peter-hodkinson-Genoa2024_KristinaLindgrenPeter Hodkinson checks for the best route to the next control, photo: IOF / Kristina Lindgren

Genoa provided more technical and physical challenge than the previous week's World Cup sprint races in Olten, and the result was very entertaining races. Saturday was an individual sprint. Sunday was a Sprint Relay.

Twelve GB runners took part. On Saturday top-40 places were taken by Megan Carter-Davies (29th), Grace Molloy (40th), Peter Hodkinson (27th) and Nathan Lawson (35th). Ralph Street, wearing bib number 1 went through the start but had an ankle problem so did not do the course.

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freddie-carcas-OltenSprint24_RLFreddie Carcas in the sprint race in Olten, Sunday 26th May 2024, photo: Rob Lines

It was good weather for the World Cup sprint race in Olten. It wasn't as tricky as most expected, except for crossing the railway where the bulletin had included the relevant section of map, and a small multi-level area near the end/ Here the map was different from the previous day, as a higher level was opened up.

The "red zone" runners, in this case the top 40 ranked women and top 40 ranked men ran first, in reverse order of ranking. After that those ranked from 41 upwards ran.

The races were won by Natalia Gemperle and Emil Svensk.

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rachel-brown-OWCup2024KOSprint_Olten_RLRachel Brown made it through to the knockout stages, photo: Rob Lines

Friday was the heats in nearby Zofingen. Saturday was the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, in Olten.

Twelve GB runners took part. Rachel Brown, Cecilie Andersen, Nathan Lawson and Ralph Street got through the heats to the knockout stages. Jonny Crickmore missed out by 2 seconds. On Saturday Ralph made it through to the semi-finals.

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mapClip_Olten1 The 2024 World Cup begins with a Knockout Sprint, the fastest possible start you might say. It's to the now well-established format except the heats are the day before the knockout stages.

Illustration above is from Bulletin-4 for the World Cup Round in Olten, Switzerland

For women and men qualifying heats will reduce the fields from over a hundred to thirty-six. Then quarter-finals (three out of six progess), semi-finals (two out of six progress) and then the finals. Women and men are set the same challenges in the knockout stages.

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freddie-carcas-2023_RL.jpgFreddie Carcas at last year's European Champs, photo: Rob Lines

British Orienteering has announced the teams for World Cup Rounds 1 and 2, in Switzerland and Italy on successive weekends of May and June.

Selection races included the three races last weekend of Sprint Scotland - Results, Winsplits, Routegadget.

British Orienteering Selection Announcement - World Cup Rounds 1 and 2 2024

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  • British Long Champion 2018.
  • First WOC: 2016.
  • Best WOC Results: 4th Sprint Relay, 6th Forest Relay, 13th Sprint.
  • 1st - World Universities Sprint Relay 2016.
  • 1st - JK Sprint 2014.
  • 1st - JK Middle 2018.
  • JWOC: 2009, 2010, 2011 – 9th Relay.

Peter Hodkinson

Below text from a few years ago. Peter is...

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sarah-hagstrom-sprintRelay-eoc2023_otrlSarah Hagstrom in the walled town of Soave, a few minutes from taking the EOC 2023 Sprint Relay win for Sweden. Note grapes used for Soave wine drying traditionally in the tower! Photo: On The Red Line

The European Championships in 2023 were in the sprint formats in historic towns of Northern Italy. The event centre was in Pescheira del Garda and the races were in Verona, Soave and Vicenza. The Sprint Relay was won by Sweden, and the GB team was 6th. Ralph Street made the podium on all the race days with the sprint relay and two fourth places, but he didn't win a medal. Megan Carter-Davies, Jonathan Crickmore and Nathan Lawson had top-20 results. Cecilie Andersen, Peter Hodkinson, Eddie Narbett all got through qualification on one or two days, and Freddie Carcas missed out by the narrowest of margins. In fact the individual days were full of the competition of narrow margins.

Tove Alexandersson and Matthias Kyburz both won two gold and one silver in three races. Sara Hagstrom and Jonatan Gustafsson won two medals each and made the podium every day.

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freddie-carcas-eoc23-Knockout%20SprintQ_otrlFreddie Carcas just missed out on the knockout stages. He was tied in the final qualification spot in heat 3 and lost out because he has fewer ranking points than the other runner.

