Ralph picked for Junior World Championships

Congratulations to Ralph Street who has been picked for the Great Britain team for the 2008 Junior World Championships (“JWOC”), which are being held in the Göteborg area of Sweden between 30 June – 6 July.

This is the first time Ralph has made the JWOC team, and he becomes the first SLOW member to represent Great Britain at JWOC since Ed Catmur competed in 2002.

Further details on the selections can be found on the British Orienteering website. Further information on JWOC can be found on the official JWOC2008 website.

We are sure that everyone in SLOW will wish Ralph good luck for his preparations over the next 6 weeks and for the competition in Sweden.

Ralph at the British Elite Championships. Photo: Mark Cheesman

North Downs Way Relay

This year’s North Downs Way relay takes place on 21st June. It is an annual 123 mile 16-stage trail race starting in Dover at 5am and finishing at Farnham at about 8pm. This report of last year’s race explains what is involved, and details of the legs are on the Guildford Orienteers website here. The format for this year’s race hasn’t been decided yet, but will probably be simpler than last year’s.

Please let me know if you would like to run for SLOW (see contact email below). I am looking for as many as possible of the club’s faster runners to sign up, but anyone who can run at least 10k is welcome to take part. If there is enough interest we will enter two teams, or a partial second team like last year. It isn’t necessary to have your own transport; we can arrange lifts or pick you up from a station near the start of your leg.

We ask that if you are doing a leg you haven’t run before, you recce it before the day if possible – the route is signed but not always very clearly, and runners (usually from other teams) do sometimes get lost.

There will as usual be a pub meal in the evening for those who follow the race to the finish.

Please let me know when you reply if you have any preference for the time of day or the distance you would like to run (most of the legs are between 10 and 15k), and if you’re not a regular orienteer please also give a rough idea of your speed, e.g. approx time for a 10k race.

I will wait for everyone to reply before circulating provisional leg allocations towards the end of next week.

Thanks

email to:

British Championships

Andy Robinson punches the last control on Saturday at Culbin. Photo: Simon Branford

Many SLOW members made the long trip to Scotland for the British Championships in Culbin Forest, Moray, north-east Scotland on 19-20 April and enjoyed the challenging, technical terrain as well as the lovely sunshine and blue skies – a welcome change from the snowy conditions of the other major championships this year! Culbin provided some of the best orienteering ever experienced in the UK, with many experienced orienteers coming to grief in the tricky, intricate pine-forested sand-dunes.

Ralph Street showed he is recovering well from injury by taking the Bronze medal in the M18 Long class and also had a tremendous run in the Men’s Premier Relay, bringing SLOW back in 7th place on the first leg. The team of Ralph, Patrick Saile and Matthias Mahr finished a highly creditable 12th overall – first Southern team (and indeed first team south of Sheffield). The Women’s Premier team of Abi Weeds, Anne Straube and Carys Morgan also scored valuable UK Relay League points, finishing in 11th.

Ralph’s mother, Sarah Brown, was SLOW’s only other individual medallist, finishing 3rd in W55 Long. Top 10 finishes in Long classes were also achieved by Paul Whiston (9th M35L), Alan Leakey (8th M55L) and Diane Leakey (6th W50L).

Sarah Brown also had a great relay run, bringing the W50s back in first place on first leg, but the team of Sarah, Christine Robinson and Diane Leakey had to settle for Silver medals behind an in-form Lakeland team, which included Jackie Chapman, SLOW member and Treasurer up to a few months ago – thus ending SLOW ‘veteran’ ladies 12-year reign (!) as British champions.

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

Ralph success at British Elite champs

Ralph. Photo: Mark Cheesman

Congratulations to Ralph Street at the British Elite Middle Distance Championships & British Sprint Championships in the Midlands last weekend.

On Saturday, in the middle distance race at Hopwas he was leading M18 (& third best M20). On Sunday, in the sprint race at the University of Warwick he was one of only 20 men to qualify for the A final, where he came 14th and top M18.

Full results are available here.

Ralph. Photo: Mark Cheesman

Junior Coaching Day at Wimbledon Common

SLOW are holding a FREE Coaching session for juniors on Saturday 10 May on Wimbledon Common

Meeting point: Windmill car park on Wimbledon Common – map link here.

Meeting time: 10.00am for complete beginners; 11.00am for those with experience

There will be a range of activities designed to improve and develop orienteering techniques and skills and is suitable for all levels of junior orienteer.

The morning coaching session will finish at approx 12.30-1.00pm. After a short lunch break we will join in with the South East Junior Squad for a short, fun competition.

Please email Club Coach, Nicky Morris if you are interested –

Further details will be available nearer the time.

There will also be a Junior Coaching session on Wimbledon Common on 12 July.

JK 2008

Matthias at the JK. Photo: Mark Cheesman

SLOW members made a major contribution to the organisation of JK 2008 as well as competing over the Easter weekend. The JK is the Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering, the largest competition in the UK, held in south-east England for the first time since 1999.

On Saturday at Leith Hill over 75 club members worked extremely hard in snow, hail, rain and wind as well as the occasional sunny spell, and were warmly congratulated by fellow orienteers on an excellent competition and their cheerful devotion beyond the call of duty. Congratulations and thanks to Richard Catmur and Matthias Mahr (Planners) (Matthias pictured right) and Andy Robinson (Organiser). Special credit is due also to Don “White Van Man” McKerrow (Equipment Officer for all 4 days, who never got a run), David May (Sprint Planner), Di and Alan Leakey (Sprint Organisers) and Anne Straube (Trail O planner).

