ChampionsBritish Champions 2019, Photo: Rob Lines

Today is the 1st June and as the vegetation in the forests gets high the orienteering season for many of the leading British runners passes from a domestic focus to an overseas one. Most of the big domestic competitions (the "major events") have been run, and the first senior international races, in Finland, are next weekend. That is World Cup Round 1, which also includes a sprint relay in the centre of Helsinki the following Tuesday The weekend after is Jukola and Venla. These relays have a record entry of over 20,000 this year - the organisers attribute it partly to the "growth ... of fitness orienteering". In early July, test races for the World Champs take part, after which the British team will be selected. The World Champs themselves are forest disciplines only, in Norway in August, just after the Scottish 6-Days. And then, with more of a sprint focus, there are World Cup Round 3 (September, Switzerland) and 4 (October, China).

2018 Jukola After Movie.

Continue reading...

Day2 PrizewinnersJK2019 Middle Distance Prizewinners, credit: Iain Shepherd

The 2019 took place in central Southern England from April 19th - 22nd.

  • Friday was a World Ranking Sprint Race at Aldershot Garrison
  • Saturday was a World Ranking Middle Distance Race at Old Windmill Hill
  • Sunday was a Long Distance Race at Cold Ash
  • Monday was the JK Relays, the biggest UK relays competition, at Minley.

The weather was exceptionally warm and dry, and everything about the competition was very good, except the results service and timing which were not up to it.

(It's late Tuesday evening now, and "All results are now under review and will be published as soon as they are validated.")

W21ETop three in the Women's Overall enjoying the weather, credit: Iain Shepherd

Continue reading...

W21ETop3 Jo, Megan and Cecilie together after their runs on Sunday (credit Iain Shepherd)

It was another warm day in Southern England for the biggest relay event in the UK Calendar: the JK (Jan Kjellström) Relays.

As with the other days of this JK festival pretty much everything was brilliant - planning, parking, layouts, final details, helpful officials, atmosphere.

Most runners were challenged by the good courses and enjoyed their orienteering. The premier classes had good races. The one "but" as most will know was the timing and results service, which as on the other days proved itself not up to the job.

The prizegiving postponed from Day 2 did take place and some of the relay classes could be presented but not all.

Continue reading...

DR+HMDave Rollins and Heather Monro

There was no prizegiving for the the racing at Cold Ash today but there was a presentation by past members of the British team, represented by Heather Monro (ran at 8 x WOC, and a bronze medal in 2005) to former manager Dave Rollins who led many GB international trips.

The provisional results - today only (not the two days combined)

Women:
  1. Megan Carter-Davies
  2. Cecilie Andersen
  3. Lizzie Ingham
Men:
  1. Chris Smithard
  2. Will Gardner
  3. Peter Bray
Continue reading...

KrisPhoto: Kris Jones in last year's World Champs Forest Relay, by Janis Ligats for WOC2018 Latvia.

(This is a republication of a post inadvertently deleted, although given how Kris's predictions turned out - not entirely Kris's fault with both tipped men not starting - we perhaps need not have bothered )

Kris Jones is not running the JK this year. He is currently recovering and training in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kris wrote about his injury for "Fast Running".

Kris provides his thoughts about the racing, and bravely predicts which of his fellow GB athletes might take the wins.


Continue reading...

GG_Running inGraham Gristwood runs in at Windmill Hill

Quick runs from top runners coming back from longtime injuries were one of the stories of the day. Graham Gristwood was second in today's men's race, and Cat Taylor won the women's. Neither is able to take on tomorrow's long race though, but we should see them in Monday's relays and in TioMIla next weekend..

The men's race was won by a terrific run from Peter Hodkinson, and third place was taken by Peter Bray.

Second in the women's was Jo Shepherd, and third was Megan Carter-Davies.

Official results

Continue reading...

WillWill Gardner on the run-in

The JK Sprint Champions are Will Gardner and Megan Carter-Davies. Both kindly shared their immediate thoughts - post-race interviews on Twitter.

Official results

The races were at Aldershot "Home of The British Army", which was a great venue and looking particularly lovely in the warm sunshine. Nearly all of each course was in the secure garrison area, with fast running mostly on tarmac or flagstones. There are many buildings, fences, and hedges, and interesting and fair courses weaving in and out set many short route choice decisions.

But, and this is a rather significant "but", the timing system fell short, both in regard to displaying the information to commentary and the audience, and runners being confident about reliably recording which controls were visited

Provisional results may be found at https://race-results.info/live/1660/class.pdf or at https://race-results.info/live/1660/

We are nervous about the timing system for the rest of the weekend.

Continue reading...

KrisPhoto: Kris Jones in last year's World Champs Forest Relay, by Janis Ligats for WOC2018 Latvia.

On The Red Line Comment. Most years the JK Middle is arguably the most competitive domestic race. This is because of the quality of the terrain, map and planning, the quality of the field (and that they are all going 100%) and the timing with regard to selection. This year the men's field has all the top runners from the UK ranking list (Alasdair McLeod, Will Gardner, Peter Hodkinson, Jonny Crickmore) an experienced international based in Norway (Matt Speake) plus a proven world-class international coming back from injury (Graham Gristwood). The Women's field has top runners from the UK ranking list (Megan Carter-Davies, Alice Leake) experienced internationals based in Scandinavia (Jo Shepherd, Jess Halliday, Charlotte Watson) and a proven world-class international coming back from injury (Cat Taylor.) And by the way It's one of three forest races in the UK this year with World Ranking status. As many will know the JK was in South Central England in 2013, again using Cold Ash for the long race, when the overall winners were Matt Speake and Cat Taylor.

Continue reading...

Kris

Kris Jones, winner of the JK Sprint the last three years (and planner in 2014), is not running this year. He is currently recovering and training in Albuquerque, New Mexico. So we will have a new men's champion. Kris wrote about his injury for "Fast Running".

Kris provides his thoughts about the racing, and bravely predicts which of his fellow GB Squad athletes might take the wins.


We think both these races look very open.

Continue reading...

chris Chris Smithard, last year's Senior Men's winner, pictured in the JK Sprint.

In the UK there are several “leagues” scoring over multiple races. The League that appeals to many runners in the open and top junior classes is concentrated in the main Spring season when most UK forests are at their best. Runners enjoy taking part in the top quality races where there are large fields and strong runners.

It is called the UK Elite Orienteering League. In 2019 the League will run for the fifth time. The races are within two months over five weekends, from a sprint race in early March to the British Champs in early May. The included weekends for 2019 are the Northern Championships Weekend, the Lakes Spring Weekend including the Red Rose Classic, the Scottish Spring, the JK Festival, and the British (Long) Championships. All but the last weekend include multiple scoring races. (The final league positions are best six scores from earlier rounds plus the final race.)

Continue reading...