Link to Essex Stragglers Home page

Essex Stragglers Orienteering Society (SOS)

February 2006

Editors: Jenny and John Collyer, email


Editorial - Jenny and John Collyer

This edition contains many references to the work carried out by members on behalf of the club, well done to those. However it has to be restated that events have been in peril of cancellation due to the difficulty in getting volunteers for the major jobs of Planner and Organiser, and even though we use Controllers from other clubs, this is always a reciprocal arrangement so our band of controllers find themselves much in demand, often with less notice than ideally required. The situation is one on which the committee has deliberated, since the option of putting on fewer events is something we would only do as a last resort.

Please consider offering to shadow a major official so we can widen the pool of experience within the club.

Chairman's Chat - Martin Sellens

This Chat is being brought to you by the wonders of modern technology as I am busy typing it en route to the National Event at Newbury. First, let me take the opportunity of wishing you a belated Happy New Year. If I don't complete this article soon I could make it Happy 2007. At the moment there isn't anything momentous to report from the vantage point of the chair. There was a committee meeting in January at which the main business, as usual, was trying to brow-beat committee members into taking on more planning or organising jobs for some of the events coming up during 2006. No doubt our long-suffering fixtures secretary, Commander Jack Isbester, will have taken the opportunity to canvass you, dear reader, elsewhere in this newsletter, with the tempting opportunity to launch into a new career as event officer. I have said this before, but it really is an excellent way of getting to know other club members and to learn something of what goes on behind the scenes to provide us all with our hour or so of purposeful exercise in the forest. Make Jack's day and contact him soon.

Meanwhile our development committee is coming up with exciting new ideas to ensure the future of the club, and, indeed, of Orienteering. For example, there will be a series of small, informal local events this year specifically designed as an introduction to the sport and for those who wish to improve their basic skills. Some of our qualified coaches will be present and the emphasis will be on enjoyment. Look out on the fixtures page for events in Castle Park, Wivenhoe Park and High Woods. John and Jenny Collyer are re-mapping Castle Park, so, after an absence of several years we will once again be able to enjoy an exhilarating run and modest navigational challenge in the centre of Colchester. We might even be introducing the excitement of Park O to an unsuspecting public. Controls in the middle of the boating lake?

Orienteering isn't generally a high risk sport, notwithstanding the eccentric positioning of controls in some events. Nevertheless, many of us have had cause to be grateful for the ministrations of first aiders to lacerated legs, torn tendons and bruised bones. As we hurl ourselves into gullies, slide down slippery slopes and leap gracefully between boulders at Stragglers events in the future (OK, maybe not the boulders option), we can rest assured that trained first aiders will be there to patch us up. Lyn and Eleanor West, Julie Laver, Stephen Cartwright and Dave Birkett all completed an Orienteering-specific first aid course recently and will be keen to get some practice in. (Apologies if I have missed out other qualified first aiders). Why not make them feel wanted by hobbling up to them for assistance?

Captain's Corner - Jenny Collyer

I have a busy time over the next six weeks sorting out teams for the British and JK Relays and the Compass Sport Trophy first round. The details of these events are below and it would help me enormously if you could let me know NOW, before you forget, if you would like to enter. Could you also let me know if you have a new age class in 2006 and also if you have a new SI or BOF number since last year. Entry fees to me, please, cheques payable to "SOS" (48, Meadow View Road, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 7NY)

Compass Sport Trophy First Round Sunday, April 9th Lynford, Thetford (GR TL813938)

Last year 46 members travelled to an area near Reigate in Surrey for this Round so I am expecting even more to make the short journey to what is almost a local area. The courses are colour coded and all club members are welcome. Contact me if you want to know now which course you would need to run.

Entries to me NOW and by 20th March at the latest, please. £7 seniors, £2 juniors and students

British Relay Championships - Woolbeding Common, Midhurst, Sussex Sunday, 2nd April

Not too far to travel this year, but you do need to be a member of BOF on the day of the competition. Entries to me NOW and by the 1st March at the latest, please. £10 / £5 (juniors and students)

JK Relays - Bramham Park Estate, Leeds Monday, 17th April

Again, could I have your entries NOW and by the 1st March at the latest, please. £10 /£5 (juniors and students)

Membership Secretary - Geraldine Russell

Renewal for 2006 membership

2006 Membership is now due. BOF members will have been notified. For SOS CLUB ONLY members please send me your cheque. £9 for senior, £14 for family, junior members free (but please let me know if you want to continue your membership) and 65 + UB40 £4. Geraldine Russell, Brookfield, Workhouse Hill, Boxted, Colchester CO4 5TT.

