Jabberwaoc - December 2002
Hally Hardie and Lindsey Freeman were hoping to escape from East Anglia in search of sun, sand and sea and better orienteering areas down in Devon/Cornwall. And that was Hally's excuse for wanting to give up editing Jabberwaoc. During their time searching for jobs in that part of the world, I offered to take over the editorship. However, the lack of jobs down there has meant they are here to stay for a bit longer, but Hally has still handed over Jabberwaoc and it is now my turn to put my mark on it. Actually Hally only ever took the job on temporarily at the beginning of this year, so thanks to him for his efforts. And thankyou to Hally for providing the puzzle for this edition.
With a new editor you will see all the usual old favourites but some differences too and I'm sure it will develop as I grapple with the lap top and Word. I will send out an e-mail reminder for people to send in articles several weeks before the next edition is due. So I look forward to receiving your contributions. This is your club magazine. It is what you make it!
Not long before the last edition WAOC held a Come And Try It event at Wimpole Hall. Rolf Crook has provided an article about that. Does anyone have a picture of Bruce Marshall trying to stop the horses eating the master maps, start clock, tapes, controls and anything else orienteering-wise they could get their teeth into? It provided good entertainment for those of us at the start.
Various junior training has been going on recently. Several WAOC members have been trying to encourage youngsters at a local school to have a go at orienteering and have been running training sessions for them. Ursula describes all the hard work involved in that. And as some of you know there was a training session for juniors held at Rowney Warren after people had run their colour coded courses. This edition includes a bumper edition of Junior Jabber with an article about that with lots of pictures.
Several WAOC members took part in the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon in October. Jean Sinclair has provided a report. It was the weekend of the storms, but then the Karrimor is famous for having horrendous weather.
This is the last edition this year so best wishes for Christmas to you all and see you at the Thetford Thrash next January (please find an entry form enclosed) if not before.
Congratulations to Richard and Helen Gibbens on the birth of their son William Robert on 13th October 2002. Mother, father and baby were looking well last time I saw them even if lacking some sleep!
We extend a warm welcome to:
King's College School (group membership), Cambridge
David Brierley from Corby
We hope that you will enjoy orienteering with us.
Anne DuncumbMembership Secretary
We hope that you will want to continue your WAOC Club membership for 2003. Membership subscriptions will be the same as in 2002. BOF members will receive their renewal forms from BOF very shortly - the subscription paid covers WAOC membership as well.
WAOC Club-only members (except for new members who joined during National Orienteering Week or after 1st September 2002) please renew your club membership now - you will find a renewal form with this copy of Jabberwaoc. This will ensure that you do not have to pay the non-member surcharge at events and continue to receive Jabberwaoc regularly.
Fees for 2003: (includes membership of EAOA)
Seniors £7.50 Juniors £2.50 Families £9.00 Groups £5.00
Please note that information concerning membership is stored on a computer database. This is not accessible to other organisations. A membership list is published annually and circulated to club members.
The weather can play an important part in many aspects of orienteering with driving rain, snow, floods, swollen rivers and whatever else the elements can throw at us conspiring to make our sport more challenging, but sometimes the weather can get the better of us. It is often difficult in this country to guess what the weather is going to do, just how strong or exactly where it is going to happen. This is what happened with the original Rowney Warren event in October. The strong winds were forecast but it was difficult to tell how far north and how strong they would be. Early on the morning of the original event it became apparent that the winds were going to be very strong with already fallen branches and a tree uprooted it was decided that safety was the important factor and the event was cancelled. It was also noticed, with surprise, that (non orienteering) people were still arriving and going for walks in the Warren!
As we use pre-marked maps at our event (which is the major expense) it was important that we try to reuse them before and further felling takes place (either natural or man-made) so it was decided to reschedule the Rowney event to replace the Maulden event in November. Thankfully, the event went ahead as planned this time with only a passing visit from the rain clouds.