The European Champs Knockout Sprint racing took place on Sunday 8th October in Vicenza. The morning qualification (athletes in quarantine by 7:30) was in the suburbs, on the Creazzo map. The heats reduced the fields from 142 men and 131 women to 36 of each for the finals, for six "quarter-finals" of six runners each. The finals were in the largely pedestrianised centre of the City, with quite a few pedestrians and cyclists, mostly unaware of "high-speed" runners until whistles and shouting announced their approach.

The qualification races were very tight as expected, and for the many near the cutoffs it was quite chancy. The knockout stages were full of excitement and noise, fast running in the streets, some possible danger and some tiny margins.

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ralph-street-postFinish-EuroChamps23_otrlRalph Street made the podium but not a medal in the European Champs Sprint 2023: 5 seconds off gold, 2 seconds off silver, 1 second off bronze, photo: On The Red Line

The European Champs Individual Sprint racing took place on Wednesday 4th October in Verona.

It is a 2-race format, with qualification and finals. Both sets of courses were relatively straightforward by the standards of international sprint racing, and it was mere seconds deciding the quakification and the medals - especially in the men's race..

In the morning qualification races, held away from the centre of Verona, the fields were reduced from 144 men and 134 women to 45 of each for the finals (actually 46 women as in one heat two runners tied for the final qualification spot.)

In the afternoon, next to the Roman Amphitheatre and running through the Old Town near Juliet's balcony, the medals (and places, and World Cup points) were decided.

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cecilie-andersen-23WCuprd2_RLCecilie Andersen is one of 14 GB athletes in Northern Italy for the European Champs, Cecilie photo: by Rob Lines at the previous round of the World Cup this year.

The European Champs start early on Wednesday morning 4th October, continue on the 6th, and finish on Sunday 8th. It's the turn of the sprint disciplines and a large British team has gathered in Northern Italy. If you're not there the best way to follow it via the Live Internet TV with English commentary at 25 Euros for three broadcasts (or individual ones at 9 euros each), but if you don't have that then there are free online services.

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chloe-potter-BSR23_RLChloe Potter, first leg for South Yorkshire "Killer Bees" team, British Sprint Relays 2023, Brunel University London, photo: Rob Lines

There have been two important sprint format competitions in the UK this September. One was the gathering of top domestic and international runners for Sprint Scotland on the first weekend, and the other was a British Championships two weeks later. In between a 14-runner GB team for next month's sprint formats European Champs was announced.

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peter-molloy-c-WorldCup23SprintRelay_RLPeter Molloy, running in 2023 World Cup Round 2, photo: Rob Lines

As summer ends and Autumn begins GB orienteering attention is very much on the sprint formats. Our article Stepping to Edinburgh noted the next steps after World Cup Round 2 being the Antwerp Sprint Meeting in Ghent in mid-August and Sprint Scotland the first weekend in September. Both include knockout sprints.

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hemsideBanner7

GB has named a team of 13 athletes, seven men and six women, for 2022 World Cup Round 1 in Borås, Sweden at the end of May. The races are the sprint disciplines: individual sprint, knockout sprint and sprint relay.

Broadly, selection was made on two domestic sprint competitions earlier this year, Sprint Scotland and the JK Sprint, and last year's international races in Switzerland (European Champs), the Czech Republic (World Champs) and Italy (a sprint relay).

The team will be supported by Lasse Grøn, Jo Stevenson, Murray Strain, and Emil Wingstedt. All have recent experience with the team.

British Orienteering Announcement - Team for World Cup Round 1.

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ClydachTerrace_mapclip2Part of the terrain for this year's JK Middle Race (mapper squad member Ben Mitchell)

The "JK", the biggest annual festival in the UK orienteering calendar, held every year at Easter, is back and upon us. We really missed it in 2020 and 2021. This year the Welsh Association are hosting, and some of the areas used are the same as in 2014 when they previously hosted.. How's the winter training gone? Have you got everything planned out and have you read through 37 pages of programme? How did you fare on your big weekends in the Winter and early Spring?

Event Programme (Version 6)

Our report on the most recent JK, in 2019.

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Varsity2011Sandstone Terrain

This picture is from a World of O "Route to Christmas" post nearly ten years ago. The popular advent calendar-like series invites readers to first think about their own route, and then to see what others thought and what happened when runners tackled the problem in a race. This problem is in Czech sandstone terrain. It has particular memories for one of the British team, as they ran it in the 2011 Orienteering Varsity Match (a sporting contest between teams from Cambridge and Oxford Universities.)

