SLOW finish close 2nd in North Downs Way Relay

This race is an annual relay, which has been running since the late 70s, run along the entire length of the North Downs Way – starting with the first leg from Dover at 5:30am, comprising 16 legs in total, and finishing in Farnham at around 8:00pm.

After 123 miles of rain, mud, sunshine and hills, the SLOW team were just pipped to the post by Guildford Orienteers, by the narrowest of margins – finishing just 40 seconds behind Guildford’s winning time of 16 hours 33 minutes 41 seconds (that’s 0.07% !!).

Guildford were actually ahead of us all day, and the closest we ever reached was the final 40-second margin. After 15 legs the Guildford team had built a lead of over 14 minutes, but on the final leg from Puttenham to Farnham, a very strong run by Paul Nixon (just 8 seconds outside the all-time leg record), and a crippling stitch that held Kath Denton back in the middle of the run, had both teams biting their nails as the minutes ticked away at the finish in Farnham. Luckily for Guildford, Kath managed to pull through the stitch and crossed the line with just 40 seconds to spare.

SLOW had a number of excellent runs during the day, and as well as Paul’s win on the final leg we also had leg wins by Owen Lindsell (leg 3), Simon Evans (leg 4), Ed Catmur (leg 6), Mike Garvin (leg 11), Mark Vyvyan-Robinson (leg 13) and Mike Farmery (leg 14).

SLOW also had a half-team running the 2nd half of the race only – in the 2nd half our teams finished 1st and 4th.

Thanks to everyone for running, and especially to Andy Robinson and Richard & Ginny Catmur for timekeeping, and Sarah Covey-Crump for hosting the early runners on Friday night.

Full results here

North Downs Way Relay page (GO website)

SLOW enjoy the Harvester Night&Day Relays

The winning B team: (L-R) Don McKerrow, Chris Robinson, Chris Fry, Peter Huzan, Jim Mallinson. Photo: Nick Barrable/Chris Fry

Twelve team members travelled down to Cornwall for the annual Harvester Night&Day Relays. The event was held on the top-class open sand dune terrain of Penhale Sands. The night legs in particular were very challenging.

SLOW Aardvarks (A team) had a good performance to finish in 7th place – that puts the Men’s team up to 3rd place in the UK Relay League! SLOW Bobcats (B Team) came 2nd on the B course, to win the B handicap trophy (pictured above).

Left: Ed. Right: Vince. Photos: Nick Barrable/Chris Fry

Pictured above/below are A team runners Vince Roper, Dorte Torpe Hansen and Ed Catmur.

Thank you to the KERNO club for hosting the race. The full results of the event can be found here.

The 2008 event is at Hambleden (Thames Valley) so hopefully we will have lots of teams next year!

Dorte at the start. Photo: Nick Barrable/Chris Fry

South East Relays – Hampstead Heath

The winning Women’s Relay team. Photo: Glen Jones

SLOW triumph at South East relays

SLOW took first place in the Women’s relay, first in the Handicap, and second in the Men’s open. An excellent result especially when you realise there are only four classes and that half the club were otherwise engaged at Nicky and James’s wedding.

On a lovely summers day in an area much better than you would expect so far inside the M25, Abi, Claire and Jenny (pictured above) took first place by a comfortable margin of over 6 minutes. In the Men’s open, Matthias, Mike and Rob were beaten by less than a minute after Matthias made up five of the six minutes he started behind the leaders. In the handicap the family team of Greg, Ralph, and Paul (pictured below) showed us how good “Street” orienteering can be, to win by 2 minutes. In the Junior class SLOW did not have a team.

Full results are available on the LOK website (from which the team pictures shown here are taken – thanks to Glen Jones).

The winning Handicap team. Photo: Glen Jones

Hampstead Heath. Photo: Glen Jones

Nicky & James get married

Many congratulations to SLOW members Nicky King and James Morris, who were married on Saturday. The wedding reception took place in a large marquee near Pilton in Somerset and had about 150 guests. A nice meal was followed later by a hog roast and barn dancing.

The following morning there was a 1 hour score orienteering event arranged, which covered two maps – one of Pilton and the other of the adjacent Glastonbury Festival site – with an interesting contrast in questions from dates of buildings in Pilton to number of toes on the dragon on the festival site.

Many congratulations to the happy couple from everyone in SLOW!

Above: James and Nicky

British Championships

SLOW’s winning W50 team

The 2007 British Orienteering Championships were held over the early May Bank Holiday weekend at Pwll Du, an open fell area in south-east Wales. Over 40 members of SLOW took part in the weekend’s races, which comprised the individual championships on the Saturday followed by the relays on the Sunday.

Individual results

SLOW’s star performer of the individual day was Sarah Brown, who clinched an impressive 2nd place in the W55L class, some 6 minutes clear of 3rd place.

Other top 10 results in Long/Elite classes came from Diane Leakey (4th W50L – just 13 seconds outside the top 3), Ralph Street (5th M18L), Mike Murray (7th M60L) and Liz Day (10th W21E).

Additionally, prizes were won by Matthew Jones (3rd M14B), Robert Jones (1st M16B), Alan Leakey (3rd M50S) and Anne May (2nd W55S).

SLOW’s Junior Ad-Hoc team

Relay results

SLOW’s W50 team continued their excellent record in British Relay Championships, with Sarah Brown, Christine Robinson and Diane Leakey taking another 1st place finish – Chris tells me this is the 11th year running!! (1996-2007, excluding 2001 cancelled due to Foot & Mouth) – a very impressive record by anyone’s standards! The winning team is pictured above.

SLOW also won a prize in the Junior Ad-Hoc class, with Matthew Jones, Robert Jones and Greg Street finishing in 3rd place (pictured left).

Our two premier teams also performed very well, with both the men’s and women’s open teams finishing in a very respectable 7th place.

Congratulations to all SLOW runners who competed over what was a very enjoyable weekend.

Full results from the weekend can be found on the British Championships website.

North Downs Way Relay

This year’s North Downs Way Relay will take place on Saturday 16th June. For newcomers this is an informal 16 leg relay with starting at Dover at 5:30 am and finishing about 13 hours later in Farnham, and following the scenic National Trail.

The event is good fun for participants and spectators, some of whom stay with the race all day. All who can run a leg of 10-13km on trails with some hills and have some time to recce the route before the day itself are very welcome – if we have more than 16 people keen to be involved we will just double up for some legs. This year there will be “reset mass starts” every 3 legs to keep the race competitive and ensure we get to the pub afterwards at a decent time (details TBC).

If you’re interested please drop Mike Garvin a line on . The only notable orienteering clash is with the Scottish Champs. Please say whether or not you have your own transport, what the mobile number that you will use on the day is, and whether you’d be prepared to run an early leg.

More details here: www.guildfordorienteers.co.uk/northdownsrelay

London's largest orienteering club. British Orienteering's Club of the Year 2013. CASC accredited.