After 4 years sterling service, Bruce Marshall our 'events convenor' has decided to step down from the role at the next AGM, and I am very grateful for his work in that time. This is an important role within the club, the most important aspect being ensuring that the officials (planner, organiser and controller) for all our Colour Coded and Badge events are in place (about 6 per year). If anybody within the club is interested in taking on this role or requires any further information about it please contact me or Bruce (or any other member of the committee) and we will be pleased to discuss it with you.
(by Ursula Oxburgh)
18 months ago Anne Duncumb, Nicola Gardner and I went on a school teachers' training course run by Pauline Olivant, the BOF Schools' Development Officer for E England, at Fairlands Valley.
Following on from that, Anne and I started junior training with WAOC and also decided to write to 6 schools in Cambridge offering to go in to introduce orienteering to Year 5. We got by far the most positive response from King's College School and Jenny Grey, who teaches PE to year 5 there. It was a big advantage that Anne and Peter Duncumb had already drawn a map of the school based on the site plan. By this time we had incorporated Nicola and also Caroline Louth, since Edward, Sophie, Thomas and William are currently all at KCS, though none in year 5. We certainly needed all 4 of us.
There are about 45 year 5 kids and we had them in 2 groups for about an hour each, with a break of around 10 minutes between the 2 lots. We planned a 4 week progression with a combination of 'netball court' exercises and map exercises - walk one week, star exercise the next week, white courses round the school the next week.
For week 4 the art teacher, who taught opposite PE, released the whole year for the entire afternoon, we asked for parental help and put on 2 White courses and one Extra course on the S part of Coe Fen. Nicola planned that and Caroline organised and it was a lot of work, but the kids loved it. This was supposed to be the finale but we had all had such fun that we did 2 more weeks after half term. It was quite a challenge developing Yellow skills round a very cramped school site which they knew rather well but we managed, though another year we would try to fit in all the sessions before half term when the weather is better.
We really concentrated on thumbing the map and setting the map. We never suggested that you could orienteer in pairs: instead we sometimes offered an easier first option to those who wanted it and we generally had 2 or 3 'wanderers' who sorted people out round the school. Since we just assumed that O was a running sport so did they, and some of them are really good runners - it was great to see them sprinting in to the finish.
It was truly hard work, both in the preparation and in the execution. We spread the load by sharing the exercises between us and Fred Northrop was a huge support over the printing and over-printing of maps - the school was happy to pay for these. The kids were just fantastic; really fit, enthusiastic, friendly which made it a most rewarding experience.
Now we hope that some of them will come to regular O events, get White badges and represent King's College School in the British Schools' O Champs next year.
Having competed at several major events far from home earlier this year, it was a pleasant change to be driven 20 minutes from my doorstep to a pin-punching colour coded. It was WAOC's annual CATI CC event at Wimpole Hall, affectionately known as Plimsole Hall.
I was most impressed by Roger's seemingly relaxed style of organisation, particularly as he had taken on the role only a few days earlier. It was so relaxed that, whilst helping at the finish, I had time to take photos of finishers, including this one of Roger. Our CATI event is all about introducing people to orienteering, so it was great to see so many new faces crossing the finish line.
As helpers became spare after the registration-rush, they were drafted off to the start. Rumours began circulating about some rowdy horses. Come the afternoon I registered on the red course and jogged to the start, ready to experience the horseplay for myself. One horse was fighting Bruce over a role of tape, while the other was resolutely blocking orienteers from entrance into the start field. Apparently such capers had been happening all day!
Once past the horses, Dan's sunny course was a pleasure to run round, although uncrossable fences were ready to catch out those of us after the straight line route and some unmapped vegetation caused hesitation. The area is super fast, being mostly fields with scattered trees, and favours those with runners legs. Horses, cows and sheep, all with long horns, provide variety to the fields. There are patches of dense forest, a lake, a folly, and even some undulations. Hally's new map was great, and I look forward to running at Plimsole Hall again.
