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Essex Stragglers Orienteering Society (SOS)

May 2005

Editors: Jenny and John Collyer, email


Editorial - Jenny and John Collyer

We have just returned from a great orienteering experience. We took part in four days of the Surrey Five-O which was a five day event alongside round one of the Orienteering World Cup. On bank holiday Monday we sat by the final control in Battersea Park, first watching the best orienteers in the world completing their sprint final, followed by juniors representing their local areas in a Young Orienteers Festival and finally the likes of us – club orienteers. A summary of how SOS juniors did in the YOF is in the “SOS Juniors” section. Other days had included a round of the Future Champions Cup - a competition for the top M/W18’s and 20’s in our country and our two year old granddaughter enjoyed her first experience of a string course. How many other sports would include such a variety of competition for age and ability. Articles in this newsletter reflect how our sport caters for all ages and abilities.

The event reports in this edition are rather Collyer family dominated – it would be great if someone would offer to write short reports of local events. – perhaps a family who could share the task?

Chairman's Chat - Martin Sellens

In common with a significant proportion of the adult population of the UK (according to the fears of our great leader and assuming that by the time this newsletter emerges Mr Blair still occupies the exalted position of PM), I am simultaneously somewhat disillusioned, bored and confused with “politics”. I find that this is true of my attitude to our sport’s governing institution BOF as much as to our national governing institution at Westminster. (And what about the European Union? Now there’s a subject to bring a shrug to my shoulders and a glaze over my eyes.) If you feel the same way I do, you have probably already moved on to the fixtures list. However, I find myself in the curious position of being Chair of this merry and Straggling band of Orienteers; living proof of the claims of the Electoral Commission that no-one can really claim that they do not “do politics”. I might have allowed myself to get into this position largely out of a desire to see committee meetings finish before 10.00 p.m., but now I’m here I find with a certain sense of discomfiture that I can’t avoid the other politics of Orienteering. So what are the issues and news from the front line (I spent yesterday evening at a committee meeting; it finished at 9.45)?

Not exactly a social.

Over the summer we intend to hold a few socially orientated “training opportunities”. These will comprise trail runs or simple low-tech orienteering courses (or the club relays) on Sunday mornings (we’ll stick with Sundays as we suspect we might be creatures of habit). Barbeque and picnic facilities will be provided so bring your own food and hope for a reasonable day. Indoor eating venues will be available in case of inclement weather and you needn’t bother with the running / strolling bit if you just fancy a sociable picnic. “Running” from 11.00 am, feeding from whenever you like. Facilities close at 3.00 except by invitation of the hosts. Ring the organizer to confirm.

Food for thought.

For continuity’s sake, a few more words on diet. In the last couple of chats I have talked about the kinds of diet that those in search of weight loss might be attracted to and that have received a certain amount of media coverage, notably the Atkins and the GI diets. However, “diet” is just a word for what we eat. Everybody has a diet, not just those who are “dieting”, and we should all consider the composition of our diet if we want to optimize our health and performance. “We are what we eat” has some truth in it, even though cows do not look like grass nor junk food junkies like Big Macs. Despite the confusing and conflicting claims of media diet gurus, nutritionists are in agreement about some basic rules of thumb for healthy eating and these can easily be modified for those who are highly active. At least 55% of our calories should come from complex carbohydrates (cereals, bread, potatoes) and if your energy requirements are high because of training, the extra calories you need should be made up by increasing the amount of carbohydrate rich food. Less than 35% of our calories should come from fat, and most of this should be unsaturated (oils, rather than solid fats; fish or vegetable oils rather than hard fats from meat and dairy). Don’t try to cut out fats and oils completely as they contain compounds that are vital for good health (essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins). About 15% of calories should come from protein to enable tissue repair and growth. Most high protein foods of animal origin are also high fat, particularly dairy products, but are fine in moderation. Red meat is also an excellent source of iron, required for “healthy blood” that can carry a full load of oxygen, and of B vitamins. Vegetable protein is also fine providing it is from a variety of sources, such as grains and beans (e.g. beans on toast). Active people, even those indulging in heavy resistance training and trying to bulk up their muscle, don’t need to increase the proportion of protein in their diet providing that they are taking in sufficient total calories and adequate carbohydrate. Fibre, although it does not provide energy, is essential for gut health and can help to protect against cancer obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Its all very well talking abut nutrients (carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals) but what we actually eat is food and every different food is a unique mixture of nutrients. So how can we be sure we have a healthy diet that gives us the correct mix of individual nutrients? Of course, it is possible to work this out using diet analysis, and there are web sites that enable you to do this. It can be very instructive, but quite time consuming. Give a whirl. You can also become a nutritional information anorak and read the packaging of everything you consume. However, arguably the best food comes without the convenience of packaging that features the obligatory nutritional composition lists.

