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West Anglian Orienteering Club

SEOUL, EAULRoyston and Therfield HeathSun 10 March, 2019

Near: Royston
Level of event: Regional
Type of event: Race, Urban



Organiser's Comments

Thank you to all who defied the weather forecasts to turn up and run at Royston today. I was originally hoping you would all be blown away by Helen's courses, but last night I was becoming worried you might just be blown away.

As it turned out, I think the weather was kind to us (although those who operated the first shift at the freezy breezy start may disagree). I was able to leave the event in the safe hands of Chris Rampton whilst I first of all dashed home to collect the Start Clock which I'd managed to leave behind, and then whilst I ran my course.

I heard only positive comments about the courses, which you may not realise were subject to revision at a very late stage from the combined effects of roadworks and skylarks working against us. I am grateful both to Helen, the planner, and Sarah Mansell, our controller, for all their efforts in making the day a success.

We ran out of Course 1 maps, and began to ask finishers on this course to donate their maps to be re-used. Thank you to anyone who did so - I can send a PDF of the map on request (to entries @

Peter Woods (WAOC)

Planner's comments

Thank you all for taking part and it was lovely to see so many people, especially with the less than an ideal conditions. With the particularly windy weather on the heath I was very impressed by the brave juniors that set out.

I would like to pass on special thanks to Caroline for finding the time to add the heath to the Royston map, Peter & Chris for fantastic organisation, the start teams for coping so well with weather today (it could have been worse though - I could have put the start at the top of the hill), and Sarah for patiently controlling my courses especially with the added excitement of last minute adaptations due to early nesting skylarks and potential roadworks on a control site.

Helen Bickle (WAOC)

Pre Event Info

Location Info

* Postcodes are not very precise in some areas, so don't rely on them for an exact location.

Urban orienteering event, together with parkland courses on Therfield Heath for juniors and inexperienced runners. This event is part of the 2019 South East Orienteering Urban League (SEOUL), and the first event of the newly introduced East Anglian Urban League (EAUL).

Pre-entries are closed now, but entry on the day is available for all courses.

Final Details are now available.

Click here for earlier flyer (but note some details have changed since flyer was issued).

Directions / Parking

Registration will be at the Heath Sports Centre, off Baldock Road, on the west side of Royston.  Postcode SG8 5BG.

Royston is easily accessible from the A10 and from the M11 and A1M via the A505.

Royston has a rail station, and the journey from London is less than 50 minutes.  The Sports Centre is approximately 15 minutes walk (~1km) from the station.

Course Information

This event will offer courses on Therfield Heath suitable for juniors and newcomers (including Park-O participants), as well as a range of courses largely set in the townscape of Royston intended for older and more experienced orienteers.  

East Anglian Urban League (EAUL) and SEOUL: Those aged 16 and older may run any of the senior courses 1-6.  However, if you are intending to run competitively in either the SEOUL league or the EAUL, or both, you should enter the course corresponding to your age class as indicated in the table below.  If you are entering online you should enter by class unless you want to run a shorter course, in which case you can select to enter a specific course irrespective of your age/gender.  In this case you will not be competitive in the SEOUL or EAUL.

Course details are as follows. Please be aware that courses may need to be adapted at short notice to take account of roadworks and other factors which are outside our control.

CourseLength/climb (see note)
ControlsMen's ClassesWomen's classes
Course 17.6 km / 140 m25Men's Open (M16+)
Course 26.0 km / 100 m23Men's Veteran (M40+)Women's Open (W16+)
Course 35.1 km / 105 m20Men's Super Vet (M55+)Women's Veteran (W40+)
Course 44.4 km / 80 m18Men's Ultra Vet (M65+)Women's Super Vet (W55+)
Course 54.0 km / 60 m18Men's Hyper Vet (M75+)Women's Ultra Vet (W65+)
Course 63.0 km / 40 m15
Women's Hyper Vet (W75+)
Course 73.4 km / 110 m14Junior male (M16-)Junior female (16-)
Course 82.2 km / 60 m18Junior male (M12-)Junior female (12-)

All the senior courses 1-6 are of medium technical difficulty.  Lengths given for urban courses 1-6 are "as the crow flies", and so shortest feasible routes will be somewhat longer.

The M12- and W12- course (8) is for juniors under 12 and is equivalent to a yellow (Easy) colour coded standard.   Course 7 is equivalent to Orange/Light Green standard.

