Tue 14th June Wildwood, Stafford (sprint) http://www.walton-chasers.co.uk/

and Severn Valley Country Park http://www.wrekinorienteers.co.uk/uploads/3/0/6/5/30655735/wrekin_summer_series_2016_events_list.pdf

and Macclesfield Forest http://www.mdoc.org.uk/events

Wed 15th Elmdon, Solihull http://www.octavian-droobers.org/images/160/Wednesday_2016_June.pdf

Thu 16th June Jaunter, Clent (time trial) http://www.harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

and Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham (urban) http://www.ngoc.org.uk/fixtures/

Sat 18th Carsington, Ashbourne http://derwentvalleyorienteers.org.uk/events/dvo-fixtures/

Sun 19th Sandwell Valley (West Midlands League) http://www.harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

Tue 21st Peel Pursuit, Brocton (x-country) http://www.walton-chasers.co.uk/

and Telford Town Park http://www.wrekinorienteers.co.uk/uploads/3/0/6/5/30655735/wrekin_summer_series_2016_events_list.pdf

Wed 22nd Ryton Pools, Leamington http://www.octavian-droobers.org/images/160/Wednesday_2016_June.pdf

and Rosliston, Burton http://derwentvalleyorienteers.org.uk/events/dvo-fixtures/

Sat 25th Hawkbatch, Wyre Forest http://www.harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

and Cranham, Gloucester (harris relay) http://www.ngoc.org.uk/fixtures/

Sun 26th Harvester, Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham (night relay) http://www.ngocweb.com/harvester2016/

and Ashby-de-la-Zouch (urban) http://www.leioc.org.uk/fixtures/all-lei-fixtures/

Tue 28th Wrockwardine, Telford http://www.wrekinorienteers.co.uk/uploads/3/0/6/5/30655735/wrekin_summer_series_2016_events_list.pdf

Wed 29th Gates Run, Sutton Park (time trial/o) http://www.octavian-droobers.org/images/160/Wednesday_2016_June.pdf nb. embargoed for schoolchildren

Thu 30th Ross-on-Wye (urban) http://www.ngoc.org.uk/fixtures/

and Brereton Heath, Congleton http://www.mdoc.org.uk/events

Sat 2nd July Baggeridge, Sedgley http://www.harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

Sun 3rd Leek (urban) http://www.potoc.dandasparks.org.uk/png/events.html

and Yvette Baker Junior Trophy Final, London http://www.herts-orienteering.club/events/event/wormley-woods-ybt-final/

Register now for:

9-10 July Twin Peak, Manchester http://www.mdoc.org.uk/events

24-29 July Croeso, South Wales http://www.croesomultiday.org.uk/2016

27-29 August, White Rose, North Yorkshire Moors http://www.eborienteers.org.uk/future-fixtures/white-rose-weekend/

Results

Hartshill Hayes http://www.octavian-droobers.org/index.php/results/2016-results/590-24th-jan-2016-hartshill-hayes-results

Chasewater http://www.walton-chasers.co.uk/chasewater-results-2/

BokTrot http://www.bristolorienteering.org.uk/results/bok-trot-and-aso-event-brierley-forest-dean-7th-february-2016

Longdon http://www.harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

West Midlands League standings http://www.wmoa.org.uk/club.html

Coming up

Wed 17th Feb: Leek http://www.baoc.info/events

and Western Park, Leicester http://www.leioc.org.uk/fixtures/all-lei-fixtures/

Sat 20th: BUCS http://www.uboc.org.uk/bucs-2016

and Rough Close, Coventry (night) http://www.octavian-droobers.org/index.php/events/events-calendar/

and Moseley Green (night) http://www.westernnightleague.org.uk/fixtures.htm

Sun 21st: Lizard Hill, Shifnal (West Midlands League) http://www.wrekinorienteers.co.uk/events.html

