It has supposedly been the close season for our sport, August and September. But having said that there has still been plenty of action around. Several of our juniors especially have been running around both here and abroad with varying degrees of success. You will find more detail in the body of this newsletter, including Junior Jabber. On the family front the Lakes 5 days, White Rose, and Caddihoe Chase, and the Welsh National event have come and gone with some notable (good) performances by some, and indifferent but enjoyable runs by others. On the whole the weather has been favourable to make these voyages around the country more enjoyable. This was especially so at Penhale Sands for the Caddihoe Chase, which was held in glorious weather, super sunshine with little wind. Lindsey Freeman won the W50L ahead of the legendary JK, and usually British, Champion Sarah Brown. Ali Robertson blew his car up en route otherwise he would have lauded the event and have made 6th WAOC competitor. It might have been a long way to go, but it was really worth every minute of it.
Julia Wotton, our Club Coach, held a training weekend at Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore at the end of July. Julia is planning to have another training weekend next year, date as yet unknown, but probably in time for a bit of Scottish 6-day training. Watch this space. Have you booked you accommodation for this event yet? All the chalets seem to have gone, but B&Bs are still available, as are campsites. However, you are advised to get your bid in right away if you don't want to be disappointed. We tend to get some 50 plus Club members attending these Scottish biannual events wherever in Scotland.
The 2002 midweek Galoppen series ended with an interesting Score event at Hinchingbrooke Park, put on by Leo Eisner. He had hoped that the competitors would have recovered all the 18 controls he had scattered throughout the Park, but he couldn't have been too disappointed at having to pull in only two un-recovered controls in the dark. Mid September is really getting just a little too late for an evening event. The full points results are elsewhere, and on the webpage.
Some of you may not be ware that there is a regular Thursday evening training run. Julia started these off at the beginning of the year and they have run consistently since. Notification of when and where is usually debated via emails within a few days of each Thursday. Because the bulk of the interest has been in the Cambridge area that is where most runs have occurred, well within 15 miles of Cambridge. But it doesn't always have to be this way. If you don't want to travel, but would like to train like this, try to establish your own net, some of us from further afield may well surprise you by attending. Runs are normally organised over countryside footpaths with loops of varying lengths to suit all ages and abilities. In association with these training evenings we always finish up having food and drink, either put on by a Club host, or at a suitable local hostelry, whichever is the more convenient.
This is my last Jabberwaoc. In response to my pleas for a replacement the huge bag-load of volunteers has just turned up one (press-ganged) offer. Well, Julia didn't resist too much. So, as from December's issue, Julia Wotton will be compiling all your contributions, news and views.
We extend a warm welcome to:
Bjôrn and Elaine Alsos and Family (Robert M13, Jenna W11 and Rachel W8) from Wendens Ambo
Kate Penny from Cambridge
Allison Stewart and Callum M6 from Cambridge
Godfrey and Janet Tofts and Family (Hannah W7 and Katie W5) from Royston
Janet Watts from Flitwick
We also welcome back to the Club Nicola Howarth from Hardwick
Anne Duncumb, Membership Secretary
The new orienteering season is now upon us, which has already contained our Try-O event at Wimpole Hall. It was nice to get out into the fields again having taken a 3-month break from competitive orienteering and training. Sometimes the pounding of the streets can take its toll with niggling injuries that you convince yourself are not serious therefore you can just 'run them off'. Eventually you know that it will probably catch up with you so having been training on a regular basis for several years I decided to have a long break and let my bones and joints recover. It was strange having so much more free time in the evenings that I started to realise just how much time a 30-60 minute run can take up with all the changing, stretching, warm down and showering adding to what seems a 'short run'. Also, the Sundays were free again. A 90-120 minute run on Sunday would often extend to the whole morning, which was then followed by watching the Grand Prix on TV (or something equally watchable) which meant that there wasn't much time left to do anything else. The "I'll do it next week" syndrome.
This break has meant that I also had more time with my family. But also that I have been able to get on with all the 'little' and not so little jobs around the house that had been started but not finished (there are probably a few people out there who can also relate to this scenario). It can be disheartening to draw up a list of things that either have been started or need doing and it extends onto more than one page, did I really start that job 2 years ago (or more!). It might not all be finished yet (is it ever?) but at least I have got it closer to being all on one page.
I am now slowly building up my mileage again (is there a metric term? Kilometreage just doesn't sound right) so hopefully by the time the Rowney and Maulden event take place, at the end of October and November respectively, I will be back up to speed again.
See you out there.
The usual first priority of any event is to get to the assembly, unfortunately a few people failed even this. (Was it coincidence that they were all in the eventual losing team?). It was only the possession of a 'phone and a relevant number that prevented this lot from slipping the net altogether.
Next select the teams. 11 people needing at least 5 per team might seem straightforward, but of course, it wasn't. This was eventually settled by everyone lining up in age order (much unhappiness from Roger who, by dint of Hally's absence, had to stand at the extreme wrinkly end) and Mark allotting alternate bodies their team number.
