South London Orienteers were in action at the Jukola 2015 international night relay on Saturday 13 June in Finland. The team, #349, finished 851st, around half-way down, placing as high as 375th during the race itself. Team members were Ludo Maillard, Ian Webb, Ed Catmur, Phil Marsland, Alan Leakey*, Andy Robinson and Peter Huzan*. Jukola is the world’s premier night orienteering race.
Another SLOW athlete, Ralph Street, running for his international club Södertälje Nykvarn Orienter, led the race out, sprinting clear of the starting pack, and staying near the front for much of his run, ending in 68th position. You can see him at the front, in the #3 top, in this spectacular opening video, 30s in:
In addition to Ralph’s achievements in the main Championships, SLOW are also well represented in Great Britain team at the European Trail-O Championships, taking place in Portugal until Wednesday. Our British Champion Sarah-Jane Gaffney is joined by Peter Huzan, Charles Bromley-Gardner and honorary member Nick Barrable. Also Remo Madella is in the Italian team.
In Sunday’s qualifying TempO competition, Charles was the only one of the British team to make it through to the final.
Congratulations to Helen Gardner who won the Women’s Open competition in the ROMe Orienteering Meet earlier this month, holding off BAOC’s Sarah Rollins who came second. Helen was among eight members of South London Orienteers who travelled to Italy for the three day event.
Each day presented a different middle distance race in Rome.
Day 1 was a mass start night race in Villa Borghese, a park in the heart of the city centre, home to many statues and other monuments. The orienteering was fast over the half hour run. A rather weak headtorch held Helen and she came home fourth, just over a minute behind Sarah.
The second day’s event was a park race at Villa Ada, racing along complicated little paths through dark green vegetation and navigating through holes in a ten foot high wall. Helen was first here, eight seconds ahead of Sarah and so entered the final day with a 53 second deficit.
The final race was a city race around the historic centre of Rome, taking in the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and the Pantheon among other sites. This was a beautiful race with a few technical sections and – as would be expected – tourists to avoid. Helen took first place by 37 seconds, but crucially was 1’24” ahead of Sarah to secure victory overall.
The results presentation was more flamboyant than we have come to expect, with Helen spraying champagne over the crowd from the top of the podium! She left with a substantial amount of Italian food to cart home, after a social at the end of the meet with predictably large helpings of pizza, pasta, ice cream and wine. Helen’s verdict on the meet: “very efficient sightseeing”!
It’s been longer than some can remember that this fantastic club (Club of the Year 2013) has had a Club Championships. This will be changing and on the 14th December we will have two new champions. Southern Navigators have kindly put themselves out to host this event as part of their Saturday Series which will be held in prime South of England orienteering terrain on Mytchett. Males will do the blue course (5km) and females the green (3.5km) with start times from 10:00 to 11:30. The distances are short so that we can all compete against each other to find the best of the best of the best. The details aren’t up yet for this event on their website but the link is here http://www.southernnavigators.com/index.php?p=1_6_Calendar
I have promised them that I will give them numbers by the 1st December, so if you want to run then you need to let me know by then. If you miss this date then you will not be able to compete in the championships. NO EXCEPTIONS.
SLOW athlete Ralph Street was part of the British Team for Euromeeting, a test competition for the 2015 World Championships in the Scottish Highlands, which took place last week in Moray. Ralph took a stunning 4th place (3rd place in the Euromeeting group of runners) at the Middle Distance Race at Loch of Boath, which was also a World Ranking Event, finishing with the top result for Team GB. He finished with a time of 31:48, just 39 seconds behind the winner William Lind of Sweden. The race was held in difficult conditions, on a physical area and during pouring rain.
Ralph also ran strongly at the Sprint event at Lossiemouth the day before, finishing 5th, just 0.9 seconds behind fellow Brit Kris Jones in fourth place. The Euromeeting was held within the framework of the Scottish 6 Days orienteering event. The World Championships in 2015 will also interleave with the Scottish 6 Days’ next meet: Highland 2015.
SLOW athlete Ralph Street has been selected for the British team competing in the 2013 World Orienteering Championships in Finland from 5-13 July. Ralph is one of two athletes in the 13 strong team making their debut in the national team.
Ralph has been selected for the long and relay events. All seven British men (the team is limited to seven athletes each sex) are down for just one individual event, although a team can enter three runners in each if they want. Team GB are encouraging athletes to focus on a single individual event rather than doubling-up, and this should mean that athletes in the last event – the relay – are still sharp.
The championships are taking place in Vuokatti in Finland, six hours drive from Helsinki. The first race – the long distance qualifying event is on Sunday 7 July, and the event concludes with the relays on Saturday 13 July.
The Long or Classic event has an estimated winning time of 90-100 minutes for men and is run in the forest. The Middle Distance event is 30-40 minutes in forest, planned with an emphasis less on route choice and more on map interpretation. Sprint is a fast 12-15 minutes often in a complex urban area such as a university campus or an old town. The final relay is for teams of three – very fast competition and these are often the best event to watch. Each discipline has three qualifying heats, and the best 15 from each go through to the final with the fastest runners starting last.
Britain is 8th in the women’s ranking and 17th in the men’s, so expectations are modest and particularly so given the terrain. The sprint and relays are Britain’s best chances for podium spots. The British men’s team won the relay gold medal in the 2008 World Orienteering Championships.
The full programme is available from the WOC 2013 website, and there is usually good news coverage on the website. The main regular orienteering events are:
SLOW athlete Ralph Street is running for Great Britain in the Nordic Orienteering Tour. The tour is made up of a series of five sprint and middle distance races over eight days across the Nordic countries in Oslo, Stockholm and Turku (Finland) with elimination as the rounds progress. A strong field includes seven of the world’s top 10 men and nine of the top 10 women.
The first stage is on Saturday 1 June. There is live GPS coverage of the races, which get high profile TV coverage in the Nordic countries.
Ralph was SLOW’s junior representative before he went to Sheffield University, running for SHUOC while there but back in SLOW colours for the JK. He is currently living in Sweden so hasn’t got a full set of British ranking scores, but his current form would put him in the top 10 British orienteers.