It was a cold start but by the end of my (sluggish) run it was a lovely day. Results Routegadget

The Lickeys are tough prospect, orienteering-wise. Not much to look at on the map (although lovely to look at if going for a walk, obviously) – quite an oddly shaped area, criss-crossed by paths – but often fiendish. The contours, the streams, the vegetation…

A couple of days before, I’d been running round Sutton Park, and the vegetation seemed to be taking its time to put on its spring growth spurt: the ferns were only just coming up to calf height. The same couldn’t be said for the Lickeys – it was, as usual, a jungle out there. A very wet jungle. And stupidly, because I was thinking more about how to carry my phone than what would be practical, I put my joggers on. It wasn’t long before they were soaked through and acting as a brake on my already slow progress.

And of course I mucked up the first three controls. Well, #1 was okay – it was slightly in the wrong place but Dave led me to it. #2 I decided to go up and along but I was confused by the scale (yes, really) and an open area that didn’t seem to be on the map, so I decided to go up to the road to relocate. #3 was one of those where you’re convinced you’re going the right way and then you suddenly arrive at The Wrong Feature and realise you’re waaaaay off. In this case, I came to a fence alongside a field, 150m SW of where I was supposed to be.

No more major mistakes after that, just a leafy, damp slog. Not that I mind a good slog, of course. As I recently said to Daniel R, “Es geht nicht ums Geniessen sondern ums Wohlfühlen.” So there.

Click to access sse_20190618_results.pdf

Some of the legs from last weekend’s Sutton Coldfield Urban. Which way would you go?

Leg 9 from course 4 (Also leg 8 from course 1)

sutton 4_8-9

Leg 15 from course 3

sutton 3_14-15a

Leg 17 from course 2

sutton 2_16-17

Leg 20 from course 1

sutton 1_19-20cd

sutton 1_19-20

Solutions (?)

sutton 4_8-9rd

Fastest split: 2:53. How obvious was it to you that the south route is much shorter?

Leg 15 from course 3

sutton 3_14-15

Fastest split: 2:56. Not much in this; the southern route is even shorter if you cheat and cross the out-of-bounds roundabout…

Leg 17 from course 2

sutton 2_16-17rd

Fastest split: 3:12. The secret here is to spot the straight route through the railway station; it’s not particularly difficult to execute, although the final approach to the control is easier if you use the simpler (but 50m+ longer) eastern route up and round the town hall.

Leg 20 from course 1

sutton 1_19-20rd

Fastest spit: 2:52. Crucial here to spot that a southern route is a no-no. Not only does it require a massive dogleg at the start, the object control is only approachable from the north. In fact you have to look a long way north to find the shortest route, which is nearly 200 metres longer than the straight line.



I’m busy at the moment (helping with) preparing some orienteering fun for your delectation. So come along!

Saturday 19th May: Perry Hall (planning)

Sunday 3rd June: Lichfield (controlling)

Sunday 17th June: Birmingham University (planning)

Wednesday 27th June: Sutton Park (mentoring)

Sunday 15th July: Sutton Coldfield (controlling)

Luckily I’ve been diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism – no running allowed, but plenty of time for walking around investigating checkpoint locations!


Sat 13th: Old Hills, Malvern

and Donisthorpe, Ashby

and WM schools championships nr Bridgnorth

Sun 14th: Shoal Hill, Cannock (radio orienteering)

Wed 17th: Elmdon Park, Solihull

Sat 20th: Baggeridge, Sedgley

and Tunstall/Burslem Parks

and Pembrokeshire Weekend

Sun 21st: Calke Abbey, Ashby

Wed 24th: Kenilworth (park/urban)

and Willesley, Ashby

Sat 27th: SINS day1 Long Mynd, Church Stretton

Sun 28th: SINS day 2 Nash Woods, Presteigne

Mon 29th: SINS day 3 Brampton Bryan, Knighton

Wed 31st: Bentley Woods, Atherstone

…or perseverance pays off (sometimes).

Twice this week I’ve been out orienteering for about two hours in non-standard races, and twice I’ve beaten the odds and come second. 🙂

On Thursday it was the BIMM: the Bewdley International Mountain Marathon. In fact it was the Return of the BIMM, since the format had been retired by its originator, the inimitable Russ Fauset. Although my knees don’t like street running that much, this kind of event favours me: I like puzzles. The race was in two parts: first, 2.5 km navigating around the centre of Bewdley using a bad copy of a Victorian ordnance survey map. Second, a route of indeterminate length on a roughly drawn street map. Unlike normal orienteering, where you see the entire route at the start, in Russ-O you have to get to each checkpoint before you find out where the next one is.

Does the event have the right to call itself an International Mountain Marathon? I should coco: we had a competitor from Sweden (or from Wordsley, if you want to make it sound more exotic); we had mountains, as this route profile shows…


(Note the genius of the Tour-de-France-style planning – the first 8k was a relatively flat warm-up for the hors-category climbs in the final third of the race.) and although 8.5 miles isn’t literally a marathon, it is a freaking long way on a freezing Thursday night.

This must be the first orienteering event when I’ve been out for an hour and three quarters and still come second!

And then yesterday I eclipsed that by coming second after a two-hour run. Radio orienteering is an acquired taste and I’m a complete ham, but, as at Bewdley, I proved that persistence in difficult conditions can bear fruit. Cademan Woods is a tricky area (as competitors in the British Night Championsips there can testify) with its rocky outcrops, maze of paths and acres of brambles but at least it’s an area I’m familiar with. And it was a cold morning flecked with snow.

