Essex Stragglers Orienteering Society (SOS)


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Volume 18 Number 18
June 2006

Editors: Jenny and John Collyer, email jcollyer48@btinternet.com


Editorial - Jenny and John Collyer

People have many reasons for orienteering (but nowhere near as many as the excuses they offer for not doing well). With summer on us (I think), one can be relaxed now that the serious part of the season is over, or look forward to a number of holiday events at home or abroad.

Steve C and Martin S have given some comfort to a wide spectrum of attitudes towards the sport in their articles, but whatever approach you take, remember that your Club Captain and Chairman expect duty to be done for the Compass Sport Trophy Final in October.

Chairman's Chat - Martin Sellens

It has been a busy time since the April Newsletter. Stragglers were out in force at the British, the JK and the Compass Sport Cup / Trophy regional heats.

Firstly, thanks and congratulations to Jenny Collyer for organising relay teams for the British and JK and for getting the Stragglers hoards to turn out in force for the CST. No doubt she will be reporting on the results in more detail elsewhere in the newsletter, but Stragglers' comprehensive rout of the opposition at Lynford is surely worth a second mention. Well done to all who contributed to this splendid performance. No credit to me and Hilary who were on holiday in Madeira at the time. Put the finals on October 15th in Newbury in your diary now. This year must surely see the return of the coveted Trophy to Essex!

The week after the JK we held our EAGAL event at Roman Valley; organised by Lyn West and planned by me. Perhaps the poor weather contributed to the disappointing turn out. Many thanks to Lyn (organiser) and Clarissa (controller) and the SOS members who so generously helped out on the day. Particular thanks to the SOS coaching team and to the Birketts who put on an excellent string course.

Many thanks also to Jack for his hard work on the Tiptree Heath permanent course. I gather the inaugural event was a great success. Also thanks and congratulations to the Development Committee for their sterling work, particularly on the summer series of informal introductory events. I missed the inaugural event at Castle Park, but I gather it was well supported and that the helpers looked splendid in their new apparel. Thanks to the Collyers for the new map, to Lyn for running the event, to Julie for sorting out the shirts and to the others who helped that I have thoughtlessly forgotten. I apologise for not being there on the day. For those others among you who also missed it, I hope you will be tempted out of your back gardens for an invigorating run at the remaining events in High Woods on Saturday June 17th and in Wivenhoe Park on July 15th between 10.30 and 15.00 h. The leaflets and posters for these events are excellent and I hope they attract some new families to the sport.

Summer is a relatively quiet time for Orienteering but, as well as the summer series we also have the relays to look forward to on July 2nd at the Broaks (Halstead), and further afield there is the Lakeland 5 days in August and there are numerous holiday style events in Europe to cater for the more adventurous. So; no need to consign your O shoes to the back of the cupboard ?till the autumn, get out there and enjoy those oft mentioned sunlit forests before the nights start drawing in.

See you out there; probably lost and bemused, but enjoying myself despite the contrary evidence of muttered expletives!

Captain's Corner - Jenny Collyer

I had a busy time with the JK and British relays and the Compass Sport Trophy all taking place on three consecutive weekends. I think everyone enjoyed the relays and we did ourselves really proud by easily beating CHIG, HAVOC, LOG and SUFFOC in the regional round of the Compass Sport Trophy. Well done everyone. This means we are in the Final which takes place at Greenham Common, near Newbury, on the 15th October. We are planning to take a coach to this event so no excuses. (The easiest course is Orange for M/W14 and below). It would be great if you could let me know now if you would like to run and also if you want to use the coach ? it will save me pestering you later. We need everyone there.

I hope you all enjoy your summer whether it be at summer events at home or abroad or otherwise. I?m looking forward to the Swedish Oringen in July.