SOS Notice Board

Congratulations to Club Champion Kevin Machin and to the 2005 EAGAL winners :- James Park (M14), Richard Bonnett (M50), Sarah Park (W16), Katie Sellens (W20) and Jenny Collyer (W60)

SOS have been awarded £675 from the BOF Development Fund. This is to fund a series of low key events in the summer including mapping Castle Park and to help with school orienteering by mapping grounds and helping to buy starter equipment.

Club Coaches

Eleanor West has qualified as a Level 3 Coach and Julie Laver as a Level 2 Coach. They join Richard Barker (Grade 3) and Steven Cartwright (Grade 2) who qualified last spring.

Midland Championships

As members of EAOA we are eligible for Midlands Championships awards. This year's event is at Sutton Park, near Birmingham on the 12th February. (You will need to act quickly!)

First Aid

The following members of SOS have recently attended a First Aid course - Lyn and Eleanor West, Dave Birkett, Steve Cartwright, Julie Laver and Richard Barker.

Free runs for juniors!

All juniors of Family members of SOS will receive free runs at SOS District/Colour coded events. All Families (whether BOF or Club only) who renew their membership by 31st January 2006 will receive vouchers in the name of each junior member - one for each event in 2006. These can be collected from Enquiries at Chalkney on February 19th (the first SOS District event). The junior then enters the events in the normal way, using the voucher for payment. Renew your membership NOW so as not to miss out!

Tree planting will be taking place at Fordham Hall Estate on the 26th February. See the Fixtures List for details.

Next SOS Committee Meeting:- Monday, 20th March at the Sellens', Somakam, Roman Hill, Mersea Road, Colchester, CO2 OBX.

Schools League Co-ordinator - Julie Laver

ESSOL news

Hello to all the juniors from SOS and SUFFOC participating in ESSOL. For any newcomers this is the Essex and Suffolk Schools Orienteering League and any junior of school age from these counties is eligible to be included in the league. For full results after four events visit the ESSOL link on the SOS website. The current class winners are listed below as are the remaining events for this season. Details of these events can be found nearer the time on SOS or SUFFOC sites in the normal way. So there is still plenty of opportunity to score more points. Happy New 'O' Year!

Class winner after 4 events
Up to Y6 BoysBryn Wilkinson Up to Y6 Girls Rhiannon Ware
Y7/8 BoysRobert Barker Y7/8 Girls Helen Vidler
Y9/10 BoysConor Weed Y9/10 Girls Ellen Sanderson
Y11/12/13 BoysJames Lyne Y11/12/13 Girls Emma Johnson

Remaining fixtures

19 FEB Chalkney - SOS
19 MAR Hatfield - SOS
26 MAR Tunstall - SUFFOC
11 JUN Hylands - SOS

SOS National Ranking Positions

This list is complete for events up to the 22nd Jan. (2005 age classes) 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.
M21L   88th Jeff Powell Davies  M50S  74th Richard Barker
      123rd Chris Sellens (4)   M60  121st John Russell
      215th Nick Thorpe (4)     M60S  14th John Collyer
M35L    6th Eric Roller         M70L  43rd Jack Isbester
M35S   73rd Robert Hammond (5)  W20L   4th Hazel Tant
M40L   62nd Bert Park                  7th Katie Sellens (3)
M40S   50th David Sanderson     W21L  32nd Eleanor West	   
M45L  115th Mark Lyne                 57th Nicola Robertson
      133rd Kevin Machin             100th Suzie Robertson (3)
M45S    9th Andrew Malley       W35L   3rd Ann Roller	
M50L   63rd Martin Sellens      W45S  48th Wendy Welham (5)
       94th Clive Tant          W50L  58th Lyn West
      108th Steve Robertson     W50S  39th Julia Robertson
      116th Nick Pugh           W55L 101st Nancy Powell Davies
      138th Colin West          W60L   3rd Jenny Collyer
      147th Geoff Pye                 34th Geraldine Russell

Event Reports

Robin Hood Trophy - Clumber Park 22nd January - John Collyer

With a Caravan Club site on the map and miles of cycle paths in, and all around the forest, it was too good a chance to miss having a few days extra holiday either side of the orienteering event.

Clumber is one of those areas where poor planning can leave continual, long path runs. Fortunately the planners produced legs that kept us in the wood, on direct lines, for most of the course. In places the bracken masked lower features such as knolls and earthwalls, making some controls a bit of a lottery, but generally the woods were runnable.

For once Jenny and I were on different courses, but closeness in length meant that we had several common legs, and with similar start times we kept running across each other. However, Sunday was something of a rest day, the others were spent cycling round the many bridleways in the area, including part of National route 6, spoilt only one day by a broken chain 5 miles out.