The need to choose your own route is a key characteristic of orienteering. This is an example of decisions athletes will take in the World Championships (WOC) on Thursday 8th July and Friday 9th. Thursday it's the forest relays. Friday it's the the long (or "classic") races. At last, WOC 2021 reaches, with its final races, some of the most famous orienteering terrain in the World! It's one of the reasons why so many were looking forward for so long to these championships.

The two athletes in the British team who have not yet run make their entrance to the racing. Both live in Scandinavia and are very experienced (both have won the British Long and have run WOC Long several times before).

The World of O "Route to Christmas" visits Czech sandstone terrain. The course was set by the planner of the Sprint Relay, Radek Novotný.

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woc2021-sprint-relay-mapclipMap section, showing the gaffling style and use of artificial barriers

The World Championships (WOC) Sprint Relay took place in the early evening of Sunday 4th July in the host town Doksy.

Recognising that the town is "not particularly complicated in terms of elite runner navigation" the planning used artificial barriers and plentiful gaffling (British English uses a Swedish word, International English calls it "forking".)

It was a great sight, a picturesque town graced by such athleticism in evening sunshine. Again the TV coverage was great. In the race Sweden won gold without making it close. Tove Alexandersson ran from the front, and established a lead on the first leg, with only Switzerland close (3rd was 38 seconds behind Simona Aebersold). And then, with the exception of a measured start on leg 2 by Emil Svensk matched with a very fast start from Joey Hadorn for Switzerland meaning they hit one control together, the Swedish runners ran alone. Gustav Bergman extended the lead on leg 3 and anchor leg Sarah Hagstrom had plenty of time to celebrate with her team on the run-in.

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alice-leake1-spf_LukasBudinskyAlice Leake on her way to "4th in the World". photo: Lukáš Budínský.

The World Championships (WOC) in Czechia began with the Individual Sprint races on Saturday 3rd July. Morning qualification was followed by afternoon finals.

The racing was at Terezín, which was a great setting. It's an eighteenth century fortress, comprising a citadel and a walled garrison town by the Ohře river just south of where it joins the Elbe. It's multi-level and the planners cleverly used artificial barriers to set some intriguing problems for the athletes. The TV broadcast was very well done. It was compelling viewing, showcasing the top-level of the sport at its best through great filming with smart graphics, GPS tracking and astute and well-informed commentary.

The finals, with the men going first, used very similar courses. The wins were not similar though. In the men's race many of the runners ran quickly enough to take the win, and it was the route choices and ability to reduce hesitations that made the difference. Isac von Krusenstierne who was ranked just outside the World's Top 50 beforehand, and who had been 13th in his heat (with 15 to qualify), handled things best and took the win. In the women's race Tove Alexandersson's speed was unmatched by anyone, so much so that a 30 second error (possibly partly the result of artificial barriers towards the end of a long leg) was not enough to stop her taking gold.

Five of the British runners (photos of all six below) qualified for the finals, Cecilie Andersen missing out.

Alice Leake achieved an outstanding 4th=, a mere 4 seconds off the medals. Grace Molloy in her first senior race, was 12th, saying it couldn't have gone much better. Peter Hodkinson was 14th, Chris Smithard 24th and Nathan Lawson, also debuting for the senior team, was 25th.

Official Results

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alice-leake-v-worldchampsfinal2021Alice Leake, fourth in yesterday's World Championship Sprint Final

The World Championships (WOC) in Czechia have the Sprint Relay in the early evening of Sunday 4th July in the host town Doksy. It starts at 5:20pm UK-time and is estimated to finish just over an hour later.

The TV broadcast, in Britain a paid-for service on the internet (6 Euro), begins at 5:10pm. Yesterday's broadcast of the Individual Sprint Final was very well done. It was compelling viewing for orienteers, showcasing the top-level of the sport at its best through great filming with smart graphics, GPS tracking and astute and well-informed commentary.

It should be a great sight. If the race goes to recent form the medal contests will split in two. Switzerland and Sweden deciding gold and silver, and a closely contested race for bronze with several teams in the mix. Best wishes from On The Red Line to the British quad, Alice Leake, Ralph Street, Peter Hodkinson and Megan Carter-Davies.