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES

Congratulations to JK Champions Mike Murray (M60L) and Sarah Brown (W55L) on winning their classes over the combined individual days and to Alan Leakey in the Sprint. Well done too to the following on their ‘top 6’ performances:

Sprint Day 1 University of Surrey

M18E 3rd Ralph Street
M45 6th Charles Bromley-Gardner
M55 1st Alan Leakey
W50 2nd Di Leakey
W50 6th Chris Robinson
W55 1st Sarah Brown
W55 2nd Monica Bonafini
W65 5th Anne-Lise Ronaess

Days 2/3 combined Leith Hill/Ashdown Forest

M21L 4th Paul Couldridge
M21S 6th Ian Elder
M21V 4th Michael Rudolf
M35S 3rd Jon O’Donnell
M60L 1st Mike Murray
W50L 3rd Di Leakey (pictured right)
W55L 1st Sarah Brown
W55L 2nd Monica Bonafini (pictured below right)

Day 2 Leith Hill

M18E 2nd Ralph Street
M21S 4th Simon Turner
M50L 5th Peter Haynes
W21L 6th Nicola Woolford
W21S 5th Charlotte Turner
W55S 1st Anne May

Day 3 Ashdown Forest

M12B 1st Thomas Jones
M21L 4th Edward Catmur
W21L 6th Rachael Holmes
W21S 6th Liz Day

RELAYS

The relays were held at Eridge Park, near Tunbridge Wells on the bank holiday Monday. Fitting in with the rest of the weekend, the weather was quite variable including the now customary snow showers. The previous days of competition and helping had made a dent in our teams, but we still had lots of teams to cheer on.

In the Men’s Premier, our top team came a very creditable 16th (10th UK club) – Ed Catmur, Paul Nixon, James McMillan & Matthias Mahr, with particularly good runs by the first two.

Women’s Premier was even better in 7th place (4th UK club) – a great all-round performance from Rachael Holmes, Anja Stratford & Abi Weeds. We also had another 3 teams running the premier classes.

Our top Men’s Vets team came 14th, including a very good last leg by Paul Whiston.

We had a lot of representation on the Men’s Supervets. Our top team came home with the trophy, with excellent runs by Mike Murray, Alan Leakey & Peter Haynes, a couple of minutes ahead of 2nd place. Our next team came 10th, after every lap! – with a good run from Paul Street on 1st leg.

It was almost as good in the Women’s Supervets, where we came 2nd, 3 minutes down on 1st place – well done Sarah Brown, Anne May & Monika Bonafini. Our next team were 7th – Chris Robinson, Anne-Lise Ronaess & Diane Leakey.

Our juniors (combined ages 48 or less) came 21st. And quite a few people had fun runs on the open short and Ad Hoc courses. It was good to see so many members taking part, including some making their relay debuts for the club. We hope you all enjoyed it. Next up is the British Champs in Inverness on 20th April where again we have quite a few teams across the classes.

SLOW runners at the JK. Photos: Mark Cheesman

SLOW success at Interland

Congratulations to SLOW members Mike Murray and Nick Barrable, who won the M60 and M21 classes respectively at the annual Interland competition last weekend. Interland is an annual competition between England, Holland, Germany and two regions of Belgium.

Mike won his 5.3km M60 course in a time of 36:16, and Nick won the 10.3km M21 course in 52:38. England also won the overall team competition, finishing just ahead of the two Belgian teams.

Further details and links to the results are on the Orienteering England website.

SLOW qualify for Compass Sport Cup final

SLOW have once again qualified for the national Compass Sport Cup final. We won Sunday’s qualifying round at Yateley Heath & Minley Woods with an excellent score of 2358 points, a comfortable 65 points ahead of 2nd-placed Thames Valley. Full results of the event are available here.

Well done to everyone who took part for SLOW and contributed to our score, including those who didn’t score but helped to reduce the scores from other teams. Particular congratulations go to the following who achieved top 5 finishes on their Compass Sport Cup course:

1st – Caroline Court (Blue Women), Seb Woof (Blue Men), Mike Murray (Green Men)
2nd – Ed Catmur (Brown), Ausra Miksyte (Green Women), Teresa Turner (Short Green Veterans), Alex Robinson (Light Green Juniors)
3rd – Chris Robinson (Green Women), Gustav Lindeborg (Light Green Juniors), Matthew Jones (Orange)
4th – Carys Morgan (Blue Women)
5th – Paul Couldridge (Brown), Anja Stratford (Blue Women), Audrius Janulynas (Blue Men), Diane Leakey (Green Women).

Results from Sunday’s other regional heats indicate that the full list of 11 clubs qualifying for the final is as follows:
BOK, ESOC, NOC, OD, SLOW, SO, SROC, SYO, WCH, WAOC, WCOC.

The final is being held on Sunday 19th October, at Sutton Park, in Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham (map link here). We need the strongest possible SLOW team for the final, so put the date in your diary now! As with last year, we hope to put a club coach on to transport people up to the final – and it’s a bit closer this year so we shouldn’t have to leave quite so early in the morning!

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