All posts by Matthias Mahr

September Street-O live on Maprun

Welcome one and all to the 2020-21 Street Orienteering Series, offering a 60-minute ‘score’ race around a different area of London once a month.

Given the current situation, we have decided to hold the first (September) race as a Virtual Event – meaning you can do it anytime between now and the end of September, when we’ll generate the final results. As before we’ll be using the MapRun app to help with this.

The start and finish for the race is outside The Somers Town Coffee House, which  is a few minutes’ walk from Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras stations. The race takes you around some really fun parts of London including the new Kings Cross development, Camden, Regent’s Park and Bloomsbury.

LocationKings Cross
AddressThe Somers Town Coffee House, 60 Chalton Street, London NW1 1HS
Latitude/longitude51.5299, -0.1301
OS grid referenceTQ298829
MapsGoogle Maps, OpenStreetMap

As this is a virtual event, entry is free! Here’s how it works:

1. Download and print this map to use for navigation.

2. If you haven’t already, install MapRunF on your phone and find the event under UK > South London > StreetO > KingsCross. If you have a Garmin watch, you don’t need to take your phone on the run if you install MapRunG.

3. When ready, press ‘Go To Start’ and the App will automatically detect when you’re at the start and start your time. Get as many points as you can within 60 minutes and return to base, where the App will automatically Finish and upload your score. Done!

A few other important points: 1. The area has a number of busy roads, not least the Euston Road cutting E-W near the bottom of the map. Please cross all roads carefully! 2. There is no official facility to drop your kit during your run (including at the pub, which won’t know about the orienteering). Please come dressed ready to go, or you can find bag storage companies nearby online. 3. We recommend you run during daylight hours for better visibility and to ensure Regent’s Park is open. 4. Unlike some of our other virtual events, you do not need a PIN code

Scoring:  As usual, points will be awarded according to the first number of each control (so controls 10, 11 etc. are worth 10 points; 20, 21 etc. are worth 20 points and so on.) There is a stiff 30 point per minute penalty for lateness so it pays to be back on time! There are no ‘clues’ to write down, you only need to be in the right place for the App to register the control. However, we have put together this answer sheet, which you can carry along to double-check you’re in the right place, if you like.

GPS accuracy: We have tested all the controls for GPS-worthiness and implemented a generous 25-metre ‘tolerance’, so they should register fine (although you may have to wait a few seconds for your GPS track to catch up.) If, despite being in the right place, a control refuses to register, please get in touch afterwards and I’ll see what I can do:

Like all our Street-Os, this a public race – all are welcome, although all competitors take part at their own risk, and any under-16s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

If you have any questions, do ask them on our Facebook event page or email me on

With many thanks to course setters Tessa Bertran & Todd Fallesen and MapRun guru Peter Foulkes.

Matthias Mahr, Street-O coordinator

SLOW planning competition winners

This competition required entrants to plan Orange and Blue courses on Charlie Turners’s fine map of Holmwood Common, which featured much ‘green stripe’ to add to the challenge! We had 10 entries, although none in the Junior category, which were judged anonymously by Alan Leakey and Matthias Mahr.

After much deliberation we decided to award joint 1st place to Jim Mallinson and Steve Clelland, with 3rd place going to Barbara Griessner.

Both winners produced excellent Blue courses taking full advantage of the nicest bits of Holmwood, while at the same time offering much variation and as a bonus, a really good long route choice. As expected, providing Orange courses at the appropriate technical difficulty proved much harder for everyone! Congratulations to our winners, who will receive prizes of SLOW kit, and thank you to all the entrants for giving it a go.

COMMENTARY ON WINNING ROUTES

OVERALL

Both Jim and Steve produced excellent blue courses with good variety and a good route choice leg. We felt that Steve’s blue course was marginally the better one, particularly around the start and finish areas but also because it took in more of the area and had a nicer ‘shape’. On the other hand, Steve’s orange course was a little too hard in the second half especially in an area as detailed as Holmwood, while Jim’s course was of more appropriate difficulty. Hence, we felt the fairest thing to do was to award joint 1st place.

JIM MALLINSON – here is Jim’s Orange course and his Blue course

Orange. A good course, with many controls just off paths to increase the challenge, although #9 was bordering on the too hard. In common with most entries it lacked any significant route choice legs, which is something that the Orange course should aim to introduce. However, the route from the last control to the Finish is too complex at this level; it would be better with a last control on the path to the north of the Finish.

Blue. A varied course which good use of the limited ‘white’ terrain in the forest. A big range in leg lengths and types which therefore require a variety of skills from the competitor. A really long good route choice leg. However, the route from the last control to the Finish doesn’t meet BOF guidelines and opens up the probability of competitors approaching the last control from several directions and mixing with people heading to the Start; it would be better with a last control on the path to the north of the Finish. Also, the ‘shape’ of the course is a little squished due to the course sticking to a relatively small (but very runnable) part of the forest.

STEVE CLELLAND – here is Steve’s Orange course and his Blue course

Orange. A nicely shaped course, although #4 represents a dogleg. Many controls just off of paths to increase the challenge, but the second half of the course (from #6) is probably too hard for an Orange course on an area as complex as Holmwood. While Steve managed to introduce some route choice, as is requested for Orange, the leg from 6 to 7 requires very fine navigation, and the approach to #10 requires a bearing with no catching feature behind.

