As Lockdown began there were eight GB athletes in the top 50s of the Sprint World Rankings
The pandemic has made clear there are important things bigger than any sport. Health, wellbeing, work, travel, weddings, family visits. Gosh, it even stopped professional football and reduced how much it was in the news.
Those for whom orienteering is a big recreational interest felt quite a sense of loss, as planned outings and trips were cancelled, and events didn't happen.
And so midsummer 2020 passes with no Jukola. There were no events in the spring. The 2020 international orienteering programme has been lost to the pandemic.
The cancellation of the international programme was particularly hard on the top international sprint-focused orienteers, as they had "waited" through 2019, a year with no World or European Champs in the sprint disciplines. And with the pandemic, with another cancellation for 2021, none were scheduled for 2020 or 2021 either.
Several GB squad athletes were in this position. They are mainly focused on the format and they were on track to be at the top of their game this year.
The recent news about next year's international programme, namely that (fingers crossed) there will be major international sprint orienteering at European and World level, is therefore very good.Continue reading...
Birsemore Map extract, from MAR Orienteering Club Routegadget
The first races of the UK Elite League for 2020 were hosted in North-east Scotland by MAR Orienteering Club last weekend, the 7th and 8th March. Noticeable was the strong showing by so many Under-23 runners with the Edinburgh University club there in large numbers.
Johnshaven, a coastal village that grew up round a harbour and the fishing industry, a new ISSprOM map by Chris Smithard, was the venue for Saturday's sprint races.
On Sunday the league moved to the forest of Birsemore, a 300m hill next to Aboyne, for longer forest races. Most runners have uploaded their GPS tracks to MAROC's Routegadget, so you can study the routes chosen. And if you like you can replay the races as if from a mass start. This is a particularly good way to appreciate the complex terrain. We think planner Drew Tivendale should be pleased with the first long leg on the black 4-5, with the field, close together up to that point, going for a variety of routes with "varying degrees of success" as they say.Continue reading...
Image: Lonely Mountain Sprints location (image from the event website)
In this the first year of a sprints only World Orienteering Championship it seems that in January it has been the team's sprinters that have been making the news.
Peter Hodkinson, Jonny Crickmore and Chris Smithard were amongst other internationals taking part in the Lonely Mountain Sprint Series in New Zealand. There is a great report, with photos and maps, at orienteering NZ.Continue reading...
I am a runner and orienteer who loves racing over any distance and any terrain. In 2018 I won the Scottish Cross-Country Champs, gained a team Silver as the second GB finisher at the European Cross Country Champs in the Netherlands, and took the bronze medal at the European Orienteering Champs Spr...Continue reading...
Kris Jones at the finish, World Cup Sprint Race.
Kris Jones took the men's silver medal at the final day's racing of World Cup Round 3 in Laufen, Switzerland. It was a sprint race around the narrow streets and passageways of the Old Town. It was again a tremendously exciting day, brilliantly organised and planned with the courses having a lot of technicality.
The race was won by the Belgian Yanniock Michiels. Tove Alexandersson won the women's race.Continue reading...
Ralph Street on stage for the World Cup Knockout Sprint Flower Ceremony
The second day's racing of World Cup Round 3 in Laufen, Switzerland was Knock-Out Sprint. It was a tremendously exciting day, brilliantly organised and planned, as morning qualification and then quarter-finals setup a spectacular afternoon's racing. This was in and around the narrow streets and passageways of the Old Town, and there was great TV coverage for the large and noisy crowd gathered in the specially constructed arena.Continue reading...
Ralph Street finishing in an urban area at a Swiss World Cup race, 2017
The three days racing of World Cup Round 3 are in and around Laufen, Switzerland this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is televised with English language commentary on the internet at Live Orienteering.
Journalist and IOF Commentator Katherine Bett, working with GB Squad Athlete Will Gardner, as "The Run In", have now published six podcast episodes. Each episode lasts approximately an hour and is all about orienteering, with an emphasis on what the top British athletes are doing. In each episode they have been joined by a guest from the British squad: so far we have heard from Kris Jones, Sasha Chepelin, Cat Taylor, Alice Leake, Peter Hodkinson and Charlotte Watson.Continue reading...