Then to the punts; but on an extremely hot day in the middle of the tourist season we had quite a wait until 2 became available. Never mind, we eventually boarded and were ready to start by about 3:00pm. There were 5 running legs and 5 punting legs. The pattern involved dropping off a runner, punting to the given point and collecting the runner, then punting across the river to drop off next runner, and so on. The basic rules stated that each team member had to run a leg AND punt one of the legs (but not at the same time!).
The various legs were allocated according to speed/skill, yours truly being given the shortest punt leg following my attempt of last year when the punt pole was removed from me, by anxious team mates, after only a very short distance. This year's effort wasn't much better with a painfully slow drag against the current whilst bouncing off alternate banks. (I blamed it on having been trained in sailing boats and not being able to shake off the habit of tacking). It has to be said that most of our progress was gained by Julia kneeling on the bow end with a paddle!
The remaining members of my team all had considerable skill with the said pole but the same cannot be said of all the other team. We managed to stay fairly close with a bit of nip and tuck between the teams until about the two thirds stage, when we were just slightly in the lead, having dropped off our runner marginally ahead of the other lot, who were collecting their incoming runner from the previous leg on the other side of the river. As we passed them going in the other direction we realised that the lone pole sticking out of the water wasn't a channel marker but the other team's punt pole! Initial reaction (from me anyway) was to collect it and not give it back, but thought this might just constitute cheating and, as we were leading, we left it alone. We rounded the bend away from the scene just as Marcus was to be seen wading through waist deep water and mud in an attempt to retrieve it in the quickest way possible. This highlight of the afternoon has apparently been captured on film and will hopefully be on the website along with other pictures from the event.
We maintained position and eventually reached the final pick-up finish line well ahead of the rival bunch. Obviously the embarrassment was too much for one of them as he left hurriedly claiming a prior engagement at a godchild's birthday party. Roger thought this was quite innovative as a 'spur of the moment' excuse and is hoping Ian won't claim original rights should he use it in the future if the need arises.
All in all, a thoroughly good bit of fun and hope Mark (many thanks) continues to put this on as an annual, better attended event. Onlookers and cheerleaders will be welcome too.
This could be said to have been a 3M production?
Marcus Star Entertainer
The Winning 'Girls' Team
|Marcus Before Bathing|
Ranking List for Members of WAOC in score order - September 2002
Class pos. Name points events W50L 4 Lindsey Freeman 6974 14 M60L 15 Chris Morley 6492 11 M65S 7 Mary Palmer 6286 5 M35L 11 Robert Campbell 6269 14 W45L 16 Lindsey Freeman (W50) 6240 11 M45L 56 Adrian Taylor 5812 6 M21L 47 Neil Northrop (M20) 5744 8 W35S 3 Alison Fox 5729 7 M40L 44 Neil Humphries 5610 11 W18A 10 Helen Gardner (W16) 5366 6 M60L 53 Hally Hardie 5364 21 M50L 87 Chris Brown 5160 7 M65L 49 Colin Curtis 5085 12 M21L 78 Rolf Crook 4930 12 M50S 20 Bruce Marshall 4843 10 M60L 70 John Wickersham 4748 7 M50L 108 Michael Bickle 4740 10 W65L 17 Ursula Oxburgh 4738 17 W45L 46 Nicola Gardner 4703 21 W50S 14 Maria Marshall 4643 11 W65S 9 Meg Bright 4567 4 W35L 28 Julia Wotton 4450 10 W45L 55 Noreen Ives 4376 18 M45L 113 Mike Capper 4344 5 M55L 105 Tony Bishop 4270 7 M35L 48 Mike Capper (M45) 4063 5 M60L 86 David Peregrine 4018 6 W50L 65 Janis Ryall 3978 6 M40L 94 Mark Wadeson 3858 9 W21S 26 Helen Christopher 3677 6 M40S 48 Graham Louth 3649 4 M50L 170 Peter Howsam 3590 17 W50S 23 Hazel Bickle 3545 10 M20L 10 Neil Northrop 3511 4 W50L 81 Jane Howsam 3046 15 M18A 17 Peter Gardner 2927 8 M45L 169 Ian Smith 2916 10 M55L 152 Fred Northrop 2898 4 M45L 183 Peter Woods 2460 5 W45L 95 Sue Woods 2382 5 M45S 61 Ian Lawson 2325 7 M45L 195 Richard Beard (M50) 2202 2 M40L 156 Anthony Wadeson (M45) 2030 9 M50L 228 Peter Ryall 1956 7 M21S 80 James Hodson 1878 8 M55S 80 Roger Horton 1837 2 M21L 198 Ali Robertson 1615 3 M21S 94 Ali Robertson 1569 2 W45S 59 Jitka Sengerova 1543 2 W60L 54 Satu Peregrine 1484 4 W21S 65 Penny Bickle 1477 3 M65S 11 Anthony Palmer 1436 11 M50L 257 Tim Mulcahy 1426 2 W20L 19 Leonie Brown 1383 3 W70L 18 Anne Duncumb 1268 5 W50L 109 Olivia Brown 1239 2 W20L 20 Blanka Sengerova 1199 3 W45L 123 Janis Ryall (W50) 1195 2 W50S 54 Maureen Weldon 1173 1 W55L 97 Mary Batten 956 2 W65L 31 Mary Palmer 892 3 W50L 120 Maria Marshall 890 2 W40L 96 Caroline Louth 845 4 W21S 115 Jenni Barclay 626 1 W40L 109 Sue Woods (W45) 424 1 W45S 95 Maria Marshall (W50) 345 1 W60L 76 Mary Palmer (W65) 144 2 W55L 119 Satu Peregrine (W60) 0 1
