Category Archives: International

SLOW members compete in JWOC and World Masters

Last week saw a number of SLOW members competing in world championships events for both juniors and veterans. A summary of the results is set out below.

Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) – Göteborg, Sweden

As reported in our earlier news article, Ralph Street was selected to compete for Great Britain at the annual Junior World Orienteering Championships, held in Göteborg, Sweden between 30 June and 6 July. He competed in a number of different races during the week, starting with the sprint race on Monday in which he finished a solid 114th place out of 172 runners in 16:26, just 3 minutes behind the winner.

In the middle distance qualifier Ralph finished 35th so missed out on the top 20 place required for a place in the A final. However he then went on to have an excellent run in the B final, finishing an impressive 6th position (just 2 minutes behind the winner). In the long race on Saturday, he achieved 100th position (out of 169), so a good improvement from the Sprint.

Finally, in the relay Ralph was running for Great Britain’s 2nd team, but had a storming run on the 2nd leg to finish 15th out of 57 on that leg (3 minutes ahead of the 1st team runner), helping the GB 2nd team to finish in an impressive 13th position overall, two places ahead of the 1st team!

Ralph wasn’t the only SLOW runner at JWOC – Ausra Miksyte was also competing for Lithuania. She finished an excellent 73rd out of 127 in the Sprint, and 30th out of 60 in the B final on the middle distance. She did not compete in the Long race, but rounded off the week running 2nd leg in the Lithuania 2nd relay team, who finished 21st overall (and like the GB team, beat their 1st team counterparts by a few places!).

Full results and maps can be found on the JWOC 2008 website.

World Masters Orienteering Championships (WMOC) – Leiria, Portugal

Andy Robinson at WMOC

Chris Robinson at WMOC

At the same time, a number of SLOW’s more elder statesmen and women were competing in the veteran’s equivalent of JWOC, the World Masters championships, held in forested sand dunes on the Portugese coast between 28 June and 5 July.

SLOW had 5 runners competing, with the best results of the week coming from the Leakeys in the Sprint race – Diane finishing in 14th place on W50, and Alan one place higher in 13th on M55. Diane also managed an impressive 19th place finish in the Long A final, with Alan finishing in 54th.

Andy Robinson finished 59th in the M50 Sprint (which was won by Guildford Orienteers’ James Crawford) and 62nd in the Long A final. Chris Robinson managed an excellent 31st on the W50 sprint and 57th in the Long A final. Anne May achieved 49th position in Long A final on W55.

Special congratulations also go to Elizabeth Brown (mother of SLOW’s Sarah Brown), who – while her grandson was competing in JWOC – completed a clean sweep of Gold medals in the W90 class, and was the oldest female competitor at the event!

Great Britain finished with their best ever performance in WMOC, finishing fourth in the combined medals table with 13 medals won. Sweden won 46, Finland won 25 and Norway won 16.

Finally a special mention to SLOW’s David May who was the IOF Senior Event Advisor for the event – no mean feat when living a thousand miles away! You can read a bit more about David’s involvement at the event here.

Full results and information can be found on the WMOC 2008 website.

SLOW teams compete in the Jukola and Venla relays in Finland

Start of the Venla relay – Diane Leakey running for SLOW is on the right.

SLOW team.

The Jukola event consists of two relays. The Venla relay for women takes place on Saturday afternoon with 4 legs. The Jukola relay starts at 11pm on Saturday night and has 7 legs. It is the Finnish equivalent of the UK Harvester relays but on another scale in terms of the number of competitors.

This year’s event took place near Tampere, about 2 hours drive north or Helsinki. Some of the team flew out a few days earlier to compete in the Forssa Games which is World Ranking Middle distance race and was a good opportunity to get some practice in the tricky terrain.

The team came together on Saturday morning via various routes from the UK including by ferry. The race arena was located at an aviation and motor sports centre which included a runway, alongside which, were about 300 army tents for teams to sleep.

A few people headed off for a quick run on the training map before the start of the Venla relay. The Venla Relay had 970 teams starting in a mass start. The first 200 teams are seeded and take the first few rows on the grid. A network of wires elevates each competitor’s rolled map above their head.

