Congratulations to Ed Catmur for winning our first Street-O race of the season, based around the mix of old and new that is King’s Cross. Ed showed once again why he is the undisputed King of Street-O by being over 200 points ahead of his nearest rival, and covering over 14kmto find all but two controls. You can see the full results here.
This, our first Virtual Street-O attracted just over 20 runners, a far cry from the 60-100 usual attendees crowded in a bustling pub. I’m guessing the low numbers were due to a combination of the location (a long way for many of you with no reason to be in Central London) and the absence of post race socialising – but please do let me know any feedback or ideas (whether you took part or not) on
On the plus side, the MapRun app worked very well and stores a GPS track and ‘controls visited’ list of all runners, which are well worth having a look – you can either access them via ‘Show Results’ in the App if you took part, or search for “Kings Cross” on the MapRun Console. Here is Ed’s route:
The next Street-O race is being planned by LOK around Fitzrovia and details will be published on their site shortly.
The decision to hold this event happened in early July when Teresa and I were on a lockdown walk through Glovers Wood. It looked fantastic and was crying out to be a replacement for the London City Race, which at that time was very much looking as it was going to be cancelled. The bonus was discovering that Lidar data was available and amazingly land access permission was granted in an incredibly short time. When a club request went out for a planner this was answered within 24 hours by Richard who soon added Ginny and son Ed to make up a family team. In mid July we had a five person zoom meeting to work out how we would structure the event around the Covid19 restrictions. Things were more complicated than I had initially imagined and our meeting ran to just under two hours. The new map survey was largely completed by the end of July and things were now well under way. Gordon handled all the SI matters with amazing ability and introduced lots of innovative functions, which included being able to pre enter from the field up to 12.30 yesterday!
Specific thanks must go to our controller, Paul Todd who offered lots of valuable suggestions and made sure we were all doing the right things.
Lastly we must thank the weather for being so brilliant for the whole day and you all for adhering to social distancing etc. Yesterday the farmer met up with me at about 4.30 in the field and as for all orienteering events it was litter free. Thank you!
Planner’s Comments – Richard Catmur
Thank you for all the (mostly kind!) feedback on my courses. Certainly they may have seemed a little long after the recent “shutdown” but I see that the winning times are all close to the target times. One competitor even said that he wished he had done a longer course!
I would like to say sorry to those competitors stung by the hornets. Obviously we were aware of the nest and had planned for the warning signs; however on our previous visits the hornets were nowhere near as active as they were on the race day. We suspect that the sunshine and the presence of many runners going past made them much more active and it seems that at this time of year they are very protective of their young and object to being disturbed. Obviously we should all learn a lesson from this and take note to keep courses further away from such nests in the future.
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The last race before the coronavirus shutdown was the annual regional round of the CompassSport Cup.
Great work by London OK putting on the event on Hampstead Heath. It was a fine achievement by a small club -LOK are a “small club” in CompassSport Cup/Trophy rules, and indeed there were only eight LOK runners in the Trophy. Thanks very much to them for doing their bit for the sport.
We were matched with Southdowns, Happy Herts, Thames Valley and Southern Navigators. All clubs had full teams. We usually meet Southdowns and Happy Herts in this regional round, and we usually come second or third; in fact Southdowns won our regional last year and went on to come third in the final.
This year we won, thanks to a good turnout from the club and many good individual runs. The best course for us was five of the top six on men’s open.
Captain Peter Huzan deserves a lot of credit for the result. In his email to the club he noted the very valuable contribution from SLOW runners on junior courses: well done Yona Jacquemin, Matteo Rebora and Théophane Roux.
The Wimbledon Common Night-O (actually on Putney Heath) attracted 57 entries, in total about 65 people given those participating in pairs or threes.
Although the weather was not as rainy as forecast, the going underfoot was decidedly “heavy”, with depressions being ponds and many paths being ditches. I intended that the courses be somewhat easier than for the usual night-O but many competitors seemed to disagree.