Start List - Sprint Relay (26 teams, including No 6 - neutral)

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NathanLawsonNathan Lawson, on a wet day in the Lakes

The World Championships (WOC) in Czechia begin with the Individual Sprint races on Saturday 3rd July.

The qualification races are from 8am UK-time. The final begins at 1:30pm (first men start), with the TV broadcast starting at 1:50pm, ending about 4:15pm. From the three heats it is the first 15 that qualify for the final.

Most countries, and that includes Britain, enter three men and women, and the team manager will elect one early, one middle and one late starter. The expected winning time in the heats is 12 and a half minutes. In the final it's 14 and a half minutes.

The racing is at Terezín, a really interesting location. It's an eighteenth century fortress, comprising a citadel and a walled garrison town by the Ohře river just south of where it joins the Elbe. It's multi-level and the planners are also using artificial barriers. The courses are half grass and half paved - a high proportion of grass for a typical sprint race, and the fortress has some steep grassy slopes which could be "testing" if wet.

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Landscapephoto from Competition Bulletin 3

The Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships 2021 take place from Saturday 3rd to Friday 9th July. The host town is Doksy, a summer vacation resort in the Liberec region of the Czech Republic / Czechia. The Sprint Relay is in Doksy. The individual sprint is in/around an internationally known eighteenth century fortress. The forest races are in two types of distinctive terrain: the middle on steep bouldery slopes with plenty of thick vegetation, the long and relay in the sandstone where the best route can often be a long way from the straight line.

The previous championships, in 2019, were in Norway and were in the forest disciplines. The last time the sprint disciplines were contested in a World Championship was in Latvia in 2018.

The first entry in the competition programme is that there is no O-training on Thursday July 1st - because it's the main COVID testing for entry to the "WOC Bubble". These are the times we live in, and our first thought is gratitude to the Czech organisers, for running the World Champs, a huge task of itself, but even more this year in the significant shadow of a storm of COVID regulations. Thanks to them too for adding Sprint and Sprint Relay races to the original forest championships.

All finals will be televised. In Britain the broadcasts will as usual be a paid-for service on the internet (6 Euro per broadcast or 20 Euro for all five.) IOF Web TV Broadcast Schedule.

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LongTestRace2021-ralphRalph Street in a WOC Test Race, credit Petr Kadeřávek

The World Championships (WOC) in Czechia begin with Sprint Qualifications and Final on Saturday 3rd July.

The Great Britain Team has been selected. The team includes six women and seven men, and includes five athletes making their WOC debut. As the other eight all have at least three previous WOCs, it is an easy description that the team combines a lot of experience with the several newcomers.

Many congratulations from On The Red Line to the whole team and especially the WOC debutants: Alastair Thomas, Cecilie Andersen, Grace Molloy, Nathan Lawson and Peter Bray. Alastair and Grace are first year seniors. Nathan is not (yet) a member of the squad.

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ATAlastair Thomas took the M21E win on Saturday

It was a great weekend of top quality orienteering in the Lakes on the weekend of October 3rd/4th. Many thanks to Lakeland O.C, Warrior O.C., and the many top orienteers who attended. It was surely the strongest field in the UK this year that has been so disrupted by COVID.

The weekend was part of the UK Elite Orienteering Leaguewho encouraged attendance, and will be as close as we are going to get to a National Champs this year. The League is doing a great job of promoting the sport across the open age categories and both days had a distinct buzz in the socially distanced car parking.

Saturday Results

Sunday Results

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mapClipmap: Part of Graythwaite

Heavy driving rain is in prospect to add to the challenge of tomorrow's race on the steep and rocky slopes of Rusland Beeches. It's the first of two days orienteering in the Lake District, named "Lakes Reloaded" as it's been put together relatively quickly by normal standards - with the aim of a chance for some top competition. Because of Lockdown, this year's domestic season ended in March almost as soon as it started and before all but one of the major races took place. Also the entire international programme has had to be scrapped.

Encouragingly "Lakes Reloaded" is being well-supported and the startlist seems the strongest field of 2020 in the UK.

It's a middle race on the Saturday afternoon, and then a full length (90/75 minutes target times) long at the Graythwaite Estate on Sunday. The racing will run like the JK individual forest races, with the Saturday seeded and Sunday starts in reverse order of Saturday's times.

Saturday Startlist

Weather Forecast

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team

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.

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NZmapImage: 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.

