Essex Stragglers Orienteering Society (SOS)


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Volume 20 Number 7
February 2008

Editors: Geraldine Russell and Andrew Cordle - editors@stragglers.info
Contributions to the next Newsletter should be sent by email before 27th March.


Editorial - Andrew Cordle

Thank you to everybody who has contributed to this edition. It would be nice to see some new names in the Contents list next time. Why don't you write and describe an orienteering experience you have enjoyed, or even one you haven't? It would be great to see the sport through some new eyes.

With the days getting just a little bit longer and the recent mild spell, I've started to look forward to the summer. If you haven't tried combining your holiday with orienteering before, you could try spending the first week in August in Wales (http://www.croesomultiday.org.uk) or the August Bank Holiday weekend in the Scarborough area (http://www.whiteroseweekend.org.uk). For something a bit more exotic, you could try the World Masters Championship in Portugal ( http://www.wmoc2008.fpo.pt) or for something closer to home, the Stragglers' summer informal events (http://stragglers.info/event).

Editorial - Geraldine Russell

SOS have done it again! We are through to the final of the CompassSport Trophy on 19th October. Congratulations to all members who took part in the CompassSport Trophy heat. Even if your score did not count your presence will have boosted the score of your club mates in the same class thus giving SOS just enough points to go through to the final. With the monthly training sessions the coaching team are putting on there should be no reason why we cannot win the Trophy in the autumn.

Chairman's Chat - Martin Sellens

Happy not-very-new-year! The last newsletter was largely about the AGM, club kit storage and the CompassSport Trophy. What goes around comes around. Though it’s a bit early to be talking about the next AGM, (and don’t worry, I won’t) we are still looking for a place to store club kit and the CompassSport Trophy for 2008 is already underway. On the kit issue, there was a mini-working party at the Robertson’s Garage a few weeks ago and Hilary exercised her chucking out muscles, so there is now a (bit) smaller volume of hardware to occupy that empty space you have lurking in the dark recesses of your outhouses. So if you are looking to increase your involvement in the club, live somewhere relatively accessible, and have always had a secret ambition to be a quartermaster, here’s your big chance. If you wish to view the SOS cache before committing, contact Julia Robertson ( julia@robertson-sos.freeserve.co.uk), who would love to hear from you.

Stragglers still rule as far as the regional round of the CompassSport Trophy is concerned; but only just. CHIG continue to be a threat to our dominance in the small clubs competition, and despite turning out in overwhelming force, we only just pipped them (1273 to 1262) to reach the final. Congratulations and thanks to all who took part in this tremendous club effort and particular thanks to stand-in captain Chris Sellens who took on Jenny Collyer’s role of chief whip to get you all to Brandon. Geraldine did a great job of feeding the troops, and hopefully “Gerry’s Soup Kitchen” will be a regular meeting point for the club at key events in the future. If you haven’t yet experienced the miraculous warming effect of her nutritious broth and the equally warming effect of communing with club mates old and new, then don’t miss out again! But where has our club sail banner gone? Information as to its whereabouts would be welcome. Incidentally, it was great to see founding member Derek Keeble sprinting off from the start. Unfortunately he (and most of the rest of you) had left by the time I wheezed into the finish.

It’s a busy few weeks ahead. By the time this newsletter hits the press the first in a new series of Saturday coaching events will have happened at Hylands Park. The development and coaching team is doing a fantastic job and I hope you will all try to take advantage of these opportunities to hone your skills. What ever your level of experience you can always improve. Although I subscribe heartily to the view that it isn’t a bad thing to spend 2 h on the Green in order to get maximal value for money and that it’s great to explore bits of the forest untrammelled by the planner and other competitors, there’s also satisfaction to be gained from chipping a few seconds per kilometre off your rate of progress and edging ahead of your age-group rival. Don’t be shy. Give coaching a try. Steve Cartwright and his team would be delighted to see you at Baddow Ridge on March 1st if you didn’t make it to Hylands. Chalkney Woods will also be a recent memory by the time you read this (anybody there?), but Hockley is on the near horizon (16th March), so please consider volunteering your services to the organiser, Dave Birkett david.birkett@blueyonder.co.uk . Also, don’t forget to enter the East Anglian Championships event at Kings Forest, just a stone’s throw away in Suffolk, on 17th February. All these events are, of course, listed in the CompassSport magazine and on the British Orienteering web site at http://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/event/findevent.php or linked through our own web site at http://stragglers.info/index.htm.