1. Current & immediate past careers and occupations Me, I'm a lapsed Physicist! After graduating in Natural Sciences, I worked in several different fields - early days in printed circuitry, transistors and NMR. I gave up to start the family. When the 3 children were all well established at school, I began to think of returning to paid employment (I refuse to say 'work' - what had I been doing for however many years?) At this moment, I was drawn into the Girl Guide Association and spent 23 rewarding and happy years running the local Guide Company, training adult leaders and occupying various positions within the Guide County of Cambridgeshire East. I retired in 1995 after 21 Guide Camps and nearly 1000 meetings - I loved organising camps and running wide games, camp fire singing etc and still have some contacts/jobs with Guiding. What to do next? I had been Membership Secretary of WAOC for several years and I enquired if there was anything else I could do in WAOC. I found myself in the Secretary's job for the next six years, learning (some of) the skills of minute taking as I went along.
2. Family members Peter and I met in the practical classes at the end of our first year at University and married when he was half way through his PhD. Three children, a girl and two boys are all 40+ and are all scientists: a physicist, an electrical engineer and a geotechnical engineer (we didn't pressure them, honest!) Only Alison and her husband are involved in orienteering - bike-O with EBOR, though they live in Ashbourne in Derbyshire. They planned the bike-O at the White Rose a couple of years ago. Next one, Iain, works in digital audio broadcasting at Loughborough University. He and his wife have one son aged 9, who comes along to O-events when he's with us. Youngest, Richard, lives in Norway in Ski, near Oslo. His wife comes from Sarajevo, so the two boys speak Croatian, English and Norwegian. We thought that they would surely encounter O-ing through school, but this has not been the case although they are now 12 and 13 and the woods around where they live look eminently suitable…..
3. A brief orienteering history I heard about O-ing through Guiding and joined WAOC in 1985, though it was another three years before I managed to entice Peter to an event (work was amazingly busy for him at that time). After one event we were both hooked. For many years we had enjoyed navigating our way over and round the Lakeland Fells, but walking in the south seemed dead boring. Orienteering filled the gap perfectly and we were only sorry that we hadn't discovered it earlier. To think that people had been running around in woods both far and near all this time and we had no idea of it! We went to our first JK in 1989 and have been to most since: also to sundry other multi-day events. Peter is by far the better orienteer and it is a great pity that he had to retire with a troublesome knee in 1997.
4. Personal aspirations for and in the sport and life in general. My personal aspirations in orienteering are modest, I run a bit but I've never been fast and most of my satisfaction comes from the navigating, from coming neatly onto a control. For the future, I would like to go on a while yet and improve my accuracy and decision-making. I do exercises for general flexibility and use an exercise bicycle three times a week and will go on doing this as long as I can. For some years, I have walked for a week each year with a Guiding friend. We started with the Coast to Coast in 1989 and have just completed the Cumbria Way. I feel lucky that I am still able to do it. In a wider context, I would like to see the WAOC Club spirit, which has been so excellent of late, continue to flourish. In sport and in life in general, I would like to see a shift from the 'blame' culture towards personal responsibility. I would like to see a WAOC event organiser being so overwhelmed with offers of help that volunteers were turned away.
5. A 'ramble' section Eighteen months ago I went, with Ursula Oxburgh and Nicola Gardner, to a training course put on by Pauline Olivant (the BOF Schools' Development Officer) for teachers who wanted to introduce orienteering into their schools. Since then I have had several opportunities to put the ideas into practice. Currently, Ursula, Nicola, Caroline Louth and I are involved in a four-week course with Year 5 at a school in Cambridge. It is fascinating, but amazingly labour-intensive. I'd like to do more of this - though not every day!
(Click on image to enlarge - 203Kb)
I didn't sleep very well mainly because the room was rather hot and stuffy (no fan!). Also Tinuviel woke up pretty early too. Thus I got up at about 6am and watched the sunrise - not as spectacular as it would be on a non-hazy day. In fact, today was much worse than yesterday in terms of visibility, which was a great shame. Thus I looked for alternative ways back than the fairly tough Kaskikot - Sarangkot route on very rough tracks - on a good day the amazing views would be worth the effort, but not today. There weren't really any other viable ways back except the main road way on which we came. In the end I decided we would be best off just going back the way we came - a very lovely valley nonetheless!
