I look forward to receipt of your offers on 01621 815501 or IsbesterJ@aol.com
We have come to the end of another busy season for the juniors of Essex and Suffolk and it seems we are already looking forward to the next. Below are the final top results for the year. This has been my first year administrating the league and I must say I have found it both fun and challenging. My computer skills have improved through necessity (unlike my orienteering!) and I have met lots of new people from both clubs involved.
Well done to all the juniors who took part. I managed to distribute most certificates but if you think you should have received an award but didn't please do not hesitate to contact me. I will leave the remaining certificates I have at the help desk at the next few ESSOL events - also listed below.
Just a reminder that any SOS or SUFFOC junior at school or 6th form may be included in the league as long as they complete their run without adult or other assistance. The scoring system is explained on the ESSOL web page and it helps me to collect the data if you ensure the entry slip is clearly filled out at registration.
SOS coaches are hoping to offer pre or post run coaching for any interested runners at suitable events so keep your eyes open for these sessions and you may find yourself top of your class next July!
Good luck to all juniors for this coming season - I hope to be available at all ESSOL events so come and say hello.
ESSOL fixtures 06/07 season
These are the proposed fixtures for this year but participants are advised to check the club's website nearer the event time as arrangements can be subject to alteration.
Next SOS Committee Meeting
Monday 18th September at Cherrydown, Spring Lane, Tiptree.
Downloadable game called Catching Features
This game has just come to our attention but we havn't had time to try it out yet. Go to www.catchingfeatures.com , where you can download the demo version of a highly addictive orienteering game. You see a 3-D landscape, and at the click of a space bar see your map. The free demo version comes with 4 short races of about yellow standard called intro. It's not as easy as it looks! There are also about 6 courses at TD 5 difficulty. Re-location is hard, it is realistic, but you do have to take things steady to start, or get lost. Oh and when you run into a tree it doesn't hurt, but you do fall over!
Apparently you can import OCAD maps and run courses and also compete with others online!!!
Fordham Hall Estate
Derek Keeble has sent us a cutting from the Woodland Trust Newsletter which mentions 300 people turning up for the Community tree planting day.
It is also interesting to read that the three barn owl boxes erected last year, and on the map, were all used - one by stock doves, one by jackdaws and one even by barn owls - the first record of them in the area. Last year volunteers from the Colne Valley Project helped construct an artificial otter holt and within weeks of its construction it was being used by otters.
Walking the Essex Colne Zolne
Derek Keeble has also sent us a copy of this 95 mile Long Distance Path following the River Colne from its source at Steeple Bumpstead to its estuary at Point Clear including a few of its scenic t ributary valleys. It is No.10 in the "Mapjog's Pack-a-Back Bicycle Ramble" series.
International orienteering - not just for the elites - Eleanor West
Some of you may know that I am fast approaching the world of work and once I get there I am unlikely to have huge amounts of free time to indulge in large amounts of orienteering. Last summer I went to the Jukola relay in Finland with JOK (the ex-Oxford club). It exceeded all my expectations and definitely went down as one of my best orienteering experiences ever. With that in mind I decided to make the most of my final season with oceans of time and get out orienteering in as many places as possible. The following outlines a few of the experiences I've had.
Firstly, I joined a Swedish club. If you ever have the chance to get involved with a Scandinavian club in any way then take it. The club atmosphere abroad has to be seen to be believed. Järfälla OK have been nothing but welcoming to me, even though I'm not exactly super speedy. They had a club training tour to Spain for a week in February which I joined. Running through open forests in warm weather was the perfect way to escape from the dullness of a British winter (and I think the Swedes were quite grateful for a few days away from the snow!).
One of the main reasons for me joining Järfälla was so that I could get a run in each of the two huge relays in Scandinavia. I've already mentioned Jukola, which takes place in Finland in June and is the biggest orienteering relay in the world. The second is the Tio-Mila in Sweden in April. Both relays have a similar format. The women run during the day on the Saturday afternoon (teams of five for the Tio-Mila and four for Jukola). Once that's over the build up to the main event begins. The men's race starts late at night and continues during the night to finish sometime early the next morning. Personally, I think the women are in the best situation. We get to run in the afternoon (so no scary issues about having to navigate in the dark!), and then chill out whilst watching the guys and getting all the excitement of their race without worrying about running.