Finally, I hope to see you all at forthcoming events. If we haven’t met before, come and introduce yourself. But not in the forest. I’ll probably be lost too.

Captain's Corner - Jenny Collyer

Many thanks to everyone who ran at Brandon in our Compass Sport Trophy Round. We won by 11 points just beating CHIG so it was a very close result – Well Done. My thanks also to Chris who did all the organising while I was enjoying the Swedish snow.

The final is on 19th October at Sutton Park, near Birmingham, so write this date in your diaries now.

The JK Relays are on Monday 24th March at Eridge Park, Tonbridge Wells, Kent. Being so close to home I am expecting a large Stragglers contingent! The entry fee is Adults £11, Junior £7 if I get the entries in by the earlier date of 21st February (the final date for entries is 2 weeks after that at a charge of £14/£9). I am intending to enter our teams by the earlier date so if you want to run in a relay team (and haven’t already told me) could you let me (jcollyer48@btinternet.com) know by 17th February at the absolute latest, please. The British Relay Championships are on Sunday 20th April at Culbin, Moray, Scotland. Entry fees are £12/£6 by 24th March (JK Relay) at the latest if you want to run in a relay team.

Could you please send me your entry fees (cheques payable to SOS) at 48 Meadow View Road, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 7NY.

Keep up the training!

CompassSport Trophy Heat Results

Chris SellensM2199*0:59:38
Sebastian PughM219201:25:23
Richard NewtonM408801:30:51
Perry MoleM408501:39:03
Blue Men
Richard BonnettM5099*0:57:48
Steve RobertsonM5597*01:00:26
Kevin MachinM5094*01:02:16
Clive TantM509201:03:46
Mark LyneM509001:09:25
Martin SellensM558901:09:47
Geoff PyeM508801:11:33
Steve CartwrightM508601:11:52
Nick PughM558501:12:25
Colin WestM508401:13:02
David SandersonM458001:17:32
Richard BarkerM557501:19:52
David SkinnerM557101:29:35
Eddie BanksM557001:33:39
Les ChildsM556801:50:17
Blue Women
Katie SellensW21100*01:12:18
Claire HarrisonW3598*01:12:58
Nicola RobertsonW219601:16:13
Julie LaverW408402:08:28
* after Points indicates Trophy scorers
Green Men
John CollyerM60920:46:20
Ted JohnsonM65900:49:59
John RussellM65880:52:32
Chris ChildsM60860:53:05
Jack IsbesterM707601:08:01
Green Women
Hilary SellensW50100*0:49:27
Lyn WestW5098*01:00:35
Wendy WelhamW459601:02:13
Sarah ParkW208401:14:26
Nancy Powell-DaviesW557801:28:01
Short Green
Jenny CollyerW6098*0:44:03
Geraldine RussellW60920:52:32
Light Green
James ParkM18100*0:27:51
Hannah NewtonW1696*0:40:18
Alex WareM16860:50:57
Michael ParkM16840:59:31
Derek KeebleM751:28:57
Nicholas HarrisonM12100*0:37:35
Rhiannon WareW1294*0:58:58
Calum MachinM149201:05:33
Carmel JohnsonW650:54:05

Gerry's Kitchen at Brandon - photo by Claire Harrison

Schools League Report - Julie Laver

There have now been four events of the current seasons fixtures for the Schools League and some shuffling of positions has taken place.

Here are the latest positions leading up to the event at Chalkney on Sunday 3rd Feb. The top three places for each class are as follows -
Boys up to Y6Girls up to Y6
Bryn WilkinsonRachael Harrison
Thomas BirkettBronwen Mansel
Nicolas HarrisonIsabella Coutts
Boys Y7/8Girls Y7/8
Rory CouttsRhiannon Ware
Thomas HemingwayEmma Vidler
Samuel BolamFlora Mol
Boys Y9/10Girls Y 9/10
Will HootonAlice Rigby
Michael ParkSarah Rach
Jonathan CronkIndia Hayes
Boys Y11/12/13Girls Y 11/12/13
James ParkSarah Park
Conor WeedHannah Newton
Dean MillerEllen Sanderson
Top teams
Barnardiston Preparatory School
Copleston High
Meadgate Junior School

Well done to all who are taking part. There are still at least 3 more fixtures to go so keep on running!