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Peter Peter Hodkinson has joined IFK Lidingö SOK. Their website announcement and interview.

Peter is over-wintering in Australia. His Attackpoint Training Blog.

Peter joins Hector Haines and Will Gardner at Lidingö where the coach is reigning Forest Relay World Champion Johan Runesson. You can hear Johan as the main interview of episode 14 of the orienteering podcast The Run In.

charlotte-kirstinCharlotte Ward and Kirstin Maxwell. credit: Hello 5G.

Sunday 27th October 2019 - Nanhai Movie and TV Town

The Sprint Relay of the China World Cup Round took place at 06:45 UK-time. The venue was:

An extremely scenic location of an open-air film studio complex with numerous replica townscapes and temples, combining the landscape of a city park and suburban park with strong cultural atmosphere. There is both planted and natural vegetation, with some small areas of open forest depending on route choice. Very good runnability.

There were five teams in contention at the start of the last leg, three of them Swedish. Handling the complex navigation well and running strongly it was Elena Roos of Switzerland who took the victory. The Swedish second team, with Sara Hagstrom, were second, and Norway with Andrine Benjaminsen were third.

The Great Britain team of Charlotte Ward, Peter Hodkinson, Ralph Street and Cecilie Andersen, were 13th, eighth nation.

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chinatownpicThe fourth and final round of the 2019 World Cup takes place in Nanhai District, Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China. This is close to Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions, around the Pearl River Delta. Teams from China, Hong Kong China and Macau China are taking part.

  • Saturday 26th October - Middle Distance (c5am-10am UK time)
  • Sunday 27th October - Sprint Relay (start 6:45am UK time, TV broadcast starts 6:30am)
  • Tuesday 29th October - Sprint (c5am-8:30am UK time, TV broadcast starts 6am)

There is Live Internet TV coverage (for a fee) with commentary from Katherine Bett and Jonas Merz. Sunday's Sprint Relay, in Nanhai Movie and TV Town - a purpose built facility occupying over a square kilometre and used for over 500 TV programmes and movies rates to be particularly good to watch, and being so early it may get you in the mood for taking exercise in the rest of the day.

Bulletin-3

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krisKris 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.

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ralphRalph 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.

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JonnyJonny Crickmore had a long stay in the leader's chair today

The first day's racing of World Cup Round 3 in Laufen, Switzerland was middle distance. The races were won by Tove Alexandersson and Joey Hadorn.

Full Results World Cup Middle Distance 27th September.

World of O Report - including maps and GPS

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RS 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.

  • Friday is the Middle Distance.
  • Saturday is a Knock-Out Sprint.
  • Sunday is a regular sprint, with A and B races for both men and women.
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image1Megan Carter-Davies

Megan Carter-Davies took the Women's British Sprint and Middle Distance titles last weekend. It has been a very successful 2019 for Megan in domestic races: she adds these titles to the British Long Distance, the JK Sprint and the JK Overall.

In the men's Kris Jones won the Sprint and Graham Gristwood the Middle Distance

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The 2019 Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships (WOC) took place in Østfold, Norway from 13th - 17th August. Østfold is the county of the south-east part of Norway, between Oslo and Sweden. The event centre was the city of Sarpsborg. The Championships were very well organised, and the accompanying spectator races were also well attended.

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ggGraham Gristwood, in the WOC2019 Relay. credit: Rob Lines.

The British Women's team of Charlotte Watson, Megan Carter-Davies and Cat Taylor were ninth in the World Champs Relay 2019. The race was won by Sweden with Karolin Ohlsson overtaking Julia Jakob of Switzerland at the end. Russia were third.

The British Men's team of Peter Hodkinson, Graham Gristwood and Ralph Street were 17th in their race. That race was also won by Sweden, with Finland second and France third.

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meganThe Finishing Line (credit: Philip Gristwood)

Today was the second day of the World Champs Middle Distance, a colossal step up for drama, crowd size, and sheer noise compared to Tuesday's qualification races. Wednesday's long distance finals were noticeably big and noisy: today's Middle Distance Finals even bigger and noisier. There must be every chance that tomorrow's relays will be even more intense. If Norway are in a close race for a medal expect that, as the phrase goes, "it will be so loud you can't hear yourself think".