I can't describe how amazing the atmosphere in the arena at an event this size is. The closest thing I've ever experienced is a music festival. The atmosphere hits you as soon as you walk into the arena with the commentary and the big screen giving a taste of what's to come. The start of the men's race is a phenomenon in itself - hundreds of head-lamps heading for the dark forest with the buzz of adrenaline as the race that many have been preparing for all year kicks off.
The actual orienteering is amazing. The challenge of the navigation, coupled with the exhilaration of running through such gorgeous terrain, meant that at the Tio Mila I finished my run with a huge smile on my face. Moments like that remind me exactly why I orienteer. The fact that there's so many other runners there for the same reason, including most of the world's best, adds up to make it a fantastic experience. (Incidentally I didn't finish Jukola smiling because I was so tired, having finished my exams the previous day and embarked on an epic journey to get there in time to run!)
At the Tio-Mila I had to get some sleep in the middle of the night and returned to the arena to watch the men's race from leg 7 (out of 10). Due to the time of year it's easier to stay up all night at Jukola and both times I've been I've camped out with my sleeping bag in front of the big screen, drifting in and out of sleep with the commentary in the background. By the last few legs it's always worth being awake though. The top teams run with trackers on them which means you can see exactly what's going on out in the forest. If I tried to explain to non-orienteering friends at home why standing in a field with lots of other orienteers watching a few coloured dots move around a big screen was exciting I think they'd look at me a bit funny. But that's exactly what watching the last leg is like. I can't believe that after 10 legs and hours of running it all comes down to what the guys on last leg do - that's a huge responsibility for that last leg runner to be carrying.
I find it difficult to explain exactly why these relay events are so amazing. Part of it is the sheer scale but it's also the fact that everyone is there - from the world's top elites fighting it out for the coveted title, to people who only orienteer once a year (and this is that time). Even from the start you can see the contrast between those sprinting for the forest and those ambling up the taped route looking at their map. The exhilarating point is that everyone is there for the love of orienteering. I'd love to see more British teams entering and getting a taste of Scandinavian orienteering.
Jukola was just the start of my summer of orienteering. I followed it with a few weeks sightseeing in the Baltic States. This culminated in watching JWOC in Lithuania and competing in the Takas 5 Day which ran alongside. I can't say the forests were the nicest I've ever seen but the courses were well planned and were in the same forests that the juniors had run in earlier that day. The team spirit amongst all the British spectators cheering for our boys and girls made for a fantastic holiday. My next orienteering was at the O-Ringen in Sweden and again this is an event which has to be seen to be believed. Put it on your 'to do before I die' wish list. The terrain's amazing, the organisation smoother than anything I've ever seen and showers, well, they're an experience...
My tour of Scandinavia and the Baltics finished with two weeks coaching the GB under-17s on tour in Halden, Norway. I've been involved with the start program for the last year or so and can thoroughly recommend it. It's a huge buzz being able to pass on my love for the sport to the next generation of top level athletes. The Start Program is always looking for volunteers, and not just coaches. Our tour had to run without a cook this year which is not something that should ever happen again!
In summary: if you've never orienteered abroad then seriously consider it. Orienteering can provide a great excuse to go a certain country or area and I think the international friendship aspect is one of the huge bonuses of our sport. As for me, there's one more orienteering experience on my list and that's the Spring Cup in Denmark.
O-Ringen Mohed, Sweden - 16th-21st July - Jenny Collyer
The attraction of this year's O-Ringen was the fact that all the five events were within walking distance of the campsite. - in fact on three of the days the assembly area was only 10 mins walk from where I was camped. The event attracted about 14,000 competitors running in over 100 different classes up to M90 and W85. An event of this size is an experience never forgotten with everything on a massive scale e.g. 8 different Starts and 8 parallel finish lanes, a huge crèche, enormous outdoor showers with water heated by large boilers, even a dog minding area!