It was the Scottish Spring with middle, sprint and long races. Middle and Sprint on Saturday, long on Sunday. Who knows who was trying how hard the weekend before the JK (and two weeks before TioMila), but it was top races with strong fields. All three races were counting as the third weekend of the UK Elite League 2019 - just the JK and British (Long) to go now in that competition.
The league tables have been updated.
Thanks to Graham Gristwood, weekend co-ordinator.Continue reading...
Photo: M21 prizegiving, British Nights, from Scottish Orienteering Twitter (L-R Hector Haines, Graham Gristwood, Thomas Wilson, and in background - controller Richard Oxlade)
For most of the athletes the winter is mainly about training for the big events to come. And for On The Red Line it has been quite a quiet time with mostly background updates - such as to athlete profiles. There have been happenings, but we have been content to use Twitter. We have also been taking in the eight skills videos produced by South London Orienteers. The primary target for these is teenagers as they take on harder courses, but we think all orienteers can enjoy them. They were released through January and February, and are each presented by a different member of the squad.
Now, as February ends, after the hottest ever temperatures for this month in Britain, here is a roundup of some of what's happened through the winter months of December, January and February..
Picture: Overhead shot of a GB Runner orienteering
South London Orienteers have, with funding from Sport England, produced a series of eight short videos illustrating techniques used in orienteering. The videos are filmed in different locations and each is presented by a member of the GB Team. The aim of the series is to help juniors deal with more technically demanding courses, but these films can also be used to help newcomers to the sport. Each video focuses on a specific orienteering skill.
Videos are being released on Fridays (5 pm UK-time) in January and February.Continue reading...
Picture: Kris Jones at the team medal ceremony (screen grab from TV)
The SPAR European Cross-Country Championships were in Tilburg, Netherlands on Sunday 9th December. Kris Jones had been called in as the sixth member of the GB & NI team earlier in the week. With only three to count the odds were probably against his counting for the team....
Kris was the second British finisher, coming 12th.Continue reading...
Kris was tenth in the trials in Liverpool two and a half weeks ago - reported in our November Roundup news item. Kris's blog report.
Trials Race Video (Kris in white vest with green horizontal bands.)Continue reading...
Photo: Southern Championships Forest, November 2018.
Dull November brings the blast; Then the leaves are whirling fast.
Sara Coleridge The Garden Year
In November, the 2019 GB Squad was announced. There was one major domestic race: the Southern Championships, which incorporated South London Orienteers' "OK Nuts" Trophy. The UK Elite Orienteering League announced its 2019 fixtures. Alasdair McLeod married, and the groom had company at a Parkrun that morning (and no, they didn't let him win as it's a time trial not a race.)
The 2018 World Championships took place in Latvia (celebrating 100 years) from 4th - 11th August. The event was based in Riga and Sigulda. The Championships were supported by Nokian Tyres.
This was the last all-disciplines World Championships. Next year it will be the Forest races (Norway), in 2020 the Sprint races (Denmark.)
Britain sent a team of 14 athletes. They achieved one podium place, in the men's relay.
See also the virtual arena (with links to many GB photos) at Maprunner WOC 2018Continue reading...
Photo: Kris Jones starts leg 2 for the GB men's team, WOC Relay 9th August 2018, by On The Red Line.
The races took place in very hot weather in the forest next to the Turaida fortress in Latvia. Both were decided right at the end.
In the women's the favourite teams pulled away. On the last leg it was Sweden and Switzerland together at the last difficult control after a climb to the wall of the fortress. The race was decided in the short parkland section right at the end.
In the men's there were nine teams almost together at the run-through on the last leg, and at the end here were eight teams within a minute. But after all the drama it was the favourite teams who took the medals. It was the long leg up to the fortress that had decided it.Continue reading...
Photo: Kris Jones, WOC Sprint Relay, Riga, Latvia August 2018.
Great Britain, helped by a great run from Kris Jones on second leg, were seventh in the World Champs Sprint Relay in Riga, Latvia. The medals were won by the same countries as in 2017, and 2016, although as last year there was some swapping of positions.
