Part of the terrain for this year's JK Middle Race (mapper squad member Ben Mitchell)
Internationally, in 2020 almost none of the races that On The Red Line tend to follow took place, but in 2021 they almost all did.
Domestically, the British NIghts took place in early 2020, and then there weren't big events until the second half of 2021.
The outlook for 2022 is however promising, with full programmes internationally and domestically
There's the first World Champs for the Sprint disciplines only, and a European Champs for the forest ones, plus other World Cup races. It's also a year for the World Games; the last one was 2017. And this Spring there will be both a JK and a British Long Champs, as in a "normal year".
Additionally there is the World University Championships, Switzerland, 16th – 22nd August.
Internationally the first half of the year is sprint, the second half is forest.
The selections are in three stages this year. After the JK are selections for World Cup Round 1 and the World Universities. After World Cup Round 1 are selections for the World Champs and World Games. And after the forest test races there are selections for the Europeans and World Cup Round 3.
For the World Cup rounds teams can be much bigger than for the World Champs. In the World Cup, GB, just outside the top six countries, has six athlete places in each individual race.. At the World Champs the races are all split by rest days, and there are three places per nation in each individual race, so the team may be as small as three athletes of each sex. At the World Games it will just be two women and two men.
This year there are two squads: separate performance (16 athletes) and development (25 athletes) ones, rather than a single senior squad (typically 24 athletes). The development squad is young athletes up to 25. In previous years some of the those in the development squad would have been in the senior squad, and indeed two of them ran in last year's World Champs.
One of the best-known and highest achieving British athletes of the last ten years has left the squads. After nine World Champs, two dozen WOC races, a full set of podium places with a 4th, a 5th and several 6ths, Cat Taylor, is no longer a squad member. In 2015, after 5th in the middle, 6th in the long at the home World Champs in Scotland she won the middle race at the final World Cup Round in Switzerland. We thank her for all her work for the British teams, and also for her support for On The Red Line over the years.
Also not in the squad and with several World Champs appearances is Alan Cherry, like Cat a good supporter of ours. Alan lives and works (full-time) in Oslo. He was first leg for his club Nydalens SK coming sixth in last year's Jukola Relays.
After WOC2021 was the time for which countries and individuals make the cut for the 2022 World Games. Most of the places are awarded to countries, and are for 4 athletes forming a sprint relay team. The athletes also run sprint and middle. There are also personal places for the holders of certain championships. The Games capacity for orienteering is: 40 men and 40 women.
There were some very strong runs by several of the squad in last year's international sprint programme. Alice Leake had an outstanding 4th place at the World Champs individual sprint. Grace Molloy was 12th and Peter Hodkinson 14th. And in the sprint relays GB were 6th in the World Champs (Alice, Ralph Street, Peter, Megan Carter-Davies) and 5th (4th nation) at the World Cup Final (Grace, Chris Smithard, Ralph, Megan.)
It's great to know that GB's top male sprinter Kris Jones, who did not run any international races last year, has recovered and hopes to make the World Champs this year. Here's a story and interview Kris has done. "It's a summer of twin ambitions" - the other being the Commonwealth Games.