Despite recovering from his marathon at the weekend, Ed Catmur (SLOW) narrowly won the Long course from Matthew Vokes (DRONGO), with Aimee Darley (SN) the leading female.
On the Short course, Callum Gilhooley & Ben Toogood (SLOW) together lead the field with Sarah Darley (GO) beating the other ladies.
Thanks are due to the usual suspects for their assistance, without which these events simply would not happen.
Many thanks to Dave Wright for organising and planning last night’s event. Do add your route to Routegadget, and see which way others went. And check split times on Winsplits, to see where you were quick, and where you weren’t so much. Well run Ian Ditchfield.
We returned to The Royal Oak for the third time in four years but with a different map area and a 3 hour SAF course. It made good use the dense network of trails around Pitch Hill, Holmbury Hill and Leith Hill. There was heavy rain the night before the event which made the course very muddy. The rain continued for most riders but the later starters saw sun and bright autumnal skies.
This was a new area for SLOW and surprisingly hilly with loads of great riding. Congratulations to Ifor Powell for winning the overall event. Radnage Village Hall provided an ideal event base. Despite having cancelled a couple of events this year, there is still hot competition for 2020 Series places as we head for the final event of the season.
August saw the return of our events with Jane’s course around the North Downs near Effingham. We able to take in many of the fantastic views all around using the standard format course on an A3 1:25,000 map. We had a record turnout and it is great to see everyone back at events. There was plenty of room on the playing fields to spread out.
Our first event was based at The Three Horseshoes pub in Thursley and covered the fantastic area around Thursley Common, Hankley Common and the Devil’s Punch Bowl. Navigation proved tricky as there were trails all over the place. The forecast rain went elsewhere and although there were some muddy sections most of the trails had a good surface well suited to all year riding .
Series prizes are presented to the top 3 finishers in the each following category: Men’s Vets (50+), Women’s Vets (50+) , Men’s Seniors (18-49) , Women’s Seniors (18-49), Juniors (Under 18).
To be eligible for prizes, participants must have attended at least 2 events. Course planners are credited for the events they plan with the average of their best 2 event results.
The British Night Championships were held on Saturday evening in the woods at Hambleden near Henley-on-Thames. Hambleden is a private shooting estate, and was an excellent venue for the championships – technical and hilly but very runnable. The organising club Thames Valley did a terrific job putting on the championships and a big race the following day. The area was previously used to host two days of the biggest UK orienteering festival, the JK, at Easter 2013.
Congratulations to club stalwart Paul Couldridge who won the M45 trophy through fast and accurate orienteering and a well-paced race. He built a lead of four minutes in the last third of the course of 8.3km with 300m climb, to finish in a time of 55:23.
Paul is pictured above with the trophy, bracketed by second-placed Nicholas Cooper of South Yorkshire and third-placed Will Heap of Southdowns. In the fluorescent jacket is the organiser, John Dalton of Thames Valley O.C.
Paul has previously won both the M35 and M40 (twice) night trophies.
The W35 trophy was won by SLOWprint editor Sarah-Jane Barrable. This was her first win.
Third on M35 was fixtures secretary Duncan Grassie. (Sarah-Jane’s husband Nick Barrable who runs with South Yorkshire was second in this class.)
Other runners from SLOW were: Juste Raimbault and Yordan Kolev on M21L, Fiona Tam on W21L, Matthias Mahr – fourth on M40, Sue Carter – fourth on W50, Dorte Torpe Hansen – fifth on W50, Richard Stanhope on M60, Paul Street on M65 and Jim Mallinson on M70.
The M21L trophy was retained by Graham Gristwood of Forth Valley Orienteers who covered the 11.9km and 380m course in just 60:21. His speed was not very different from that of his run at the JK Middle race back in 2013. He has represented GB at World Orienteering Championships a record number of times. And he also presents our video Introduction to Orienteering.
The W21L trophy was won by Megan Carter-Davies of Mid-Wales O.C. Megan now holds all four British trophies, having won the long, middle and sprint titles last year.