The last race before the coronavirus shutdown was the annual regional round of the CompassSport Cup.
Thanks to London OK for such a great job of putting on the event on Hampstead Heath. It was great work by a small club. They 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.
Congratulations to the current leaders in each class:
Men’s Vets (50+) – Ifor Powell
Women’s Vets (50+) – Louise Oliver
Men’s Seniors (18-49) – Stephen Dadswell
Women’s Seniors (18-49) – Rachel Drew
Juniors (Under 18) – Harvey Humphrey
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.
Note on Heading Photo: Sorry the SLOW photographer didn’t make the prizegiving. This photo has Box Hill in the background and runners in the foreground (two of whom are also orienteers). It was taken at the Surrey Cross-Country Championships earlier this month.
Ally @photogirlruns (who is a professional photographer) ran and tweeted some shots (click on each image.)
Well done 70 runners. Thanks to the Hand In Hand for hosting us. And thanks to club captain Peter Huzan for organizing and planning.
I hope you enjoyed a lovely evening. It stayed dry when it needed to. Lots of runners this time. Please come along to the other events in the series. Thank you to the helpers Gordon, Sue, Heikki, Ed, Tom C and Steve.