In addition, White, Yellow and Orange colour-coded courses be available to enter on the day:

WhiteVery Easy
1.2 km
40 m
YellowEasy2.2 km
60 m
Light Green
Harder3.4 km
110 m

If you are familiar with our Park-O events, then White equates roughly to Very Easy on Park-O, and Yellow to Park-O Easy.  Light Green is somewhat harder than a Park-O "Medium". The Light Green course includes some sections in a quiet urban area adjacent to the heath.  Yellow and White courses are entirely on the Heath.

Under 16s: It is a requirement of British Orienteering’s Insurance Policy that anyone under the age of 16 on the day of the competition may only compete in areas with limited and/or speed limited traffic. With this in mind it is important to note that anyone under the age of 16 may only take part in the courses set on the heath, and are not permitted to run independently on any of the urban courses 1-6.

Electronic Punching

This event will be using SportIdent electronic punching. Control units will be set up in beacon mode so that SIAC (contactless) dibbers can be used in contactless punching mode. Standard dibbers can also be used in normal ("contact") punching mode. Standard dibbers will be available to hire.

The control boxes are compatible with all types of SI-card, and this will be a mixed punching event, so you can choose to run with a standard contact dibber which must be inserted into each control box to register your visit, or a contactless dibber which will be detected if it is closer than about 0.5 metre from the control box.

Whichever type you use, it is your reponsibility to make sure you have punched correctly - for standard contact dibbers, the control box will beep and flash to confirm you have punched. SIAC dibbers emit a flash and a beep to confirm they have registered at a control site.

Entry Details

Online pre-entry is open until midnight on 6th March, using Fabian4. Pre-entry is £2 cheaper for adults than entry on the day.

On-line pre-entry
until 6 March
On the day
Urban courses 1-6
Seniors (BOF members)
£8.00 £10.00
Urban courses 1-6
Seniors (non-BOF)
£10.00 £12.00
Colour coded courses
Seniors/Family groups
EOD only
Juniors (under 21) £2.00 £2.00
Students £2.00 £2.00

SI Card (dibber) hire £1.00

If you are entering on the day and want to prepare your entry slip in advance, follow this link to download an entry form.

If you are bringing a school party, or other group, please inform the organiser via in advance using the Group Entry Form. Please provide this information before 2nd March. This will avoid long delays at registration and ensure we have enough maps for everyone.

Enquiries to

Registration and Start Times

Registration will be open for entries on the day, enquiries, and collection of hire dibbers, from 11:00 and will close at 1pm.

Starts will be open from 11:30 until approximately 1:30 pm. The start is about 250m from registration.

If you have pre-entered, you will be allocated a 15 minute start block time in line with stated preferences. These will be shown on the Fabian4 website. We will not be enforcing these allocations, but we ask that you aim to arrive at the start within your 15 minute window. For example if your start block is shown as 11:30, aim to be ready to start between 11:30 and 11:45.

Those entering on the day may go to the start when ready.

Courses will close at 3:30 pm. Please report to download even if you do not finish your course.

Terrain and map details

Junior courses will be on Therfield Heath and will be free of traffic hazards.  Therfield Heath is predominantly open chalkland with significant undulations, some of which are associated with Bronze age constructions (barrows).

The urban courses 1-6 will be in the town, and will be mostly on hard surfaces.  Please be aware that the town also has its share of contours!   Courses will be planned to avoid heavy traffic but participants will have to cross some roads on their courses.

Maps for courses 1-6 are 1:5000 scale, with sizes ranging from A4 to A3+ according to course.  Maps for other courses are 1:5,000 scale, A4 sized.   All maps will be pre-printed with courses and will be printed on waterproof paper.

Dog restrictions

Dogs not allowed on urban courses, but are allowed on the Heath if kept on a lead at all times.

We are grateful to the Heath Sports Club, which has allowed us to use their venue for this event. The Sports Club offers food and drinks, and toilet facilities, and showers will be available at a charge of £1 per person.

Please do not consume your own food and drinks at the Sports Club.

More information about the East Anglian League can be found here. The next EAUL event after Royston will be in Maldon on 12 May.

Details of the South East Orienteering Urban League (SEOUL) can be found here.

Contacts / Officials

Organiser: Peter Woods

Deputy Organiser: Chris Rampton

Planner: Helen Bickle

Controller: Sarah Mansell (SUFFOC)

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