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PeterPeter Hodkinson, credit IOF/WOC2019

It was a qualification only day at the World Championships today - the first one since 2013. There were no medals won, no cameras in the forest, no big screen and it was all over in quite short time. So there was not the high sustained drama we look forward to for the three finals days coming up. There was however plenty of interest and good orienteering, there were nervous athletes, and there were of course individual dramas, triumphs and sadness. As Peter Hodkinson says in his interview (see below) "You can't win but you can lose". So it was perhaps more of a necessary day rather than a hugely memorable day for most of those present.

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RunInPod 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.

The podcasts can be heard direct from the internet or downloaded:

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team

A sport's World Championships aren't just about medals. They are an occasion when the sport celebrates its attraction and strengths, and shows the top level of the sport to those who take part at any level and to a wider audience.

Expect therefore that next week the International Orienteering Federation will say how many countries are taking part, and for all the competitions to have features that help make a spectacle. So for example there will be some easier controls sited with TV in mind - there will be many other tougher controls out of sight of the cameras. (The championships are carried live by Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Estonian National TV, as well as by Web-TV - just 10 euro for the three days.)

Nevertheless it might be interesting to think about the destination of the 18 medals.

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GGPH Graham Gristwood and Peter Hodkinson at the last control (On the Red Line)

The World Ranking Middle Distance World Ranking Races at Dundur on Day 3 of this year's Scottish 6-Days Orienteering were won by Graham Gristwood and Cat Taylor. Graham was the final starter of 68 and caught two minutes on the penultimate starter Peter Hodkinson at control 17; they ran the last part of the course together for positions 1 and 2. Alastair Thomas, still an M20, ran very well to take third. Second behind Cat was the Norway-based New Zealander Lizzie Ingham, and Fay Walsh was third.

All Results

M21E Tracking

W21E Tracking

Livestream Replay

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team The nine athletes of the Great Britain Team for the 2019 World Champs. Credits: Matt Speake by Karl Orud, Jo Shepherd by WOC2018 Latvia, Charlotte Watson and Megan Carter-Davies by South London Orienteers (from the "Get up to Speed" videos), others by On The Red Line

The Great Britain Team for the 2019 World Championships includes nine athletes, all of whom have run WOC before. The championships include middle and long (classic) distance, plus relays.

World Championships Website.

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cwCharlotte Watson in Lillomarka OL Relay Kit

The Venla and Jukola relays, the latter the biggest orienteering race in the world, took place in Finland last weekend. There were over 20,000 runners and an estimated 50,000 people attending the competition centre and camping in 70 hectares near Kangasala. The weekend is both top-level and mass participation sport. Most of the top British forest orienteers were there, running for their Scandinavian clubs.

Our preview article.

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FinnishForestNuuksio National Park, photo courtesy of the World Cup Round 1 organisation

Six men and five women are selected to represent GB at the first round of the 2019 World Cup, being held in Finland in June. All will run the middle and chasing start races, and there will be one team in the Sprint Relay. There are three officials in support.

British Orienteering Official Selection Announcement.

The biggest orienteering relay in the world, Jukola, happens not so far away the following weekend. Most/all of the GB team will be joining their Scandinavian club teams after the World Cup to prepare.

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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

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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

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Peter Image: Peter Hodkinson at Falkland (credit @UKEliteOLeague)

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.

Results.

Thanks to Graham Gristwood, weekend co-ordinator.

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BritNightsPrizegiving 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..

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MiddleMap Image: Map Extract, World Cup Final Middle Race - Embargoed Area

The final 2018 round of the World Cup - the last outing for the GB team this season - is this weekend in the Czech Republic. This item will be updated with news as the races happen.

  • Thursday 4th: Knockout Sprint (Prague)
  • Friday 5th: Sprint Relay (Prague) - starting 14:30 UK-time
  • Saturday 6th: Middle Distance Race (Turnov – Valdštejn)
  • Sunday 7th: Sprint (Mladá Boleslav)

Live Services - with a new TV service provider.

  • Thursday TV starts at 14:10 UK-time.
  • Friday TV starts at 14:15 UK-time.
  • Saturday TV starts at 10:30 UK-time.
  • Sunday TV starts at 9:00 Uk-time.

World Cup Round 4 2018 Bulletin-4.

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World Cup Round 3 was three days of international racing in Østfold, Norway on 31st August and the 1st and 2nd September. Normal World Cup rules applied with the strong countries having eight runners per race rather than the limit of three that is used at the World Champs, and fields of more than a hundred. It was a tough programme of four races in three days.