I set off west, convinced that transmitter 2 was over there (you can do them in any order), but 45 minutes later I eventually found it virtually in the centre of the map, having slowly drifted northwards across the road. (I’d actually gone virtually straight past number 1 without realising it.) A crap start which included slipping and falling on my back while clambering down some rocks. But finding the first control gave me confidence that I knew what I was doing (!) and I proceeded to find the other 4 transmitters and by some miracle get back within the 2-hour time limit – just. Checking the results, I was shocked to see that I was one of only two people who managed this feat!


League results:

Postensplain, Wyre Forest

Brandon Wood , Coventry


League standings:

Coming up:

Note that although there will be a few spare maps available on the day, if you wish to enter for next Sunday’s league event at Nash Woods you should do so by email today (13th) to – thanks.

Wed 15th Sence Valley, Coalville

Thu 16th Old Hills, Malvern (night)

Sat 18th Hartshill Hayes (night)

and Painswick, Stroud (night)

Sun 19th Nash Woods, Presteigne (WM League)

and Beacon Hill, Loughborough

Tue 21st Northwich (night urban)

Wed 22nd Sutton Park (night)

Thu 23rd Aston University & Jewellery Quarter (night urban)

Sat 25th Highmeadow, Monmouth

Sun 26th Lindop Wood, Matlock

Wed 1st March Thorpe Pastures, Dovedale

Thu 2nd Burlish Top, Kidderminster (night)

and Macclesfield (night urban)

Sat 4th Marbury Country Park, Northwich (day & night)

Sun 5th Chillington Hall (WM League)

For major national events see the BOF list and Fabian4

Other interesting links to click on:

JK Easter 2017

The Route


UK Urban League

Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7: WCH training

WYEVENT children’s training


Hash House Harriers
Saturdays at 9 am: Parkrun at 15 locations in the region

Always check before travelling. Share transport where possible. If you want to subscribe or unsubscribe to these emails, or submit items, contact me at

Happy navigating! Adrian

Wed 18th Jan: Postensplain

Thu 19th: Hartlebury Common, Stourport (night)

Sat 21st: Melton Mowbray country park

and Forty Acre Woods, Matlock

and Teggs Nose, Macclesfield

and Attingham Park (night)

Sun 22nd: Brandon Wood , Coventry (WM League)

and Baslow Edge, Chesterfield

and Danby Lodge, Forest of Dean

Wed 25th: Hednesford Camp

and Sutton Coldfield (night urban)

Sun 29th: Shining Cliff, Belper

and Concorde Chase, NE Hants

Thu 2nd Feb: Dudmaston, Bridgnorth (night)

Sat 4th: Apedale, Newcastle

and Daventry Country Park

and Donisthorpe, Ashby

and New Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean (night)

Sun 5th: Badgerslade (WM League)

and New Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean

Thu 9th: Bewdley (night urban)

and Martinshaw, Leicester (night)

10th-11th Twin Peak, Lake District

For major national events see the BOF list and Fabian4

JK Easter 2017

The Route


UK Urban League

Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7: WCH training

WYEVENT children’s training


Saturdays at 9 am: Parkrun at 15 locations in the region

Back to lovely Highgate Common for the club championships. Since Barry H has adopted it as his area it almost seems like visiting him in his (large and overgrown) back garden. 🙂 Perfect running weather, and considering that I’d forgotten my bramble bashers, the area seemed mercifully free of the stuff that tears my legs in most Midlands woods.

And I had a near-perfect run, something which is as elusive in 2016 as it was in 1996, despite 20 years of practice! I got 24 controls in the hour (well, 60:00:30), which I’m sure must be the most I’ve ever managed at a club champs.

I hardly used my watch at all, just three times I think, which I think is a good strategy. On the way to #53 I checked and saw I had about 12 minutes left, and knew more or less that if I had a clean run home I could get six more, and I nearly did. (I also notice that I did 12 from the front and 12 from the back, and turned the map over almost exactly on 30 minutes, but that’s a fluke.)

Afterwards there was the club Christmas social, and considering the club has been doing some soul-searching of late because of the slide in membership, it was as ever one of the most joyous occasions of the year.

Sat 3rd Dec: Oker Hill, Matlock

and Knockalls, Monmouth

Sun 4th: Dymock, Ledbury (West Midlands Championships)

Thu 8th: Aldridge Airport (night)

Sat 10th: Hermitage, Coalville

and Blakeney, Forest of Dean (night)

Sun 11th: Itchington Holt (OD club championships)

and Highgate Common (HOC club championships)

and Eyam

Wed 14th: Sutton Park (Santa-O)

and The Beacon, Loughborough (night)

Sat 17th Brocton, Stafford (WCH handicap race)

Sun 18th: Borreaton Park (WRE club championships)

Tue 27th: Rough Close, Coventry (relay)

Sat 31st: Ratby, Leicester

Sun 1st Jan: Bathpool, Kidsgrove (score championships)

Mon 2nd: Belper (urban)

For major national events see the BOF list and Fabian4

Western Night League


Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7: WCH training

WYEVENT children’s training
Saturdays at 9 am: Parkrun at 15 locations in the region

Always check before travelling. Share transport where possible. If you want to subscribe or unsubscribe to these emails, or submit items, contact me at

Happy Navigating! Adrian




March 2021

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