W21L Eleanor West 4th. W60L Jenny Collyer 1st. M60S John Collyer 7th .

NORty Tricks - Jack Isbester learns a painful lesson

Us Essex boys and girls could learn a thing or two about successful orienteering from the way NOR organise their events. Take the recent event at Felbrigg. The amiable lady who greeted me when I drove into the carpark said, "Orienteering? Park over there. It's 400 metres to the Start but we've looked after you for the Finish - it's right there", and indicated a nearby blue tent. How civilised, I thought, little suspecting the horrid truth.

My run on the Green course was a blinder and when I reached the final control I remembered the lady's words. I could see the blue tent in the distance and pounded through two gates and along the path thrusting aside the people who were ambling inconsiderately along my run-in. But what was this? No Finish control or banner? The blue tent was the download tent! I looked at my map and saw that the Finish was actually in the wood, near the last control and 250 m from Download.

The phrase "We've looked after you for the Finish" took on a whole new meaning. That's why my final leg took 4m20s whilst most of my rivals took about 40 secs.

But we Stragglers can do this too. A few useful phrases spring to mind. "Oh, sorry, did you think I said the Green course was 4k? It's actually 14k, but you know that now. I'll send for the ambulance......" "I'm afraid we'll have to send you to the overflow carpark. Rejoin the A12, down to the M25, get on it anticlockwise and look for the O-signs......"

Supplement on supplements - Martin Sellens

Those of you who have been concentrating, might remember a few paragraphs I wrote once on matters nutritional. If you are suffering from post-Christmas porkiness you could, perhaps, trawl through back issues of the newsletter to find my meanderings on the benefits of the GI diet for the well-padded Orienteer. I also promised once to pontificate on supplements but never got beyond saying that nutritionists reckoned that, providing you follow a balanced diet (5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, for example) popping supplements is a waste of money. This is probably a reasonable position to take, but there have always been dissenting voices and I was recently an interested observer in an exchange of views on the mailing list. (see and follow the e.mail trail during January 2006). One of the correspondents, Dr Bill Misner, who admitted to being associated with a supplements manufacturer, challenged the community of Sports Nutritionists to come up with a 'normal' one day diet of whole-foods that actually supplied the recommended daily intake (RDI) of all the vitamins and minerals. He claimed that, having tried to do this himself, his 2000 kcal diets failed to meet RDI values for 40% of micronutrients. A vigorous debate followed in which it became clear that, without using fortified dairy products, it is indeed difficult to achieve RDI for a number of nutrients, including vitamin E and trace elements like molybdenum and selenium. A commonly held position was that it is therefore prudent to use a multivitamin-multimineral supplement. None of the whole food advocates argued that this would in any way be dangerous, but several defended the position that a balanced, and varied, diet could provide all the nutrients we need.

However, one of the most interesting contributions to the debate came from Dr Stephen Seiler, of Norway, who argued that it might actually be counterproductive to take anti-oxidant supplements such as selenium ACE, a cocktail of the mineral selenium with vitamins A, C and E. His argument was based on the recent realisation that free radicals (the oxidants being anti'd), which have been widely demonised for their supposed association with ageing (anti-ageing cosmetics contain vitamins A and E) and cancer, are also involved in normal signalling processes within our cells. Dr Seiler suggested that supplements might interfere with signals that enable our body to adapt naturally to stresses such as exercise and he therefore cautioned against indiscriminate supplementation. He also pointed out that some supplements based on complex extracts of plants, might contain substances that could lead to a positive drugs test. This is unlikely to be a problem for most of us, but coaches of promising juniors might want to be aware, as BOF are, of this potential source of embarrassment. Squad members are tested routinely and advised to avoid supplements and over-the counter-medicines.

So where does this leave the confused punter? If the scientists can't agree, what chance do we have of making the right decision? It's obvious that a good diet is the best starting point, but then to supplement or not to supplement, that is the question?

Well, I haven't seen any convincing argument that multi-vitamin multimineral supplementation is bad for you, and the balance of the argument seems to me to be in favour, so I shall continue to take my one-a- day tablets. As to extra anti-oxidants, the rational position is probably not to bother with specific antioxidant supplementation. I shall, however, also continue to take mother's advice and sip a teaspoonful of cod liver oil a day for its vitamin E and anecdotal anti-arthritic and anti-heart disease properties. Oh, and the glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate for my deteriorating joints.

But that's another story.

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.


February 2006




MV Regional Event. South Ashdown Forest, East Grinstead. TQ469289.