Junior Captain - James Lyne

Peter Palmer Relays - 10th September - Sutton Park, Birmingham

The Peter Palmer relays are annual relays for junior orienteers†which†this year are to be held in Sutton Park.† Traditionally teams are approximately made up of 7 people, with the first runners starting early in the morning (about 4 -5 a.m.) and the first of the last leg runners finishing at approximately 8-9 a.m. Courses are of varying technical difficulties from yellow-green, with the first two legs being red standard due to them being in the dark. Due to the early nature of the race,†teams travel up on the Saturday afternoon to the area, where they stay in a sports†hall overnight until they have to run.†I am looking to put together a SOS team to enter this year, so if any SOS juniors think that they would like to be part of the team, then please email me to let me know, also indicating which standard course you would be most willing to run. If you would particularly like to run in the dark, then also let me know!

My email address is jameslyno@yahoo.co.uk, thanks!

Development News - Lyn West (Development Officer)

The first of our summer series events was held in Castle Park on May 13th. The Development Committee deemed it a success although the number of people actually completing a course was a little disappointing. However, there was a lot of interest in our activities and we handed out a good number of leaflets. Hopefully this will feed through to our two remaining events. Encouragingly a number of newcomers who attended the Tiptree Heath Inaugural event the week before came back for more. Also on the plus side, we received enthusiastic support from the Duty Ranger and were complemented on our professional approach - all good PR especially as we are considering a Sprint event on the map. John and Jenny have produced it to Sprint O standards. And we enjoyed ourselves too!

The next events are on June 17th in Highwoods and July 15th at Wivenhoe. If you have a couple of hours to spare your help would be appreciated. Contact me lyn@stragglers.info or 01206 322905. And bright orange polo shirts purchased to identify helpers.

Our Clubmark file is progressing and we hope to submit it soon. It has been a big exercise in virtual paperwork but really only a question of documenting what we already do. It has enabled us to think about what constitutes best practice and modify our procedures accordingly. As a Club we will benefit in the long run both from improving the way we do things and in having an externally recognised quality standard - not to mention a pretty logo to go on our website.

At the main committee meeting on March 20th, approval was given to appointments to certain roles required by Clubmark. These were:

Head Coach - Stephen Cartwright
Junior Captain - James Lyne
Development Officer - Lyn West

Lyn was also appointed the Child Protection and Vulnerable People Designated Officer.

Please do contact us about anything connected with our roles.

Finally congratulations to Tom Birkett who has gained his White colour badge.

SOS Notice Board

Congratulations to the following members who did well at the JK:-
Thomas Birkett - 1st, M10B
Seb Pugh - 2nd, M20S
Emma Johnson - 2nd,W20S
Ann Roller - 4th, W35L
W165+ Relay team - 5th (Jenny, Gerry, Hilary)
Lyn West on becoming BOF Vice Chairman
Hazel Tant for leading the W20 Rankings
All of you for winning the Regional Round of the Compass Sport Trophy.

Club Picnics All members are welcome to join in these following the events at Hylands Park on June 11th and the Broaks on July 2nd.

New kit - Lyn West

Stragglers are moving into the 21st century! You may have noticed the rather smart trendy new kit sported in the forest by an increasing number of orienteers. As the Club needs to buy some new kit, a redesign has been done along the lines of this smart new kit. An order will be placed with UltraSport for these tops which are made by Craft, sponsors of the British Squad. Sizing is generous and while svelte young things can show off their figures, the tops also accommodate us oldies of more generous proportions. Price will be in the region of £32-£35 with matching trousers around £18. If you are interested in purchasing one, please let me know with an idea of you size (XXS-XL).

Julie Laver is investigating the idea of a T-shirt as an option for the Juniors.

Next SOS Committee Meeting Monday 4th September at Cherrydown, Spring Lane, Tiptree.

Event Reports

British Champs weekend - Sussex 2nd & 3rd April - John Collyer

A new area to orienteering, Furnace Wood provided a physical challenge with some interesting route-choice options. Heavy recent rain left the walk to Assembly, the field itself and the woods very wet and sticky.

The relay used the SW part of the area, and after a long walk we found Assembly in a semi-open field. Once again the weather sticks in the mind, this time due to gale force gusts; the pegs in soft ground, caused worry in the SOS contingent as some unlucky club tents were either flattened or whisked away.