Wed 24th: Sutton Park (night) http://www.coboc.org.uk/futureevents.htm

Thu 25th: Stourbridge (night urban) http://harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

Sat 27th British Night Championships, Charnwood http://www.britishnightchamps.org.uk/ enter online by 21/2/16

Sun 28th Midlands Championships, Sherwood Forest http://www.cix.co.uk/~neper/rht2016/ enter online by 17/2/16

Thu 3rd March Kinver Edge (night) http://harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

Sat 5th Welsh Championships weekend http://www.swoc.org.uk/index.php?id=429

and Consall, Leek http://www.potoc.dandasparks.org.uk/png/events.html

and Junior Development Meeting, Birmingham https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/images/uploaded/downloads/Junior%20Development%20meeting%205th%20March%202016%20Agenda_.pdf

Sun 6th Longshaw, Peak District http://derwentvalleyorienteers.org.uk/events/dvo-fixtures/ enter online by 28/2/16

Wed 9th Ashby (evening) http://www.leioc.org.uk/event-details/?item=%201564

Thu 10th Aston University (night urban) http://harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

Sat 12th Memorial Park, Coventry http://www.octavian-droobers.org/index.php/events/events-calendar/eventdetail/335/-/memorial-park-coventry

and Lyme Park, Disley http://www.mdoc.org.uk/events/national-trust-orienteering-challenge-lyme-12-mar-2016

Sun 13th Compass Sport Cup, Cannock Chase http://www.walton-chasers.co.uk/wchevents/compasssport-cup-trophy-heat-colour-coded-race/

and Bickerton, Cheshire http://www.deeside-orienteering-club.org.uk/events/club+events.htm

And…

JK, Yorkshire 25th-28th March http://www.thejk.org.uk/

British Championships, Brown Clee 30th April-1st May http://www.theboc.org.uk/

For other major national events see the BOF list https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/major_fixtures and Fabian4 http://www.fabian4.co.uk/

Bike-O http://www.bmbo.org.uk/
Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7: WCH training www.walton-chasers.co.uk
WYEVENT children’s training @ Hereford Leisure Centre www.wyeventures.com
Saturdays at 9 am: Parkrun at 15 locations in the region www.parkrun.org.uk/events/events

Always check before travelling. Share transport where possible.

Sat 6th: Daventry Country Park http://www.octavian-droobers.org/index.php/events/events-calendar/

and Coopers Hill, Gloucester http://www.ngoc.org.uk/fixtures/

and Macclesfield http://www.mdoc.org.uk/events/spring-series-3-riverside-park-6-feb-2016

and Billa Barra, Markfield http://www.leioc.org.uk/fixtures/lei_fixtures.php

and Frith Wood, Ledbury (night) http://www.westernnightleague.org.uk/fixtures.htm

Sun 7th: Chasewater (West Midlands League) http://www.walton-chasers.co.uk/wchevents/colour-coded-race/

and Forest of Dean http://www.bristolorienteering.org.uk/events/bok-trot-and-aso-event-brierley-forest-dean-7th-february-2016 enter online by 22/1/16

Thu 11th: Sence Valley, Ibstock http://www.leioc.org.uk/fixtures/lei_fixtures.php

and Habberley Valley, Kidderminster (night) http://www.harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

Sat 13th: Apedale, Newcastle http://www.potoc.dandasparks.org.uk/png/events.html

Sun 14th: Wyre Forest (West Midlands League) http://www.harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

Wed 17th: Leek http://www.baoc.info/events

Also…

British Night Championships 27th Feb, Charnwood Forest http://www.britishnightchamps.org.uk/ enter online by 21/2/16

Midlands Championships 28th Feb, Sherwood Forest http://www.cix.co.uk/~neper/rht2016/ enter online by 17/2/16

I hadn’t had much sleep so it probably wasn’t too surprising that when I opened the bag I saw it was Catherine’s shoes… Still, luckily I did have some trainers with me. Not ideal though when it’s muddy and a bit icy too.

