Sarah 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.
Freddie 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.
Nathan Lawson running leg 2 for GB in the International Sprint Relay at Soave 6th October 2023, photo: Rob Lines
The European Champs Relay took place on Friday 6th October in the walled wine town of Soave. Strong runs from Wednesday's silver and gold medallists in the women's individual sprint, Tove Alexandersson and Sarah Hagstrom, helped Sweden to what was, by the standards of these races, a clear win. A close race on the last leg for the other medals was won by Elena Roos of Switzerland holding off Venla Harju of Finland who was 3rd, and Victoria Haestad Bjornstad of Norway who was 4th. France were 5th and GB 6th.
Ralph 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.
Cecilie 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.
Chloe 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.
Peter 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.
2022 World Championships GB Sprint Relay Silver Medal Team (Second Leg) - Kolding, Denmark
2022 World Games GB Sprint Relay Bronze Medal Team (Second Leg) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA
2023 Winner, World Cup Round 2 Sprint Race, Česká Lípa, Czechia.
2016 TioMila winner with Södertälje-Nykvarn ...Continue reading...
Grace Molloy, photo: Jiri Cech, Český svaz orientačních sportů
After the Sprint and Sprint Relay the World Cup Round in Czechia switched to the forest. On Saturday 5th August it was a Middle Distance, and on Sunday 6th August a Long Distance. These were the last forest races in the World Cup until after next year's Sprint World Championships in Edinburgh. The next 10 international races, four competition rounds, at World Cup / World Champs level, are in Sprint of one sort or another.
In general in the forest the GB athletes had quite good technical races, but the physicality of the courses did not suit them. Almost all the running required climb or descent (and often both) or contouring on often steep slopes.
Rachel Brown finishes in the World Cup Sprint Relay in Česká Lípa, photo: Rob Lines
The second race of World Cup Round 2 was an exciting Sprint Relay with 59 teams taking part. Nations could enter up to four teams with the highest placed counting for the World Cup and podium. Team GB1 mispunched on leg 1, and it was left to team GB2 to secure 17th nation place. At the front it was expected to be a close race between the Swedish and Swiss first teams, with an intriguing contest for third and the other podium places. It went like that for a time as Sarah Hagstrom and Simona Aebersold built a sizeable lead on leg 1, and at the end of the second leg Sweden 1 and Switzerland 1 were just two seconds apart..And over a minute ahead of a group of chasing teams. But then Matthias Kyburz pulled away on leg 3 and gave Elena Roos a good margin for the final leg. So Switzerland won. Sweden 1 were overtaken right at the end by the Czechia 1 team to the delight of the home crowd.
Ralph Street won the World Cup Sprint Race in Česká Lípa, photo: Rob Lines
Česká Lípa in North-East Czechia, close to where the World Champs were held in 2021, is hosting World Cup Round 2. The first race, on Wednesday August 2nd, was an individual sprint and Ralph Street won. He was the fifth last starter, came sixth in last year's World Champs, and has been running fast times in sprint relays in the last few years. Nevertheless his victory was unexpected by the commentators who bravely pick possible winners before a race! It was noted that the win came only a few weeks after the forest World Champs, which Ralph had prioritised in his training.
Česká Lípa is the location for World Cup Round 2
Close to where the 2021 World Champs races were, and like then with both sprint and forest races on the programme, Česká Lípa in Czechia hosts World Cup Round 2. It's the third of the four big international competitions in the year. World Cup Round 1 (Norway) and the World Champs (Switzerland) have passed and the European Champs in Sprint (Italy) are ahead in early October.
GB has a team of 14 athletes. Britain has six places for the sprint, middle and long races, and can enter three sprint relay teams. It is expected that most of the athletes will run all the races: Sprint, Sprint Relay, Middle Distance and Long Distance.
There are accompanying spectator races under the label Kwak Czech O-Tour.
