Sasha Photo: Sasha Chepelin in qualification at the European Championships 2019 (On The Red Line)

(following text from 2018)

I began orienteering as I learned to walk with my family based in Aberdeen, Scotland. At age 7 I began racing solo round local events organised by the local clubs GRAMP and MA...

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sasha-chepelin-and-megan-carter-davies_JK23JK2023 Overall Winners, Sasha Chepelin and Megan Carter-Davies

The four days of the Easter JK Weekend enjoyed lovely conditions in the Lake District. The weekend included World Ranking Events in Sprint, Middle and Long, and then forest relays on the final day, Easter Monday.

Congratulations to Sasha Chepelin (Interlopers) and Megan Carter-Davies (Swansea Bay OC) the overall champions. Megan took the win on all three Women's Open elite courses, but her club Swansea Bay were not able to retain the JK Women's Trophy. Sasha won the Men's Open elite middle race and was second to Joshua Dudley in the long. He anchored Interlopers to the JK Trophy win, coming from fifth place (90 seconds off the lead) at the start of the last leg.

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mapclipHighDam_2021High 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.

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prevMapDavos

The international season draws to a close with three forest races in Switzerland on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It's Round 3, the final one, of the World Cup for 2022. Saturday is forest relays, Sunday is middle distance races, and Monday is the long races. The venue is Davos Klosters, best known for World Economic Forum Conference, near the Austrian border. The terrain is Alpine, high up with plenty of climb (of course) and it might snow.

Next year's World Championships will be held a little to the west, in Flims Laxx, in July 2023.

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ralph-street-middlefinal-eoc2022_cr_FHRalph 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.

Eventor - Orienteering World Cup Round 2 and European Championships 2022

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

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Capri2_at_WOC2022Capri, 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.

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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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JK2022_IndividualPodium_smThe JK2022 Individual Podium

The JK Champions for 2022 are Megan Carter-Davies and Sasha Chepelin.

The JK Relays were won by Swansea Bay (Women) and Octavian Droobers (Men), both for the first time.

The JK Sprints were won by Alice Leake and Sasha Chepelin

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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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FlagsThe season finished not soon after it started.

In the UK we had racing until the middle of March. And then it all stopped. The British Nights were held. The first round of the UK Elite League took place.

There were immediate cancellations/postponements of the big Spring events and the Welsh multiday summer festival. Other events, such as the Home Internationals, held out hope for varying lengths of time, but in the end none could see a way to take place. And that was pretty much it for racing in the UK.

There may be a short Autumn flurry, as has already started in Sweden and Norway - let's see.

But there was considerable creativity on recreational lines. Clubs created MapRun courses for independent exercise, and many regular orienteers reminded themselves about permanent courses. There were the Lockdown festivals.

And so it was across the world, and we had little of our usual fare to report or link to. But there were a few things, here's a roundup.

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BirsemoreMapBirsemore Map extract, from MAR Orienteering Club Routegadget

The first races of the UK Elite League for 2020 were hosted in North-east Scotland by MAR Orienteering Club last weekend, the 7th and 8th March. Noticeable was the strong showing by so many Under-23 runners with the Edinburgh University club there in large numbers.

Johnshaven, a coastal village that grew up round a harbour and the fishing industry, a new ISSprOM map by Chris Smithard, was the venue for Saturday's sprint races.

On Sunday the league moved to the forest of Birsemore, a 300m hill next to Aboyne, for longer forest races. Most runners have uploaded their GPS tracks to MAROC's Routegadget, so you can study the routes chosen. And if you like you can replay the races as if from a mass start. This is a particularly good way to appreciate the complex terrain. We think planner Drew Tivendale should be pleased with the first long leg on the black 4-5, with the field, close together up to that point, going for a variety of routes with "varying degrees of success" as they say.

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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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SashaSasha Chepelin

There was great sprint racing with a significant international presence in Scotland this weekend. Sprint Scotland, a mix of coaching, training and hard racing took place for four days around Bo’ness and Denny.

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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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TeamThe Great Britain Sprint Relay Team for World Cup Round 1

Preview

The race starts at 17:57 Finnish Time (2 hours ahead of UK) on Tuesday 11th June. It can be watched on the internet for 6euro.

Live services.

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SashaSasha 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.)

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PeterPeter 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.

World of O Briefing on World Cup Round 1

The highest placed British runners were Megan Carter-Davies 29th in the women's and Ralph Street 24th in the men's.

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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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Ben Photo: Ben Mitchell in the colours of Swansea Bay OC (2018 British Champs)

March 17th was the day of the CompassSport Cup Matches round the country. All were National Events. Club teams can be of any size and involve individual runners tackling their own one of 12 age group courses ( or "running up"). The highest scoring runners from a club count for the team score: 25 in the case of the Cup (for larger club teams) and 13 in the case of the Trophy (for smaller club teams.)