Still to come

3rd FebChalkneySOS
16th MarHockleySOS
10th MayCastle ParkNO LONGER ESSOL
15th JuneWivenhoe ParkSOS

Stragglers' League - Andrew Cordle

We've had 10 qualifying events since the League started in September - six of then since the last newsletter just over two months ago. A good selection of stragglers have now completed at least six events, so they will need to improve on their existing scores to increase their total points tally. They are -
NameRunsSum of Best
6 scores
Geraldine Russell7536
Hannah Newton8530
Bert Park8521
James Park8483
John Collyer6481
Duncan Harrison7479
Jack Isbester8472
Chris Childs6463
Eddie Banks7458
John Russell6433
Colin West6426
Claire Harrison8411
Perry Mole6404
Sarah Park8388
David Skinner9355
Michael Park8340
Alex Ware7302

Congratulations, Geraldine on retaining the top spot. However, Hannah and Bert are just one good run away from taking it from you. Another threat comes from Jenny Collyer, already on 489 points after five events. Richard Bonnett and Hilary and Martin Sellens will be looking for a top-10 spot once they have completed 6 events.

By the time of the next newsletter, I expect that most of the keener Stragglers will have completed their 6 events, and positions will have stabilised to the point that you will be able to calculate how many points you will need from your next event to overtake one or two people above you in the table (provided they have a disappointing run, of course). Qualifying events before the next newsletter are (depending on when you read this and when you read the next newsletter) most of -
3 Feb 2008SOS Chalkney
10 Feb 2008 HAVOC Langdon Hills
16 Feb 2008 NOR Hockham
17 Feb 2008 SUFFOC Kings Forest
24 Feb 2008 WAOC Croxton Heath
16 Mar 2008 SOS Hockley
6 Apr 2008 HAVOC Bedfords Park

I haven't had much feedback on the League so far, which suggests either satisfaction or apathy. Let me have your suggestions, criticisms and complaints at events or to andrew@cordle.net. Attempts to have events added to the competition after you have looked at the results (and decided that you did particularly well) will be resisted!

SOS Notice board

Club coaching

New for 2008!

The SOS coaching team invite you to Saturday morning training sessions. These will be held on the first Saturday of each month at a different venue each time to allow for practice of a greater variety of techniques to help you with your orienteering.

All ages and abilities are welcome from 10am – 12.30. Experienced coaches will be on hand to guide you through the exercises and the sessions will end with a fun activity. There is NO CHARGE for the coaching but there may be a parking charge at some venues. Bring normal orienteering kit plus extra layers if bad weather, and a drink/snack.

Please fill in a medical form (available to download from the British Orienteering site at http://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/downloads/documents/cdoc_Parentalconsentform.pdf or contact the session organiser) and bring it with you. Only fill in top half if you are over 18.

It is helpful to let the lead coach know you are coming so we know how many to expect. Details are on the club website http://www.stragglers.info.

The first two dates are
Feb 2nd - Hylands Park
Mar 1st - Baddow
Please check the website before setting out for final details.

These Sessions are a great way to improve your technique whilst getting to know some of your fellow club members – something we don’t always get a chance to do at normal events. So don’t be shy come along and have some fun!

Colour-coded awards - Lyn West

Congratulations to the following members who have achieved colour-coded badges -
WhiteTom Burgess (M10)
Nicholas Harrison (M12)
YellowNicholas Harrison (M12)
OrangeRhiannon Ware (W12)
Light greenHannah Newton (W16)
GreenEllen Sanderson (W18)
BlueJames Park (M18)

You will receive your badges in the near future. Colour-coded badges are awarded when 3 par times have been achieved at that colour. Juniors cannot be shadowed. Pairs can qualify on white, yellow and orange courses. If you think that I have missed you out, please let me have the details of events and dates when the par times were achieved and I will be happy to forward them to you. Adults can claim them too! Email orienteering@grovehillhouse.wanadoo.co.uk.

Explorer Challenge - Julie Laver

The latest Juniors to complete their Explorer Challenges are
Samuel Bolam and Stephanie Ware
Well done to you both.