I gathered up T's nappies, which had dried overnight, and then we all had breakfast. I had toast and a strange hot lemon drink and Juliet had a pancake with honey. Tinuviel had a couple of scrambled eggs. I finished first and went upstairs and repacked. Juliet came up and helped and we then paid up (800NR for the night, evening meal and breakfast), I attached the rucksack to J's bike and we headed off.
It was downhill all the way this time, and we cycled all the way back without a break in 1 hour and 15 mins! It is quite astonishing how 500m vertically can make such a huge difference. The cycle back was very pleasant and the scenery, especially up the top of the valley near Naudunda, was amazingly beautiful and very unspoilt. Coming back into Pokhara we really noticed the comparative fuminess, dustiness and congestion, even though Pokhara is very nice compared to Kathmandu.
All in all a very good weekend adventure, despite the weather not being ideal.
This morning I got up at about 6:20am and sprung into action getting us all breakfast and then getting Tinuviel and myself ready for an early start for our adventure. Juliet was working today, so wouldn't be coming with us. In the end we were able to leave just a bit before 8am. Juliet helped, and then she headed off shortly afterwards to help at the school for the day.
I cycled with Tinuviel on my back up to Mahendra Gufa, which was about 5km uphill. There we had a well- earned rest and Tinuviel had a Frooti (mango juice drink) and I had a couple of sprites. Tinuviel and I also shared a packet of very nice crisps - they were very much like proper crisps at home, so very tasty (unlike the local oily things they make here), and Tinuviel appreciated them a lot.
We set off again, initially the wrong way as I wasn't sure which road I was supposed to take (the map was only 1-50000, so not extremely detailed), but I soon worked it out. It was another 2.5km down a very poor condition road to where I later on worked out the road on the map ended. However in practice the road continued on from there so I continued on too (deviating from what I had intended!). The road was even worse now, but I struggled on but walked up the last bit through the village until I came to a very attractive spot - it was the site of a spring which was walled in and had trees growing around it, so making it lovely and shady. Tinuviel and I stayed there for a while and had a rest, and I lay down for a bit and Tinuviel played, and lay down with me! The sound of the spring was very soothing, making this a very lovely rest spot indeed. We headed on after a bit having locked the bike up here, and accompanied by a couple of local boys we walked up into the hills, and stopped at a little shelter for a rest. There Tinuviel needed to do a wee, so I helped and we set off again.
We went up through a little village and one of the boys took me to his house - I washed my hands under the outside tap and we continued on a bit. I later found out this was Maghedanda. We walked up a bit more but then the boys refused to go up any further into the woods, so after a brief sojourn where they tried to get me to go back down again, I headed up into the woods without them. The woods were very peaceful, and it was lovely just Tinuviel & I being there. Apparently at night it is a haunt of tigers. I walked for about 45 mins up through the woods and got roughly to the top of a knoll about 2/3 of the way to the top. However it was hard to say exactly where I was because there were trees everywhere, so views were at best very restricted. Thus I decided to give up for today and we had a long rest sitting in the woods and eating grapes and dried apricots and having our drinks. I reckon we got to about 1700m having studied the map hard afterwards, thus higher than Sarangkot (1592m) but quite a way off my original target for today, the peak near Kuraguan at 2140m. We were also some way away horizontally too, perhaps 2km. My original target hill didn't have a forest at the top either so would have had better views. Later I reckoned that my goal was a bit too ambitious for me with Tinuviel on my back, but would be very much doable without her on my back, so maybe I'll try it should I get such an opportunity.
After our rest we headed down again at a about 12:15pm. It was of course very much quicker going, though hard on the knees and I had a brief stop at the little shelter we had stopped at on the way up and then a longer one at the lovely walled spring where the bike was - a place I was sad to leave.
I then cycled back the 4km to Mahendra Gufa down the very bumpy track, but again it was much easier going down. Back at Mahendra Gufa I stopped at a shop with a canopy and Tinuviel & I had an orange Fanta each, and I bought T a few orange and lemon slice sweets too. It was now the hottest part of the day and it was pretty hot, I don't know, but would guess about 30C. In any case I was very pleased that the last 5km back home were pretty much all downhill. I got home about 2pm, and was really quite tired.
Once upon a time there was a land of plenty where gorgeous hills decorate horizons, maps have real contours, there are no brambles in forests, and the sun shines on orienteers. Well if you think about Scotland you are ALMOST right! It was raining as soon as we crossed the Scottish border (Well, it was raining already in England), and it did not stop raining until we finished our first day of training on Saturday afternoon. And from that point the fairy tale is true. But let me get back to the origins of our saga.