It is altogether easier just to keep an eye on the composition of your diet in terms of food groups. About a third of your plate should be occupied by foods from the carbohydrate rich group such as those outlined above (pasta, rice, potatoes, bread). These foods also contain useful amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals and, if unrefined are fibre-rich too. A similar proportion should come from the vegetables and fruit group, preferably raw or lightly cooked, and sufficient to make up the recommended minimum of 5 servings a day. This food group provides more carbohydrate, some protein and is rich in fibre, minerals, and vitamins, notably vitamin C. The final third can be roughly divided between meat, (and/or vegetarian alternatives such as nuts, tofu and other soy products) and dairy (or calcium enriched vegetarian alternatives). These contain the balance of the protein that is needed, a variety of fats, and are rich sources of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron. See for the official government line.

The easiest healthy eating message of all is have lots of variety, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and a little of what you fancy. It has been said that there is no such thing as bad food, just bad diets. Big Macs and chocolate are fine. Just don’t eat them too often. (Did you catch the film “Supersize me”? Watch it if you get the chance.)

And in the next edition? “Supplements. Are they a complete waste of money?”

Captain's Corner - Jenny Collyer

The JK and British Relays are now behind us (reports elsewhere in this newsletter). If you haven’t paid Steve yet for your run in these or the Compass Sport Cup match can you please do so. (details in Chairman’s Chat).

SOS are in 6th position in the UK Women’s League after the British and JK. The other two scoring events are the Harvester and Scottish Relays. It would be good if SOS could enter a women’s team for the Harvester which is taking place at Pillar Woods in Lincolnshire on the weekend of June 4th (venue for last year’s Compass Sport Cup Final). If you are interested in taking part in this night/dawn relay can you contact Jo West on 01206 322905. Maybe we could enter a Men’s team as well?

I find the “sosmembers” emailing facility invaluable for contacting members about forthcoming team events and updating information. If you would like to subscribe to this go to the SOS website Members Resources page here.

Finally – I hope you have all got October 16th , the date of the Compass Sport Trophy Final, in your diaries. It is to be held at Clowbridge just south of Burnley and we need a large contingent of Stragglers there.

Membership Secretary - Geraldine Russell

We welcome the following new members:-
Kurt Bullock - Stanway
Chris, Jane, Philip, Rebecca and Nick Hardingham - Danbury
Jessie Keeble - Colchester
Andrew Murphy - Braintree
Andrew Pilkington - Colchester
Alan Jan Robbie and Cullum Skene - Hutton
Nick Thorpe - Chelmsford
Michael Whordley, Alison, Thomas and Simon - Chelmsford

We are also pleased to see Ted and Carmel Johnson and Richard Collyer back with us.

SOS Juniors - Julie Laver

Young Orienteering festival

A group of S.O.S. juniors running on behalf of Essex and Suffolk took part in the Young Orienteering Festival on Monday 2nd May at Battersea Park, London.