The explorer challenge is suitable for any junior to take part however competent they are. For more information and a log book please call at the enquiries tent at most SOS events.

Essex Chronicle Article

Following Thomas Birkett's performance at the British Schools Championships and then qualifying for his Championship Badge, the Chelmsford papers published an article entitled "Orienteer Thomas Strikes Gold". You can read the article at this rather long URL - http://www.thisistotalessex.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=170509&command= displayContent&sourceNode=230988&contentPK=19310300&folderPk=107992&pNodeId=231031.

Well done Thomas, both for attaining your Championship Badge and for getting such good publicity for orienteering and Essex Stragglers!

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 2008



DFOK Local Event. Downe Activity Centre, Biggin Hill. TQ419631.



Philip Craven, 0208 697 7008. pcraven@mynow.co.uk £6.00/Free. EPS-SI. Parking £1.00. Dogs allowed on leads. www.dfok.co.uk



HAVOC District Event. Langdon Hills Country Park, Basildon. TQ680865.



Colin Jackson, 01268 540696. fixtures@orienteering-havoc.co.uk £7.00/£2.00. EPS-SI. String course. Starts 10.30-12.30. www.orienteering-havoc.co.uk



Dumpling/Punch Weekend



16th - Day 1 - Single Norfolk Dumpling Regional Event. Hockham, Thetford. TL937919.



Organiser: Alan W Bedder, 01603 424589. alan.bedder@virgin.net



17th - Day 2 - Punch Regional Event & EA Championships. The Kings Forest, Thetford. TL825748.



Organiser: Andrew Elliott, 01359 230221. andrew_yyy@tiscali.co.uk



Entries: Pam Jermy, 84 Bush Road, Hellesdon, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6UD, 01603 482773 (7-9pm). pam.jermy@btinternet.com CD: 04/02/08. £8.00/£3.00 per day, both days £14.00/£5.00. Lim EOD (subject to maps) +£1.50/50p. Chq: Norfolk O-Event. EPS-SI. Dogs on lead. Pre-entry preferred. www.norfolkoc.co.uk www.pdl.demon.co.uk/suffoc



CHIG CATI and Permanent O Course Launch. Beckton Park, Tollgate Road, London, E6. TQ417817.



Ray Weekes, 020 8530 3011. rayweekes@btinternet.com Free/Free. Dogs allowed on a lead. www.chig.org.uk



WAOC District & EA League. Croxton Heath, Thetford. TL877894.



Ursula Oxborough, 01223-357199. uoxb00@esc.cam.ac.uk £7.00/£2.00. EPS-SI. String course. Dogs allowed in car park on lead. www.waoc.org.uk

March 2008

1st           Coaching      Baddow



SAX Regional Event. Mill Bank & Whitley, Sevenoaks. TQ509541.



Organiser: Simon Holford, 01689 878426. simon@simonandjillian.co.uk




SMOC District Event & EA League ? venue not announced and event not yet registered ? check SMOC web site.




SARUM NATIONAL EVENT & FCC. Great Ridge, Hindon, Salisbury. ST930360.



Organiser: John Parfitt, 01985216371. Sarum@aol.com



Postal Entries: Stephen Robinson, 18 Hanson Road, Andover, Hants, SP10 3HL, 01264 396655. stephen_robinson@ntlworld.com CD: 24/02/08. £14.00/£5.00, Family £34.00 (less £2.00 BOF discount) +£1.00 Emit hire. Late entry & Lim EOD +£2.00/£1.00, Family £5.00. Chq: Sarum OC. EPS-Emit. Preferred entry Online at www.ntrees.co.uk. Red, L.Green, Orange, Yellow and White Colour Coded Courses will be available for EOD. £7 00/£4.00, Family £20.00 (Same price for BOF & Non BOF members). Parking £2.00. Dogs in car park only. www.sarumo.org.uk



SOS District Event & Essex & Suffolk Schools League. Hockley Wood, Hockley.



David Birkett, 01245 352365. david.birkett@blueyonder.co.uk £7.00/£2.00. EPS-SI. White to Blue, String course. www.stragglers.info






21st - JK Weekend - Sprint Race. University of Surrey, Guildford.