Joshua Dudley running Leg 2 for GBR completes the final loop at the WOC23 Men's Relay
The favourite teams in the World Champs Relays, Switzerland in the Men's Race, and Sweden in the Women's, both had clear wins. So Daniel Hubmann did become the oldest ever World Champion (and no, he has not retired.) There were no big surprises. Both British teams finished lower in the results than they had hoped. In the men's race, run first, GBR were aiming for top-10 and were 17th (6 minutes off 10th). In the women's race GBR were aiming for top-6 and were eighth (3 minutes off a close tussle for 5th/6th.)Continue reading...
Grace Molloy at Control 3 in the World Champs Middle Distance Race
The World Champs Middle Races in Switzerland were as expected incredibly technical, and hot weather and the tough forest took its toll on the athletes. Being over 1000m above sea level may not have helped either. Many top runners made mistakes, and some very big ones very early in the race. And in both races there was a clear winner as the defending champions mastered the navigation at their race speed.
The highest placed British runner was Megan Carter-Davies, 12th. She was however disappointed with errors at controls 6 and then at 18, right at the end. Grace Molloy was 28th, Ralph Street was 29th, and Alastair Thomas was 34th. All of them lost time at places on the course, as did most of the runners.Continue reading...
Megan Carter-Davies runs in at the World Champs 2023 Middle Qualification, photo: Lasse Gron
It was six heats: three for men, three for women, with the first 15 in each to qualify by right (some runners from countries who would otherwise not have representation in the final also qualify.)
As regards the strongest countries it all went much to plan. Very technical terrain and good preparation were perhaps the main reasons.Continue reading...
One of this year's trophies, from the World Championships Bulletin-4
On Wednesday 12th July the racing in the 2023 World Champs (WOC) begins. The Champs are at Flims-Laax in the mountain canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. The competition will be top-notch and the scenery will be stunning.Continue reading...
Chris Smithard, World Cup Relay, April 2023
The final races of The World Cup Round in Østfold, Norway were forest relays. On Sunday April 30th the men started at 1pm, the women at 3pm. It was a grand occasion as the sun shone, and the arena was laid out to bring the athletes close to the crowd, most of whom had run their own races (finishing in the arena) in the morning. The changeover and an arena passage were right next to the crowds, and with quarantine only closing 15 minutes before first start many of the national team athletes mingled with the crowd in the arena. The relays were close, exciting races, with both having several teams close together throughout, and there was a particularly spectacular sprint finish in the men's race.Continue reading...
A TV interview at the first race of the 2023 World Cup in Norway
The first race of the 2023 World Cup was a long (target winning times: 82 minutes women, 90 minutes men.) It was expected that Scandinavian runners would be the strongest in the Nordic terrain and so it proved.
In the women's race Tove Alexandersson (82:07) and Sara Hagstrom (83:02) of Sweden were one-two, with Marie Olaussen of Norway taking third place. Full Results.
In the men's race Kasper Fosser (88:06) of Norway finished 3 seconds and 9 seconds respectively ahead of the Swedes Emil Svensk and Martin Regborn. It was very, very close. Full ResultsContinue reading...
Ralph Street on his way to 13th in the Middle Final, photo: Fred Härtelt
The European Orienteering Championships for 2022 took place in Estonia and were for the forest disciplines. The medal races were the 4th, 6th and 7th August.
All races used the same arena, in the Põlula forest, near Rakvere, midway between Tallinn and the Russian border. For the previous European Championships, back pre-COVID in 2018 and covering more disciplines GB had a team of 17 including only one runner outside the 25-30 age group. This time Britain took 13 athletes, but it was much more slanted towards development. Our preview article on the team
Capri, the World Champs 2023 Mascot, on stage at the World Champs 2022
The sprint racing that has filled the international calendar so far this year is done. This week it's the second round of the 2022 World Cup, the European Championships. All races are in tough forest in Estonia: long (classic), middle and relay races.
Fourteen athletes are in the British Team, seven women and seven men. It's a larger and also much less experienced team than went to the (Sprint) World Championships in Denmark in June.
