Ralph competes at European Youth Championships

Ralph. Photo: Ian Buxton

Ralph Street represented Great Britain at the European Youth Champs last weekend in Switzerland.

The first race was the Long Distance where he came 28th out of 106 in a time of 61:49. He was in the middle of the 3 best Brits who were within 40 seconds of each other. The winner took 53:28.

Then came the relays where Ralph anchored to the team to a podium position of 6th place out of 27 teams, less than a minute ahead of 3 other teams.

Finally was the sprint race, where Ralph came a very impressive 7th place in 12:40, just off the podium. It was very close at the top with the winner Kristian Jones of GB taking the gold in 12:05.

Results etc are on www.eyoc2008.ch


SLOW’s AGM this year will be on Tuesday 25th November. We will follow recent years’ successful and sociable format – we have a private room at Pizza Express in Putney.
Address – 144 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 2SW. Map link here

If you want to eat then please arrive between 7.00 pm and 7.45 pm. The meeting will start at around 8.30 pm.

We hope to see a large number of members attending this year.

Yvette Baker Trophy qualifier – Norbury Park

South London finish close 2nd

The regional round of the Yvette Baker Trophy junior competition was held last Sunday at Norbury Park, Leatherhead. The weather was fine and the courses made good use of the area. It was a close match at the top with Southdowns Orienteers, who ran out 890-886 winners.

The SLOW scores were as follows. An asterisk indicates who counted in the top 9.
100 Ralph Street (Green)*
100 Gustav Lindeborg (Light Green)*
100 Rhodri Palmer (Yellow)*
99 Malin Lindeborg (Green)*
99 David Forshaw (Orange)*
98 Alex Robinson (Light Green)*
(98) Greg Street (Light Green)
97 James McMillan (Green)*
97 Matthew Jones (Orange)*
96 Charles McMillan (Green)*
95 Jakob Lindeborg (Green)
94 Robert Jones (Green)

Thanks to Mole Valley for hosting the event. Full results can be found on the Mole Valley website.

Well done to Southdowns and best wishes for the final at Sandringham on 7th December.

South London success at the South-East Relays

Ralph Street on the run-in.

The relays were held at Stanmer Park and the University of Sussex, Brighton, a mixture of runnable woodland & sprint-style university campus. We had 8 teams altogether, with many on the open class.

We had two strong teams on Men’s Open. Paul Couldridge, Patrick Saile & Ed Catmur ran well to lead the race all the way through and win overall. The second team came 6th, 12 minutes down on 2nd. Welcome back to Charlie Whetham who has been abroad for a while. Local club member Nick Barrable ran all 3 legs & still would have been 2nd overall!

Our Women’s Open team was the “3 Sarahs”. Well done to Sarah-Jane Gaffney, Sarah Brown & Sarah Covey-Crump for coming 3rd overall & 2nd south-east team. Our other 3 open teams all had a good time, including Gustav Lindeborg running well on 1st leg for an all-family team.

We also had two teams in the Handicap class. The defending champions, the Streets (Paul, Greg, Ralph), were 2nd behind a very good Southdowns team.

Well done also to Ralph for winning the South-East Sprint Championships at the university the day before, just edging out Nick (see picture right, taken by Ian Buxton). We had 4 of the top ten in the Men’s Open (Ralph, Patrick, Ed, Charlie). In the Women’s Open Sarah-Jane & Jayne Sales were both in the top 10. Other good results were Greg (4th junior), Chris Fry (9th Senior veteran), Paul Street (4th veteran), Andy Robinson (10th veteran), & Sarah Brown (2nd veteran).

Comments and results from both events can be found on the Southdowns website.

There are also some links to sprint pictures on the comments page.

Thanks to Southdowns for putting on an enjoyable day.

Andy Robinson completes Ironman UK

Huge congratulations to SLOW member Andy Robinson who completed Ironman UK on Sunday. In tough, windy conditions Andy completed a 2.4 mile swim in Sherborne Lake, 112 mile cycle around hilly Dorset lanes and a marathon in a total time of 15 hours 44 minutes – well inside his 16 hour target.

Here is Andy’s report of the event:

The bare bones are:
Swim 1:41:10
Bike 8:04:27
Run 5:31:29
Both transitions 26:54
Total 15:44:00
Position 1124 out of 1193 finishers and 1298 starters

Ironman has been something I’ve wanted to do since completing the HalfIM down in Sherborne in 2003. Firstly I had to wait for it to be upgraded to the full distance, and then I kept comparing the injury situation with the entry deadline and thinking better of it. But just before last Xmas I bit the bullet and invested the £240 entry fee. Yes that size of fee makes it quite a commitment from the start.