The race, held in Riga but across the Daugava River from the Old Town, was an experience far removed from that of yesterday's individual sprint finals. And indeed from the experience of the vast majority of British orienteers.Continue reading...
Photo: Alice Leake running the arena passage in Riga Old Town Square, World Champs Sprint Final.
Alice Leake had the best run of the British athletes in this year's World Champs Sprints: she was eighth.
The fact that both the men's and women's titles were retained by last year's champions, Daniel Hubmann and Maja Alm, is to disguise a great deal of drama.Continue reading...
Photo: WOC Latvia
Today team officials and many of the sprint orienteers arrived in a very warm Latvia. For example Kris Jones training blog. They continue to taper their training: Peter Hodkinson wrote about tapering - "not as easy as it looks" this time last year.
Lillomarka's guide to WOC (in Norwegian, but with many pictures) features their seven athletes taking part.
What happened last time:Continue reading...
Photo: WOC Latvia (of Sandra Grosberga)
Update 2nd Aug 10am: Timings updated from Bulletin-4.
If you like this coming weekend, in the morning you can run, and in the afternoon you can watch World Champs sprint orienteering - perhaps with some fellow members of your club.
Here are timings for the World Champs races in Latvia.
You can choose between paid-for Internet TV (it is €20 for the week, there'll be an individual race option too) and free-of-charge online results and social media.
Most interesting:Continue reading...
Photo Composition: GB WOC Team 2018 by On The Red Line
The World Championships are in Latvia with races from 4th - 11th August. They are also Round 2 of the 2018 World Cup.
An IOF article in January is entitled
A very special WOC on a very special year for Latvia
The championships in Latvia will be 35th WOC and the last one in modern history of orienteering with both sprint and forest races on the programme.
The British team is quite large, with seven women and seven men, all members of the senior squad.
Of the fourteen athletes, three are selected for sprint only, three for sprint and forest, and eight for forest only. We noted in our 'one race' article how half the team, seven athletes, are concentrating on a single race.Continue reading...
Image: Sprint Scotland Map Extract - Grangemouth Course 2
Sprint Scotland, mimicking the World Champs Sprint Weekend, had three races in two days. All but one of the British WOC team sprinters were there, and they were joined by some of the best in the world. It was generally assessed as terrific preparation immediately before the World Champs. All the races had World Ranking (WRE) status.
Meanwhile other WOC athletes were doing their final preparations too - some days of O-ringen, last training camps for example - and writing about them. And the World Universities wrapped up with the relays.Continue reading...
Photo: Sprint Scotland Organiser Graham Gristwood
Sprint Scotland has three sprint races this weekend with all but one of the British WOC team sprinters running. They are joined by some of the best in the world, two weeks before the World Champs. All the races have World Ranking (WRE) status.Continue reading...
Photo: by Brian Ward
Thankyou to the generous orienteers who donated and supported the cakestall run by Charlotte Ward at the "Sea, Sand and Spires Weekend" put on by her club HALO (Humberside and Lincolnshire Orienteers.)
It was mass-start Sprint Races in Cleethorpes, a Middle Distance Urban in Louth, and a spectacular indoor steel maze in Louth Cattle Market - do checkout the map!Continue reading...
Story (and great photo) on Jukola website about two British runners who were first back from leg 1
Photo: Screen grab from the international TV broadcast of Kris and Ralph running together to the map exchange.
See the race develop in one of the most technical forests, even by Finnish standards - Leg 1 GPS
In an interesting postscript, and emphasising Kris's summary of his running in his recent interview "no two races are the same", Kris won a 5K track race the following weekend.
UPDATE 26th 4:30pm - race video at http://www.runjumpthrow.com/videos/24296Continue reading...
Photo: On The Red Line
No two races are the same
Kris is selected for the GB team for the forthcoming World Championships. His events in Latvia are the individual sprint, the sprint relay, and the forest relay.
He won a bronze medal at the recent European Championships.
Photo: GB team; athletes, manager and support staff, Hollie Orr not present (Source: Kirstin Maxwell Twitter)Continue reading...