Congratulations to Rachel Brown, Chloe Potter, Peter Molloy and Joe Woodley who make World Cup debuts. Rachel and Peter are W/M20.Continue reading...
The WOC2023 Mascot, Capri, photo: copyright steineggerpix.com + woc 2023, by Thomi Studhalter
It was to Swiss mountain forests of the Flims-Laax valley for the World Orienteering Championships 2023. The courses were both as physical and technical as expected and the races threw few surprises in the medallists:.Tove Alexandersson and Matthias Kyburz both won two golds and a silver. They lost out in the long to the golden couple of Simona Aebersold and Kasper Fosser. The weather was heavy at times, but did not get as bad as two different days the next week, when the 5000 runner Swiss-O week cancelled races up the mountains because of dangerous storms.
Team GB, The World Games 2022: Cecilie Andersen, Ralph Street, Jonathan Crickmore and Charlotte Ward
Early Sunday morning 17th July, on the last day of The World Games, the GB Team won the bronze medals in the Sprint Relay.
The racing was in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. It was the third day of racing. On Friday it had been individual sprint and on Saturday a forest middle race. Both had been in hot and humid conditions. It was not quite as hot for the relay, but still many of the runners poured water over themselves before running.
There was free internet TV. Using that, with the kind permission of the IOF, we have made a five minute summary video of the race from a GB perspective.
After the race the GB team talked about the race.Continue reading...
Team GB, The World Games 2022: Cecilie Andersen, Ralph Street, Jonathan Crickmore and Charlotte Ward
On 15th, 16th and 17th July there are three top-notch international orienteering races as part of the World Games in BIrmingham, Alabama.
The races are a sprint, a middle and a sprint relay. The races are on internet TV (free.) Birmingham is about the same latitude as Tunis and at this time of year it is hot and humid, with a risk of storms later in the day, so races are early local time. First starts: 3pm UK-time.
The Games has places for 80 orienteering athletes, 40 men and 40 women, and these go mostly to teams of 4 from leading countries, and partly to individual champions. Britain selected athletes (from those available) with an emphasis on the two sprint races rather than the forest middle, but the old map for the latter looks as if it will be a great area. All four, Cecilie Andersen, Ralph Street, Jonathan Crockmore and Charlotte Ward, like most British athletes, have higher world rankings in sprint than in forest. (In fact Charlotte, World ranking 21 in sprint, does not have a forest ranking.)Continue reading...
Megan Carter-Davies jumps on the World Champion's Podium, photo: On The Red Line
The GB Orienteering Team had a tremendously successful World Orienteering Championships 2022.
Megan Carter-Davies is the World Champion in the Individual Sprint. She also won the silver medal in the new Knockout Sprint format, and a silver medal in the Sprint Relay.
Alice Leake won the bronze medal in the individual sprint.
Britain had won a medal at a World Orienteering Championship eleven times previously, most recently in 2013, by Scott Fraser. It was the most successful GB team performance ever.Continue reading...
The GB team who were "fourth nation" at World Cup Round 1, photo:Rob Lines
There are eight athletes, four men and four women, running for GB at this year's World Championships in Denmark. The races are the sprint disciplines: individual sprint, knockout sprint and sprint relay..
There are three race days.
All the GB athletes raced in World Cup Round 1 in Sweden last month, and the photos below are from that competition. Thanks to Rob Lines for most of them. Rob's gallery of orienteering photographs is on Flickr.Continue reading...
Megan Carter-Davies leads a quarter-final
Megan Carter-Davies won the silver medal in the World Cup Knockout Sprint in Borås, Sweden.
The Knockout Sprint races took place on Saturday 28th May. They comprised a qualification early in the morning, and then quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals in the afternoon.
Ralph Street got through to the men's final coming 7th (the final had an extra runner after a protest). Charlotte Ward, Cecilie Andersen and Jonny Crickmore qualified for the knockout stages and were eliminated in the quarter-finals.