Our Good Queen Julia, The First, got the brilliant idea of enjoying some orienteering instead of bramble fighting. So the Queen gathered her Ladies and Knights (Rolf, Anna, Hally, Lindsey, Leo, Ursula, Gill, Guy, Ian, Mark, Mark, and Dick) for 2 days (19-20.7.2002) of holy expedition to the Scottish Highlands of Glenmore Lodge near Aviemore. After some negotiations enough horses (Ford, Nissan, Saab, and Freelander) drove us to the superb maps in the Highlands. Despite the rain most of us made it safely to the Lodge (except Ursula who was delayed by a robbery) on Friday evening. And some of us even tasted the real Scottish haggis. After all, after drinking enough wine even haggis tastes good. And as long as you can draw the right circle on the right feature you can prepare your map for Saturday training: 2 courses about 4 km each and one 2 km long course with electronic punching "Emit". The interesting exercise on the 2-km course was to run it twice and compare your times: assuming one spends almost no time on navigation on the second leg, and keeps about the same speed, one can estimate the time spent on navigation in the first run by subtracting the times. The electronic punching enables the removal of the effects of large mistakes, if they happen. A big difference between the two times means problems with your navigation; a small difference means problems with your running. Unfortunately Emit was not as reliable as we would have wished it to be, so some of us had to rely on our own watch in the second round. But it was still educational. Even other courses were fun: I ended up (of course, pure coincidence!) running an odd-even alternating navigation with gorgeous Anna from Sweden. Naturally upon my turn I got lost. When we relocated a way off the control Anna smilingly asked if I had lost my concentration. Looking at her Scandinavian-style brides I had to acknowledge her good observation. The moral of the story is that one should concentrate on navigation when orienteering!
But back to the running: the pine forests were almost clear of brambles, only sometimes interrupted by beautiful moors decorated with blooming!! foxgloves. The fine maze of reentrants and boulders proved challenging to both physical and navigational skills of almost everybody. It was quite a relief to finish all the courses on Saturday! But after returning to our base in Glenmore lodge and changing the wet clothes for dry ones Queen Julia, Rolf, Lindsey and Leo decided to use the perfect weather (not raining) to hike up a nearby hill called Meall a' Bhuachaille. Well, the water was not falling from the sky anymore, but sure enough the paths to the top were more creeks than paths. So we waded up to the top to see -not fog (as the proper English would expect in Scotland) - but up to 13(!) glacier lakes scattered on the horizon. After coming back, and again changing our wet clothes for dry ones, the evening unrolled with cooking of the delicious (I was really hungry!) pasta. And for a few brave orienteers Leo cooked the wild mushrooms growing just outside our lodge. The dinner was again improved by a good wine, and by even better discussions of what went wrong during the Saturday training. So the atmosphere slowly graduated to the preparation of the day 2 on perhaps even more challenging maps... The navigation skills were tuned up, courses were copied, and improvements were promised...
With Sunday the sun and clear skies came. Yes, in this fairy tale, the magic
happened and the sun was shining in Scotland. I was thinking about putting on my
California Baggies, surfing board, and sunglasses, but after checking the
outside temperature I agreed it is a good time for orienteering and rejoined the
team. This time we practised the following of a line drawn on a map and two
standard courses. One in the northwest and one in the southwest corner of the
"Inshriach North" map. We ran the line course in couples to check on
each other skills (I did not lose my concentration this time). And then I
practised relocation training with Rolf (yeah he does not have the
Scandinavian-style brides!) on the Southeast course (it is an alternative
leading but the follower is led only to the vicinity of the control, and then
the follower must relocate and find the control). Again everybody found his/her
courses interesting and enjoyable. After collecting the last flags and
sunbathing in the Scottish sun we took the included group photo and thanked Ann, the local orienteer, for preparing all our courses.
So finally we relocated to the Glenmore Lodge, and we used the rest of the mushroom decoration for the appetiser dish mushroom a la Vienna schnitzel. This time everybody trusted the porchini choice and had a bite. The official end of the fairy tale was a nice dinner in the Glenmore Lodge restaurant. And after that most of us started to return to our real lives. However some of us -the romantics -extended our Scottish dream until The Lake district 5 days of orienteering (I can think of at least Rolf and Julia). But unless the forests are chopped down the beautiful orienteering terrain will live in Aviemore forever! Thanks to everybody who participated, helped and special cheers to our Good Queen Julia, the Number One!
Someone please ask Leo what are 'Scandinavian style brides'.
The End of a Marvellous Day in a Marvellous Forest - Scottish Highlands - of course.
After the enthusiasm of training in Scottish terrain this year from those who attended the training weekend in Aviemore, it has been suggested that we have another training session in Scotland next year just before the Scottish 6 Days. This would mean you'd only have to do one lot of travelling. The 6 Days starts on Sunday 27th July so I would propose having a training session on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th allowing a days rest on the Saturday. Glenmore Lodge is an excellent base but could well get booked up by other clubs with similar ideas. Therefore, I will probably need to make a booking quite soon. I would be grateful for anyone interested to let me know by mid November. This does not commit you, but there is no point in me making bookings if no one wants to travel that far for training. Also, if you would be interested in training but are put off by the long distance involved please let me know this too. I hope to organise a more local training session applicable to all levels of orienteering.
