|Club Officers 2000-2001|
Club Kit: Teresa Turner,
Membership Secretary: Ginny Catmur,
Archivist: Sue Lumas,
Mens Captain: Peter Huzan,
Mapping Officer and SEOA Rep.:
SLOWprint Editor: Sarah Brown,
Beginners Rep. and Training Officer: Heather Walton,
Copy date for Issue 138 will be early February 2202. Letters, event reports, articles, cartoons, gossip, scandal, notices, small ads, court circulars, births, deaths and marriages should be posted to Sarah Brown (address above); electronic copies via e-mail are particularly welcome.
New Members: If you are new to SLOW, you might not know about ... Training: Tues. eve. (7.15 pm) training open to all, of all standards: every Tuesday at the clubhouse (Thames Hare and Hounds, Richard Evans Memorial Playing Fields, Kingston Vale); 9 pm at the Robin Hood pub, Kingston Hill; and other venues: see the Training Diary for details.
and Transport: we can organise lifts to events: ring any of the clubs officers, as listed above, and one of us will sort this out for you.
TO READ IN THIS BUMPER FESTIVE ISSUE
NOW - that's what I call orienteering!
A lively discussion took place at the SLOW AGM concerning the future of orienteering and what SLOW might do about it. A few days after penning my Revolution or extinction bit in the last SLOWprint, BOF announced that it would be promoting a National Orienteering Week next year. NOW! will run from 8-16 June and will be preceded and followed-up by various publicity activities (see BOF website for details). This is great news and will give a focus to our own publicity efforts next year. One concrete outcome of our AGM discussion was the establishment of a small strategy sub-group, which is meeting as I write. The group consists of Andy Morrison, James Robertson and Heather Walton. Thinking, discussion and planning will continue for some time, so if you have suggestions as to what SLOW can do to make orienteering more attractive, to young people in particular, please contact Andy (email email@example.com; tel 01372 470295).
25th anniversary dinner
tremendous occasion! 60 people came from far and wide and
enjoyed an excellent meal and the opportunity to renew old
friendships. There were some entertaining and often
hilarious speeches from long-term member and World Champs
competitor, Mike Murray, and guest Frank Carpenter, President of
Thames Hare and Hounds, the oldest cross-country club in the
world, with which SLOW has had a close and mutually beneficial
relationship since our beginnings. Our guest of honour,
Heather Monro, flew in from her home in
The 300+ photos which you all sent in were sorted and arranged into nine themed displays for the dinner. The images ranged from the unrecognisable to the nostalgic and from the unbelievable to the (mildly) obscene, chronicling along the way the size and shape of Trevor Jones's hair and David Roach's bottom! The photos are going to be scanned and archived for posterity. Thanks to Charlotte Turner for offering to do this.
3rd time lucky
Yes it really happened. The OK Nuts trophy event, twice postponed from December 2000 and May 2001, finally took place on 9 December. And it was well worth waiting for. The planning and organisation of this event were of the very highest quality which impressed controller, Philip Robinson. Congratulations to all concerned, especially the person who ordered the weather - a beautiful, crisp winter's day, with early frost and mist giving way to blue skies. The use of the Cranleigh Scout Hut was crucial to the event's success, giving a focus for looking at results, chatting and looking at SLOW's anniversary photo display, as well as providing a dry, though not particularly warm, venue for enquiries, computers and results. Once we worked out how to turn on the cooker in the kitchen, without crashing the computers, we were able to produce hot, mulled wine for competitors while they 'downloaded'.
We are seriously considering that an indoor base will be a must for all events in the future - to facilitate the social side of the sport in addition to a safe haven for the computers.
Welcome to the following new members:
Mark Vyvyan-Robinson (M21; : firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Barrows (W21), : email@example.com
James Pennington (M21: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicki Saward (W21) and Stephen Robinson (M21), : email@example.com
Erica Blatchford (W21) and Ran Geffen (M21; : firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Pearson (M21), : email@example.com
The following all have new e-mail addresses:
Jackie Chapman (home; work is unchanged):
Don and Pip McKerrow:
Many thanks to Mike Garvin for setting a very enjoyable score event in Westminster and enabling us to bemuse the patrolling policeman and users of the Queen Mother Sports Centre. It was good to see some different faces and a good time was had by all. Well done to Alan, the victor.
33 Alan Leakey
30 Andy Robinson
27 Erica and Ran Geffen
25 Chris Midgley and Karin Petters
23 Dominic Lawrence
Andrew Lange and Jacqui Joubert
22 Kate Thomas
21 Stuart Beaumont
21 Diane Leakey
19 Diana Smith
Thanks to Andy Robbo for putting on night orienteering on Wimbledon Common; good fun despite the mud
There is a Christmas Street Event at the Finches on 18th December an excellent social occasion and another opportunity to see the SLOW dinner photo display so do come along. Savoury food provided - bring your own mince pies. For those of you who havent been to one before, street events involve going out running on roads for an hour or less going to as many points marked on the map as you can and solving the clues when you get there. I hear the course is designed to be run in pairs - if you want to do it all yourself you can have two maps. Liz would find it helpful if you let her know if you are coming.
street events to keep those navigational skills primed through
the winter will be on 29th January in Putney (courtesy
of Diana Smith), 12th February in
Other Tuesday evenings on the training schedule given below are all from the Thames Hare and Hounds clubhouse 7.15 for 7.30. Dont forget we will also be in the Robin Hood pub on Kingston Hill afterwards from about 9pm onwards. Bring your orienteering maps and relive your orienteering courses, hear other orienteers tales of woe and enthusiastically plan to do it all again!
