvyan-Robinson is helping me with planning, Mike Murray is checking the courses

14 March. Esher Commons. CompassSport Cup regional round. Organiser: Gordon Parker. Planner: Alan Leakey. Controller: Roger Baker (TVOC) SportIdent - Gavin Andrews. Entries: Dick Clark.

3 April. Reigate Priory. Southern Express. Planner: Mike Garvin. Entries: Diane Leakey.

6 June. Surrey Hill Races. Jeremy Denny co-ordinating and it’s our turn for the Hill Races.

 

Summer evenings. Something very similar to this year.

11 July. Sheen Common (and Richmond Park). Frolic.

3 October. Ham Riverside (and Richmond Park). Trail Challenge (long distance).

12 December. Hankley Common. OK Nuts Trophy. Format to be decided.

 

Unless there is a name against it the positions of organiser and planner are vacant and volunteers are required. A few of the lines above were filled at the AGM and since then - so the rousing response needs to come now. I look forward to your call or I'll send the heavy mob round

 

MAPPING  REPORT                                                             Andy Robinson

 

With use of professionals and laser-printing we have had a very active year on the “new map” front. We had new maps of Hankley Common and Holmwood Common produced, both by the same professional, Nick Nourse. Hankley was an update of an earlier OCAD file, but Holmwood was entirely new, the previous map being ancient and poor. This completed the set of all SLOW’s active areas being on OCAD. The cost impact of each is important. Hankley, being the update, was cheaper, and being the better area, could stage more popular events and cover its costs easily. Holmwood can be seen in the accounts as quite an investment, and means we must plan carefully our use of professional mappers.

 

Entirely through amateur efforts, we also brought on-stream Ham Riverside,  a completely new area. Alan Leakey did a great deal of work to set up a very detailed base using aerial photos. Thanks to Don McKerrow and Frank Lyness for assisting me in the ground survey.

 

Work is also about to start on revisions to the Esher map, and again we have engaged Nick Nourse. He was much cheaper than the other quote, and given the above point on Holmwood I had to make financial considerations paramount.

 

A major development in the year has been the offer by David May and Chris Fry to do the laser-printing of maps at St Paul’s School. This has had great benefits in terms of quality, cost and time-scale. Long may it continue. These benefits were seen at Richmond Park last month, when we were able to offer a map tailor-made to the event. John Dowty, Don McKerrow and myself surveyed the changes in the Park, and then the map was expanded to 1:10000 and cut to A4 size to cover just the part used.

 

Most of our planners this year have been using the software in OCAD8, although I’m currently trying to get to grips the relative merits of OCAD and Picover for the planner. I gather OCAD is a lot more convenient but Picover still has a few extra useful features.


THE LOOFA COLUMN IS BACK - With a report of what’s been going on at the lunatic** fringe** over the summer, or to be more precise what activities** I’ve managed to find to keep me amused. (**lunatic fringe activities - acronym LOOFA - got it??)

As I'd been dabbling in the occasional triathlon recently, I'd bought myself a flash new racing bike in 2002. Having achieved the immediate aim of doing the orienteering and the triathlon on consecutive days at the World Masters Games in Melbourne last October, thoughts then turned to how to best capitalise on my investment in 2003.

 

Two headline-grabbing items caught my eye:

I.L'etape du Tour (literally a stage of the Tour de France)

II.Half Ironman UK - that's a triathlon for those not up with these things.

 

For both of these the first tricky part was getting an entry as they are highly popular. Determined checking of the internet ensured that all entry hurdles were cleared in the headlong rush and I'd booked myself two important dates for the summer. The main O season was then incidental and all that guff you read in the last mag about the M45 British Relays merely the warm-up act.

 

Wednesday 16 July. L'etape du Tour. 202km in the saddle with about 3000m of height gain. The route was in the western part of the Pyrenees away from the famous climbs (Tourmalet etc), but included two lower but steeper climbs, which even had the big boys of the Tour itself fitting lower gears when they tackled that stage. Training consisted of finding every hill I could think of for the previous 3 months and trying to spend enough hours in the saddle to make my bum tough enough to last the course.

 

With 8000 cyclists starting at once there was a London Marathon feel about the whole day, from the starting gun meaning a 20 minute wait to actually move, through having a gendarme at every corner (for 202km!!) to keep the road clear to having so many spectators all the way along. The sensible ones of these had settled down to spend all day in a bar, and most of them were clapping every cyclist - you felt obliged to raise a "merci" to each one.

 

Experienced sensible cyclists get into groups and shelter to get over the ground most efficiently. I hadn't done enough of that sort of training, and combined with being faster than those around me on the climbs and slower on the descents (again inexperience - I was terrified) meant I did it the hard way only getting into groups for two sections of about 10km.

 

The statistics of each climb were remarkable:

I.14km with 1080m of climb in 92 minutes

II.then 9km with 830m of climb in 77 minutes.

I could have run faster than that. Especially the second climb where I had to walk for 2km.