It was a fantastic day out and the juniors had some good runs. G9/10/11 - Sarah Park 4th G5/6 - Rebecca Wastell 10th, Rhiannon Ware 34th B7/8 - James Park 3rd B5/6 - Michael Park 7th, Alex Ware 10th Well done all. (Alex and Rebecca will write an account of the day for the next newsletter)

SOS Notice Board

Katie Sellens - 1st in W20L at the JK
Ann Roller - 3rd in W35L at the JK
Chris Sellens - 9th in M21E at the British Championships
Hazel Tant - 1st in the W20 ranking list.
>Lyn West for being elected as a BOF Councillor

SOS Social / Training Events (details in Chairman?s Chat)

Sun 22nd May - Colchester
Sun 12th June - Fordham
Sun 10th July - University of Essex

A message from your councilor - Lyn West

First of all a big thank you to all those who supported me in my bid to become a BOF Councillor. I was surprised by the number of messages of encouragement that I received. I was duly elected at the AGM at the JK on Easter Sunday. Since then I have been immersed in BOF business, to the extent that I have needed to remember that there is an outside world! I have been amazed at how difficult it is to get information on some things. Poor communication between different elements of our organization is, I suspect, the root cause of the current dissatisfaction and mistrust in sections of the membership. I and my fellow councillors are committed to ensuring open and efficient management of our sport. We are exploring ways of improving the communication issues. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me at or 01206 322905. I would be happy to answer any questions or hear of your concerns.

Members may be interested in the following links:-

Colchester Harriers events page (they have a page on trail runs) Mersea Hash House Harriers - Caroline Sexton, 21A Empress Ave, West Mersea, Colchester CO5 8EX. Tel: 01206 384 153 Alt. contact: Jane Bouch: 01206 853 173

Next SOS Committee Meetings:-
27th June at the Sellens’ house
31st August at Jack Isbester’s house

SOS National Ranking Positions

This list is complete for events up to the 10th April 2005. The competitor's position reflects the best 6 scores over the previous 12 months. We have only included members scoring in 3 or more events.

M21L84thJeff Powell Davies
100thChris Sellens (4)
216thNick Thorpe (4)
M21S15thStephan Pugh
M35S61stRobert Hammond
M40L67thBert Park
M45S33rdMark Lyne
M50L23rdMartin Sellens
61stSteve Robertson
66thNick Pugh
83rdClive Tant
154thColin West
170thGeoff Pye (5)
M50S55thRichard Barker
M60L106thJohn Russell
M60S21stJohn Collyer
M70L55thJack Isbester (4)
W20L1stHazel Tant (4)
W21L94thNicola Robertson (3)
W21S26thMiriam Pugh
W45S53rdWendy Welham (3)
W50L47thLyn West
W50S27thJulia Robertson
W60L9thJenny Collyer
30thGeraldine Russell

Event Reports

JK West Midlands - March 25th-28th - Ann Roller

Having not dared say no to Mum’s request that I write a report on the JK, here it is. The JK this year felt no different to those of previous years and, as I have lived abroad a number of years now, is very British. It’s not just the orienteering that entices us over at Easter though - creme eggs, hot cross buns, cheddar cheese and the luxury of walking around a British supermarket also have their attractions.

Brown Clee has been well used over the years, so most people knew what to expect. Climb, intricate open bits, grotty forest, not so grotty forest, some runnable forest, fast open bits and many more fences than I remember, to climb over.

A new bit of Cannock greeted us on the second day and, as claimed in the programme, was typically Cannock. Fast runnable forest, slopes, mine workings and lots of running. Having flown over from snowy Sweden where the orienteering season hadn’t yet started I felt the lack of speed in my legs and it all became a bit of a slog. Reasonably pleased with 3rd, although with a bit more training..........

Relays and as I am now officially old I managed to talk my way into running the second, shorter leg (though I guess officially these days they’re laps??). Hazel had a great first leg, which meant I had to try and run fast! The forest, or so I thought, was a typical relay area - green areas, brambles, hills, some runnable bits and fast. Eric didn’t think much of it though and wonders why they couldn’t have used a different part of Cannock which would have been a lot nicer.

All in all an enjoyable weekend and we’ll probably see you there again next year!

British Championships Cornwall - April 16th /17th - John Collyer

For those who make the long trip down to what is nearly the southwest end of Britain, the challenge of Perran Sands is always well worth the effort.