Putting the tent up and down left it very muddy and it then spent a few hours in our water butt, followed by a mop-down whilst up in the garden on a rare sunny day!

JK 2006 - David Sanderson

As usual the JK was held over the Easter weekend, this year in God?s County (Yorkshire to you soft Southerners). The Event Centre was at Thorp Arch which was a good central position and easily accessible next to the A1. 28 Stragglers entered the event.

Day 1 was on Ilkley Moor, which brought back many happy memories of childhood romps in the heather and Bilberry picking. However Orienteering was a different issue. Orientation was relatively easy along the western slope of Wharfedale, however the severely sloping valleys made for careful route selection and the many identical boulders large and small had many running around in circles like headless Chickens. Another danger was stones hidden under sloppy peat on which I managed to twist my ankle. Everyone seemed to enjoy the day and the glorious weather and views. An added bonus was Tea in Betty?s on the walk down from finish to car park through Ilkley and the rather incongruous site of mud splattered Orienteers and Twee Shoppers. Members were scattered all over Yorkshire adding Orienteering to Walking, Climbing and the other pursuits available around and about (sorry this is starting to sound like a Yorkshire Tourist Board press release).

Day 2 was at Keldy on the southern slopes of the North York Moors near Pickering. This was an entirely different environment to day one, being mainly Plantation woodland, but again on steeply sloping land, not to mention the long long walk to the assembly area and to the start which was a feat of Orienteering in itself. Pleased to have the excuse of a heavily strapped ankle and not wanting to do further damage for the Relays I took it easy and again enjoyed the run, views and glorious weather. Again everyone dashed off to their various Yorkshire Hidey-Holes, us to Scarborough to Enjoy the Easter sunshine with the crowds on the beach.

The Relays were held at Bramham Park near Wetherby, a great spot near the A1 for everyone leaving for home after the event. Always the highlight of the JK the relays were great fun. We entered 5 teams in total all making creditable showings after a long weekend of hill climbing. The best performance came from SOStenuto in Womens 165+. The course was pleasant parkland and deciduous wood with almost no climb. The weather added to the drama with warm sun interspersed with huge deluges to cool down overheated runners. The hardest bit was the long taped run to the finish that passed all the club tents with a final punishing uphill leg, with the SOS tent tactically placed to give all our finishers a well needed cheer up that final slope.

All in all a great weekend, the only shame was the absence of many junior Stragglers, who were particularly missed in the relays, maybe next year at the Forest of Dean.

British Sprint Champs - Milton Keynes 20th-21st May - John Collyer

(or "Did she jump or was she pushed?")

For those unused to Sprint-O, the format was short, fast, multi-control courses; with a first round in the morning, followed by finals after the Youth Orienteering Festival.

Campbell Park in Milton Keynes was an ideal location, and the courses were arranged to give good spectator views of the unfolding finals.

Jenny made the Ladies B final, and I was in the Men?s D final, but the SOS star of the first round was Eleanor West, who cruised into the A final. During the final in full view of a large number of spectators, Eleanor and Kerys Manning were running side-by-side at pace downhill through the garden area, when Kerys splashed waist deep into a pond! Rumours of foul-play from Eleanor?s elbows were rife, and although a number of spectators felt it was an accident, I for one shall be wary when running near any Dedham-based orienteers.

The Middle Distance race the following day at Rowney Warren, was superb, Neil Humphries produced a series challenging courses, keeping competitors off the paths with plenty of route choice. A pity that this and the sprints were relatively poorly attended; perhaps there had been too many big events recently. Jenny won W55+ and was presented with 5 bottles of specially produced local beer - Banks and Taylor of Shefford's, Double Punched, Disoriented Beer. If that had been advertised perhaps the entry would have been larger!

PS. The beer had a health warning on it - "oo much Double Punched can lead to a Dodgy Dibber". (I didn't read it before I ran, but if you know about my Double Debacle at the JK, then my dibber has been dodgy anyway!)

Tamar Triple - Cookworthy Forest, Devon 27th-29th May - John Collyer

(or "I'm just an old stick-in-the-mud.")