But the shoe thing wasn’t my biggest mistake of the day. As I ran up the road towards the first control I realised I wasn’t carrying a compass. Now, that doesn’t make things impossible – I’ve tried it a couple of times before, at park and urban events, where it probably made me concentrate a bit more, and I probably saved some time by not looking at it – but on Highgate Common?? in the dark???

Sure enough, the first control, a 400-metre leg, took me 10 minutes. Thinking about it now, I must’ve run past it after about 5 minutes, but I wasn’t at all sure where I was (!), and I’m pleased that I somehow managed to slowly work out the pattern of slopes, paths and trees IN THE DARK and gradually home in on my prey. (If you look at the map, you can see that the contours show that the slope upwards is generally towards the northwest, so this info can be used to substitute for the lack of compass.)

After that, I didn’t really have much trouble. I went 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-14-15-16-18 for 12 controls in the hour allowed. To be honest, if I hadn’t been wearing my new headtorch I wouldn’t have risked this madcap compassless adventure. I got it off eBay for a tenner, and though it’s probably not as bright as the EIGHTEEN HUNDRED LUMENS advertised, it is pretty damn bright, and made me feel a lot more confident out there than I sometimes have been with my old headlamps.

Simplifying legs is a very important skill in orienteering. Most of us find it very hard to memorise the leg from the start so we have to check the map quite often (!), and this slows us down even if we’ve mastered the art of mobile map-reading. (And I haven’t, really.)

The most obvious means of simplifying a leg is by following a line feature, usually a track. WorldofO’s annual “Route to Christmas” series is a great chance to practice making route choice decisions. Often the choice is between going straight (in the terrain) and going round (using the paths) and the 24 exercises are a chance to learn about what can make one choice better than the other.

One of the clearest examples this year wasn’t really about paths though. On this leg from the Czech Republic, where the question was whether to run round the north or south side of the hill, the south side seemed to have better path options, but according to the results it was clearly much slower. To my mind the secret of this leg is the field east of control 2. It’s possible to run the first kilometre of the leg without checking the map at all, simply by running straight(ish) and fast till you hit the field. Then you pick up the paths towards the control from the southern edge of the field.

I suppose you could call the field a catching feature. We usually think of catching features as being beyond the control, stopping you from going too far past, but you can also use them to simplify long legs.

Results

West Midlands League final tables http://www.wmoa.org.uk/league.html
Brandon Wood http://www.octavian-droobers.org/index.php/results/2015-results/581-06th-dec-2015-brandon-wood-results
Badgerslade http://www.walton-chasers.co.uk/badgerslade-west-midlands-league-results/

Coming up…

Sat 26th: Cannock Chase (charity score) http://www.walton-chasers.co.uk/boxing-day-charity-score-event/ online pre-entry recommended (by 25/12/15)
Sun 27th: Castle Hill, Leicester http://www.leioc.org.uk/fixtures/lei_fixtures.php
Mon 28th: Rough Close, Coventry (relay) http://www.octavian-droobers.org/images/160/Christmas_Relays.pdf
Fri 1st January 2016: Telford Town Park (annual inter-club score championships) http://www.wrekinorienteers.co.uk/events.html pre-entry recommended via your club captain (by 28/12/15)
Sun 3rd: Haywood Oaks, Mansfield http://www.noc-uk.org/noc.aspx
Thu 7th: Wombourne (night urban) http://harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html
Sat 9th: Bathpool, Kidsgrove http://www.potoc.dandasparks.org.uk/png/events.html
Sun 10th: Lickey Hills (West Midlands League) http://www.coboc.org.uk/futureevents2011.htm online pre-entry recommended (by 3/1/16)
Thu 14th: Highgate Common, Wombourne (night) http://harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html
Sat 16th: Kingsbury Water Park http://www.octavian-droobers.org/images/160/Saturday_2015_-_2016_parkruns.pdf
and Bixslade, Forest of Dean http://www.ngoc.org.uk/fixtures/
Sun 17th: Eyam Moor http://derwentvalleyorienteers.org.uk/events/dvo-fixtures/

