Category Archives: Club News

Orienteering options available during lockdown

In addition to the monthly challenges, we have plenty of options for you to do some orienteering locally as part of your individual exercise – see the full list below.

For experienced orienteers:

By way of Street-O (for orienteers of any standard):

For less experienced orienteers:

POC’s of various difficulties are available
(please find via the POC database):

  • – Esher Common (the shorter courses)
  • – Wimbledon Park
  • – Elthorne Park
  • – Boston Manor Park
  • – Ravenscourt Park
  • – Paddington Recreation Ground
  • – Bishop’s Park
  • – Gunnersbury Park

September News

Members can choose to receive a weekly (each Thursday) email from the club. The list is opt-in: see club email mailing list.

Here is the main part of the email for 17th September.

Glover’s Wood

A friendly welcome back to orienteering

The club held a forest orienteering race on Sunday. It was organised by Charlie Turner, and it went very well. A lot of people were very pleased to have their sport back. Charlie got many positive comments and thanks, both in the field and by email afterwards.

Thanks very much to the officials:
Charlie Turner (organiser),
Gordon Parker (entries and SI),
Richard Catmur (planner) and
Paul Todd of London OK (controller).

Race report on club website

85 routes on Routegadget

There were nearly four hundred runners including 62 from our club. Olin Davies (green), Mike Murray (short green) and Krum Yanev (yellow) were fastest on their courses. (Krum was a mere 4 seconds ahead of his sister Anna Maria.)

There were big winning margins (over 15%) on the brown course for Jonathan Crickmore (SouthDowns) and on the blue for “Talent Squad Tier 1” athlete Euan Trynor (South Yorkshire).

Thankyou to those who volunteered help for the day so that we could all have such a nice run out in the Surrey Weald. As we often say to landowners we are a community amateur sports club, and are dependent on volunteering from within our community for everything we do. That includes providing substantial volunteer help on the day for races to take place, almost all helpers also taking part in the racing. As you will have read beforehand in this weekly email, we were quite tight on help this time. The COVID protocols made a difference – I am not sure we have had “sanitiser” as a role before.

Glover’sWood: The Planner and Assistants

Club Kit

A reminder that the club has kit available for members, including the brilliant new O-top. Club Kit Webpage.


Website Post about this month’s Street-O in King’s Cross

‘Streetspace’ Orienteering

In conjunction with Transport for London (TfL), British Orienteering has launched five ‘Streetspace’ orienteering challenges around London. Each of th e challenges takes the form of a ‘photo-O’ where you need to visit 12 locations using a Street-O map and decide which of the 12 photos provided is the correct one for each location.

While the challenges are primarily intended to engage a non-orienteering audience (using TfL’s communication channels, including this press release)…

You might enjoy doing some of them! Each challenge is intended to take around 2 hours to complete at walking speed an d while there is no timekeeping, each correctly submitted set of answers is entered into a draw to win one of eight London Transport Museum picnic sets

The five locations are Battersea, Clapham/Brixton, Westminster, Camden and Dalston, the first three of which were compiled by SLOW members Ed Catmur, Vinh Phuong Hoang and Rebecca Slack, so thank you to them!

Matthias Mahr, Street-O coordinator ()

CompassSport Cup

Long ago, at the last race before Lockdown on Hampstead Heath SLOW won the South-East heat of the CompassSport Cup. This qualified us for the final which would have been in Sutton Park in the West Midlands on 18th October. It’s “postponed/cancelled tbc.”

I was perhaps not the only one reminded of this last Saturday night as I put my control descriptions for Glover’s Wood – provided in advance for the COVID protocol – in the control holder… taking out the Hampstead Heath ones dated 15 March.

JK2021 is cancelled

International Orienteering

With the cancellation of the European Junior and Youth Orienteering Championships which were to be in Hungary there is only one meeting left in the 2020 calendar. That is Euromeeting, in the north of the Czech Republic at the end of October. This is the warm-up event for next year’s World Championships.

There are currently 33 British entries for Euromeeting, the largest entry from any nation, but with the Czech Republic now on the redlist we’ll have to see what happens. Finland has said it is not sending any teams abroad this year.

By the way, entries for the spectator races for the World Champs have recently opened and may sell out quickly (if they have not done so already.)
See this discussion on Nopesport.

So it has been domestic championships that have been the story, with the big orienteering countries having just held them (Switzerland, Norway, Finland) or being about to hold them (Sweden).

But rather than any links in those directions here’s a few pictures from a wedding in Austria. Would you guess the bride is an orienteer?