The excellent photos here are the work of Rob Lines. You can find Rob's oeuvre of orienteering photographs on Flickr.Continue reading...
Charlotte Ward, interviewed after her terrific run
A GB team of 12 athletes, six men and six women, is in Borås, Sweden for three races forming World Cup Round 1. The races are the sprint disciplines: individual sprint, knockout sprint and sprint relay.
The individual sprint was on Thursday 26th May, and Kris Jones and Charlotte Ward both finished with a "top 10" result.
Thanks to Rob Lines for the excellent photos.Continue reading...
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.Continue reading...
the start of the men's middle in the Cansiglio forest, October 2021
The Final Round of the 2021 World Cup took place at Cansiglio–Cortina d'Ampezzo in north-east Italy from 30th September to 3rd October.
The long race on Thursday 30th September and the middle on Saturday 2nd October were in runnable beech forest on high Karst terrain. These decided the individual World Cup with Kasper Fosser and Tove Alexandersson both winning both days and becoming the World Cup Winners 2021.
There was a thrilling sprint relay in Cortina d'Ampezzo on Sunday 3rd, with four nations including GB starting their last leg runners at the front within a few seconds of each other. It was like a double length knockout sprint. At the end Andrine Benjaminsen stormed in to win for Norway, the first time an international sprint relay was not won by either Sweden or Switzerland. GB were fourth nation. Sweden won the team World Cup.Continue reading...
a training area, the Archeton - Valmanera map used for Italian Middle Champs March 2021
The Final Round of the 2021 World Cup takes place at Cansiglio–Cortina d'Ampezzo in north-east Italy from 30th September to 3rd October.
There's a long race on Thursday 30th September, a middle on Saturday 2nd October (same day as the British Long Champs*) and a sprint relay on Sunday 3rd.
*if people can get to Devon despite the petrol supply problems in England
It's the region for the 2026 Winter Olympics, and it should provide a typically scenic finale to the year. The forest races are in beech forest, "Karst terrain with lots of point details; occasionally stony." The sprint relay is "Typical mountain village with detailed historical centre and houses with private and public ownership: 80% asphalt surface, 20% grass and open field."
The long will run for most of the day to a prize-giving at 4:30pm UK-time. There's no TV production but results, arena sound and picture, and GPS from 11am.
The middle and sprint relay do have Internet TV (10 Euros for both) with commentary from Katherine Bett and Jonas Merz. On Saturday it's 11:30-3:30, on Sunday 12:30-1:55.
A full British Team of 12 athletes is entered.Continue reading...
Women's Relay Presentation, from the IOF Internet TV Broadcast
The World Cup Round 2 at Idre Fjäll in Sweden did a good job of testing the best orienteers and in beautiful wilderness forest. There was a long race on Thursday 12th, a middle on Saturday 14th, and Sunday was forest relays. Running times were often a bit longer than expected.
There were challenges throughout the races, mental, technical and physical. In particular, some of the hardest navigation problems came later in courses, after big climbs or stretches of featureless forest slope, and often where visibillity decreased as spruce supplanted pine. We saw runners get close to controls and not see the kite, so assume that many were set low. Any faster runners who managed an error-free run did well, and amidst many smaller errors there were some big, spectacular and unexpected mistakes from very good orienteers. The surprises made for very exciting spectating on the Internet TV, and unexpected names on the podiums of the middle and relays.
Britain sent a full team of 14 athletes including six World Cup debutants. Alastair Thomas, Nathan Lawson and Grace Molloy made their senior debuts at the World Champs. It was first time in the senior team for Joshua Dudley, Fiona Bunn and Laura KingContinue reading...
The World Cup Round 2 at Idre Fjäll in Sweden has races on Thursday 12th (long), Saturday 14th (middle) and Sunday 15th August (forest relay.) For all races the terrain is mainly high runnability and high visibility pine forest at 600m-900m, with plenty of contours and marsh, and little else.