Planner's Problems at Rowney Warren Mk I in 2002
Would you believe it but the poor old planner lost the master map for one of the courses whilst fighting through the storm that beset the Rowney Warren event on the first attempt this year. Not only was the master map lost, but so was the control list. What a catastrophe! That left a problem for the recent replay, which you might just have enjoyed. Surprisingly all was not quite lost because on the next visit to the wood, just to check up on the control sites again, a few scraps of the lost, and now very wet and soggy, map were found. Unfortunately all but the course overlay had been washed out - inkjet prints, not laserjet - so this left a bit of a further problem, especially as the planner couldn't actually remember the detail of all of the courses, especially this one. But it was remembered that this particular course consisted of 18 controls, all of which bar one - a cairn - were situated on 'Brown' features, except for the Start and Finish which were in clearings.
The soggy remnants were dried out, and for your benefit have been reproduced here, but in a haphazard layout. We have actually given you a map as well just in case you don't keep your competition maps.
Can YOU reconstruct what the planner had to go through to work out the course? You may recognise that the planner did at least remember where the start and finish were, but this you will have to discover for yourself. YOUR task is to reconstruct this particular course, including the 'missing' control, and then to make up the control description list including height and distance. What colour would you have given this colour-coded course?
Don't forget that YOU could win an entry to a Club colour-coded event, of your choice, if you happen to be the first out of the hat with the correct answer. Closing date is 2nd January 2003. Send your answers to either the Jabberwaoc Editor, Julia Wotton e-mail; email@example.com, or Hally Hardie e-mail; Hally40@aol.com Snail mail addresses are as per Committee list.
(by Jean Sinclair)
After a disastrous week preceding the event, just getting to the start was an achievement. In the end, we completed the course in a respectable time - well, respectable for me, a female first time competitor, perhaps a little disappointing for Russell Ladkin, who had run 3 previous KIMMs with other partners.
The weekend the KIMM before was dominated by the shock of the unexpected death of my Grandma on Sunday morning. She was a fit and independent 90 year old, who lived alone, near my family in Birmingham. On Saturday night I phoned for a chat, and she asked about the KIMM, knowing that I was planning to run with my sister's husband, Andy. Last year, in Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park I had staffed a hilltop checkpoint for 24 cold and windy hours, rewarded by friendly comments by competitors and seeing the sunset over the western isles and rise over the moors near the River Clyde and Glasgow. More unexpected was the arrival of Mike Stroud and partner, who had picked up the wrong course map at the overnight camp, a situation resolved by a series of radio calls. Presumably there are fewer map choices when walking across Antarctica! Grandma knew the area well, as she and Grandad had walked, fished and rowed while courting during the 1930s, and knew the bakery which supplied the post-event rolls and cakes. She looked forward to hearing about this year's event. During a series of phonecalls with my sister, Andy admitted that he was feeling unwell with a cold and wasn't sure whether he would be able to compete. Between phone calls to arrange flights for my parents back from holiday in Spain, I made enquiries about volunteering as a marshal again. Then, unexpectedly, Russ offered to run. Unexpected, because he had said several times that he didn't want to compete with me - not that I'd ever asked - as we run at different speeds and I'm not as competitive. We planned to drive to Harrogate on Thursday to spend a night with friends, meet their new baby and borrow a race tent. Russ had run 2 of his previous KIMMs with Mike, who will not be competing so much since the birth of Hannah in the spring. Unfortunately, kids in our street don't use the recreation ground just a few hundred metres away, preferring to kick footballs and play with catapults in the road. On Wednesday morning, I discovered that the back window of my car, parked on our drive, was broken. Fortunately, insurance and windscreen companies were very helpful and it was repaired on Thursday morning. Russ's only drawback as a partner is that he has never learned to drive, but he did stay awake to navigate.