18 December Christmas Street event 7.30 onwards. Meet at the Finchs, 24, Park Farm Road Kingston
Details 020 8549 2144
25 December No training overcome by too much Christmas dinner
1 January No training unless requested
8 January Steady run Committee meeting
15 January Hill intervals (to remind you what a hill is like before the Box Hill Fell Race!)
22 January Steady run
29 January Street event in Putney. Meet at Putney Leisure Centre, Dryburgh Rd/Upper Richmond Road (South Circular), short run to start at Nursery Close 7-7.30 pm Details Diana Smith 020 8788 1301
5 February Steady run
12 February Pancake street event at Kate Thomas 2, Avondale Rd, Wimbledon. Starts 7.30-8pm Details Kate Thomas 020 8544 0317
19 February Hill intervals
26 February Steady run.
5 March Flat intervals
12 March Street event at the Catmurs 73, Claygate Lane, Hinchley Wood, Esher Time 7.30-8pm Details Ginny Catmur 020 8398 8190
19 March Hill intervals
26 March Run with JK maps
Technique training in the evenings is difficult in the winter but beginners are welcome to ask us to meet up with them at events and explain a few things or shadow them. There are some technique training days coming up (described in the junior training section but suitable for beginners.) Do come to the pub on Tuesdays or ring me on 020 8891 0453 if you are interested in any of these things. Heather
|JUNIOR NEWS AND TRAINING|
Ive noticed you have all been out enjoying yourselves at events which is great to see. Some good results at the November Classic:
Charles McMillan 4th M10A and GOLD
Robert Jones 1st M10B
Ralph Street 1st M12A and GOLD
James McMillan 4th M12A
Matthew Walter 2nd M14B
Helen Walter 2nd W18B
The younger Roaches took to Newborough - Alex 1st on Yellow and Georgia 1st on W14B.
It was the Steinitz who took to Ranmore Common - Anna 1st and Jenny 3rd on White.
Michael May came a very good 5th against stiff senior competition on his first Light Green course at Putney Heath.
So maybe none of you need any training! But there is always the option to strive onwards and upwards to harder courses so we are arranging some training for you:
Land permission to be sorted out but will probably be on Esher and Oxshott or possibly Pitch Hill. Since I am away for a week over New Year and you may be away yourselves over Christmas/New Year, please let me know if you are coming on 13th January by (or at) the Christmas street event on 18th December. Id also like lots of volunteers to help shadow the juniors, particularly if you can run fast several of the juniors are pretty zippy!
The SE Junior Squad is organising a Future Champions Cup race (a national competition for older juniors) in Watford on 9th February. If any SLOW juniors want to help and get inspiration from watching the junior stars please let Chris Fry know.
Thats it. I look forward to seeing you all full of new resolutions in the New Year.
|TEAM EVENTS 2002 (by Pete Huzan)|
The list of team events below may look familar to you, since it is basically the list from a year ago. Let's hope we have more luck this time. In addition to these events, there will be the North Downs Way Relay in June (16 per team) and various smaller events. Please let me know if you have ideas for any other team events. Remember that the team events are free for
juniors and full-time students.
First up in March is the Compass Sport Cup Regional Round. In this team event you run individually on a colour-coded course appropriate to your age group. The best two or three runners from each club on each course all get points which are added together to find the winner. In the Regional Round, We are up against all the other teams in the South-East. This is a very competitive round where we should be able to do well if we have a good
turnout & we run to our potential. One of the strengths in the club is that there is good backup so please come along if you can - all standards are welcome for this club day out! *** For this event you will need to pre-enter directly to the organising club (Southdowns) - look out for the event flyer; the closing date is 17th February. *** Also, please let me know that you have entered so that I can keep track of the team. If we win the Regional Round, then we will be through to the National Final in May - this will be in the South Central region & so a good venue for the southern clubs - make a note in your diary in case we get through!
The other events are the usual relays. These are really great fun, and we will have teams for all levels of competitiveness. So if you are not sure about taking part, then please do! The days are a very sociable way of meeting up with other club members. The two spring events are also in very beautiful places to take a holiday and appreciate the surroundings.
Finally, how about a couple of new year's orienteering resolutions? The club is taking part in National Orienteering Week in June - you will hear more about this elsewhere - please think how you may contribute to the future well being of the sport (helping at events, introducing newcomers). Also, you may like to set some goals for yourself. Examples include: getting a new colour/badge/championship standard, getting a relay medal, doing well at the Compass Sport Cup, running a mountain marathon. There will be club members willing to help you achieve these aims through training And coaching - let us know if you want some help.