Britain is sending a full team of 14 athletes. Six men and six women can run each individual race, and there will be two GB teams in each relay.
All races have internet TV coverage with English commentary.Continue reading...
Pedestrian Crossing Signal in Fredericia
Great Britain had a very successful championships. It was simply incredible.
The success began with the first of the five races, the Sprint Relay, where GB won silver. It was GB’s first medal after seven World Championships without one, and the first ever in a Sprint Relay. The success was crowned for GB in the last race as Megan Carter-Davies became World Champion in Individual Sprint. The team won four medals in all, which is as many as in the previous 17 years combined. Additionally there were two top-6 results, two top-10s, and three top-20s. Only 2 of the 13 entries were not at least top-20.
Update November 2022: The full TV broadcasts are available free of charge - International Orienteering Channel on YouTube; they are very good.
Megan Carter-Davies, on her way to 6th in the World Champs long race, July 2021 photo: Fred Haertelt
The World Championships (WOC) reached the Czech sandstone terrain for its final races. Thursday 8th July, late on, it was the Forest Relays. Next day it was the classic (or "long") races. With three minute start intervals and 80 minutes (women) 99 minutes (men) target winning times, the event goes on a long while. There wasn't therefore much gap between the relays and the classic races.
Six British athletes took part these two days. On Thursday the British women, Grace Molloy, Jo Shepherd and Megan Carter-Davies, ran well for 7th. The men, Peter Hodkinson, Hector Haines and Ralph Street, were 15th. All of them have had at least one top-6 in this event before, so we think it is fair to call that result disappointing.Continue reading...
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.Continue reading...
Peter Bray in the final, photo: Tomáš Bubela
The World Championships Middle Distance was on Tuesday 6th July in tough mountain terrain in the Jablonec nad Nisou district of northern Czechia. The borders with both Poland and Germany are not far away.
World Championships middle races have a reputation for being held in the toughest of forests, the sort that rips numbers off backs and means runners finish showing blood. In warm, humid weather the extremely challenging navigation on courses running longer than recommended provided a full-on experience. In the men's race particularly many of the leading runners picked up runners starting in front of them (there was a 2 minute interval) and had company for many controls, which could help them both.
The athletes have certainly earned a rest day before Thursday's forest relays.
In the morning qualification four British athletes qualified for the finals later in the day: Cat Taylor, Megan Carter-Davies, Peter Bray and Ralph Street. Alastair Thomas, who drew the earliest possible start came 16th in his heat (with 15 to qualify). Grace Molloy was 20th in her heat.Continue reading...
Map 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.Continue reading...
"Relevant terrain" - a training area
The World Championships Middle Distance races are on Tuesday 6th July.
They are at Jizerské hory. It's tough mountain terrain with plenty of high cliffs, broken ground, and marsh at altitude 530 - 83om. The racing is on steep slopes with granite boulders and cliffs, and variable visibility. Runnability is also variable, from very good in mature beech forest, to significantly limited by the steepness of the slopes covered in uneven rocks, in some parts with fallen trees, high blueberries and thickets too.
The qualification races are from 8am UK-time. The final begins at 2:50pm (men start), with the TV broadcast starting at 3:20pm, ending about 7pm. The first 15 in each of three heats qualify for the final, plus some lower placed runners where they are the highest placed finisher from their country. British runners will assume they need to be in the first 15 of their heat to make the final.Continue reading...
Alice 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)Continue reading...
photo 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.Continue reading...
Ralph 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.Continue reading...
Neuchâtel, City Coat of Arms
Fingers crossed, in Switzerland next month International Orienteering Teams will meet after a year of no racing. The European Champs in the three Sprint formats are to be contested in Neuchâtel May 13th-16th.
British Orienteering has done some good work to be able to make the announcement of a four-athlete team. As noted in the announcement many GB athletes are unable to travel to this competition, so it is not the full team Britain would have liked to send (Britain had places for six men and six women in each individual format.)