The recent heavy rain caused the loss of the planned parking field but there was plenty of emergency space on the hard standing around the forest centre, and adjacent tracks. It also caused those water features we were warned about being possibly dry, to be awash with water, and the underlying clay a gelatinous morass for the unwary.

Devon and Kerno organised a multi-format weekend, with medium courses on Day 1, traditionals for Day 2, and "Hagaby-style" loops on Day 3.

The medium courses were to the south of the forest, and kept us in the blocks, my denouement came in jumping off a bank and landing in the sticky yellow clay half-way up the opposite side. Both feet were stuck firmly and I had to extract my feet from the shoes first, excavate each shoe in turn, and then haul on the bank to get each foot out.

I would like to mention an unknown male competitor who asked if I would like some help, and a known female member of SOS with whom I have had a close relationship, who displaying some mild distress (no doubt for the purpose of the other competitors present), ran on happily to her next control.

The traditional length courses on Day 2 used the northern part, with again plenty of banks and marshes; this time it was Jenny's turn to be delayed, tripping over a low piece of barbed wire and landing flat in mud. Despite the wet nature of the wood, there was plenty of challenge in the courses.

Day 3 used the areas either side of the old railway line, although the water again gave us some horrible marshes and morasses to splash through. My course was only 3K, but with lots of controls it was easy to make mistakes especially on the short legs.

SOS National Ranking Positions

This list is complete for events up to the 4th June. 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.
M20L   34th Alex Machin (3)         M70L   39th Jack Isbester
M21   151st Jeff Powell Davies(3)   W20L    1st Hazel Tant
M40L   62nd Bert Park                      18th Katie Sellens
M40S  104th Robert Hammond (4)      W21L   33rd Eleanor West 
M45L  116th Mark Lyne                      69th Nicola Robertson
      122nd Kevin Machin                   73rd Joanne West (W18)(5)
      187th David Sanderson (4)     W21S   47th Miriam Pugh
M45S   67th Steven Cartwright (5)          67th Suzy Robertson (3)                                                      
M50L   55th Martin Sellens          W35L    4th Ann Roller  
       88th Clive Tant              W50L   64th Lyn West 
      134th Colin West                    102nd Hilary Sellens (4)
      147th Geoff Pye               W50S   50th Julia Robertson
      155th Steve Robertson (5)     W55L  123rd Nancy Powell Davies(3)
M50S   61st Richard Barker          W60L    3rd Jenny Collyer 
M60S   16th John Collyer                   35th Geraldine Russell
M65L   75th John Russell

Long Term Athletic Development - Stephen Cartwright

I guess when it comes to running and orienteering there are three types of people: Those who simply enjoy them recreationally, those who are recreational but would like to get a bit better, and those who are more serious.

The concepts expounded in The Sports Coach UK seminar on Long Term Athlete Development and its associated booklet proved fascinating. I didn?t realise that for girls of 6-8 and boys of 6-9 they are in a phase of life that is particularly helpful in developing speed. Chasing and tag games can be very beneficial. Girls of 11-15 and boys of 12-16 are at a crucial age in terms of the development of aerobic fitness and strength. It is thought that fitness that is not developed during that period can never be fully gained in the future.

Serious stuff !! I loved football, swimming and a variety of sports at that age so hopeful not too bad there, but I'm not sure I really developed them properly. Did I learn to train sensibly? ....

Obviously it is important to build:

The baby cannot walk or the child run until it has learnt balance and co-ordination. At times we may have to work on balance, co-ordination and stability again to be able to run more efficiently. Struggling with basic skills can be embarrassing yet it is also a primary cause of people dropping out of a particular sport. I guess at times we just have to go back and learn again. Books, coaching, help?

They seem to think that to be really good we have to learn to train and not worry so much about winning in competition until we are older.

Pleased about that one, but hopefully not being lazy !!

Can it be fitted around school and college? A lot can be gained through school activities yet an age related training plan can follow the school year too. Hey its all right this bit. Holidays are ok - they do you good.