Above all, have lots of fun.
10 March CompassSport Cup Round 1, Worth Forest, Crawley (SO area)
30 March JK Easter Event, Forest of Dean (to 1 April)
5/6 May British Champs weekend, Londonderry/Omagh (Northern Ireland)
12 May CompassSport Cup Final, South Central Region [maybe!]
31 August Harvester Trophy, Dipton, Northumberland
Sept. Peter Palmer Junior Team Relays, East Midlands
|S.L.O.W. AGM:||FIXTURES REPORT|
It's been an entertaining first year in the job. As if getting going with SportIdent wasn't enough, foot and mouth then came along. Actually those two major issues complemented each other in that the quiet period resulting from one gave us space to address the other. On top of that there was an OK Nuts event cancelled due to a wet car park, and this time last year we were pressing on producing the new map of Wimbledon Common.
After about six months I managed to develop a fixtures policy in terms of the general level of events in the year. This was accepted by the rest of the committee and it covered:
-a large (i.e. attended by most regional orienteers) event in December
-one of similar size in the spring
-a contribution to each of the regional series every year, Southern Express, Senile and Frolics.
-The Box Hill Fell Race
-The Surrey Hills Races and associated Nower event, coordinating both and doing one or the other alternating with the Moles.
That should leave us open to take on the odd other thing that crops each year; these range from the JK to the Panathlon, and next year include the UK Cup and NOW week. Like all general plans they are flexible and subject to change e.g. the 'spring' event next year is on August Bank Holiday.
The job is rather more than pencilling in plans - it's about finding officials that means:
-planning the planners (quite simple and fun)
-organising the organisers (much the most arduous part)
-controlling the controllers (just don't ask!)
The objective therefore is to build up and maintain the club's pool of capable, willing and available expertise, with the ideal being the entire club's membership taking it in turns to be officials. Those who have taken on these jobs should be applauded and the mechanism for that is this annual report. Hence they are all included in the lists below. There are rather too many instances of names appearing more than once and I would like to reduce that.
The following fixtures were held in the last year:
20 January Box Hill Fell Race. Organiser: Andy Robinson
3 February. Pitch Hill Senile: Organiser: Gavin Andrews Planner: Paul Szarvas Controller Simon Turton (CROC)
11 March. Wimbledon Common colour-coded:
Organiser: Nigel Saker Planner:Mike Garvin Controller Simon Ling (MV)
3 June. Surrey Hills Races Organiser: Jeremy Denny. For the associated colour-coded: Planner Mike Murray, Assistant Organiser: Don McKerrow, SportIdent: Gordon Parker and I filled in the gaps
15 July Reigate Priory. Frolics (limited colour-coded)
Organiser: Teresa Turner Planner: Richard Catmur. SportIdent: Gavin Andrews Controller Jon Coles (MV)
14 October Putney Heath. Novices Event (limited colour-coded)
Organiser: Heather Walton Planner: Chris Owen SportIdent: Gavin Andrews. Controller: David May
16 October. Battersea Park. Panathlon. Organised and planned by Ginny Catmur.
9 December. Winterfold. OK Nuts Badge Event Organiser: Nigel Saker Planner: Paul Canham. SportIdent: Gavin Andrews. Controller: Philip Robinson. Entries: Andrew Trimble
In addition there were two score events for local groups staged on Wimbledon Common and Ginny has done at least one other Panathlon. All the above named have earned our thanks and a few individuals more than once.
Events that didn't take place (not just for F&M reasons) were the OK Nuts Trophy on Winterfold, despite tying up those involved for more time than the events that did happen and the Southern Express on The Nower.
|FUTURE PLANS: Events marked *** are those needing officials|
12 January 2002. Esher Common. Senile
Organiser: Andy Robinson. Planner: Alan Leakey SportIdent: Gavin Andrews. Controller: Mike Elliot (MV)
19 January Box Hill Fell Race. Organiser: Andy Robinson
2 March. Battersea Park. UK Cup and Southern Express Park Race.
Organiser: Ginny Catmur. Planner: Alan Leakey Controller: Simon Errington (LOK)
***25 May Pitch Hill Southern Express
26 May Surrey Hills Races Organiser: Jeremy Denny
8-16 June NOW week. 2 (approx.- to be discussed) items on Wimbledon Common
***14 July. Frolic. Putney Heath. Planner: Kate Thomas
***26 August. Score Event Wimbledon Common
***9 December. Hankley Common. OK Nuts Badge Event.
Map production: We finally produced the two maps that I've talked about at least the last two years:
-Wimbledon Common. 3000 printed by Hassall & Lucking.
-The Nower. Laser-printed by Tim Carder of Southdowns. This latter method may well become the norm for producing maps. However probably not suitable for Wimbledon Common because of its such frequent use.
We (or at least Ed Catmur) revised his map of Telegraph Hill but that is yet to hit general release.