 

Having just escaped the elimination point after the second climb (sense of justice saying "what about my 20 minute wait at the start") I made it to the finish in 10 hours 45, which placed me somewhere near the back of the finishers. The main consolation was that very few of the others had done as little training as me - 58 hours in the saddle in the previous 12 weeks is well short of what's required - just in case you were thinking of having a go.

 

With over 5 weeks until the second epic of the summer I had time to fit in another goodie in the gap. Tour of the Surrey Hills. 110km of cycling with 2100m of climb. A circular route from Shere. I counted I went through or alongside 12 orienteering areas. This little jolly produced much my best competitive result (just over 5 hours), something that I attribute to being very familiar with the surroundings. Definitely one to re-visit.

 

Sunday 31 August. Half Ironman UK. For those not familiar with the set-up, this is a 1900m lake swim , followed by a 90km bike ride and finished off with a half marathon (21.1k run).

 

There were 1400 of us starting together, and I’m told that is quite a spectacular sight if you are on the lakeside. However if you are in the lake the view is rather limited, and it was as much as I could do to keep myself in roughly the right direction. My usual approach of swimming in the same direction as those around resulted in several of us going into a little bay and doing 100m extra. But despite that I was quite happy to be out of the water in 42 minutes and about 100 places off the back. You may sit in the bath and think that loofas float easily; however this one doesn’t and that’s why I was quite happy.

 

90k on the bike. Piece of cake after those exploits earlier in the summer. Which probably explains why I went storming up the first hill overtaking loads of people. However that did prompt the thought “I wonder if this is wise”. By about halfway round the bike course I’d reached the conclusion that it wasn’t, as I then found the second half to be quite a struggle. The bike loop took me 3 hours 16, and although I’d gained about 90 places I was sufficiently knackered in the later stages to have serious concerns about how the run was going to go.

 

A quick sum told me I needed 8.30 miling to break my 6 hour target time, and that seemed a sensible pace to start off at. [any anoraks out there wanting to confirm that calculation would need to know I’d spent about 10 minutes over the 2 transitions]. The early miles were just inside this pace. I was overtaking people and regaining confidence. Then approaching halfway I suddenly put in a 5 minute mile, (!!??) but was realistic enough to work out that this meant the 2 lap course was going to be on the short side.

 

I reckon the run was under 12 miles and it took me 96 and a bit minutes. I’d really got stuck in over the last 3 miles, and had overtaken 180 people on the run with no-one overtaking me. Final result was 933rd place in 5 hour 44 and quite happy with it.

 

Now this article was originally intended to stop at that point, but the story had an unfortunate sequel. After so much cycling in the summer I was looking forward to getting back on the hills with my favourite event the Karrimor in mind. I was really keen to find out if I had gained any training benefit from the biking. In the Karrimor build-up I would need 2 or 3 long fell runs to get used to being on the mountains again, and the first of these was the Lake District Mountain Trial, just 2 weeks after the Half Ironman. This was a long distance mountain O race on some of the roughest bits of the Lakes. I expected to be out for 6 hours plus and after one hour things were going fine. I'd taken a couple of smarter lines which had gained and was also taking the running safely in order to get back in practice.

 

All of a sudden my head was hurting and blood was pouring out. I don't remember what happened but the bottom line was 16 stitches in my head, a broken collar-bone and no start at the Karrimor. Now I'm still really keen to see if all that cycling leads to a good Karrimor. But we'll just have to wait for next year for that one.

                                                                                                                                   A Loofa


EVENT INFORMATION   You are strongly urged to confirm these events using the following answerphone services. The SEOA website has links to SE clubs and other regions.

 SEOA (020-8948-6056): http://homepage.ntlworld.com/simon.errington/seoa/seoa.htm

(SCOA (0118-946-4354)            (Army (01256-883265)               (SO (01903-239186)

(SAX (01303-813344)                (MV (01372-279295)

 

NB –Webmaster – Please note that all the dates below have slipped up one line, eg the National event at Blackheath is on 1st Feb.  Please check http://www.post2me.freeserve.co.uk/orienteering/ for more up to date details.

 

 

 

 

25/11/03: The Outdoors Show 2004 2-4 April, NEC, Birmingham

 

Orienteering is going to be at the Outdoor Show in 2004 after a huge success this year with approximately 3000 visitors to the Orienteering stand. In 2004 we have 3 orienteering challenges lined up including an indoor and outdoor course and a computer challenge which is from the new Y.O! cd-rom for new orienteers!!

 

Sir Chris Bonington, Mike Harding and others will be speaking in the Berghaus Super Theatre and there are 6 workshops around the show. There’s live action in the Renault Kangoo Indoor Adventure Racing, and World Cup Bouldering action. You can see Trail Kit Testing, Ray Mears Survival Challenge with the Scouts, the Canoe and Go Diving pools, and the Outdoor Pavilion. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award are running a ‘have-a-go’ challenge. There are climbing walls to try, and competitions to watch during this great day out!

 

If you are a BOF Member check out the latest Focus for the special offer on Outdoor Show Tickets valid until 1 April 2004. For more information visit  www.theoutdoorsshow.co.uk