The orienteering was varied with two of the days being on very rocky ground that I found difficult to run on. On the other three days the areas included large sections of open sand and tracks that were also sandy and very strength sapping. I had a good run on the first day which I found nicely runable though chanelled around the houses in small blocks of forest adjacent to the village. I finished 16th out of 150 in my class (my best ever in Sweden) but went progressively downhill as the week progressed. The final day was a chasing start based on the total time of the previous 4 days. This was to be the day of my biggest mistake spending nearly 14 mins looking for my number 2 despite arriving at my no. 3 early on and not realizing it. I went out in 33rd position and finished 88th!
John unfortunately was working until the Wednesday but flew out to join me on the Thursday. He was going to do a colour coded course but on discovering that they were charging £16, he decided to run my Day 1 course!
It is a good time for catching up on old friends and one surprise was while John and I were sitting having a coffee I noticed a person in the queue with "TARO" on his back. The only Taro we knew was Jack's Japanese friend of many years and who we had previously met in Scotland, so we were very pleased to have met up with him.
SOS National Ranking Positions
M20L 23rd Sebastian Pugh (5) M55L 90th Nick Pugh 37th Alex Machin (3) M60S 12th John Collyer M40L 115th Bert Park (4) M60L 65th John Russell M40S 91st Robert Hammond (4) M70L 32nd Jack Isbester M45L 104th Mark Lyne W20L 7th Hazel Tant (5) 108th Kevin Machin 13th Katie Sellens 163rd David Sanderson (4) W21L 33rd Eleanor West M45L 218th Steven Cartwright (4) W21S 64th Miriam Pugh M50L 36th Martin Sellens W50L 62nd Lyn West 79th Clive Tant 69th Hilary Sellens 122nd Colin West W60L 3r Jenny Collyer 171st Geoff Pye 43rd Geraldine Russell M50S 53rd Richard Barker
The BOF Summer training camp for second year M/W 14's takes place at the Lagganlia outdoor education centre a short distance South West of Aviemore on Speyside. To qualify for selection the juniors have to achieve at least one Championship Standard during the year and be nominated by their Regional Squad manager. In an ideal world each region is represented by 2 juniors but invariably some regions are stronger than others so the ideal is never actually achieved in assembling the 24 athletes.
On the management and coaching side we have a Team Manager, 2 cooks, a Lead Coach and 11 coaches/helpers of varying experience and qualification enabling us to give concentrated attention to every junior. This year 4 members of the GB Junior World Orienteering Championships squad were members of the coaching team giving the juniors something to aspire to. This was to be my second year as a coach on the Lagganlia tour so I was prepared for the very full six days ahead.
Saturday saw 24 somewhat apprehensive 14 year old orienteers arriving by train, minibus and plane from places as far afield as Penzance and Northern Ireland. After dinner it's introductions, a brief explanation about what the tour intends to achieve, a few simple rules and advice about removing ticks, reporting injuries and getting plenty of sleep etc. then it's off to bed in preparation for a hard days work tomorrow.
Sunday morning, and after breakfast and the day's briefing it's off into the forest for practice at fine and course compass, contours, distance estimation, track and terrain running and attack points. Every day, apart from Wednesday afternoon, we do two training sessions of about two and a half hours before returning to base for a shower, drinks, cakes and a game of basketball, football or frisbee golf before dinner.
After dinner it's either race analysis, ankle strengthening techniques, a talk on nutrition or a slide show and talk from our JWOC coaches, before bedtime at 10pm.
During the week we pack in tour championships over sprint, middle and classic distances, a gaffled mass start relay to practice concentration while running with others, a couple of other fun relays and more techniques such as simplification, traffic lighting, aiming off and relocation.
