High Dam mapclip, from Routegadget
The JK Weekend is upon us, the biggest of major events for all UK orienteers. This year it's again in some of the most delightfully scenic and challenging terrain in the country, and a great weekend is in prospect. The elite race fields are both encouragingly large and look very strong. Four successive days of top competition is very tiring so it is not unusual to see several of the top runners choosing not to run (or not to fully run) the long race on the third day, especially if they have been injured during the winter.
As in 2015 the weekend is hosted by the North-West Association at Lancaster University (Sprint) and in the southern Lake District. On Friday (7th) it's the sprint, on Saturday the middle at High Dam, and on Sunday the long distance at Bigland. All are World Ranking Events (WRE). The weekend rounds off with relays at Dale Park on Easter Monday.Continue reading...
Cold Ash Mapclip, from Routegadget
The British Long Champs are next Saturday 25th March, in rolling mixed woodland of Southern England at Cold Ash in Berkshire, as used for the JK2019 Long Race.
There's a good entry and the men's race in particular looks very competitive. A few though are saving their powder for two weeks later in the rockier terrain of the Lake District, when it's GB selection races.
Courses at the British are much the same length as in 2019: W21E has 12.2km, 285m climb, compared to 12.1km + 340m, M21E has 17.8km + 480m compared to 17.8km + 500m. This could be the last British with such a short winning time on the women's, and such a long winning time on the men's.Continue reading...
photo:Jane Courtier, from the British Champs website
While we're waiting, let's mention the IOF World Federation League Table and pose a few questions (for your personal amusement, no prizes.) This decides how many runners a country can enter in an individual World Cup Race. There are separate tables for men and women, combining forest and sprint.
If you've kept interest this far you can probably say what are the top four countries in the tables. But how about a guess for their order (it has changed in the last year)? And how about who's fifth, and where GB stands in each table?Continue reading...
Photo: Will Gardner at Portugal O Meeting 2019
The Portugal O Meeting traditionally attracts large numbers: 2.600 this year. The top open classes, have large entries. This year over 100 in the women's, and well over a 120 limit in men's meaning there is a split to "super-elite" and "elite" based on world ranking position. The races see many of the world's best having their first competitive races after the winter. Several top clubs such as Halden and Kalevan Rasti are there in strength, and the Swiss National Squad ran Sunday and Monday's races.
After a World Champs the tables that decide how many runners a country gets in the forest races next year are calculated.
This year the tables determined the number of runners for a country in the middle and long races. Next year it only applies to the long, as there are qualification races in the middle and so every country can have three runners. There are also individual places for regional (e.g. European) champions.Continue reading...