Byrhtnoth's Last Essex Visit - Derek Keeble

Derek Keeble has sent us a copy of "BYRHTNOTH?S LAST ESSEX VISIT" - a long distance path across Essex from Great Chesterford on the Cambridgeshire border to Maldon - a distance of 49 miles. You might like to walk or run this route in one day or you may prefer to stretch your enjoyment over more than one excursion.

Preamble: "The East Saxon, Byrhtnoth, defeated at Maldon in 991, is rewarded with heroism in our East Saxon heritage. Contemplate why this should be as you stroll these many Essex paths. Byrhtnoth came to Maldon's aid from Ely, before setting off along a further 49 miles of an Essex route similar to this one perhaps. Did he select the overland route to avoid a naval skirmish?"

Copies are available from Derek @ £2 each. Tel: 01206 570168

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. June 2006

June 2006



SOS CATI†† High Woods Country Park, Chanterelle carpark, Colchester.



Lyn West, 01206 322905 lyn@stragglers.info†† £2/£1




SAX District Event. Knole, Sevenoaks. TQ535546.



Ken Fox, 01580 720135. kijmfox@onetel.com £4.50/Free. EPS-SI. Saxons 24 hour infoline on 01303 813344. www.saxons-oc.org



EAOA EAOA AGM Score & & Summer Picnic Event. Sandringham, Kings Lynn. TF689287.



Clive Coles, 01394 384399. clive.coles@freeuk.com £2.00/£1.00. Dogs on Lead. 60 minute score event followed by AGM. Mass start 11:00.

July 2006



SOS Informal Relays. The Broaks, Halstead. TL790306.



Geraldine Russell, 01206 272761. geraldine@russell2.fsnet.co.uk £4.00/£2.00. Yellow, Orange, Light Green. stragglers.info†† Pre-entry of 4-person teams preferred - contact Geraldine Russell for details.



HAVOC V CHIG Summer Evening Event. Bedfords Country Park, Romford. TQ520925.



Chris Shaw, 01375 677377. fixtures@orienteering-havoc.co.uk £2.50/Free. Score. Starts 6-7.30PM. www.orienteering-havoc.co.uk



SOS CATI†† Wivenhoe Park, Wivenhoe.†† University carpark, Wivenhoe end



Lyn West, 01206 322905 lyn@stragglers.info†† £2/£1




LOK Frolic Event. Trent Park, London. TQ279966.



Glen Jones, 07770 835 870. fixtures@londonorienteering.co.uk £4.50/£2.00. EPS-SI. Frolic + Extn & shorts. www.londonorienteering.co.uk



CHIG Local Come and Try-it Event. Hainault Forest, Hainault. TQ481931.



Ray Weekes, 020 8530 3011. RayWeekes@BTIntenet.com Fees TBA. Event follows the 100th anniversary of Hainault forest celebrations on the previous Saturday.

August 2006



Lakes 5 Days




White Rose Weekend




Purple Thistle Weekend



September 2006



SUFFOC Come and Try It Event. Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds. TL868620.



Perry Mole, 01449 711002. perry.mole@uk.nomura.com Fees TBA. EPS-SI. White to Red courses only. www.pdl.demon.co.uk/suffoc



Caddihoe Chase Weekend




WAOC Local Event (Try O). Wimpole Hall, Cambridge. TL343511.



Mike Capper, 01733 235202. mike.capper@virgin.net £4.00/£1.50 + £1.00/0.50 independent. EPS-SI. Dogs on leads. www.waoc.org.uk



HAVOC District Event & EAGAL. Weald Park, Brentwood. TQ571946.



Chris Shaw, 01375 677377. fixtures@orienteering-havoc.co.uk £4.50/£1.50. EPS-SI. Parking £1.50. www.orienteering-havoc.co.uk



SOS District Event & ESSOL. Hockley Wood, Hockley.



Hilary Sellens, 01206 766560. hsellens@somakam.freeserve.co.uk £4.00/£2.00. EPS-SI. White to Blue. stragglers.info

Sep 30th-Oct 1st


October Odyssey Weekend


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