A steep line of cliffs at the beach edge, is backed by a large expanse of sand dunes and blow-out bowls. The running is variable, from fast, open short grass, through strength sapping marram grass, to some unpleasant low bramble and buckthorn. Technically it is very difficult, with the need to rely on running fast to large features, then slowing down and reading contours carefully to maintain contact between map and ground. Many legs included a lot of up and down sandy features, with careful compass work required.

Without tree cover it is often possible to see well ahead on a leg which can be helpful in spotting large features to aim for, or check navigation by. As with moorland, it can also lead to more following than in woodland, but this can also be a drawback if you choose to follow someone on a different course, or lose sight of them without keeping in contact with the map.

It was certainly a weekend of two halves; Saturday was dry, sunny with pleasant temperatures for the Individual races; Sunday’s Relays were wet, windy and cold. The band of Stragglers were very appreciative of Julia and Steve in ensuring the club tent was available for shelter.

Surrey Five-O April 29th – May 3rd - Jenny Collyer

This competition was run alongside round 1 of the World Cup. The best 3 scores from the first 4 days were used for the final result.

The event opened with a Sprint Race at the University of Surrey in Guildford. The map scale was 1:4,000 and many symbols were unfamiliar to me. After problems with the second control I seemed to get the technique right – keeping contact with the map every step of the way. The courses wove mainly between university buildings but there was short welcome relief with a couple of legs taking us around the Cathedral and a loop across parkland and around a lake at the end.

Day 2 was a Middle Distance race at Mytchett and my course, although only 2.6km had 115m of climb and 12 controls. The area was generally runnable, though steeply contoured. Legs were short and required constant concentration - a couple of lapses being costly in time lost.

Day 3 was a National Event at Winterfold, Pitch and Holmbury Hills. It was a joy to be running “normal” length legs. The area we used had a lot of areas covered in bilberry which I found difficult to run through and I was glad of opportunities to get out to paths. I made a small error on leaving control no.8 – a gully. I switched to no.7 on the map (also a gully) and started to run in the direction of no.8 and fortunately realized when I didn’t reach a path after about 80 metres. It wasn’t too costly in time and I managed 2nd place behind a Norwegian competitor.

Day 4 was another sprint race this time in Battersea Park. The start and finish were in the athletics stadium with spectator controls in the centre of the arena on the hammer cage and an imitation boulder! I had 23 controls in 3.1km with 15 and 16 being spectator controls. The route from the final control to the finish was 70m along the running track. This made a wonderful spectator area for all the day’s events. Distances between controls were usually short – the main hazards being the bank holiday crowds, cyclists, skaters and flying footballs (I just ducked in time!). Again – continuous concentration was necessary on this 1:5,000 map across parkland, ornamental gardens and some small areas of fight wood.

The weather was glorious the whole weekend and unfortunately we had to be back at work on Tuesday so missing the final day on Leith Hill. The Collyer family did well in the overall competition – with Richard winning M21S and John (M60S) and I (W60L) both finishing in second place.

How was it for you? - Jack Isbester

An occasional series in which Stragglers draw attention to particularly good organisation or facilities provided by neighbouring clubs. The object is to help us to improve the arrangements for our own events. All SOS members are invited to submit entries and guest entries from members of other clubs, if constructive and/or amusing, will also be welcome.

Broadstone Warren SO 16th January 2005
The provisional results for this event, with splits, were on the internet on the Sunday evening. Competitors were required to download into two separate units – one as a backup for the other – which seems like a sensible precaution if the resources are available. JI

Blaxhall SUFFOC 23rd January 2005
Bromehill CUOC 30th January 2005
The provisional results for both these events were on the internet on the Sunday evening. JI

Fixtures in East Anglia and Nearby Regions

The information provided below normally consists of Event Date, Region (eg EA = East Anglia), Event Grade and Type (Grade 1 is highest grade, Grade 5 is lowest.   Type C is a conventional Cross Country event in which controls must be visited in the sequence listed on the description sheet).   Event & Location Names and map reference.   Organiser's contact details.   Contact details, costs, closing date etc. for Pre-entry when provided.   Whether Entry on the Day (EOD) is possible and the surcharge payable.   The range of courses offered.   The address of a website from which additional information can be obtained.   Additional information in plain language.At Essex Stragglers' events registration normally opens at 1000hrs, starts are from 1030hrs until 1230hrs and courses close at 1430hrs.