Also…

Western Night League http://www.westernnightleague.org.uk/
Bike-O http://www.bmbo.org.uk/
Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7: WCH training www.walton-chasers.co.uk
WYEVENT children’s training @ Hereford Leisure Centre www.wyeventures.com
Saturdays at 9 am: Parkrun at 15 locations in the region www.parkrun.org.uk/events/events

For major national events see the BOF list https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/major_fixtures and Fabian4 http://www.fabian4.co.uk/

Always check before travelling. Share transport where possible.

Happy Christmas!
Adrian

Sat 28th: Blakeney Hill, Glos http://www.ngoc.org.uk/fixtures/
and Brabyns Park, Marple http://www.mdoc.org.uk/events

Sun 29th: Forest of Dean http://www.bristolorienteering.org.uk/events/bok-galoppen-new-beechenhurst-forest-dean-29th-november-2015
and Birchen Edge, Bakewell (Level B) http://derwentvalleyorienteers.org.uk/events/dvo-fixtures/ entries closed

Wed 2nd December: Hartlebury Common, Stourport http://www.baoc.info/events

Thu 3rd: Hartlebury Common, Stourport (night) http://harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

Sat 5th: Arrow Valley, Redditch http://harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html
and Reaseheath, Nantwich (sprint) http://www.deeside-orienteering-club.org.uk/events/club+events.htm
and Donisthorpe, Coalville http://www.leioc.org.uk/fixtures/all-lei-fixtures/
and Cherhill, Calne (night) http://www.westernnightleague.org.uk/

Sun 6th: Brandon Wood, Coventry (West Midlands League) http://www.octavian-droobers.org/index.php/events/events-calendar/eventdetail/296/-/wml-brandon-woods-od
and Wharncliffe, Sheffield http://www.southyorkshireorienteers.org.uk/events/event/563 closing date: 26th Nov

Thu 10th: Whaley Bridge (night urban) http://www.mdoc.org.uk/events

Sat 12th: Knockalls, Glos http://www.ngoc.org.uk/fixtures/

Sun 13th: Cannock Chase (West Midlands League) http://www.walton-chasers.co.uk/wchevents/west-midland-champs-and-league-race-10/
and Longstone Moor, Bakewell http://derwentvalleyorienteers.org.uk/events/dvo-fixtures/

Tue 15th: Swithland, Leicester (night) http://www.leioc.org.uk/fixtures/all-lei-fixtures/

Wed 16th: Sutton Park (Santa O) http://www.coboc.org.uk/futureevents2011.htm

Also…
Family Orienteering Sessions on Cannock Chase http://www.walton-chasers.co.uk/autumn-family-orienteering-sessions/
Peak Raid 3 http://www.explorerevents.co.uk/calendar-of-events/
Bike-O http://www.bmbo.org.uk/
Wednesdays at 6.30: COBOC training @ Sutton Park www.coboc.org.uk
Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7: WCH training www.walton-chasers.co.uk
WYEVENT children’s training @ Hereford Academy www.wyeventures.com
Saturdays at 9 am: Parkrun at 15 locations in the region www.parkrun.org.uk/events/events

For major national events see the BOF list https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/major_fixtures and Fabian4 http://www.fabian4.co.uk/

And we’re going!

WOC 2015 website

Brochure (pdf)

World of O guide

WOC Start times

Live results

Spectator races website

Start times

See you there!