As less than a third of a team's counting runners can be in the open classes (and for successful teams it is typically fewer) there is no particular focus on these. But it is a big weekend for the clubs and they like to have their top runners joining the team. So here's a table of who won the open class races around the country.

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Spain Warm weather trainng

British squad members Alex Carcas, Matt Fellbaum, Jonny Crickmore and Sasha Chepelin were in the Edinburgh University performance orienteering team (EUOC) attending a warm weather camp in Barbate, Andalucía, España. For a week they’d be switching the rain, wind and snow for the sun, skog[1] and suspicious parents. The Edinburgh University Performance Orienteering team is funded by Winning Students and the University, to help the athletes to produce good results at the British University Championships and at international competitions.

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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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map Image: Section of the Relay Map

Long Distance

In the women's, Marie Olaussen of Norway won the gold, Johanna Öberg of Sweden the silver, and Paula Gross of Switzerland the bronze.

For GB, Megan Carter-Davies was 15th, Cecilie Andersen 24th, Fay Walsh 32nd and Sarah Jones 77th.

In the men's, Jonas Egger of Switzerland won the gold, Paul Sirum of Norway the silver, and Håvard Haga also of Norway the bronze.

Jonas Egger 2017 interview by Portuguse Orienteering Blog.

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map Image: Section of the Women's Sprint Course

It has been noted that of the 12 British athletes in the team, four are Welsh. Team Selection Announcement.

It has been very hot. The Sprint Relay had very little navigational challenge, the Sprint had a better balance, and the Middle was very technical: some difficult controls in low visibility forest with modest contour and rock detail. You can see all the maps and courses via the GPS link. All the runners carry GPS and are races are live on GPS and a streaming channel.

Sprint Relay

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Sasha Photo: Sasha Chepelin at European Champs 2018

Tomorrow, 16th July, at 4pm Finnish time (2pm UK-time) the Sprint Relay is the first race at the World Universities Champs.

The schedule is:

  • Tuesday – Sprint Relay
  • Wednesday - Middle
  • Thursday – Sprint
  • Friday – Long
  • Saturday - Relay

You can follow the races online (free). All runners have GPS.

There are three members of the senior squad in the GB Team: Megan Carter-Davies, Sasha Chepelin, and Jonny Crickmore.

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kris

Story (and great photo) on Jukola website about two British runners who were first back from leg 1

endleg1 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/24296

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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.

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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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ct 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.

Cat Taylor talks with Jessica Tullie after today's race

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ac 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.

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AMcL 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.

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Fourteeen GB squad members ran for Scandinavian clubs in TioMila this weekend. There were many very good individual performances,. Pride of place in terms of team results was Halden SK's third place for Jo Shepherd and Hollie Orr running with Kine Hallan Steiwer, Eva Jurenikova and Elena Roos.

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Sasha Photo: Sasha Chepelin at the World Cup Final Meeting 2017

Like Hector, my excitement for the upcoming TioMila relay is building. Having recently moved club and location to Halden, this feeling is ever more noticeable. I'm now part of a club which has quite the record of orienteering relay success. Simply glancing into the Halden SK's central clubhut reveals a trove of mementos earned from consistent success at the big orienteering relays across their entire histories. But with these big overnight relays comes a very different style of orienteering.

Halden's news item welcoming Sasha.

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Alice Photo: Alice Leake at JK2018, by Wendy Carlyle.

This post contains links to several stories On The Red Line has noticed over the weekend. By the way if you are a user of Twitter we now are too. We will tweet when we publish major news items.

Athletics Weekly reports on the English Road Running Association's National Relays.

The 6-stage Women's race was won by Leeds City AC including Alice Leake (fastest runner on leg 5). The 12-stage Men’s race was won by Tonbridge - with Swansea Harriers including Kris Jones (fastest runner on leg 9) third.

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setting

SportIdent Results Site

At the final day of this year's JK, Monday April 2nd, Edinburgh University won the JK Trophy and Lakeland won the Women's Trophy.

For old-timers it was a traditional JK Relays - bad weather coming in on Sunday night /Monday morning causing really tough conditions for both the organisation team and the runners.

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ali (Photo: Steve Rush)

Alasdair McLeod and Hollie Orr won the JK Long World Ranking Event races today.

World Ranking Event Points.

Alasdair was the only man running under 100 minutes for today's 17.9km M21E course at Beaudesert. His win did take the overall JK title, which is awarded on combined time for the middle and long distance races.

Hollie's win was a narrow one, and not quite sufficient to win the overall JK title, which was taken by Jessica Tullie by 2 seconds, with Tessa Strain and Megan Carter-Davies third and fourth again only some seconds further back.

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Sasha Chepelin Squad member and first-year senior Sasha Chepelin has moved to Halden and joined the well-known local club.

Halden Skiklubb published a great introduction article. Sasha had a terrific Junior World Champs last year with top ten results in all three individual disciplines.

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