May 2005



SOS Local Event & ESSOL. The Naze, Walton on the Naze. TM/264235.



Sue Carton, 01394 275472. £5.00/£2.00. EPS-SI. White to Green.



NOR District Event & NSL. Shouldham Warren, Downham Market. TF/680105.



Peter Walling, 01945 774357. £4.00/£1.00. EPS-SI. Dogs on Lead.



DFOK District Event. Shorne, Nr Gravesend. TQ/687701.



Carys Morgan, 020 7226 0114. £4.50/£2.00. EPS-SI. SE Answerphone: 020 8948 6056.



HAVOC Local Score Event. Bedfords Country Park, Romford. TQ/520925.



Chris Shaw, 01375 677377. £2.50/Free. Starts 6-7.30 PM.



SMOC District Event & EAOA Schools Championships. Holcote & Reynold Wood, Bedford. SP/965386.



Keith Downing, 01234 270018. £5.00/£3.00. EPS-SI. String course. Dogs on leads.



SAX District Event. Challock, Ashford. TR/025498.



Jean Fitzgerald, 01622 686779. £4.50/Free. EPS-SI. Saxons 24 hour infoline on 01303 813344.


June 2005



WAOC Limited District Event. Ampthill Park, Ampthill. TL/030382.



Mike Capper, 01733 235202. £4.00/£1.50. EPS-SI. Dogs on leads.



TVOC District Event. Black Park, Slough. TQ/005232.



Steve Long, 01442 891 553. Fees TBA. EPS-Emit. String course. Emit Hire Seniors +£1 Juniors Free.



BADO District & SCOA League Event. Micheldever. SU/528382.



Mike Broderick, 01256 351624. £4.00/£1.50. EPS-Emit. No dogs. There will be a punching start as courses become available.



SO 3 in 1 Event. Worth Lodge/Tulleys Farm, Turners Hill. TQ/316364.



Leslie Hooper, 01342 322072. £6.00/£3.00 fees are for two/three events. Just one is £4.00/£2.00. EPS-SI. Three sets of Green, Light Green & Yellow courses in separate parts of forest. Central car park close to all three areas. Parking £1.00. No dogs. Starts 09.30-14.00. SO 24-hr Ansaphone - recorded event information 01903-239186.



CHIG SE Relays. EppingSW, Epping. TQ/393949.



David Lund, 020 8504 1836. EPS-SI. Dogs under control. Clubs will be contacted direct and entries will be through clubs.



HAVOC Local Event. Weald Park, Brentwood. TQ/571946.



Chris Shaw, 01375 677377. £2.50/Free. Yellow, Green & Blue. Parking £1.50. Starts 6-7.30 PM.



SAX District Event. Vinehall, Battle. TQ/763203.



Jean Fitzgerald, 01622 686779. £4.50/Free. EPS-SI. Parking £1.00. Saxons 24 hour infoline on 01303 813344.



Full registration pending

July 2005



SOS Informal Handicap Relays. Wivenhoe Park & Woods, Colchester. TM/033247.



Julia Robertson, 01206 242283. £5.00/£2.00. EPS-SI.   Email or phone Organiser by 03.07.05, if possible, to register team, giving team name and BOF class of all four team members to permit advance calculation of handicaps.



HAVOC Local Event. Thorndon North Country Park, Brentwood. TQ/607912.



Chris Shaw, 01375 677377. £2.50/Free. EPS-SI. Yellow, Green & Blue. Parking £1.50. Starts 10.30-12.30.



LOK Local Frolic Event. Hampstead Heath, London. TQ/270859.



Martin Potter, 020 8347 8226. £4.50/£2.00. EPS-SI. String course.