22nd - JK WEEKEND - DAY 1 INDIVIDUAL RACE. Leith Hill, Dorking.



23rd - JK WEEKEND - DAY 2 INDIVIDUAL RACES. Pippinford Park and Broadstone Warren, Tunbridge Wells.



24th - JK Weekend - Relays. Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells



Mike Elliot (Event Coordinator), 01372 273106. mike.elliot@bigfoot.com EPS-SI. www.jk2008.org.uk



Full registration pending



NOR District Event. Bacton Wood, North Walsham. TG318312.



Alan Bedder, 01603 424589. >alan.bedder@virgin.net £5.50/£1.00, Family & groups £6.50. EPS-SI. Dogs on lead. String course. www.noroc.co.uk



WAOC District Event. Ampthill Park, Ampthill. TL024382.



Ursula Oxborough, 01223-357199. uoxb00@esc.cam.ac.uk £7.00/£2.00. EPS-SI. String course. Dogs allowed in car park on lead. www.waoc.org.uk

April 2008

5th   Coaching    Wivenhoe



HAVOC District Event. Bedfords Country Park, Romford. TQ520925.



Cath Shipley, 01992 812098. lebut@beeb.net £7.00/£2.00. EPS-SI. W,Y,O,LG,G & Blue. Starts 10.30-12.30PM. www.orienteering-havoc.co.uk



SO Regional Event & SE League. Houghton Forest, Arundel. TQ001108.



Organiser: Dave McTurk, 01243 782991. dave.mcturk@googlemail.com



Entries: Jaquie Drake, East Cottage, Vuggles Farm, Newick, East Sussex, BN8 4RU, 01273 400603. entries@vuggles.co.uk CD: 30/03/08. £10.00/£3.00 SO juniors free. Late entry + £1.50 on senior fees (no junior surcharge). Colour coded EOD only - seniors £7.00, juniors £3.00. Lim EOD + £3.00. Chq: Southdowns Orienteers. EPS-SI. Light Green, Orange, Yellow & White, String course. Parking £1.00. SO 24-hr Ansaphone - recorded event information 01903-239186. On line entries at www.vuggles.co.uk/entries.htm. www.southdowns-orienteers.org.uk






19th - BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS 2008 - INDIVIDUAL. Culbin East, Forres.



20th - British Championships 2008 - Relays. Culbin East, Forres. NH998610.



Co-ordinator: Jon Musgrave, 013398 84447, jon@big-jon.demon.co.uk Fees Indiv: TBA. Relays: £36.00/£18.00 per team. EPS-SI. Entries: OEntries www.oentries.com/ www.boc2008.co.uk/



Full registration pending



NOR District Event. Pretty Corner, Sheringham. TG152413.



Mike George, 01603 408269. £5.50/£1.00, Family Units & Groups £6.50. EPS-SI. String course. Dogs allowed on lead please. www.norfolkoc.co.uk



WAOC Sprint Event. Chicksands, Bedford.



Ursula Oxburgh, 01223 357199. uoxb00@esc.cam.ac.uk £7.00/£2.00. EPS-SI. String course. Dogs allowed in car park on lead. www.waoc.org.uk



BKO District & SCOA League Event. Yateley Heath, Camberley. SU812585.



Liz Yeadon, 0118 934 5412. EPS-Emit. String course. Courses: White to Brown. Courses close at 15:00. Registration 09:30 - 12:00. Starts 10:00 - 12:30.

Letters and emails

Orienteering vs Mountain Biking - Dave Skinner

The article below, extracted from the Guardian Weekend magazine published on 6 October 2007, may be of interest to readers. As one club SOS stalwart was heard to comment: "Thank goodness for orienteering. I cannot imagine what my memory would be like without it!"

Editors' note: Copyright law prevents us from reproducing the article in full - the fee requested for reproduction exceeded the editorial, printing and distribution budget for this entire Newsletter! However, you can read it at http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,,2183248,00.html.

Sam Murphy's article compared orienteering with mountain biking on five criteria - burning calories (orienteering slightly ahead), adrenaline fix (mountain biking by a mile), lower body (mountain biking slightly ahead), safety (orienteering better) and (the seed of Dave's stalwart's comment) mental agility. Apparently, aging orienteers (know any of those?) have faster reaction speeds and better attention skills than non-athletes. Does this make Mountain Bike Orienteering the ideal sport?