Photo: Hollie Orr comes through the arena before the final loop in today's EOC Women's Forest Relay.
Switzerland 1 and Switzerland 2 contested the gold medal, and with only the first team from a country counting for prizes, Switzerland 2 didn't get a medal for coming second.
A sprint finish for silver was won by Sweden from Denmark. GB1 were 11th (7th country - the others ahead were Norway, Russia and Finland) and GB2 were 17th.Continue reading...
photo: 2016 EOC relay start
The European Forest Relays are on Saturday 12th May, with the women's race starting at 1pm UK-Time, and the men's at 3pm.
Each country may enter two teams in each forest relay.
GB has two teams in each, and of the 12 athletes nearly all are Scots or have strong Scottish links. In the women Hollie and Jo are Scots (and both are now members of Halden SK), Jess lives in the Highlands, and the other three all went to Edinburgh University.Continue reading...
Photo: Alice Leake passes the coaches area near the finish of today's EOC Sprint Relay.
Home team Switzerland won the European Sprint Relay Championship Race today Thursday 10th May. They were a comfortable minute ahead of second-placed Sweden, who in turn were a comfortably two minutes ahead of a tight finish for the bronze medal which included Alice Leake anchoring TeamGB.
Charlotte Ward, Peter Hodkinson and Kris Jones had given Alice a 25 second start for the last leg ahead of a group of four other teams. But three of the teams caught her.Continue reading...
Photo: Charlotte Ward near the finish of Sunday's EOC Sprint Final.
The European Sprint Relay Championship Race is at 4pm UK time on Thursday 10th May. There are 21 teams entered. It is live on the internet with English commentary, or for those with less time or money there are online results.
The racing is in the scenic villages area of Capriasca in the Italian speaking Ticino canton of Switzerland. And it will be Ticenese Elena Roos running the last leg for Switzerland - that could mean enough crowd noise to be heard in a neighbouring country.
The GB team will wear 7 as that was their position last time round, and they have a good chance of making the podium. The team is Charlotte Ward, Peter Hodkinson, Kris Jones and Alice Leake. Profiles of the team follow....Continue reading...
_Photo: Kris Jones runs through the arena a couple of minutes before the end of the sprint course today (credit: On The Red Line).
Kris Jones won the bronze medal in today's European Championship sprint race.
Men: 22.Alasdair McLeod, 23.Peter Hodkinson, 24 Chris Smithard, 27.Ralph Street.
Women: 25.Charlotte Ward, 31.Alice Leake.Continue reading...
Kjempefornøyde med 3. plass. Optimalt løpt av alle! pic.twitter.com/7TeVWLQ3JB— Halden SK (@halden_sk) 28 April 2018
Fourteeen GB squad members ran for Scandinavian clubs in TioMila this weekend. There were many very good individual performances,. Pride of place in terms of team results was Halden SK's third place for Jo Shepherd and Hollie Orr running with Kine Hallan Steiwer, Eva Jurenikova and Elena Roos.Continue reading...
This post contains links to several stories On The Red Line has noticed over the weekend. By the way if you are a user of Twitter we now are too. We will tweet when we publish major news items.
The 6-stage Women's race was won by Leeds City AC including Alice Leake (fastest runner on leg 5). The 12-stage Men’s race was won by Tonbridge - with Swansea Harriers including Kris Jones (fastest runner on leg 9) third.Continue reading...
Kris Jones reflects on his JK running and explains his plans between now and the European Championships.
In preparation I will race at the 12 Stage road relays and Tiomila during April.
Winner of the black course in Sunday's long race at Auchingarrich, Ali McLeod provides a short report, with pictures courtesy of Wendy Carlyle.Continue reading...
Jo Shepherd is one of 12 athletes gaining early selection for the British team at the European Championships. Jo is selected for sprint, middle and forest relay.
The 2017 World Championships took place in Estonia from 1st - 7th July. The event was based in Tartu. The Championships were supported by Nokian Tyres.
Britain sent a team of 16 athletes. They achieved one podium place, in the sprint relay.
Full results are at the Estonian World Champs site. A summary of British results follows below.Continue reading...