Alternative suggestions for a Scottish training weekend have been to combine with the Scottish Champs at the end of May or to run the training after such an event so you could revisit areas where you had problems. Let me know what you think.
Julia, Club Coach
Over the weekend of 14th/15th September 5 members of WAOC ran for the Cambridge University Press Running Club in the Round Norfolk Relay. This race is a 17 leg relay starting and finishing in Kings Lynn and going all the way round the county boundary of Norfolk (about 190 miles). The legs vary in length from just under 6 miles to almost 20 miles. Many of the legs are run in darkness, with the last legs being in the early morning of the Sunday.
CUP Running Club has entered a team for the last 12 years. The club is very small, only having about 19 members, which means getting 17 people to make up a relay team is rather tricky and they often rely on a few outsiders to make up numbers. Julia Wotton and Tim Mulcahy are both members of the running club but we also managed to entice Rolf Crook, Peter Woods, Helen Christopher and her husband Richard Frasier to join the team.
Some of us had an early start on the Saturday leaving Cambridge at 6am to be in Kings Lynn ready for an 8am start and stayed with the team all the way through to the finish and the prize giving, trying to catch some sleep in the minibus. I was one of those as I was running 2nd leg. Others turned up a bit before their run and stayed with the team for a short time after their run, before returning home for a good night's sleep in a proper bed. In the past there has only been one leg, which is partly off road. This is the one going from Thetford to Feltwell and includes a section along a forest road through part of Thetford Forest. This year to try to keep runners off some busy roads, 3 other legs (2, 3 and 4) had off road sections. This suited our orienteering members of the team and was very pleasant following the North Norfolk coastal footpath.
All our changeovers were quite smooth unlike some teams who's runner finished their leg at high speed to find the next runner was not there ready to take over, and when eventually they did turn up, they had to stop after a few yards to tie up their shoe laces.
During the day the runner is accompanied by another member of the team on a bicycle. This gives them some protection from the traffic and also the possibility of having a drink on the leg as well as some encouragement. The other teams members stop at various points along the route to cheer the runner on. During the night legs the runner is also accompanied by a minibus to provide better visibility and protection from other traffic. On his arrival in Great Yarmouth, Rolf had the VIP treatment when he was accompanied by a motorcyclist and had the traffic stopped for him. I was the cyclist behind Tim on his leg through Thetford Forest at about 2:30am. The 1st 8 miles were on the road but then we turned onto the forest track, which was a little bit sandy in places and rather bumpy. I was riding a bike with road tyres. It started off ok, but as the track got more sandy and bumpy, I was struggling to keep up with Tim and wobbling more and more. Eventually I decided it was best to abandon the cycling, chuck the bike in the minibus and catch up with Tim who was by this time running with no lights in the pitch black. Steve (who is at least 6 foot tall) from the CUP running club thought he could do better. He leapt on the bike, which had the saddle set even lower than I like it, and managed to wobble even more than I had (I'm sure his knees must have been hitting the handle bars!). He eventually gave up too and we had to drive at 40 miles an hour in the minibus over this bumpy, sandy forest track to catch up with Tim who was beginning to think the minibus had broken down and abandoned him.
The CUPRC team finally arrived back in Kings Lynn having taken 24hr 14min 23secs making us 16/21 in the open class and 24/29 overall. This was a very respectable time for CUPRC. The winning time was 19hr 29min 50secs by City Of Norwich Running club (a club with about 200 members). The longest time was 28hr, 33mins, 11secs.
Of WAOC members taking part in the CUPRC team, we had the following results:
Leg 2: Hunstanton-Burnham Overy 12.25 miles Julia 104:07 Leg 3: Burnham Overy-Wells 6.12 miles Helen 63:36 Leg 4: Wells-Salthouse 12.96 miles Richard 91:28 Leg 7: Mundesley-Lessingham 9.95 miles Peter 73:11 Leg 9: Winterton-Gt Yarmouth 8.30 miles Rolf 50:02 Leg 13: Thetford-Feltwell 13.98 miles Tim 102:51
After a bit of a wash and a very welcome cooked breakfast, we waited for the prizegiving. There were lots of trophies to hand out - winner for each stage, best performance in various categories as well as the overall winners. CUPRC donated a trophy in memory of Dave Wotton for the winner of leg 2 (the leg I did). It was a very elegant, slender silver vase on a wooden base. I was asked to present it to the winner - a rather emotional moment for me. The organising club also kindly gave me some flowers. All team members got a T-shirt and a commemorative plate.
We stopped off at the Ship Inn on the way home (about half way home on the A10) for a quick drink. It was 3pm on Sunday when I finally got home having left the house at 5:40am on Saturday. I slept very well that night!
