Another autumn season of orienteering is now underway after a busy summer for many orienteers, especially juniors. Travelling to Norway and Scotland, training (and surely some socialising too, I suspect) will have been the focus of the three juniors selected to go on tours. A report about Lagganlia from Simon Gardner is included.
Others took part in some of the summer multi-day events such as the Lakes 5 (although here there wasn't such a great WAOC junior representation this year) or the White Rose relay. Overall 15th in W10A, a special mention to Alice Campbell who had a great run on Day 1 of the Lakes 5 and finished 5th. One of the first bigger events, which gave a chance to experience the new junior class system introduced not so long ago was this year's White Rose weekend. Here we had some great runs from Neil Northrop (6th overall running M21L) and Helen Gardner (finishing 2nd overall in the JW5L category, with a gold medal position on the first day and a 2nd place on day 2). The Gardner family put together a relay team for the Bank Holiday Monday to be one of only 2 WAOC teams.
I definitely need to give a special mention to Sophie Louth who is now a competent orange runner, which means that she's probably the youngest EAJS member in quite a while, now also benefiting from training with all the other juniors in the region. Congratulations!
The Peter Palmer relays have taken place at the beginning of September and a great team effort has placed the WAOC team (Helen Gardner, Martin Humphries, Simon Gardner, Edward Louth, Jamie Taylor, Clare Woods, Katrina Taylor and Peter Gardner) in the open clubs race at 11th position and in 5th place for the Joan George (handicap) trophy. A detailed description of the race has been written by Ursula Oxburgh who went with the juniors.
Now into the swing of autumn orienteering, the Yvette Baker Trophy qualification round will have happened on the 6th October by the time you will be reading this.
(7th/8th September 2002, Groby, Leicestershire)
A report from Ursula Oxburgh, who accompanied the team of juniors to the event…
This was a really well organised event. It started particularly early (4 am) and finished very promptly at around 9: the footballers took over at 10 - excellent! Neither the area nor the courses were technically demanding which made for fast and furious racing, which is what a relay should be about.
The whole team, except Martin who arrived later, combined together to get the club tent up in no time at all on the Saturday evening and the same people took it down and packed it away just as efficiently the next day.
Helen and, briefly, Katrina joined the boys in the 5-a-side competition - again we missed Martin. They played with much commitment but unfortunately little success apart from inspired marking by Helen, some good passing moves, a goal by Jamie and the odd inspired save by Katrina and Peter.
Helen Gardner went out first (5K Red) - another blinder, coming in 5th runner, 4th competitive in 33 mins.
Martin Humphries next (5K Red), taking some 10 minutes longer than Helen (11th competitive).
Simon Gardner (5.5K L Green) went out in the dark, back in the dawn. He made a couple of mistakes and returned in 56 minutes (12th).
Then Edward Louth (4.3K Orange). If you look at his splits you can see that he did fantastically well for the first 2/3. Unfortunately a 6 minute error later meant that things didn't go as well later on: 30 mins (12th).
Jamie Taylor, running down, did the same 4.3 K Orange in 25 mins (10th).
Then Clare Woods on the other L Green. She had a fairly clean run and came back in 55 mins (I12th), just missing the mini-mass start for Katrina. She was pleased by her run, and has aspirations to do a night leg next year.
Katrina Taylor (2.2 K Yellow), ran really hard, made one smallish mistake and returned in 23 minutes (12th). She was within seconds of the SOS yellow runner.
Once again Peter Gardner was involved in the mini mass start. As the tallest he went out first (they were started at 1 minute intervals), on the grounds that he must be the fastest. The SOS runner went out 1 minute after him. Peter ran well and cleanly, making the right route choices, fairly closely shadowed by 3 faster runners from the mini mass start who did not seem to be able to find the controls themselves and who overtook him on the run-in! He did the 6.8 K in 43 minutes so we finished up 11th overall and 5th in the Joan George (handicap) competition.
SOS won the small clubs competition and had a team in the large clubs as well! That team beat us by 70 odd seconds, so nearly anyone could have made the difference.
Many thanks to Nicola Gardner who drove one car and to Adrian who drove the other and also braved the gym floor for the sleepover.
Simon Gardner was this year one of the selectees for the training tour to Lagganlia. It is the junior squad co-ordinator who selects two juniors (M/W14 and younger 16s) from the squad to go on this training tour. Simon reports on this experience…Looks like it was a great experience and maybe will provide some incentive and motivation for all the other juniors that will follow him to train and try and get onto one of those tours…
This year's Lagganlia was great (for orienteering and fun) and I have no doubt that previous years have been no different and future years will be even better and greater fun.
Socially the trip was super as there was a lot of free time in the evening when you could relax and talk or play games out in the field. The site offers rental videos and a great snack bar in the main building.
For the orienteering we got split up into three groups and on the first two days we went out to three separate parts of the same area, which actually includes the lodges we stayed in. My Lagganlia week included some fantastic areas all of which had few contours! Some of the activities we did were great fun, and sometimes got quite competitive. Here's a list of the better ones, one man relay, odds and evens relays, line courses and compass bearing exercises. There are also the two races, short and classic, which you should take more seriously but it is still fun. I think this week has really given me a morale booster, improved my technique and incited me to train more to get into future tours.
The coaches were really fun and the younger ones took part in most activities. Our cook was great, cooking things people generally like - of course I can't guarantee a similar quality cook for future years. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and would highly recommend it to our future champions or just good orienteers. I met some great people on this tour and had a superb time, even with my worst rivals (who of course are my greatest friends). The only thing which I found less enjoyable about this experience was being expected to write this report by my brother Peter but you never know: it maybe me who is wringing you out for a report on your tour experience in future.
Simon Gardner (M14)