SEOA REP REPORT
I'm about to miss 2 meetings in a row!! Anyone else want to do the job. Actually I quite enjoy the chinwag with old f***s - sometimes - and this year we actually did something useful in getting Sportident going.
Here is a review of the team performances of the year, and some of the notable individual performances. Unfortunately due to Foot & Mouth, the major team relays (JK, British, Harvester) & CompassSport Cup were postponed this year.
British Champs (Newborough Warren, Wales)
Charles Bromley-Gardner (M40 - 1st), Mike Murray (M55 - 1st)
Ed Catmur (M20 - 5th), John Dowty (M40 - 10th), Andy Robinson (M45 - 10th), David May (M55 - 6th), Georgia Roach (W14B - 1st), Stina Andreasson (W18 - 10th), Heather Walton (W35S - 3rd), Chris Robinson (W45 - 6th), Tim Rogers (M21E - 29th), Caroline Catmur (W21E - 22nd)
Southern Champions (BOKTrot)
Charlotte Turner (W16), Ralph Street (M12), Ed Catmur (M20), Charles Bromley-Gardner (M40), Mike Murray (M55), Karen Jones (W40), Sarah Brown (W45 - 3rd), Michael May (M12 - 2nd)
Ed Catmur (British - 1st M20), Chris Robinson (Southern - 1st W21), Andy Robinson (Southern - 2nd M45)
Other Team Competitions
North Downs Way (1st) - Andy Robinson, Chris Owen, Peter Carlill, Phil Moore, Charles Bromley-Gardner, Ed Catmur, Andy Jones, Paul Canham (beat GO by 1 min).
South-East Relays (5 teams) - Intermediate (2nd) - Pete Huzan, Sarah Brown, Timo Teinila
Yvette Baker Trophy (2nd) - close behind SO [who came second in the national final]
South-East Score Champs (Waggoners Wells, October) - 5th. Best Paul Nixon.
Ed Catmur British Squad (Junior Section) - JWOC reserve
Charlotte Turner, Charles Bromley-Gardner (2nd) , Sarah Brown (3rd) , Mike Murray (2nd), David May (Home Internationals)
Stina Andreasson, Charlotte Turner, Ralph Street, Michael May (SE Junior Squad)
NEEDED: MORE ORIENTEERS
SLOW AGM, it was agreed that a Strategy sub-group should be
formed to address the issues raised by members during the debate
on diminishing membership and to report back to the Committee in
January 2002. Volunteers for the sub-group were sought and found.
They are Heather Walton, James Robertson and myself.
The planned output in January is an articulation of the principal types of issues facing SLOW and the sport in general, and a description of the alternative paths (strategies) that could be followed.
Any further work, including possible linkage to the National Orienteering Week,
Individual members who wish to record additional issues and inputs are invited to communicate with me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or with Heather or James. The sub-group will meet for the first time on
We would particularly like to hear from anyone who has witnessed similar thought processes in 'competing' outdoor pursuits, or anyone who has access to professional market research into outdoor pursuits.
As the work of the sub-group proceeds, it may be that we wish to ask some more structured questions of you. If that happens, I hope we can count on your help.
Editors comments: I had a shock looking at the Winterfold results when I saw that there was only one competitor on M14 and the same for W14. The W21 was won by a W40 and many of the top finishing runners were W40 or W35. The same was true of the M21 class. We do need to address this issue of the falling numbers at Orienteering events.
I found it fascinating to discover at the birthday dinner that Slow was founded as not just an orienteering group but as a training group as well. I think this links into the current debate about diminishing participation in orienteering. Several people at the AGM voiced concern about building a more social side to orienteering (after all it is a very single minded sport). This may help encourage and keep members. So see........
British Champs 2001, Newborough: reports by two of the winners.
Charles Bromley Gardner: Winner M40:
"Newborough was a super technical area, albeit broken up by frequent tracks - very large mistakes should not have been incurred if competitors had exercised a bit of caution, disciplined themselves to choose appropriate attack points and to recover o an alternative if the control was not found promptly. having said that, intense concentration was required and I certainly felt my brain hurting halfway round; it was not an area to let your mind wander.
Two big 40+ second mistakes and 4 other 20+ second errors left me in front by 3 seconds - a damn close run thing (in spite of losing another 2 seconds on the run-in, when I was not dawdling). I invariably get into the map and course quicker than most and I posted the quickest times on Legs 1, 3, 4 and 7, but then not again until 17 and that was it. However that good start meant that I led the race for all but 5 controls in the 3rd quarter - my lead never being more than 53 seconds and not being more than 11 seconds behind. Consistency was the bedrock of success - only 60% of the fastest legs were shared between the first 3 finishers (John Tullie (RR) and Justin May (LOK)); 6 other competitors also got on that particular scoreboard. All that's a bit spotter-ish, but demonstartes the fine line between success and despondency.
