British Sprint and Middle Distance Championships 2014

The British Sprint Orienteering Championship 2014 took place on Saturday 6th September at Keele University. There was a prologue in the morning which was challenging in parts, and this decided in which final you competed in the afternoon. The aim was to get into the A final. The final courses were more simple than the morning, mainly as the prologue and final courses had to be swapped round due to a wedding.

All our juniors succeeded in qualifying for the A final – Aimee and Sarah Darley, and Adam Conway. James Crawford and Keith Tonkin should have qualified for the A final in M55, but both managed to miss out a control and so had to run in the C final. James won that and Keith came 3rd. I qualified for the A final in W60, but could only manage 6th. Bad couple of controls at the beginning. Much more successful was Sarah Darley who came 3rd in W10, and Adam Conway who came 3rd in M12. The only podium places in the Sprints.

The British Middle Distance Orienteering Championship 2014 took place on part of Cannock Chase, near Rugeley, Staffordshire on Sunday 7th September. It was a mainly forested area with many contour features which could get confusing if you lost contact with the map. A few successes, the best being Adam Conway who is the M12 British Middle Distance Champion. He won by over 2 minutes. Fantastic result. Well done Adam. Photo on the GO Facebook page. I managed a bronze medal on W60, a little better than yesterday!! Aimee and Sarah Darley came 5th in their class. A lovely sunny day when it was warm enough to sit around and enjoy the event and the company of other club members. A good event.

LOK ultrasprint and London City Race.

LOK ultrasprint consisted of 3 prologue courses of 1K and 25 controls including a maze, on a map of 1:1250. Very difficult to figure out quickly. Took me half of the first prologue to get used to how quickly the controls arrive. There were no control descriptions and no numbers on the map. There was a dot in the middle of the control circle indicating the location of the control. There were controls on different sides of trees and fences so care had to be taken. If you got the wrong control, then you were not disqualified but 30 seconds was added to your time for each one wrong. So quite a challenge.

Linda and her two daughters Carolyn and Jennifer ran as well as Keith and myself. Linda came 7th in the Womens Vets class. Keith was 24th, having had a few wrong controls getting used to the map scale. I managed to come first in the Womens Supervet class having no wrong controls. That meant is was in the head to head final of the top four. In the end there was only 3. The final was 1.5K with 30 controls including the maze. I finished in 9.05 but had one error, so was given the time of 9.35. Next competitor came in in 10.52, so I was pleased with that. Keith had an error free run in the mass final and came 3rd in the Mens Vets category. I got a packet of travel mints in a London Bus tin for winning!!

The following day was the London City Race based on Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs. Probably not as intricate as some of the previous competitions, but still made you think. Quite a few went from GO. Results were mixed. The only podium place was Linda Pakuls who won third prize in the Womens Supervet category. Well done!! Marion came 20th in the same category. James had major brainstorms at 3 controls and came in 10th. Up against him was Keith. He was trying so hard he missed out a control and was disqualified. I, for a change, was not up against LInda, but was in the Womens Ultravet category which sounds ancient. Had a hesitant few controls in the middle and managed 4th. Could have done better although the sprinting from the day before was starting to take a toll on my leg muscles. Carolyn Pakuls came 9th in the Newcomers category.

A pint and something to eat was welcome after all that. A good day out.

British Relays – GOlden Boys in the medals

Golden Boys take Silver in the M50 class at the British Relays. Pete Nicholls(M55!) took the first leg and kept GO in contention with the top teams passing on to James Crawford(M55!). James not only managed to find good routes but also all the controls and brought GO into the lead to hand over to Keith (M55!). However Keith only had a few minutes lead over the “other legend”* that is Quentin Harding which is insufficient when Quentin contrives to run 3 minutes faster than anyone else. However Silver is a great result. Well done.

GOlden Boys receiving silver medal at BOC Relays 2013.

GOlden Boys receiving silver medal at BOC Relays 2013.

* acknowledged that the current M50 legend is Clive Hallett