So, it was with relief that we reached the start at Wooler on Friday afternoon. We tried to find various friends we knew were competing or photographing, but without success. We had late starts on both days, so no rush, although fighting our way to the start line and being funneled into the late starts lane meant we started Course C about 4 minutes late on Saturday. Still, we finished in 5:56:00, 147th overall. Conditions were lovely, with bright sunshine before becoming dull and damp later. The only problem came when climbing to the final control, near the finish, I was elbowed by several competitors running down the same track. Conditions deteriorated overnight, so that we started in rain and strong winds. At times, strong winds made running impossible and even walking difficult. Near the start of Day 2, we chose a route using a bridge marked on the map. We when found it, we discovered two wooden spars across the burn, with a few intermediate cross planks - walking upright was impossible, so we crawled on hands and knees. I was glad to lead and not to have to watch Russ first. Another boundary crossing was made less painful by laying laminated maps over barbed wire. We finished Day 2 in 6:26:02, 171st, 12:22:02 and 155th overall of 209 finishers. The Cheviots is a lovely area, and I got to know it well around 12 years ago, through Newcastle University Fell Walking Society and Nordic Ski Club and serving as a Territorial Army Nursing Officer, which involved being paid to go fell walking at Otterburn ranges - I couldn't believe my luck!
Because of our late start, we reached the finish about 3pm. We drank lots of soup and tea, and ate hot bacon rolls and beef stew, then changed clothes and set off. The ground was muddy and churned up, so I was a bit concerned about getting away, but the car behaved well. When we stopped to buy petrol at Alnwick, the attendant asked if we'd been rally driving! By about 7pm, we were back at Harrogate, sitting down to roast meat, vegetables and beer. Still trying to keep up blood sugar levels, we rationalized. After a morning's babysitting, we set off South - Russ even stayed awake, although I didn't need any help with navigating.
However, problems were not over - we both got up several times during Monday night with food poisoning, which left us too tired and unwell to drive to Grandma's funeral on Tuesday. Fortunately, other members of my family were very understanding and sympathetic.
I'm also relieved to say that Russ and I are still speaking to each other!
Jean Sinclair (Team 762, Course C)
The Thursday running group has now been going for 1 year, the 1st run being on 13th December 2001. Since then we have run round most of the nice bits of Cambridge and during the summer we ran across fields from many villages around Cambridge, often taking a map and having to navigate our way round. Some of those footpaths don't really exist on the ground where some farmers do not keep the path maintained across their crops and on a couple of occasions we found ourselves hacking through a field of beans. However, it all added to the fun and we've got to know quite a few village pubs for our after run meal. Our numbers swelled to 12 during the summer but we are back down to about 4-5, especially with Hally and Lindsey (2 of our regulars) being injured at the moment.
With the dark evenings now, we have had to do less cross country running and we can't really take a map and try to find footpaths in the dark (although it's quite good training for night orienteering). We do still use footpaths where we can and where we know them. Recently we took a train to Waterbeach and ran back along the river bank to Cambridge. This was quite muddy in places - Blanka slipped over and I nearly tripped over her, but no one ended up falling in the river! On the 5th December we had a particularly muddy run from Wilberforce Rd in Cambridge out to Hardwick. I nearly lost my shoe! We will try to find some less muddy places for the next runs. If you would be interested in joining the group please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can't make Thursdays but would like to meet other WAOC members for training, please let me know because we have occasionally run on a different day. Also Rolf has been hill training at Therfield Heath on Saturday mornings with a few people joining him and several people have been to circuit training in Cambridge on Wednesday evenings. We have a mail group email@example.com which is used to notify people about training runs. Please e-mail me if you wish to join it.
Where: Coe Fen, Cambridge
Meet at: Lammas Land Car Park (grid ref 447574 accessed from the corner of Newnham Road and Barton Road)
Registration: from 10:30am
Mass Start: at 11:00am
Courses: Suitable for all ages and abilities!
Prize Giving: in the pub (Anchor?) immediately after the event - if you
don't compete you can't win!
This is an advance notice of the AGM to be held on the evening of 22nd March 2003 at St. Matthew's Church Hall, Cambridge. Further details will be available in the next edition.
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 revised list of open events scheduled for 2003.
|Warden Warren (near Bedford)
|Bush Heath (Mildenhall)
|Ampthill Park(near Ampthill!)
|Bedford Park (in Bedford!)
|High Ash (Thetford Forest)
|Yvette Baker Trophy event
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!
The Ampthill and Bedford Park events would be a good start for those who feel daunted by the bigger events. We'll be using manual punches and there's only 4 shortish courses to be planned.
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,
An up-to-date web list is available here
26th January 2003