I took great care to note features that led to the control. As the contour interval was only 2.5m, I had taken time before the start to walk the route through the wood to the finish with an old map, in order to gain a clear picture in my mind of that scale. My lost time tended to be due to not taking enough care on leaving the control. This is probably my worst habit, which catches me out particularly on short legs: I like to re-locate when I am int the leg and they don't give me much opportunity to do so. Needless to say, one of my big errors was on the shortest leg, although I did get beside the feature first time (one of a group of 1.5m knolls) but could not identify that I was the wrong side of it to see the flag. Thankfully it did not lose me the race!
It was one of my happier journeys home, one that I may be pushed to repeat, although I should not be too far off the pace on the the Magilligan sand-dunes in Northern Ireland. I would certainly have kicked myself had John Tullie made 4 seconds less mistakes and am the first to acknowledge that neither Bilbo Bagness nor Tim Tett were competing - I would have been pushed to beat them, but neither finished M21E, which they had chosen to enter."
Mike Murray, M50:- 7th title but first successful defense having won BOC 200, Herefordshire.
- 1st win M21E, New Forest, 1972
- Good course ( usually is when you have a good result ). Direct running off paths with easily identifiable checks on the way such as open areas, fenced enclosures, isolated hills ( sand dunes ). The visibility in the forest seemed better than previous BOC, although vegetation was probably thicker since we were running in autumn and not spring.
- I knew I was having a good run ( splits show a lead from 'gun to tape' ) but I am always trying to blot out the 'winning' thoughts whilst racing. However, with about 2/3s of the course completed I was aware of the need to maintain concentration, to navigate carefully to an attack point and then use compass and pacing to find the flag. It was only at the penultimate control that a momentary lapse - wrong attack point - reduced me to groping and hoping. A very challenging area worthy of a British Champs. What a pity we can't compete more often on such terrain. It would improve our standards of navigation and fitness. It was hard work running up and down the steep slopes. Mike
North Downs Way Relay: 29th September
We successfully completed half the length of the North Downs Way, beating off a strong challenge by GO to win by just 64 seconds. The field comprised teams from LOK and GO with a greatly depleted team from Tadworth Athletic.
We suffered quite a few injuries and withdrawals prior to the day itself, myself included, but as usual the club rallied round well to produce a full team, albeit without the required lady runner. Especially gratifying was the preparation from the SLOW runners; GO were lost on Leg 1 and again, badly so, on Leg 5. This made all the difference to the final result.
|Betsom Hill Farm||
So many thanks to all of you for your support, both runners and followers. Next year we should be able to run the full distance again, probably on 22nd June 2002, running and O fixtures permitting Dick Clark
BOK TROT: New Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean
Sunday 11th November
From our roving reporter at the Southern Championships car park field in the Forest of Dean:
Im standing in front of a bright blue and yellow catering van in a field behind a very welcoming country inn. Before I go to the inn for a well-deserved pint or two by the log fire, Ive got to interview a SLOW Southern Champion from the Jones family. Aha, Robert (M10B)?
Not me, mucked up no.2, speak to my sister.
Aha, Emma (W12B)?
Not me, Ive been playing in the car park, speak to my dad.
Aha, Andy (M40L)?
**** brambles **** ditches **** controls 1 to 20, speak to the missus.
Aha, Karen (W40L)?
Hi! Yes! Wow! I cant believe it! Someone must have run faster than me! Does my hair look OK for the prizegiving?
I see that youre thrilled by your victory. Can you take us round the course - pass on a few hints?
Ha ha ha! Ha ha ah!
Ive got a pint waiting....
Well, there was this absolutely gorgeous sculpture hanging from the trees on the way to the start - a nature stained glass window, shining in the winter sky, very uplifting and inspiring....
The course I said.
I cant remember an awful lot about it. I remember blowing it at no.2, I thought Id messed it up already, it wasnt my fault though, there were too many ditches.
I see - the power of positive thought - visualising success?
I managed to put it behind me and started running hard. I hit a couple of controls cleanly and got into it, trying to reproduce the ecstatic pain of childbirth.
You had an awful leg off the top of a bramble covered spoil heap?
I could have given up then. But the quickest way back to the finish appeared to be to complete the course. At least I wont have to shave my legs this week!
The next few controls were good, as you ask. I was running well again and didnt lose much time. I did a great sprint up the hill to the finish, did you see it?
Thanks very much Karen Jones, W40 Southern Champion 2001. Can I have my pint now?
I think Buttenshaws only do tea and coffee.... Andeeee....Wheres my Wilfs mug?
P.S. Dont believe everything you read in the press!
FROM kAREN AND aNDY jONES
HOW TO WIN A PRIZE ON THE KARRIMOR Andy Robinson
Now there's a bold title! I'd twice won prizes in the past. In 1983 Tim Denton and I were 3rd on the B class and in 1990 partnering Alan Leakey we were 4th on the Score, there only being one such class in those days. Since my lung illness in 1992 I'd assumed any more prizes were out of the question, but in recent years things had been looking up. 10th place on the A with Keith Tonkin in 1999 was followed in by 20th on Long Score with Peter Huzan (possible 12th if I hadn't dropped the tent poles!). Prizes go down to 8th place and so doing the Long Score with Keith looked a decent punt. This was no pot-hunt - score classes make up more than half the Karrimor. The Long Score has plenty of quality competitors.