Wednesday afternoon is set aside for the juniors to decide what they want to do. Some shop in Aviemore, some stay at Lagganlia and some brave the freezing cold water of Loch Morlich before we all set off for a football match and bar-b-cue with the M/W 15's at their tour base at Glenmore. Apart from enduring the voracious midges, everyone has a great evening with a very satisfactory 1-1 draw and man-of-the-match going to one of the Lagganlia girls. Moral victory on all counts!
Friday evening soon arrives and by now the juniors feel as if they have known each other for years. Today is the day of the 'posh dinner'. The girls dress up in the clothes they have carefully kept clean and crease-free all week, and apply their make-up, while the boys do a quick sniff test to find their cleanest t-shirt. Table decorations with an orienteering theme are prepared for judging while the coaches prepare light-hearted tour awards and medals, then it's our turn to be waiters and waitresses.
On Saturday, back on the platform of Aviemore station, what a very different group of juniors we have. There is no doubt that in most cases their orienteering has progressed significantly and they have had a lot of fun. Lifelong friendships have been forged and we may even have a world champion in the making.
So the message to our younger club members is - work hard at your orienteering and you too may get the opportunity to go to Lagganlia.
A selection of photographs taken at Lagganlia 2006 can be found on http://www.familymarsden.org/Lagganlia2006
Coaching Items - Stephen Cartwright
The Coaches and Development Committee are of course always interested in feedback from the coaching activities. If anything has been particularly helpful over the past year and you are are doing better in events it would be great to know. Send us an email etc. If you've any other comments it would be good to know too. At events this coming season we hope to have the coaching activities before people try a course to enable skills practice.
I know opinions vary as to the value of running speed in orienteering. Obviously to be able to run quickly yet be unable to find the controls will not get anyone round a course very well. However where someone's navigation is reasonable their fitness must have a bearing on performance.
I've tried to create some orienteering flat speed standards loosely based on various children's and running club standards adding in the older persons categories where they seem to fit. I hope they may prove to be of interest and provide some with useful goals where they feel it would be helpful. Please feel free to use them and to check yourself against them occasionally.
The 'G' by the way was meant to stand for 'Good'.
Ouch - my feet!
Having never been in the army I guess I can't claim to be an expert on sore feet ! However, walking in the Lakes a few years ago I found that a protruding knob on the tread of one of my boots continually pressed into my foot as I walked and gave me a horrible blister. The niggle and grumps were hard to shake off !
Last autumn I decided I'd try a personal training weekend in Epping Forest. I booked into a Youth Hostel for the night and off I went armed with my kit, some old maps, and a copy of The Complete Orienteering Manual. I really enjoyed the weekend but boy did I suffer. I was silly. From memory I took in a HAVOC event on saturday morning and did some orienteering exercises in the afternoon. On the Sunday I jogged round an old Rodings Rally course.
I was using relatively thin cross country shoes with knobbly bits on the bottom and heavy gel insoles to provide some extra cushioning. At the time everything seemed fine even if the insoles were not quite what I wanted. I just spent too long running in those shoes. A few days later it was like my feet had stuck to the gel and I was suffering with the plantars for months and months. It just wouldn't seem to go away. I had seriously damaged my feet.
I've been using those shoes with different insoles but noticed recently that one foot didn't seem to sit properly on the ground for whatever reason. Over longer periods I could still feel the studs more seriously. Time for a change.
In the Lakes this summer I'd gone round a course in well cushioned trainers, yet suffering from a bad foot again I was quite sore at the end. The traders were there of course and after calming down a bit I looked at the shoes and tried a pair. Ouch - my foot! The thin sole coupled with the studs just really wasn't what I wanted. What to do? Could I even break something?
Orienteering shoes often seem to be slightly stronger versions of fell shoes - to help with the brambles I guess. Yet perhaps what I need personally is something more akin to a light, flexible football boot with a fairly rigid sole under the forefoot and heal and reasonable padding. Like many I appreciate studs on sloping wet grass and in the mud yet my feet really need protecting. Fortunately I didn't have any trouble with the rain in the Lakes.
Wisdom of course says consider using shoes with plenty of padding for training and for longer periods.