West Midlands League Results

Shuckburgh http://www.octavian-droobers.org/index.php/results/2015-results

Brockhampton http://www.harlequins.org.uk/fixtures.html

League table http://www.wmoa.org.uk/league.html

Events coming up

Thu 25 June Habberley, Kidderminster http://www.harlequins.org.uk/leagues_see.html

Sat 27 June Burbage, Hinckley http://www.leioc.org.uk/fixtures/lei_fixtures.php

Sat/Sun 27/28 June Harvester Relays http://www.wimborne-orienteers.org.uk/wim/index.htm

Sun 28 June Ludlow http://www.wrekinorienteers.co.uk/wrevents.html

and Milton Keynes http://www.smoc.info/

Tue 30 June Fosse Meadows, Hinckley http://www.leioc.org.uk/fixtures/lei_fixtures.php

Wed 1 July Brueton Park, Solihull http://www.octavian-droobers.org/index.php/events/events-calendar/monthcalendar/2015/7/-

Thu 2 July Newhall Valley, Sutton Coldfield http://www.harlequins.org.uk/leagues_see.html

Sat 4 July Brough Park, Leek http://www.potoc.dandasparks.org.uk/png/events.html

Sun 5 July Yvette Baker junior final, Nottingham http://www.noc-uk.org/NOC.aspx

Tue 7 July Nesscliffe, Shrewsbury http://www.wrekinorienteers.co.uk/wrekin-summer-series-2015.html

and Bagworth, Coalville http://www.leioc.org.uk/fixtures/lei_fixtures.php

Wed 8 July Pooley Fields, Polesworth http://www.octavian-droobers.org/index.php/events/events-calendar/monthcalendar/2015/7/-

Thu 9 July Birmingham City Centre http://www.harlequins.org.uk/leagues_see.html

and Hatherley, Cheltenham http://www.ngoc.org.uk/fixtures/

Sat/Sun 11/12 July Sutton Coldfield Community Games http://www.coboc.org.uk/futureevents2011.htm

Sun 12 July West Midlands Relays, Nesscliffe, Shrewsbury http://www.wrekinorienteers.co.uk/wrevents.html (Register via your club)

and Newent http://www.ngoc.org.uk/fixtures/

Tue 14 July Lyth Hill, Shrewbury http://www.wrekinorienteers.co.uk/wrekin-summer-series-2015.html

Wed 15 July Tudor Grange, Solihull http://www.octavian-droobers.org/index.php/events/events-calendar/monthcalendar/2015/7/-

Thu 16 July Saltwells, Dudley http://www.harlequins.org.uk/leagues_see.html

and Outwoods, Loughborough http://www.leioc.org.uk/fixtures/lei_fixtures.php

Sat 18 July Festival Park, Stoke http://www.potoc.dandasparks.org.uk/png/events.html

Sun 19 July Rushcliffe, Nottingham http://www.noc-uk.org/NOC.aspx

A lovely, crisp morning for a run around Crewe on Mike Hampton’s new map. Excellently organised by DEE, who found car parking and an event centre (at Crewe FC) a short walk from start and finish. I thought my course was a bit routine, but I think I’m getting hard to please now that I’ve done so many urban races.

The big controversy of the day was on course 4, where several people went the wrong way to the most difficult control but were still able to register that they’d been there because they could poke their hand through the fence. This was a shame because the planner had done a good job at other checkpoints of making sure this kind of cheating wasn’t possible. It was an even greater shame that certain competitors felt the need to get angry about this one oversight; as I’ve said before, every event involves thousands of actions on the part of the officials, and it’s only luck really if not a single one of them is wrong. If an event is spoiled by multiple cockups there is an excuse to get upset, but people need to be more forgiving of individual mistakes, and most of us are (albeit with a little friendly joshing). (Also, it should be pointed out that the real wrongdoers here were the “cheaters”, not the organisers.)

I did disagree with the solution to Sunday’s problem. Really the people who went the wrong way should be disqualified (since it must’ve been obvious to them that they’d made a mistake by the fact that they had to put their hand through the fence), but it was decided that that part of the race would be removed from everyone’s times.

Results

Video

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