SE England, 14-17 April
The JK Sprint was on Friday (Day 1) at Brunel University, in NW London. This is a typical urban campus, with complicated buildings, some steps and multiple levels, though the area is mostly flat. The terrain is a mixture of hard surfaces and grass, and the area is split by an uncrossable stream. Courses zig-zagged around the campus, with many apparently short legs giving route choice round buildings or uncrossable features. The elite courses had a map exchange at a spectator control.
ESOC’s best results came from Laura Robertson, 2nd in W21E, and Eleanor Pyrah, 3rd in W70.
Other ESOC runners who were in the top half of their class:
M16 (77 competitors) – Ben Brown 34th
M45 (93) – Alistair Hindle 7th
M50 (122) – Terry Johnstone 57th
M55 (103) – Keith Brown 30th=
M65 (61) – Dave Kershaw 17th
M70 (49) – Roger Scrutton 7th, Ian Pyrah 27th
W10 (13) – Megan Brown 5th
W12 (26) – Maja Robertson 5th
W14 (51) – Rachel Brown 6th
W21E (61) – Helen Bridle 7th, Rona Lindsay 13th
W45 (58) – Judy Bell 21st , Hanne Robertson 29th
W60 (46) – Janice Nisbet 6th
The JK Individual competition consists of 2 days of racing, and the times from each are added together for the overall results. The first day was a Middle Distance race for all classes.
Saturday’s event (Day 2) was at Ambersham Common, near Midhurst in West Sussex. Ambersham Common is an area of open heathland and runnable forest, with detailed contours in the woodland. There is a network of paths and tracks, and some extensive marshes. On most courses, one of the final controls was by a trio of antique tractors, followed by a run down a grassy field to the finish. The weather was fine, with sunny intervals.
Day 3, on Easter Sunday, was further east, between Horsham and Crawley, at the western end of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The orienteering area was in two parts: all courses used Holmbush and Buchan Country Park, which has complex vegetation and an extensive path network. Longer courses had a long walk to the start, in St Leonard’s Forest. This is a Forestry Commission plantation, on a large spur, with areas of old mine workings. All courses went through open fields near the finish. The weather was again fine, with warm sunshine at times.
The best ESOC result came from Rachel Brown, who was 3rd overall in W14A.
Other ESOC runners who were in the top half of their class overall:
M45L (70 competitors) – Alistair Hindle 24th
M50S (36) – Ronnie Nolan 11th
M55L (82) – Keith Brown 39th
M65L (74) – Dave Kershaw 17th
M70L (54) – Roger Scrutton 17th, Ian Pyrah 26th
W21L (27) – Rebecca Harding 1st
W45S (18) – Judy Bell 6th
W50L (70) – Helena Nolan 21st
W60L (39) – Janice Nisbet 10th
W70L (24) – Eleanor Pyrah 5th
On Easter Monday (Day 4), it was the JK Relays, at Pippingford Park in Ashdown Forest, Sussex. The terrain is a mixture of semi-natural woodland and heather heathland, on undulating land, with a chain of lakes through the middle of the area, crossed by bridges. There was a clear view of the run-in, and good spectating opportunities as runners made their way across the heathland. This time the spectator control was by a large pink model cow.
ESOC had 5 teams (one of which was non-competitive), in classes B, C, J and P
Our best results were:
ESOC Sith Lords (Andrew Lindsay, Jo Stevenson and Alistair Hindle) - 5th out of 44
in the Men’s Short class
ESOC Land Speeders (Roger Scrutton, Eleanor Pyrah, Dave Kershaw) - 5th out of 12
in the Ultraveteran class (M/W210+)
In the Women's Trophy, ESOC Jedi (Laura Robertson, Rona Lindsay, Rebecca Harding) were lying third after the 2nd leg, but Bex unfortunately went over on her ankle early in her race. She did well to finish, bringing the team home in 8th place.
Days 1, 2 and 3 were the 5th, 6th and 7th events in the 2017 UK Orienteering League – more details, included the league tables, are on the UK Orienteering League page of the British Orienteering website. ESOC has now moved up to 30th position in the club competition.
Days 1, 2 and 3 were also part of the UK Elite Orienteering League – see the UK Elite Orienteering League website for full details. These 3 events were World Ranking Events for elite runners.
Next year, the JK will be at Cannock Chase in the West Midlands, from 30 March to 2 April 2018.
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