Going north from the Swedish O-Ringen, we spent our first few settled days at the town of Rovaniemi in Finland. The Arctic Circle goes through the northern outskirts, and the Finns have built a Santa Claus Theme Park - carols playing even in high summer! Yes I know what you think, but somehow the Finns get away with it when in Britain it could only be at a "very tacky" level.
Their equivalent of the OS map showed an orienteering symbol on the skiing hill behind our campsite, and after several false starts we eventually tracked down a map. Much of the area was very runnable on rounded glacial ridges or large pebbles, and we enjoyed taking turns at finding controls. We also used the ski trails on the hill for a mountain bike ride; whilst many of the locals were out with their poles, Nordic-walking, to train up for the winter.
Then we were off to Kiruna along miles of gentle roads with hardly any traffic. Once again the skiing area behind the campsite was mapped and had a permanent course laid out: part of the Swedish 'Naturpasset' scheme which has produced courses all over the country. The forest again was mostly very runnable and included a section of controls high on the bare hills by the iron mine; hard work but well worth it for the views.
We also took an underground tour of the mine (bus trip 3K down) and learned that the ore body going through the hills was almost pure magnetite - had that affected our compasses we wondered and what would happen at an event?
On our way south through Norway we stopped at Lillehammer and enjoyed cycling round the '94 Olympic skiing areas. Next to the toilets of Pub48 (lunch stop), was an advert for permanent courses in the area, and the local sports shop had a copy for sale - it looked an enticing semi-open rocky area, but we were only half-way round a hard day's cycling, and going back next day would put in jeopardy our planned guided glacier walk two days later. This time orienteering lost out.
Oh well, if only we had a couple East Anglian forests of the type that abound in Scandinavia! The only good point for us is that we can orienteer all year, for the weather and elk hunting close their forests for several months. There was a nice reminder of this in the Kiruna map pack, where you are warned not to go in September once the shooting season begins!
We have now moved my Mum into a home in Sudbury and have had to spend several days in Chelmsford sorting through her house. After a day of going through rooms we felt like a run, so made for Hylands which we used to run round frequently, but now will have fewer opportunities to do so.
With the V festival due a few days later we decided to look at the arrangements that were gradually taking shape.
First problem Getting into the park; the usual North entrance at Writtle, was closed, so we were redirected to the field next to Widford church at the northern extremity. The top half had been opened up as a car park, and after a bit of stretching, we set off down the hill intending to go over the river and up to the lake and house.
Second problem. The bridge over the Wid was also closed so we had to run east up to the stile that goes out onto the main road, down the main road, then in via a footpath at the east end of the lake.
Third problem Inside there was a security fence all the way up the side to the eastern car park, so we started off in that direction. Turning towards the House again there were fences everywhere, but we ran along the road round the west of the house.
Again fences everywhere, along with marquees, power generators, security towers and lights. Every single copse, large or small was surrounded by security fencing (apparently to discourage their use as loos),so we eventually had to run through the formal gardens and out at the west end of the house.
Two days later we went again, this time starting at the east car park. We ran on the southern half of the area, large open car parks to start with, then the usual high fences, and inside these compounds were water access points, portaloos and food outlets - bit like the big orienteering event we had just been to in Sweden. It looked as though the western edge had been left accessible for dog walkers (plus a lot of mountain bikers), and we ran through the woods before zig-zagging past several sets of fences and out via the gardens again.
Our impression from these two visits was of the vast expense it must take to set up such a large festival, and the detailed security needed - the Risk Assessments must be biblical in extent!
As a footnote I should perhaps mention litter; people we know who have been before, say that little regard is paid to using the bins, and pictures on TV confirmed that. I have also run round after a concert and seen how much of the litter is left behind to be ground by mowers to a texture of fine oatmeal amongst the grass. I am sure that if we left any recognisable litter, then our events would be in jeopardy.
What is Lymes disease?
How does it occur?
What are the symptoms?
How is it diagnosed?
How is it treated?
How long will the effects last?
What can be done to help prevent Lyme disease?
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.
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to www.stragglers.info. Feedback and comments to email@example.com, please.