This was pre-WOC 2019, being where the 2019 World Championships are,and in similar terrain. Compared to rounds 1 (the European Champs, held in Switzerland) and 2 (the World Champs, held in Latvia) the Swedes did better and the Swiss less well. Tove Alexandersson of Sweden won on all three days, establishing a formidable lead in the 2018 World Cup women's competition. In the men's the Swiss Matthias Kyburz and Daniel Hubmann lead, but Olav Lundanes of Norway is close and three others still in range.

World Cup Table.

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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.)

menrelayteam Britain sent a team of 14 athletes. They achieved one podium place, in the men's relay.

Full results are in IOF Eventor - WOC2018 and results and photographs are also at the Latvia World Champs site. An index of our news reports and a summary of British results follows below.

See also the virtual arena (with links to many GB photos) at Maprunner WOC 2018

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kris 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.

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ralph Photo: Ralph Street, on the runthrough, WOC Middle 7th August 2018, by On The Red Line.

World Of O's Preview

Neither of the GB teams are amongst the favourites, but both have the status of outsiders who can do well on a good day.

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kris 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.

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alice 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.

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WOCprovidedPhoto 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.

Jonas Merz gives his expectations for WOC for the IOF's Live Orienteering site. Jonas will be commentating for the international broadcasts, alongside Katherine Bett.

Will Gardner tells the readers of Athletics Weekly about WOC.

Lillomarka's guide to WOC (in Norwegian, but with many pictures) features their seven athletes taking part.

What happened last time:

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WOCprovidedPhoto 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:

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woc2018team 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.

WOC Bulletin-3.

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.

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SprintScotlandMap 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.

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gg 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.

(The British WOC team sprinter not in Scotland is Megan Carter-Davies. She is in Finland.at the World Universities Championships.)

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Charlotte Photo: by Steve Rush

Charlotte Ward won the World Ranking (WRE) Sprint in Antwerp yesterday, with the field including athletes from several nations preparing for the World Championships. Teresa Janosikova (CZE) was second and Sigrid Alexandersen (NOR) third.

Megan Carter-Davies was fifth, and Kirstin Maxwell ninth.

The men's race was won by Frederic Tranchand (FRA) with Tim Robertson (NZL) second, Yannick Michiels (BEL) third, and Chris Smithard fourth. Dane Blomquist was ninth and Peter Hodkinson 13th.

Antwerp WRE Sprint - Results.

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ho Photo: Hollie Orr comes through the arena before the final loop in today's EOC Women's Forest Relay.

World Of O's Report

Women's 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.

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ForestRelay 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.

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AL 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.

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CW 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....

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kj _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.

Kris Jones talks to Katherine Bett after today's race


Other British Results

Men: 22.Alasdair McLeod, 23.Peter Hodkinson, 24 Chris Smithard, 27.Ralph Street.

Women: 25.Charlotte Ward, 31.Alice Leake.

EOC Website Results

World of O report

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Peter Photo: Peter Hodkinson in evening sunshine, World Ranking Sprint, Akershus Fortress, Oslo. From Lillomarka OL Facebook.

The Norwegian and Swiss Test Races for European Championships selection are this weekend, with several British runners taking advantage of quality races. This item will be updated as they happen.

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pboy

(Photo: Wendy Carlyle)

Peter Hodkinson and Cat Taylor won the JK Middle World Ranking Event races at Brereton Spurs today.

World Ranking Event Points.

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Jo Shep 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.

To see all the early selections for the European Champs please see our 2018 calendar article or the 21st December announcement on the British Orienteering website.

Orienteering was included in the 2017 World Games held in Wrocław, Poland, with the orienteering races on 25th, 26th and 27th July. Wrocław is Poland's fourth largest city, the largest city in Western Poland. The World Games features a whole set of non-Olympic sports. In many countries the Games are highly prestigious with much media coverage akin to that of the Olympics. But not in Great Britain, where Parliament has decided Olympic medals are the be-all and end-all. This time some orienteers won or lost significant performance-related funding deals from their governments based on a few seconds.

Official Results - World Games Orienteering 2017

sprintRelayTeamIn the final event, the sprint relay, held in heavy rain in the park and zoo by Centennial Hall, Great Britain came 5th. Below is a link to a video of the whole race.

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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.

SprintRelayTeam 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.

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