Training had 3 aims
1) Work out how to swim as far as 3.8km
2) Build up the mileage on the bike
3) Avoid running injuries.
1 I just about managed; 2 worked fine, but 3 was something of a disaster area. No sooner had I got the calves sorted out when the back went into spasm. Training for the 8 months to 31 August comprised 76 hours swimming, 149 on the bike but only 53 hours running. The first 2 had a progressive build-up while the last had random fluctuations and nothing of any length.

Still I had thought through race scenarios, developed coping strategies and was there on the start line. First action on race day was to get my back taped up. I’d being seeing Helen Westerby-Cox and she had come up with a plan, but with my wife being absent due to a recent hospital op, I had to find someone to put the tape on. Fortunately a guy called Mike from the orienteering club was there supporting some Serpies and agreed. He was most bemused at my instructions to stick this weird pattern of tape on my back under a flood light at 5.15 in the morning.

Strategy for the swim involved a new top of the range wetsuit, plenty of Ibuleve on the calves and a determination to swim through cramp. Added to this I was last into the water and headed straight for the back of the lake where people were standing up. It meant an extra 3 minutes swimming once the race started but that was preferable to 10 minutes wallowing about. Basically it worked and although cramp slowed me a lot near the end I was out of the water only slightly over expected time.

Into T1 and what to wear? I selected short sleeve top and thermal vest on the basis of some sunshine. It proved only just enough as there was steady drizzle at times on the bike. I’d wanted to enjoy the bike ride but the nasty NW wind and frequent drizzle meant that was impossible; especially annoying was the last 6 miles of each lap being into the wind. Again a bit over predicted time but nothing to worry about and confident of finishing.

T2 and time to unleash the secret weapons – a cheese sandwich and packet of peanuts – tasted good. I’d noted that people who finished near the end averaged 24 minutes in both transitions and was determined to take that time and use it wisely. I’ve done enough long distance things to realise that time spent on a quality stop to sort out food and equipment is often recouped many times over before the finish is reached.

Onto the run. The coping strategy here was to have sections of walking right from the start. So I walked up hills; I walked at feed stations; I walked at mile markers and did some sums. Never running more than a few hundred metres at any time. As a plan I reckon it worked brilliantly; the back tape did its job perfectly and some hip trouble I’ve had only started to take effect from 19 miles. Lap splits of 1-42, 1-49 and 2-00 show the effect of the hip trouble and blinding by floodlights after dark.

The crowds were brilliant – although very much thinner by lap 3, except for the pupils of the boys’ school who were having a whale of a time. Those left had all gathered at the finish and made the last 200m a very pleasant experience. After the race they look after you well too; medal, T shirt and photo dealt with quickly and you are ushered into the area for changing, massage, sandwiches and a curry (korma with mushroom rice).

Was it the hardest thing I’ve done? Definite no. I was in no doubt all day and therefore had reserves left.

Would I do another one? Equally definite no. The job has been done. The box has been ticked . Its time to move on.

Anne Straube wins World Trail-O Championships

Photo: Dave Gittus

Congratulations to SLOW member Anne Straube who won the Gold medal at the World Trail Orienteering Championships held in Czech Republic on 15/16 July. This really is a superb achievement – Anne managed to beat all the competition, including several very experienced Trail-O competitors from the likes of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and won overall after two tough days of competition.

Anne has regularly competed in international Trail-O competitions, and was the planner of the Trail-O at this year’s JK in the south-east.

Further information on the 2008 world championships can be found on the World Trail Orienteering Championships 2008 website. Full results from the event can be found here (PDF file).

Anne has written an account of the event in German which can be found here. A rough English translation of this (via Google) can be found here. Anne hopes to do a proper English translation for the next edition of SLOWprint!

Trail Orienteering

For those of you who don’t know much about Trail-O, the WTOC website describes Trail-O as follows:

“Trail orienteering is an orienteering discipline centred around map reading in natural terrain. The discipline has been developed to offer everyone, including people with limited mobility, a chance to participate in a meaningful orienteering competition. Manual or electric wheel chairs, walking sticks, and assistance with movement etc. are permitted as speed of movement is not part of the competition.

Trail orienteers must identify on the ground control points shown on the map. As this is done from a distance, both able-bodied and participants with disabilities compete on level terms. Proof of correct identification of the control points does not require any manual dexterity, allowing those with severely restricted movement to compete equally. Most trail orienteering events have classes open for everyone.”

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.

Orienteering in London and Surrey. British Orienteering's Club of the Year 2013. Community Amateur Sports Club accredited.