The event was televised on a Finnish sports TV channel and was displayed on a big screen in the race arena. The top teams carry GPS devices and their positions and routes could be displayed on a map on the big screen. On the first leg in the mass start for SLOW was Diane Leakey. The teams set off creating a cloud of dust and their progress is tracked through the forest.

Team information stands.

Each leg had about 4 radio controls and it was possible to views each team runner’s progress on computer terminals in the assembly area.

The SLOW Venla team had good runs ending in 501st place with a particularly strong last leg from Sarah-Jane Gaffney gaining 122 places!

In the Jukola relay were 1453 teams. Setting off the SLOW team at 11pm was Brooner. Although the sun had set it was not completely dark but head torches were required for the first few legs. From a position in the mass start of 1025, the team made steady progress through the field ending up in 683rd place. Particularly good runs were had by Patrick Saile, Seb Woof and Alan Leakey.

Team Results

Women’s Team Length (km) Leg Time Leg Position Relay Time Relay Position
1 Diane Leakey 7.1 1:19:55 512 1:19:55 512
2 Vicky Whaley 7.2 1:39:09 661 2:59:04 609
3 Chris Robinson 5.6 1:13:51 638 4:12:55 623
4 Sarah-Jane Gaffney 8.2 1:21:55 262 5:34:51 501


Men’s Team Length (km) Leg Time Leg Position Relay Time Relay Position
1 Andrew Brown 11.5 2:19:03 1165 2:19:03 1165
2 Simon Evans 12.3 2:29:10 976 4:48:13 1076
3 Patrick Saile 13.2 2:00:02 638 4:12:55 832
4 David Roach 7.9 1:43:10 1048 8:31:26 870
5 Alan Leakey 8.0 1:19:11 488 9:50:37 759
6 Andy Robinson 9.9 1:54:09 803 11:44:47 756
7 Seb Woof 13.8 2:14:30 613 13:59:18 683


Team information stands.

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

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.

Veterans Home International

VHI runners.

Three SLOW members competed in the annual Veterans Home International (VHI) competition which was held in south Wales on 11/12 November. Mike Murray and Diane Leakey (both pictured below) were both competing for England, who won the overall team competition. David May was also competing for Wales. Also running for Scotland were ex-SLOW members Christine MacLeod and Christine Patterson.

The overall results were: England 284, Scotland 244, Wales 220, Ireland 142. The full results can be found on the SWOC website.

Diane Leakey and Mike Murray finish in the VHI.

World MTBO Championships

Congratulations to SLOW’s Heather Monro, who has been competing this week in the world mountain bike orienteering (MTBO) world championships in Finland.

Heather finished a very impressive 12th place in the middle distance final on Tuesday. This was the best position ever recorded by a British competitor in the middle distance race. News from the BOF website:

In the womens race, Heather Monro revelled in the more technical nature of the navigation. She was one of the few in the team to feel she could ‘read’ the terrain and follow the flow of the paths without having to slow down too much. She finished just 2.5 mins outside the pack of women contesting the podium places, so was very happy with her ride

In Wednesday’s long distance race, Heather finished 13th, again the leading British rider. The BOF website reports:

Three of the British women all finished inside the top 30, in what they felt was a stronger field than last years race. Heather Monro was the highest placed with an impressive 13th, although she was less pleased with her ride, having made some route choice errors costing her around three minutes of time loss. Both Heather and Janine were placed highly through the spectator control, but with more than half the course still to complete, fitness began to tell towards the end for Janine as she made some small misses in the last part of the course. Winning times were over the predicted time of 85 minutes by a large margin.

Full details and results of the event can be found at the event website.

SLOW success at Interland

Congratulations to SLOW members Ralph Street and Mike Murray for very impressive winning runs in helping England to victory in the annual “Interland” event on Sunday 26 February. This event is a 4-way international competition between England, Germany, Holland and Belgium, and this year was held in Warendorf, near Munster, in Germany.

Ralph won the M17 course, completing the 8.0km course in a very impressive time of 45:00. Mike was also victorious for England, winning the 5.3km M60 course in an equally-impressive 35:21. England were convincing winners of the overall trophy.

Full event results can be found here.