These days you don't get to see the map until the start lane, which spoils one of my best moves - second-guessing the planner on the Friday night. The one oddity we did pick up at registration was a timed road crossing on day 2, the local police holding a broad definition of what counted as a "busy road". This road split the area between a northern and southern part. The latter was much smaller but included the finish.
There were no such complications with the road crossing on day one as the walk to the start took us just into northern section. As the start was wedged in the SW corner of that block with the overnight camp on the east side, we had an easy job with our route choice. The high point controls were in the NW and SE corners, and there was a natural control-picking route zig-zagging first SE then NW which not only added up to about our target distance (just over 30km), but also offered several options. Decision made and off we set.
There was an early problem at the second control; it was in the wrong place - the first time I've ever known that in a KIMM. It was only in the next col and cost us 2-3 minutes - the same as everyone else, but that's not the point on a score class when time penalties might affect some pairs. By number 5 (2hours 24) we were cruising well and so when Keith suggested a deviation to collect two 15 pointers as opposed to one 10 pointer on the direct route, I readily agreed.
It was between the two 15s that the problem arose in the shape of a moderately lengthy rain shower. I couldn't really describe it as bad as I've seen a lot worse, but it was heavier than the forecast had led us to expect and I had delayed in putting my cag on. When I did I was starting to get cold and spent the next hour heading into the wind and rain over the roughest peat hags on the map shivering and with my teeth chattering. As I get older I've found that I get increasingly affected in this way. The wind and rain were not really that bad but I was still badly affected and slowed significantly.
So when we reached our 8th control (4hrs 12) and not helped by missing it at the first attempt in the mist) we had dropped well behind the pace required to complete our target loop in the time limit. I'd decided that we were going to have to cut it short and miss the high score in the north-west. Still there was one more to get on the west side before finalising that decision. That leg was downhill, done quite fast and the weather was improving. I was in a quandary. Keith wanted to go on with the target. I consented, partly because cutting short would leave us out of the prizes and partly because I calculated that our likely penalty although large was better than break-even; that NW control was worth 40 points.
Knowing what was needed we pushed harder, collected the big points and headed east for the penultimate control. We reckoned if we had an hour left from there we might yet avoid penalties. We had 54 minutes left. Desperate to keep the penalty down we pushed harder still on the long track run south to the last control - I must have been checking the watch at least once a minute. It was always going to be desperately close and as Keith punched at the finish I stopped the watch at 3 seconds over. Rats! Still not a bad performance but it got better. At download, our little print-out emerged to read 6.59.59, one second inside the time limit. Initial disbelief, changed to giggles and then to attempts to look cool as if it had all been planned. Who were we kidding?
Keith and I have done enough of these things to know that a good day 2 performance is dependent on being efficient at the overnight camp. You don't chat or mess around. You just make sure you eat lots, rest lots and sleep as much as possible.
The results went up to show we were 8th which meant just in the prizes, but with lots to do the next day to keep it that way. Those ahead of us had done our route faster with some of them having enough time to deviate to a 10 pointer near the end and leading pair having collected another 10 pointer too. Close behind us I saw at least two fast pairs who must have mis-judged the day somehow. In truth the planner had not done a great job as all the leading pairs had done pretty much the same and the leaders were only one short of getting the lot. More variety was needed to test judgement. Perhaps we would get it the next day with the road crossing.
For our 7.15 start the alarm went at 5.30. Five minutes later my contact lenses were in; 20 minutes after that Keith gave up with his and we got on with breakfast. Despite this problem better weather meant we could still eat enough, pack up in the dry, queue for the loo and still get to the start with 2 minutes to spare.
More vitally we had done the mental preparation and were ready for decision-making. We reckoned we could cover 25-27 km, guessed that the terrain south of the road might be quicker, but that area was small so we would still have to do quite a bit to the north. Timing of the road crossing could be crucial.
The map showed a natural loop round the north, but the highest point scorer was in the south. The northern loop measures 21km so we would then have to go fairly straight to the finish. Then we noticed there were quite a few controls between us and the road crossing - none were big points, but they were close together. Zig-zagging through those and doing all the controls south of the road would give us 15 more points for the same distance. It had taken us 10 minutes to work it out, and it was committing the cardinal sin of score events in not leaving us any options, but it looked right and we went for it, but wondering what decisions the others would make.
We reached the road crossing in 2hours 47, which seemed about the right pace. We took 19 minutes over that road crossing longer than any other pair - plenty to eat and drink, check clothing OK and measure the distance accurately. We had covered 12.1km with 13.4km and 1.6km for the run-in to go. It looked perfect for a six hour time limit and therefore a guaranteed place amongst the prizes.
And so it proved. Avoiding serious navigational error and constantly checking the pace, we hit the run-in with a cool 20 minutes left. I set off in usual style, but shortly afterwards wondered where Keith was. I looked back and eventually spotted him hobbling very badly; his knee that he had been protecting in training had finally packed in. He could still move and so time wasn't a problem. I just jogged behind him to protect him from other finishers.