Blue. A really good and varied course which makes the most of the limited ‘white’ terrain in the forest and requires a variety of skills from the competitor. #2 is a good, really long leg that adds to that variety. We really couldn’t find anything to improve on this course.

COURSES NOW AVAILABLE FOR INDIVIDUAL TRAINING

Thanks to the efforts of club member Peter Foulkes, we now have three Street-O training events available that you can run in your own time. These are the races previously held in Battersea, Wimbledon and Norbiton / Kingston. We are also carefully managing testing of the app in Richmond Park and on Wimbledon Common. Members interested in being involved please get in touch.

Here’s how it works (more details are on our Permanent Orienteering Course page)

1.Select your event, and obtain the map.

2.Print the map.

3.Download the App from the Google / Apple store.

4.Run the event and see your result appear automatically when you finish

We hope you enjoy it!

Important notes:

Since this is an individual training run at a time selected by yourself it does not constitute an organised event and is not covered by the BOF Insurance Policy.

COVID_19. Please only do these training runs if you can do so while adhering to the current government guidelines.

5 COURSES NOW AVAILABLE FOR INDIVIDUAL TRAINING

Thanks to the efforts of club member Peter Foulkes, we now have three Street-O training events available that you can run in your own time. These are the races previously held in Battersea, Wimbledon and Norbiton / Kingston. [UPDATE] We also now have training courses for club members available in Richmond Park and on Wimbledon Common.

Here’s how it works (more details are on our Permanent Orienteering Course page):
1.     Select your event and print out the associated map
2.     Download the App from the Google / Apple store 
3.     Run the event and see your result appear automatically when you finish

We hope you enjoy it!

Important notes:

Since this is an individual training run at a time selected by yourself it does not constitute an organised event and is not covered by the BOF Insurance Policy

COVID-19
You should only do these training runs if you can do so while adhering to the current government guidelines.

CANCELLED – Kings Cross Street-O, Tuesday 14 April

The next Street Orienteering Race would have been held in a new area around Kings Cross in Central London on Tuesday 14 April. This part of London has seen a huge amount of development in the last 10 years so it would have been an exciting race! We are sorry we cannot invite you to join us for an evening of checkpoint hunting and socialising. The meeting point would have been The Somers Town Coffee House, which  is a few minutes’ walk from Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras stations. 
LocationKings Cross
AddressThe Somers Town Coffee House, 60 Chalton Street, London NW1 1HS
Latitude/longitude51.5299, -0.1301
OS grid referenceTQ298829
MapsGoogle Maps, OpenStreetMap
Entry is £3 for SLOW and LOK members, students and juniors and £4 for others. This includes a hire chip card to record your time, or if you have your own you get a £1 discount. As it will be dark, you should wear hi-visibility clothing and you might want to bring a headlamp to make map-reading easier.
RegistrationBetween 1800 and 1930
Start TimesBetween 1800 and 1930
Like all our Street-Os, this a public race – all are welcome. Please RSVP to the event via Facebook to let us know you are coming – you can also see who else is coming here and post queries. 
This event is on FacebookThis event is on Facebook. Say you are coming here!
This event is on AttackpointThis event is on Attackpoint. Say you are coming here!
All competitors take part at their own risk, and because of our insurance any under-16s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If you have any questions, do ask them on Facebook or email the organisers Tessa Bertran and Todd Fallesen on

Highgate Street-O, Tuesday 10 March

The next Street Orienteering Race will be held in Highgate, North London, on Tuesday 10 March. Do join us for an evening of checkpoint hunting and socialising! Our meeting point this time is The Woodman pub, which is just around the corner from Highgate tube station on the Northern Line.
LocationHighgate
AddressThe Woodman, 414 Archway Road, Highgate, N6 5UA
Latitude/longitude51.5777, -0.147
OS grid referenceTQ285882
MapsGoogle Maps, OpenStreetMap
Entry is £3 for SLOW and LOK members, students and juniors and £4 for others. This includes a hire chip card to record your time, or if you have your own you get a £1 discount. As it will be dark, you should wear hi-visibility clothing and you might want to bring a headlamp to make map-reading easier.
RegistrationBetween 1800 and 1930
Start TimesBetween 1800 and 1930
Like all our Street-Os, this a public race – all are welcome. Please RSVP to the event via Facebook to let us know you are coming – you can also see who else is coming here and post queries. 
This event is on FacebookThis event is on Facebook. Say you are coming here!
This event is on AttackpointThis event is on Attackpoint. Say you are coming here!
All competitors take part at their own risk, and because of our insurance any under-16s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If you have any questions, do ask them on Facebook or email the organiser Tatia Engelmore on

Angel Street-O Results and Series Results

Thank you to our friends at London Orienteering Klubb for organising this Tuesday’s Street-O. Almost 100 people enjoyed the nice (if windy) conditions and you can find the Race Results here.

With 6 out of 8 races completed, the Series Results standings are starting to firm up too, but there’s all to play for in the last two races. Join us on Tuesday 10th of March for the next race in Highgate, North London – details coming soon!

Any queries please to