On The Red Line congratulates and wishes well to Thomas Wilson making his first senior international appearances. Thomas is a Scot, growing up with Clydeside Orienteers and the Edinburgh University setup. He's not currently a member of the GB squad so doesn't appear in our Athletes section, but we do have a picture of him on a podiumContinue reading...
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...
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...
Charlotte Ward and Kirstin Maxwell. credit: Hello 5G.
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.Continue reading...
The 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.
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.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...
Jonny 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.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.
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.
Graham 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.
The 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".
Peter 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.Continue reading...
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.Continue reading...
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.
Charlotte 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.
Sasha Chepelin at the arena passage
Today was the chasing start longish races at World Cup Round 1 in Finland's Nuuksio National Park. ("Longish" rather than "long" as the official description was just "chase" and "long" has specific meanings which do not exactly match the situation.)
Peter Bray, shortly after the race
It was "phew what a scorcher" conditions for the runners tackling the first World Cup Race of 2019, a middle distance at Tervalampi in Finland's Nuuksio National Park. It was 90 seconds start intervals, and a typically well-mapped Finnish forest, with plenty of boulders and contour detail.
Nuuksio 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.
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...
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.Continue reading...
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...
Alasdair McLeod (pictured) and Ralph Street ran the World Champs middle race in Sigulda Latvia today. Ali was 52nd and Ralph was 13th. Ralph improved from being 38th at the first timing point and was less time down on the winner at the end than he was on the then leader at the first timing point.
Kris Jones asked Ralph a few questions after the race.Continue reading...
Photo: The five GB athletes who will run the Middle races
The World Champs Middle races are on Tuesday 7th.
GB has three women and two men running. Good luck to them. The women's race is first; and a two minute start interval is used.
First starter 9:56 UK-time
11:14 Charlotte Wat...
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...
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...
Squad member Ralph Street won a bronze medal with Bækkelagets Sportsklub in the Norwegian Sprint Relay Championship Race in Stavanger yesterday.
The winners were Nydalens SK, with whom Ralph won a bronze last year. After the four legs and an hour's running they finished 20secs ahead of NTNUI, with Bækkelagets SK a further 19 seconds back.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: Cat Taylor runs through the arena on the spectator passage partway through today's race (credit: On The Red Line).
Cat Taylor came fifth in today's European Championship middle distance race.Continue reading...
Photo: Alan Cherry finishes his race today (credit: On The Red Line).
All four women and three of the six GB men qualified for tomorrow's European Champs middle distance final in today's tough races in steep terrain at Carona.
Alan Cherry ran relatively early and was unfortunately 2 seconds out from what turned out to be the qualification time. It was the next to last starter in his heat who came in 14 seconds too quickly for Alan to make it.Continue reading...
The Men's and Women's European Middle Champs are on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th May.
Good luck to the ten GB athletes entered, four women and six men, all with a good chance of getting through to the finals on Wednesday.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...
Photo: Ralph Street in the colours of Södertälje-Nykvarn Orientering, JK Long race 2017, by Robert Lines.
TioMila2018, one of the best weekends of the year. is in commuting distance of Stockholm next weekend.
As you know participation in orienteering is much more club based in Scandinavia than it is here. There are many relays, and this one is arguably the most important. It is the one that Swedish orienteers all talk about through the winter. It's the one they all remember years afterwards.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.
Ralph Street has joined Bækkelagets Sportsklub. They announced his arrival with a website article.
Bækkelagets SK are an Oslo club, and Ralph has been living and working in Oslo for a year. He is not their first British member - Yvette Baker, Dan Marston and Sarah Rollins are notable British athletes associated with the club. Ralph is a TioMila winner with the Swedish club Södertälje-Nykvarn Orientering (he ran leg 8 in the winning team of 2016) and will still run with them in TioMila and Jukola this year.
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.
In 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.Continue reading...
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...