After crossing the line we soon spotted ex-SLOWie Peter Gorvett who had been 6th overnight. When he explained that they had taken the long northern loop and had no time for extra points south of the road, I'm afraid that my pathetic attempt to show him some sympathy was transparently insincere.
The rest of the results followed the same story. Only the leaders had taken our approach and they were fast enough to pick up two more controls before the road. Places 2 to 7 had all gone for the northern route, and only 2nd and 3rd had run fast enough to justify it by picking up points south of the road. Places 4 to 7 had all had to cut it short and hadn't got within 15 points of us.
4th place. Well chuffed. Thanks very much. Give us the prize please. I like score events.
SLOW 25TH BIRTHDAY DINNER
60 guests assembled at the London Wetland Centre, Barnes on November 24th for the dinner. These included founder members, former and present members and even two people who had joined earlier in the week
Pre-dinner drinks in the foyer gave a chance to talk and examine a fascinating display of old photographs assembled and presented by Chairman Christine, Sue Lumas and Richard Weston. Cries were heard of "I would never have recognised you", "Don't you look young" and "When was that taken"
Dinner was an excellent three courses and coffee before we all settled down to listen to the evenings speakers.
Alan Leakey acted as MC for the evening and began by introducing Christine.
She welcomed all those present and read a number of messages sent by those unable to attend.
Jeremy Denny reviewed the 10th anniversary edition of Slowprint and noted that the then treasurer, Brian Roberts, had written that there was not room for the first ten years accounts and that he would produce them for the 25th anniversary. Jeremy then presented Brian with an old envelope and a pencil to assist him in the task. Later in the evening Brian produced the envelope and Alan attempted to interpret the scribblings. The bottom line seemed to be that the funds had always been enough.
Jeremy then introduced Frank Carpenter, President of Thames Hare and Hounds. Frank introduced himself as our landlord, being feted by his tenants. He spoke of the close association between the two Clubs since the beginnings of SLOW and how SLOW had started a revolution in the older Club by introducing them to the female sex, hitherto unknown in the ranks of Thames, Frank Proposed a toast the SLOW and a continued happy association.
Alan then called on founder member Chris Morris who spoke of the beginnings of SLOW in 1976,starting as a training group based at the TH&H headquarters and of the great importance that had been attached to having a clubhouse base and regular meetings. This is something that many clubs still do not have, but has contributed to the rise and rise of SLOW
Mike Murray, founder member spoke of the rigours of early orienteering, his experiences as o member of the British World Championship team and his current senior forgetfulness. This was received with much amusement. Mike then proposed a toast to the invited guests.
Alan then introduced the final and principal speaker, Heather Monro.
Heather spoke of her junior orienteering years in SLOW, learning both orienteering and social skills and her present life, living in Norway as a full-time elite orienteer This was interrupted by cries of 'get a proper job' from the end of the table.
Heather proposed the final toast to the 'Future of SLOW'
The evening finished with more time for talking and photographs,
As organiser, thanks to (almost) everybody for sending back the form before the closing date with the correct money. I have still not received the first cheque sent me by Terry Dooris but we can blame that on the post.
Thank you also for the many letters and e-mails I have received since the dinner saying how much it was enjoyed. The speeches were described as "anecdotal, amusing, official and provocative"
I think Chris Morris had the last word when he told me that he felt very honoured sitting next to Heather and ludicrously proud of having been a part of SLOW'' early days.
London Schools Panathlon Orienteering Event
are now Panathlon schools events in
The London Schools Panathlon involves 32 London secondary schools. The orienteering competition takes the form of a Modified Score Relay, which sounds complicated, but isnt! Each school team consists of ten members, a boy and girl from each of Y7, Y8, Y9, Y10 and Y11 (first to fifth form, for the unreconstructed amongst you!). There are five courses, one for each of the five year groups. The maps are pre-printed with seven controls, out of which the pair of runners have to find five. Most of the control sites are fence corner or path junction, so they are all very easy to find. The aim is to plan this event at White standard, with a winning time for each leg of 20 minutes. The difference between the year groups is that (in principle) the older children have to run a little bit further: 1.5 km for Y7 up to 3 km for Y11. The relay starts with the Y7s, and they are started at one-minute intervals (to prevent following). The Y7s hand over to the Y8s, and so on.
Julianna Grant, South-East Development Officer, is overall in charge of delivering two Panathlon orienteering events annually to the London schools, by persuading London club members to be organisers and planners. Kay Denny and I have helped at various Panathlons over the years, and therefore felt we were well placed to put on an event ourselves.
Battersea Park, a SLOW area, is an ideal place to hold an event like the Panathlon Orienteering, because its not too big, its contained, and there are lots of nice features to put the controls on. The day itself was beautiful: dry and sunny. We had twelve helpers from various SE clubs (Pip and Don McKerrow, Trish Robinson and Mike Elliot from SLOW), + Kay, Julianna and myself and, being experienced orienteers, they all got down to the job in hand and left me with nothing to do except run the occasional mini-mass start. There were a few tense moments, with children having been out for over an hour (!), but we recovered them all in the end, and at 2.30 pm the Park was quiet again, with the occasional bit of litter (quickly tidied away by the Park keepers and yours truly) the only evidence of the 300 kids whod spent their day there.