London Marathon - Geoff Pye

Hello fellow Stragglers

As some of you know I am running the London Marathon again this year. I must be mad as I know from three years ago what the pain is like for the last 6 miles!!! Last time I did not ‘hit the wall’ but rather from about 20 miles there was a slow progressive build up of pain in the thighs, calves and shoulders. The only two things that kept me going were the fear of failure and the knowledge that I had £1000 of sponsorship for the Alzheimer’s Society riding on my finishing.

I am again raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society, the leading UK care and research charity for people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, their families and carers. I would be very grateful if you feel able to sponsor me so that I can raise loads of money for this very worthy cause. The Alzheimer’s Society is a charity very dear to my heart for all the support that they gave to my family a few years ago when my Mother suffered from this cruel disease.

Please log into my webpage http://www.justgiving.com/geoffpye and dig deep. If you have not used ‘Justgiving’ before it takes only a couple of minutes to register and is a simple secure way to sponsor.

Thanks for your support

London Marathon - Eleanor and Jo West


We are running in support of Action for M.E which is the UK's leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of people with M.E. They provide information and support to people affected by M.E. and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also diagnosed as Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome), as well as campaigning for more research, better treatments and services.

Many of you will remember Eleanor's battle with PVFS. Through it we have both experienced at close quarters the effect that this spectrum of diseases can have and are proud to be supporting a charity which can provide help to those suffering from what can be an extremely devastating and often misunderstood condition.

We are currently training hard and on top of all the running (mixed in with some skiing for Eleanor, under strict instructions from Jo that she doesn't break anything!) we have to raise £1200 each on behalf of our chosen charity. We would be extremely grateful for anything that you can give towards helping us meet our targets. It would help if you could split your support between us equally as unfortunately we are having to fundraise separately due to Eleanor receiving matched-funding from her employer.

Please visit http://www.justgiving.com/jowest and http://www.justgiving.com/elwest to leave a donation, or speak to any member of the family to fill in a sponsorship form.

Thank you in advance for your support and all best wishes for 2008.

Emit Cards - Jack Isbester and Dave Skinner

Answers to the questions you've all been asking

EMIT cards are an alternative to SI 'dibbers' and are used in some British regions, the nearest to us in East Anglia being South Central (i.e. Thames Valley to Southampton).

The following is an email exchange between one of the Stragglers' finest analytical brains and his dozy companion. SOS colleagues are invited to join in.

From: David Skinner
To: Jack Orienteering


I had a look at the price of EMIT Cards (see http://www.emituk.com/) current version (with the display) is £45 while the older version (which is probably what we used today) is £30. I assume one would also need to purchase back-up labels - these seem to only be available in rolls of 550 at a cost of £26.50 - though perhaps these are issued at events free of charge?

By comparison the current price of an SI card of the type we use is £22.40 though there are other versions available (no significant advantage as far as I can see if used for Orienteering) at £38.50 (or £30.50 if you trade in your old version).

Assuming 3 EMIT events per year it would seem to be more cost-effective to hire EMIT cards.

Best wishes, Dave

From: IsbesterJ@aol.com
To: dave.skinner@btinternet.com


I accept the facts but am not sure about the assumptions.

Is it three events a year or five? It seems like more than 3 to me. An inspection of the EMIT website does, admittedly show a fairly limited spread of events but includes SARUM where I think I have run twice in the last year, BADO which is Claire's local club, SOC (the November Classic), TVOC (The Concorde Chase, Wendover Woods and others), BAOC (Roman Valley & CST).

The 2008 JK will use SI. The 2008 British Champs (Individual & Relay in Scotland) will use EMIT.

Colin and Lyn West have EMIT brikkes and one or two other SOS members may have Collyers? Sellenses? so sharing a roll of cards should be possible if they are not issued at events and if you cannot make your own.

And what price can you put on the kudos? He's a man with his own EMIT card! "That'll do nicely!"

Finally SportIdent is based in Sweden, EMIT in Norway which means that EMIT will be mainly used in Norway. I hope to take a Norwegian holiday to promote my book, revisit friends and do a little orienteering whenever the book is finished - yet another reason. The sooner I buy the better if I'm to recover my money!