On behalf of CUPRC many thanks to everyone who took part.
Peter Woods Gratefully Handing Over
Speedy Rolf Flashing By
Details at; www.roundnorfolkrelay.com
An orienteering experience worth attending.
At the beginning of the summer Peter, Helen and I set off to take part (for varying numbers of days) in this year's Swedish O-Ringen. This is a five day holiday event similar to our summer multi-day events but of a different order of magnitude. This year the event centre was in the barracks in Skovde near the large lakes in the south of the country. We flew RyanAir to Gothenburg, took the train to Skovde and then walked the 10 minutes to the event centre. (Quite a straightforward journey as long as you don't take an airport bus to the wrong Gothenburg airport on the way back, as I did.)
For technical orienteering I would not give this year's O-Ringen a very high score - though I am still not sure what a Troll Forest is, the description of terrain for day 4. However, it is definitely an orienteering experience not to be missed if the opportunity arises. For anyone who has organised an event in England just thinking of the logistics of 15,000 orienteers is mind boggling, and a large percentage seem to stay at the event centre and be bussed out to the events.
Bussing to the events - 5 busses left the event centre every 10 minutes At all the road junctions there were army personnel to ensure that the busses did not have to stop. When I questioned a Swedish Orienteer about this, her comment was along the lines 'It says that the transfer will take x minutes so they need the army to make sure that that is how long it takes.'
The most important thing to know once you reach the assembly area is who your sponsor is.
Mine was Coop.
Luckily your race number has this on. The 15,000 people are divided up into eight groups each sponsored by a different organisation and each with a separate start. It is the logo of this organisation that directs you to the correct start and which you must follow on the run in to make sure that you storm down the correct lane to your finish control.
And talking about run ins - the most terrifying part was probably going over the temporary wooden bridge, rather a large number of orienteers ran up then walked carefully down the structure, and then into the correct lane or risk disqualification. On the first couple of days we had the same run in. In the middle of it were some bushes around which the lanes had to bend. Somehow, on the second day a tank was situated in these bushes. It was interesting finding that many people did not notice that there was a tank! There was also a tower at the end of the run in - a commentator sat up there and interviewed live panting elite finishers.
The event centre had taken over most of the army barracks in Skovde. We were actually staying in barrack dormitories. Most people camped. We were definitely glad to be in the dry as one night the army had to be out digging trenches to try to drain the effects of one downpour. Barrack restaurant was open for breakfast and supper (early) which was good for filling up with energy again for the next day's run. The event centre also had numerous fast food stalls, traders (orienteering and other), photoshop, temporary laundry, post office etc.
Assembly areas are a hive of activity including crèche and showers. Most Swedish people seem to use the open showering facilities - eight foot tall Hessian surrounding an area about the size of a tennis court. We did not enter this area however. From the comments of Irish orienteers in our room everyone just stripped off and had a good wash down using the environmentally friendly soap provided. These were at least single sex.
Weatherwise we were lucky with the rain as there were a number of downpours, which we mainly missed - the effect on a wet assembly area of 30,000 feet is pretty muddy.
I have tried to give you some feel for this event but there is no way you are really going to understand the O-Ringen without actually attending it. I feel that it is well worth the experience and am looking forward to a future opportunity. How about other members of WAOC? Could we have a club outing or with training as some other clubs do? O-Ringen 2003 is up the coast from Gothenburg towards Norway. O-Ringen 2004 is actually called Gothenburg 2004 (well spelt Swedish way) so as long as RyanAir is still active…..
What do you think?
This summer my brother had persuaded me to join him on a five-week trip of Greenland. It might sound a bit unbelievable and it did seem so more and more as I was getting closer to the departure date.
Greenland is just amazingly huge, which is probably one of the first things that occurs to you even just seeing it from the airplane, which I did, and which was my almost first impression of Greenland. Almost the first one, because when I went through customs at Copenhagen airport the guy looked at my passport and started asking what I was going to be doing in Denmark (as they do if it's not an EU passport). So I explained I was going on to Greenland the next day..."Greenland???!!" was the reply, and when I offered to show him all of my return tickets etc. he just said go on. Anyway back to the expanse of Greenland. We started off with a 165km or thereabouts trek from close to the inland ice to the western coast. Kim arrived the day after me and with huge backpacks (we were actually carrying everything that we'd use in the next five weeks) we set off towards the coast.
On this trek we were really lucky weatherwise (out of the 10 days it rained about once), and were also lucky enough to be able to canoe one of the longer lakes along which the hike goes. As there's a canoe centre, which maintains a flotilla of free canoes, on the lake, the canoes are just scattered around the lake and you can just use them (pretty amazing in itself really!). So we paddled for a bit too which was a nice change to walking. The hike was marked with cairns but these did disappear every so often, and we did go through a load of swampy bits and hills, as well as it being rather cold on quite a few nights. But reaching Sisimiut (with 5,000 people second largest town of Greenland) at the end it was pretty satisfying!