Mole Valley Winter Street O Series – on MapRun

From Justin Farhall:

This year the events are ‘virtual events’ meaning that they are available for participants to try at a time of their choosing (day or night). Maps will be printed at home and the results logged using the MapRunF app that will give you your score and time straight away. There is a seven-day window for participants to have their score included in the results for the event and series.

I am hosting the first event from Tuesday 22 to Monday 28 September. It’s around the streets of Stoneleigh. To enter please email me (link redacted for website post) and I will send you what you need.

Whilst the course is designed to be run at a time of your choosing, I am offering the opportunity for individuals or small groups (five or fewer, for a reason you might guess) to meet me at the start/finish in a socially distanced manner, at a mutually agreed time, to issue maps and replicate a normal event and to increase the competitive edge. Let me know if you are interested in this option.

The course is free for all to try so even if you are not sure whether you will give it a go there is no harm in contacting me for more details.

Bushy and Richmond Parks

Consultation about parking charges in the Royal Parks – online questionnaire.

Paul Street

Orienteering Today

In England at the moment, because of the pandemic, none of the events that provide the backbone of the sport can take place.

And indeed, although there is a lot of preparation and thought for a “restart” we don’t know when, where or the details of how that can happen. We all have less opportunity to go and enjoy orienteering, or indeed introduce it to friends to try for the first time. There is no meeting up at a pub to go for a run and then chat through the experience over refreshments.

There are however two ways to get the benefits of our outdoors, fun, mental plus physical, naturally physically distanced, sporting exercise. Assuming you can manage the necessary travel.

Firstly there are three street orienteering maps, five mountain bike courses, and four experimental park courses, set up in the smartphone MapRun software. The summary is your phone beeps when you reach each control point and your time/score is logged with that of other people who have done the course at a different time.

See this earlier post about orienteering courses for individual training.

Neighbouring clubs have also setup MapRun courses: check the websites of Mole Valley, Southdowns, Saxons and Thames Valley for example.

And secondly we have setup several permanent orienteering courses (as have our neighbouring clubs.) They are there now, available every day.

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.



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.

Permanent MBO SCORE Courses

Available Mountain Bike Courses

We have four MapRun courses currently.

  1. Mogador: The start is just north of the village of Mogador, at the south end of Banstead Heath and covers the area west of here across to Headley.
  2. Hurtmore: This course covers the area from Hurtmore to Tilford taking in Crooksbury Common and Puttenham Common.
  3. Knowl Hill: The course is centred around Knowl Hill and covers the area from Warren Row and Bowsey Hill to the north down to Waltham St Lawrence to the south.
  4. Holmbury St Mary: The event from 2017 based at Holmbury St. Mary and covering the heart of the Surrey Hills around Winterfold, Hurtwood and Pitch Hill.

The aim is to practice route choice and navigation, finding the shortest route for however many checkpoints you visit but ignoring timing and penalties.

Please manage these courses as you would any other ride for individual exercise / training. Make your own assessment of risks, and consider how to mitigate including arranging any personal insurance.

These courses should only be ridden while adhering to government guidelines.

You will need two files: the map and the control descriptions.
To get the map and control descriptions please email


Download MapRunF v4.8.8 or higher and sign up. Press “Select Event” and navigate to the folder UK/South London/MTBO then select your chosen course which will download to the phone. You will need a 4 digit code to open the course. You will find the code in the control description file.

Once you’re ready, select “Go to start” and start riding. When you get to the first control the App will beep and the recording will start. You can start at the Start/Finish point or at any control – which will then be considered as the Start/Finish (with no score).

To finish you must go back to where you started to end the recording. The Start/Finish will become a normal control which you visit as you go round the course and it will be assigned a points value automatically.

You are likely to need to slow down or stop at a control point and make sure that the App beeps. The GPS signal may vary slightly or be affected by tree cover so in some cases you may need to move around the location where the control is located.

Tips for running the App

It’s recommended that you select and download events on a reliable network such as a home wi-fi rather than relying on a mobile signal.

When you first set up the app and it requests permission to use the phones location services make sure the permission is “All of the time”. This is likely to be the setting in the majority of cases without any need to do anything. A couple of people have found it set to “When using the App” which results in the phone taking a long time to detect checkpoints and showing straight lines on the GPS track.

If the app doesn’t register CPs and the bar at the bottom of the map showing GPS remains red, you may not have given the app full location permissions. This can be fixed in Settings – Apps (Android) or Setting – Privacy – Location Services (Apple).

See Permanent Orienteering Course page for further information.


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.


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

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