I think I've persuaded myself. All I have to decide is whether to go for the deluxe model or the economy one.

All the best,


From: David Skinner
To: Jack Orienteering


At my peril I would comment further as follows:

1. I have only used an EMIT card 4 times (I think) over a two year period, but you have probably run more EMIT-driven events

2. The kudos angle doesn't carry much weight!

3. The life of the brikke is also a consideration - my research suggests that life expectancy is 10-12 years, assuming normal usage - normal usage is defined as once a week! - so no issue there.

4. If I were to purchase an EMIT card I would go for the most up to date version - the display is useful, particularly if one has problems remembering which control one is aiming for - which in my limited experience can happen very occasionally. Pretty marginal reason really.

5. The cost of hire of an EMIT card for a four day event in Norway is typically NOK 50, about £4.50, so apparently not a lot different to the UK.

6. EMIT cards are clumsy when compared to SI - perhaps we should not be encouraging their usage!

7. Potentially another item to forget when setting off early on a Sunday morning.

8. Still not convinced, but I now give up.....!

Best wishes, Dave

Taro Koyama - Jack Isbester

Taro Koyama, a Japanese orienteering friend of mine since I orienteered in Japan almost thirty years ago, will be coming with his wife Fujiko to this year's JK. He's going to be staying in a Guildford Travelodge and then a B&B near Ashdown Forest for the JK itself but will be spending two weeks in total in the UK, to include time in the Cotswolds and London, and he is hoping to visit Derek Keeble whom he first met at a Swiss 5 Day event, if I remember correctly.

I report this partly because Taro is known to several of my clubmates since he stayed with a Stragglers' party at a Scottish 6 Day event some years and partly because, regrettably, I will be missing this year's JK and am going to be in France and Spain throughout his visit.

Taro, seen here with Fujiko in St Petersburg if I'm not mistaken, is the Japanese representative for Trail Orienteering and is very well informed on that subject.

The Gym Experience - Steve Cartwright

Traditionally as I understand it the winter when its dark and cold is particularly the time that athletes hit the gym to build up some strength for the coming season. Obviously for Orienteers and Road Runners with regular events over the winter period things are a little more complicated yet its still something we can benefit from.

Anyway, I decided to hit the gym once a week for the winter. It wasn’t to be a totally new experience as years ago as a teenager I was actually an assistant weight training coach at a Sports Centre, and was involved in football training and various other sports there too. In those days though it was free weights where posture in the training was considered particularly important along with 3 sets of 10 reps around a circuit of weight exercises. We did stick in some calf raises, sit ups and pull ups though for the sake of completeness. The funny thing is I don’t remember feeling totally knackered afterwards and look back to times spent in the bar drinking orange juice and eating peanuts while chatting away, not forgetting a pull to molasses etc. at home.

What about now? My hour's induction was a general introduction to the various machines that could help me in my fitness - very different to the old days or the bits I’ve at home although there were a few dumb-bells around. I was recommended cycling to warm up, various machine strength exercises for different parts of the body, the treadmill, and the cross country skiing and rowing machines. All exciting stuff. To be honest I loved it even if the instructor did get worried because my heart was running away at 135 bpm on the treadmill ! I tried to keep the training general, with more of an endurance emphasis, with the harder work for my legs yet was glad I could do well under 4 min/km for a few minutes on the treadmill – even if it was a bit at my limit. Strange the way I felt the need of more oxygen – gulp, gulp – yet I could still speak normally afterwards which was encouraging. The main worries were the bike shaking at 90rpm, some treadmills not being big or strong enough for my weight ( although specified to 4 min miles), and the fact that it was difficult to alter the speed on them while running quickly without looking like I was in serious difficulty.

After Christmas it was a new facility with new management - Another induction and the use of electronic keys to set the machines for us individually (not sure they do) and to store/analyse data from our workouts. At the moment all this button pressing is something I could do without I think and I also seem to move to the next machine forgetting to take the key with me. One machine doesn’t fit me although most seem stronger and there's more of them along with plenty of free weights.

What's happened? I’ve put on weight and quite a bit of it. I’m told muscle is heavier than fat so if I have been building up I should have I suppose, but then there's my Christmas fat too. Fitness – I do seem to be getting stronger – not sure about quicker.

Nice that its not smelly and I can have the odd little chat.


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