We then spent some time up further north in Ilulissat (third largest town), which despite being our northernmost point is only a third of the way (from the south) up Greenland's west coast. Which reminds me, the west coast doesn't have polar bears, which we were both quite relieved at. They occasionally drift southwards on bits of ice floating there. So when we spent four nights in Nanortalik (almost right in the south, about 150km from Cape Farewell) I gave them a bit of thought. Not too much though because they usually come in spring with the pack ice. And, after all, as the guy from the tourist office said, they'd already had one arrive about 5-6 weeks before us coming so they weren't expecting any ore this year! Well, Ilulissat: it's typical arctic. Icefjord, which was visible from our tent, sun setting above it too, simply amazing. We actually did a short tour to a small village here (with less baggage some stayed at the tourist info-centre) too.
Later on we travelled by coastal ferry southwards for about three days. It was pretty bumpy every so often. I ended up sleeping through one afternoon as it was the simplest thing to do. Other days were great for lying on the deck though (in sundeck chairs, honestly!). We ended up in South Greenland for the last two weeks of our trip.
They've actually got sheep there and it looks a bit like Scotland (although the hills are probably larger). Here we also saw the northern lights a few times. We did another slightly more challenging (especially due to the weather conditions - it was windy and then wet) trip to a Norse church ruin. And managed to try out flying with a helicopter for the first time when going to the airport.
We met great people. Walking along the street in towns everyone nods and says hello (or rather 'hej' or something similarly sounding). When we were camping in Sisimiut they set up a marquee opposite the tent so when there was music we went to investigate. We got introduced to the local major (well, that's what we understood from our gesticulation), got offered coffee and cakes and heard some of the local music. Most of the time, if they didn't speak English, we'd just speak Czech and they would speak Greenlandic and we'd sort of understand each other. Later on, on our return journey from the trek to the church ruins in wet clothes we stopped in a cabin (very nicely furnished as the local practice is to leave remote huts open so travellers can use them) for lunch. There was a boat that came along the shore so we just waved. They came to say hello and, being the helpful locals, gave a us a lift back to the town where we were headed (and where we had to take a boat from the next morning!) saving us about 10km's walk.
Greenland is certainly a place worth visiting if you ever have the chance though!
Blanka Sengerova (WAOC)
As Events Convenor of the club I am always looking for members to fill the main official positions at events. I try to fill vacancies six months in advance so that there are no last minute panics.
The first event of 2003 will be the Thetford Thrash, our biennial double badge event staged in our largest event areas, with Cambridge University putting on the Saturday event this time and WAOC the Sunday event. Put a note in your diary now to keep the weekend of 25-26 January free.
Here's the list of open events scheduled for 2003.
Date Venue Type Planner Organiser 26th Jan Thetford Thrash Badge Event filled filled 23rd Mar Warden Warren (near Bedford) Colour-coded Vacant Vacant 27th Apr Bush Heath (Mildenhall) Short Races Vacant Vacant 17th May Ampthill Park (near Ampthill!) Colour-coded Vacant Vacant 14th Sept Bedford Park (in Bedford!) Try-O Vacant Vacant 26th Oct Mildenhall North Colour-coded Vacant Vacant 23rd Nov High Ash (Thetford Forest) Colour-coded Vacant Vacant 7th Dec ?? Yvette Baker Trophy Vacant Vacant
Each of these events is going to require an Organiser and a Planner so that's a minimum of 16 members to be found. If you wish, we can consider appointing joint organisers and planners for events.
Previous organisers can tell you that each position comes with support from the Events Convenor including a bumper resource pack telling you what, when and how to do it!
Another advantage of being an official is the possibility of improving your ranking for WAGAL points. Officials get a score equal to their best during the rest of the year. Well - I think it improves your score!
If you would like to volunteer for any of these positions then contact me,
From the event officials for 2002 eventsWAOC event organisers are always on the look out for helpers to take on jobs on the day of their events. As well as contributing to the success of these events you will get to meet colleagues in WAOC. Go on - make their day with a phone call to volunteer your services. 27th October Rowney Warren Bruce Marshall 01223 24628024th November Maulden Wood Ian Smith 01920 822421
The club has an email distribution list which is used for keeping you up to date between issues of Jabberwaoc. At present about half the club make use of this facility. Maybe you are wary of revealing you email address or receiving lots of Spam. Bruce Marshall maintains the distribution list and is the only one with access to the details. He and the Chairman are the only people allowed to send out messages using the group list, so if there is any spamming to be done blame these two! Since we started the group list in March 2001 no one has received any messages that were not generated by club officials.
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Edward Louth wins M12A, Helen Gardner Wins W19A, Lindsey Freeman is 2nd in W50L at the SWOC National event , Mynydd Llangatwg, Crickhowell, 28th September. Full Results details and splits available at; www.swoc.cwc.net/results/National%20event.htm or via the BOF website.