All posts by Ollie O'Brien

Northala Fields Park Race Results

Results from the Northala Fields Park Race, the second in this year’s London Park Race 2017 Series, have now been published.

Organiser’s Comments

Thanks to everyone who came to the Crown at Northolt for the second London Park Race of the 2017 series. It was a nice sunny evening and I hope that everyone had a nice time out there – despite some nettles and some impressive straight leg efforts that I hadn’t even expected through green terrain!
It was great that comments were generally positive about the SportIdent air punching system. Obviously this was a first time for a number of people and it did seem to go smoothly on this occasion but it’s nice to see people giving something new a try and thanks to Gordon Parker for helping me get this set up.
Don and Mat were very able helpers on the laptops this evening and Ed Nicholas of AROS and British Orienteering also came along to help with starts so thanks to those guys too. And of course Angus and Ollie for general support with the Park Race series as a whole.

This was the second time we’ve used Northala Fields and I hope we can come back there again in a couple of years. Thanks to the Crown and the events team at Ealing Council for helping us put on this event and look forward to seeing you all for the rest of the series.

– Duncan Grassie.

Northala Fields Park Race, Tuesday 30 May

The second race of the 2017 London Park Race series takes place on Tuesday 30 May 2017 on Northala Fields. Like all races in the series, the race is suitable for beginners. Full leg cover is not necessary, running in a T-shirt, shorts and trainers will be fine.

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Event Centre

The event centre at The Crown in Northolt Village. It’s a six minute walk from Northolt station on the Central line.

LocationNorthala Fields
AddressThe Crown, Ealing Road, Northolt
Latitude/longitude51.5446, -0.3706
OS grid referenceTQ131841
MapsGoogle Maps, OpenStreetMap


RegistrationBetween 1830 and 1930
Start TimesBetween 1830 and 1930

Entry on the day only, and we should be able to take contactless credit card payments. Your entry fee includes a full colour map printed on waterproof paper, which you can keep as a souvenir after your run, and a printout of your race time and splits at the end of the race.

BOF members £3
All others £5

Electronic timing will be used. If you do not have your own SI card, then you can hire one for the event at no charge. A penalty of £30 will be charged for hired SI cards that are lost or not returned, and such cards will be blacklisted.


Course name Straight line
Long Approximately 5km
Short Approximately 2.5km

Both courses are suitable for juniors but they must be escorted across the road and back between the pub and the start/finish.

Further Information

If you have any questions not addressed above, please email the organiser Duncan Grassie at .
Competitors take part in this race at their own risk. Entries and results will be processed by computer, your entry will be taken as agreement to this. The competition is run under the rules and guidelines of, and sanctioned by, British Orienteering.

The 36th Box Hill Fell Race


South London Orienteers present

The 36th Box Hill Fell Race

Saturday 21st January 2017 at 11.00am

12 kilometres with 520m of ascent under F.R.A. rules
Records: 54.08 (Andy Greenleaf 2015);
67.36 (Sarah Pemberton 2015)

Event Centre

LocationBox Hill
AddressAshcombe School, Ashcombe Road, Dorking RH4 1LY
Latitude/longitude51.2399, -0.3282
OS grid referenceTQ168503
MapsGoogle Maps, OpenStreetMap

Following the closure of Aviva (formerly Friends Life) Sports and Social Club car parking, registration and prize-giving will be at the Ashcombe School. This is at the A24 end of Ashcombe Road opposite Dorking mainline station with Dorking Deepdene station also a short walk away. Post code is RH4 1LY and Grid Ref TQ168503.

Besides having enough parking space we also have use of the hall/canteen for collection of race numbers and prize giving which will be around 1.30 pm.

Race Details

This will be over the same course as 2015 and 2016, with the start/finish area just over the stepping stones about a mile north of the school.

Start Time1100

Special Details

There will be prizes for the leading runners in the usual categories (note that lady veterans have to be over 40) including a team competition with 4 to count.

The National Trust are the land-owners for the vast majority of the course and they have requested two conditions be met in order to avoid erosion of the chalk downland:

  1. THERE IS A LIMIT OF 250 RUNNERS. We will accept more entries than this expecting some no-shows (330 in all). Note that when entries opened last year they sold out in 18 hours.
  2. RUNNERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WEAR SPIKES. They cause considerable erosion on steep downhill grass. Your co-operation is requested as significant damage could jeopardise future races.