The result was a convincing win for Hackney Free and Parochial School, completing the five legs in just over 100 minutes, half the time of the slowest team. Their secret? A devoted PE teacher who has made orienteering into a cool sport at his school. Adrian Mullis regularly takes his pupils to orienteering events, including the SWESO (South-West Essex Schools League) and the British Schools Championships, and his contribution to the life of pupils at Hackney Free has recently been recognised by his gaining the Friday Hero award of the Times Educational Supplement.
The Panathlon orienteering events introduce hundreds of children and teachers to orienteering. Not all will take it up as doggedly as Hackney Free, but I believe that all the kids who become involved benefit in some way: being out in the peaceful surroundings of a park, taking part in a team effort, in a safe environment, and making their own decisions for a change! And some, we hope, will be encouraged by this early positive experience to take up orienteering later.
The next Panathlon orienteering event is in the spring and will be organised by (I believe) HAVOC. Look out for the requests for help, and please help if you can. Its a very positive experience, and you even get paid!
WHERE WILL THE BANNER BE?
The SLOW Banner will be at the following events so if you are a beginner and want to meet members of the club and talk about how your course went, come and see us. It is likely that many SLOW members will be around at these events.
6th January Hascombe and Hydons Ball organised by Guildford Orienteers on nice pine forest near Godalming. Competitors from all over the South East racing against others in their age group. Shorter colour-coded courses for beginners also available. Details www.go-pages.fsnet.co.uk
[13th January SLOW Junior training, subject to land permission on Esher Common. No banner to help find SLOW people because everybody there will be from SLOW! Exercises on techniques needed for white to light green standard courses. Beginners also welcome. Contact Heather Walton 020 8891 0453 or email@example.com]
3rd February Chiltern Challenge 2002 on Christmas Common near High Wycombe organised by Thames Valley Orienteering Club. Competitors from all over the South Central area racing against others in their age group. Shorter colour coded courses for beginners also available. Details www.tvoc.org.uk
10th February Southern Championships National Event on Burnham Beeches, north of Slough. Fast, runnable beech forest. Age class competition between people from all over Southern England. White to light green colour-coded courses. Details www.happyherts.org.uk
17th February Westerham near Sevenoaks organised by Dartford Forest Orienteering Klubb. Age class competition and white to light green colour coded courses. Car park right by the Chartwell National Trust restaurant.
24th February Concorde Chase Burghfield Common between Reading and Basingstoke. Mixed woodland. Age class competition and white to light green colour coded courses.
2nd /3rd March SLOW UK Cup Short Race + yellow course, Battersea Park on Saturday. Feature packed London park with easy access by public transport. Watch super fast racing by the best in the country and have a go yourself. Short courses (3km) but lots of controls and changes in direction. Followed by Guildford Orienteers British Night Championships on Heyshott and Ambersham Common near Midhurst and an age class competition on the same area the following day.
March COMPASS SPORT CUP Regional Competition
between clubs, Worth Lodge Forest near Crawley. Colour
coded event with full range of courses. The best runners in
the appropriate age class for the course score for their club and
the club with the most points goes through to the final. A
major competitive and social occasion for the club.
|EVENT DIARY/ OBTAINING INFORMATION|
You are strongly urged to confirm these events using the following answerphone services. The SEOA website has links to SE clubs and other regions.
SEOA (020-8948-6056): http://homepage.ntlworld.com/simon.errington/seoa/seoa.htm
(SCOA (0118-946-4354) (Army (01256-883265) (SO (01903-239186)
(SAX (01303-813344) (MV (01372-279295)
|23 DEC||COLOUR CODED||DFOK||MEREWORTH|
|26 DEC||SCORE||LOK||TRENT PARK|
|26 DEC||SCORE||WIM||RINGWOOD SOUTH|
|1 JAN||SCORE||SN||ASH RANGES|
|6 JAN||BADGE (OO trophy)||GO||HASCOMBE|
|12 JAN||SENILE||SLOW||ESHER COMMON|
|19 JAN||FELL RACE||SLOW||BOX HILL|
|20 JAN||COLOUR CODED||SAX||VINEHALL, BATTLE|
|27 JAN||BADGE||WIM||AVON WATER|
|3 FEB||BADGE||TVOC||CHRISTMAS COMMON|
|10 FEB||NATIONAL EVENT||HH||BURNHAM BEECHES|
|16 FEB||SOUTHERN EXPRESS||SN||HENLEY GATE|
|16 FEB||SENILE||SO||BROADSTONE WARREN|
|2 MARCH||BRITISH NIGHT||GO||HEYSHOTT AND|
|3 MARCH||BADGE||GO||AMBERSHAM COMMON|
|10 MARCH||COMPASS SPORT CUP||SO||WORTH LODGE|
T T T