Organiser: Peter Heywood and Mike Bolton, 01293 862299 / 01273



Entries: Mike Bolton, 17 Kemp Court, Church Place, Brighton, East Sussex., BN2 5JU, 01273 CD postal: 25/01/06. CD internet: 31/01/06. £9.00/£3.00. Lim EOD + £1.00/50p. Chq: Mole Valley Orienteering Club. EPS-SI. Lim CC courses. Parking £1.00. Parking and the event centre will be in Pippingford Park, off the A22 south of Wych Cross. Dogs on lead. Online entries preferred at Event



NOR District Event & NSL. Bickling, Aylsham. TG162297.



Alan W Bedder, 01603 424589. £3.00/£1.00 + £ 1 for non club members. EPS-SI. Dogs on leads.



SOS District Event & ESSOL. Chalkney Wood, Earl's Colne. TL872280.



J & J Collyer, 01787 370947. £5.00/£2.00. BOF & SOS members £4.00. EPS-SI. White to Blue.



Fordham Hall Estate.†† Community tree planting day at Fordham.†

†Contact Jack Isbester (01621 815501 & for details

March 2006



HAVOC Local Event. Hadleigh Castle Country Park, Hadleigh. TQ799870.



Chris Shaw, 01375 677377. £3.50/£1.50. EPS-SI. W, Y, O, LG & Blue. Parking £2.00. Starts 10.15-11.30. Please note that the event is at Hadleigh Castle Country Park and not at Hadleigh Castle.



DFOK Regional Event. Westerham, Near Sevenoaks. TQ455515.



Organiser: Andrew Evans, 01959



Entries: Philip Craven, 67 Daneby Road, Catford, London, SE6 2QF, 0208 697 7008. CD: 17/02/06. £8.00/£4.00 + £1.00 SI hire. EOD + £2.00/£1.00. Late pre-entry +£1.00/50p. Chq: DFOK. EPS-SI. String course. Lim CC courses EOD £5.00/£3.00. Parking £1.00. Dogs in car park area only. SE Orienteering Answerphone: 020 8948 6056.



WAOC District Event. High Ash, Mundford. TL815967.



Mike Capper, 01733 £4.00/£1.50 + £1.00/0.50 independent. EPS-SI. Dogs on leads.



NOR Double Dumpling Weekend



11th - Day1 Regional Event. Cockley Cley, Swaffham. TF800055.



Organiser: Julia Paul, 01485 541031.



12th - Day 2 Regional Event & EA Championships. Sandringham, Kings Lynn. TF690290.



Organiser: Alan W Bedder, 01603 424598. >



Entries: Pam Jermy, 84 Bush Road, Hellesdon, Norwich, NR6 6HD, 01603 482773 (7 - 9PM ). CD: 28/02/06. £7.00/£2.00. Lim EOD + £1.00/50p. Chq: Norfolk 'O' Event. EPS-SI. Lim CC courses - Yellow/Orange/Red, String course. Dogs on Lead. Combined entry fee for Days 1 & 2: £12-00/£3-00, Family of 2 Senior and 2+ children £27-00.



SOS District Event & ESSOL. Hatfield Forest, Stansted, TL547203



Geraldine Russell, 01206 27276.† £4.00/£2.00.† EPS-SI.†  



SUFFOC District Event & ESSOL. Tunstall Forest South, Wickham Market. TM400528.



Rob Coulter, 01473 258430. £4.00/£1.50. EPS-SI.



CHIG District Event. Epping South, Epping. TQ394892.



Paul Corney, 020 8504 1836. £4.50/£2.00. EPS-SI. Dogs under control.

April 2006






2nd - British Relay Championships. Furnace Wood & Woolbeding, Midhurst. SU880265.



EAOA Compass Sport Cup - 1st Round. Lynford, Thetford. TL813938.



Organiser: Caroline Louth, 01223 246145.



Entries: Roger Stenson, 58 Mount Pleasant, Norwich, NR2 2DQ, 01603 507442. CD: 26/03/06. £7.00/£2.00. No EOD. Chq: EAOA. EPS-SI. Closed event for CS Cup/Trophy entries plus members of non-entering clubs in EA region. CSC courses plus W & Y. Dogs on lead.






15th - AIRE Day 1. Ilkley Moor, Ilkley. SE114453.



16th - EBOR Day 2. Keldy, Cropton, nr Pickering. SE778900.



17th - AIRE Relays. Bramham Park, Bramham. SE409417.



SOS District Event, EAGAL & ESSOL.†† Roman Valley, Colchester, TL985209



Lyn West, 01206† 322905.† £4.00/£2.00, EPS-SI.††