Race numbers will not be posted in advance. Numbers can only be collected from registration on the day. Please note that under FRA rules people under 18 are not allowed to run. Entries can be only be made online at our entries provider Fabian4 and will open on 1st November (and not a minute earlier!) Note that postal entries will not be accepted.

Competitors will need to specify an emergency contact and phone number, and will be required to agree to the following statement when entering:

I understand that this race is held in accordance, and that I have familiarised myself, with both the Rules and Safety Requirements of the F.R.A. I confirm that I am aware of the organiser’s information and requirements in connection with this race. I confirm that I have navigational skills appropriate for this race and will carry throughout the race any equipment specified either by the FRA Safety Requirements or by the organiser. I accept the hazards involved in fell running and acknowledge that I am entering and running in this race at my own risk. Other than the organiser’s liability for causing death or personal injury by negligence, I confirm that I understand that the organiser accepts no liability to me for any loss or damage of any nature to me or my property arising out of my participation in this race.

Organiser: Andy Robinson,

Results for the 9th London City Race

Results are now available for the London City Race Weekend events including the Crystal Palace Park Sprint (Friday), the 9th London City Race in Rotherhithe (Saturday) and the Soho Urban Sprint (Sunday).

Park Sprint, Crystal Palace

9th London City Race, Rotherhithe

Urban Sprint, Soho

Results queries/clarifications? Email for Saturday/Sunday’s races.

Planner’s Comments for Rotherhithe

Thanks to everyone for coming – it was great to see so many orienteers swarming over this usually quiet neighbourhood.

I was keen to use the opportunity presented by the map and focus the race on route planning over sprint-style navigation. There were only a few trick controls and most sites should have been easy to find once you were close. Average leg lengths were 300 to 350m for most courses and a little less for the more senior classes. A central start and finish meant that there was no bulk flow of competitors around the area and many of the interesting legs could be found in opposite directions on different courses where it was safe.

The senior courses had a checklist of features: first, one or two long legs that accounted for around a third of the total distance. Second, a leg traversing the bridge with its sneaky underpass on just one side of the canal underneath, which was my favourite feature on the map and therefore probably the busiest. Third, all courses up to Men’s Super Vet took a trip up to the top of the hill to add some climb to an otherwise flat area – Men’s Elite went up twice. Finally, where distance allowed, courses took one or more brief visits to the bank of the Thames to add some interest and context. Junior courses were easier to plan than in other urban areas thanks to the complex Russia Dock woodland and the underpasses allowing traffic-free access to Greenland Dock.

Some runners chose a long blast around the road on a few of the long legs. I don’t think that would have benefited every runner and many would consider it less interesting than the direct but navigationally-intense alternative. I intended that these road options would be considered and dismissed due to the extra length but, somewhat allegorically, it would be questionable if the orienteer really has free will if they never make the ‘wrong’ choice in practice.

Some things could have been improved. Despite my efforts to make every leg interesting, a few fillers crept in. Women’s Ultra Vets had a route choice that I had not considered, which crossed a ‘crossable’ wall that was too physical for this class and should have been avoided. The start was difficult to see on the map, depending on which way the triangle was orientated for your course. Finally, the winning times were fast. Some might not have appreciated longer courses but I wonder if this area is little faster than the previous London maps.

— Ed Stott

London City Race 2016 – Entries from 20 Nations

Entries are open for the 2016 London City Race, and so far there are competitors from twenty nations taking part!

There have been entries so far from Australia, Belgium, Belarus, England, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and Wales.

The London City Race 2016 is part of the City Race Euro Tour league of European urban races.

Enter now – standard-rate entry closes on 28 August. Late entry closes on 4 September.


Photo: DncnH on Flickr.

SLOWPrint Issue 171

The latest issue of SLOWprint, #171, edited by Sarah-Jane Barrable, is now out. Members should have received their copies now – if not, please contact the editor at

Full-colour printed copies of SLOWprint are a membership perk of joining SLOW! To join, see here.


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.