W21ETop3 Jo, Megan and Cecilie together after their runs on Sunday (credit Iain Shepherd)

It was another warm day in Southern England for the biggest relay event in the UK Calendar: the JK (Jan Kjellström) Relays.

As with the other days of this JK festival pretty much everything was brilliant - planning, parking, layouts, final details, helpful officials, atmosphere.

Most runners were challenged by the good courses and enjoyed their orienteering. The premier classes had good races. The one "but" as most will know was the timing and results service, which as on the other days proved itself not up to the job.

The prizegiving postponed from Day 2 did take place and some of the relay classes could be presented but not all.

Continue reading...

DR+HMDave Rollins and Heather Monro

There was no prizegiving for the the racing at Cold Ash today but there was a presentation by past members of the British team, represented by Heather Monro (ran at 8 x WOC, and a bronze medal in 2005) to former manager Dave Rollins who led many GB international trips.

The provisional results - today only (not the two days combined)

Women:
  1. Megan Carter-Davies
  2. Cecilie Andersen
  3. Lizzie Ingham
Men:
  1. Chris Smithard
  2. Will Gardner
  3. Peter Bray
Continue reading...

GG_Running inGraham Gristwood runs in at Windmill Hill

Quick runs from top runners coming back from longtime injuries were one of the stories of the day. Graham Gristwood was second in today's men's race, and Cat Taylor won the women's. Neither is able to take on tomorrow's long race though, but we should see them in Monday's relays and in TioMIla next weekend..

The men's race was won by a terrific run from Peter Hodkinson, and third place was taken by Peter Bray.

Second in the women's was Jo Shepherd, and third was Megan Carter-Davies.

Official results

Continue reading...

WillWill Gardner on the run-in

The JK Sprint Champions are Will Gardner and Megan Carter-Davies. Both kindly shared their immediate thoughts - post-race interviews on Twitter.

Official results

The races were at Aldershot "Home of The British Army", which was a great venue and looking particularly lovely in the warm sunshine. Nearly all of each course was in the secure garrison area, with fast running mostly on tarmac or flagstones. There are many buildings, fences, and hedges, and interesting and fair courses weaving in and out set many short route choice decisions.

But, and this is a rather significant "but", the timing system fell short, both in regard to displaying the information to commentary and the audience, and runners being confident about reliably recording which controls were visited

Provisional results may be found at https://race-results.info/live/1660/class.pdf or at https://race-results.info/live/1660/

We are nervous about the timing system for the rest of the weekend.

Continue reading...

Peter Image: Peter Hodkinson at Falkland (credit @UKEliteOLeague)

It was the Scottish Spring with middle, sprint and long races. Middle and Sprint on Saturday, long on Sunday. Who knows who was trying how hard the weekend before the JK (and two weeks before TioMila), but it was top races with strong fields. All three races were counting as the third weekend of the UK Elite League 2019 - just the JK and British (Long) to go now in that competition.

The league tables have been updated.

Results.

Thanks to Graham Gristwood, weekend co-ordinator.

Continue reading...

TrainInStation Photo: Saturday's Assembly. Credit: Lakeland Orienteers on Twitter

It was the Red Rose Classic* - the second weekend of the five that make up the main domestic open class series - the UK Elite Orienteering League. On Saturday there was a middle distance at Haverthwaite, and on Sunday a long distance at Hampsfell.

*A Red Rose is traditionally associated with the County of Lancashire, as the White Rose is with Yorkshire. Wikipedia - Wars of The Roses

On both days Megan Carter-Davies and Will Gardner won the races. Will cut the second day quite fine though, having an identical time to that of Ben Mitchell at the last control.

The leagues's remaining weekends are Scottish Spring, the JK and the British.

Scottish Spring includes a middle distance race on Tentsmuir planned by Kris Jones - the same area Kris filmed the Intricate Contours video.

Continue reading...

Ben Photo: Ben Mitchell in the colours of Swansea Bay OC (2018 British Champs)

March 17th was the day of the CompassSport Cup Matches round the country. All were National Events. Club teams can be of any size and involve individual runners tackling their own one of 12 age group courses ( or "running up"). The highest scoring runners from a club count for the team score: 25 in the case of the Cup (for larger club teams) and 13 in the case of the Trophy (for smaller club teams.)

As less than a third of a team's counting runners can be in the open classes (and for successful teams it is typically fewer) there is no particular focus on these. But it is a big weekend for the clubs and they like to have their top runners joining the team. So here's a table of who won the open class races around the country.

Continue reading...

W21E Sprint Photo: Cecilie Andersen ahead of Megan Carter-Davies and Kirstin Maxwell, leading three in the Women's Sprint, towards the end of the course (credit: Steve Rush)

South Yorkshire Orienteers - terrific job, thanks - organised both events for the Northern Champs Weekend, 9th-10th March. The (Long) Championships were on Wharncliffe on Sunday. On Saturday, as the majority of orienteers attending the weekend ran an urban race, there was a sprint race to start the UK Elite League.

On The Red Line article about the League.

Saturday was wet and the terrain of Ponderosa, a mixture of parkland and estates with intricate alleys, was slippery. Sunday was wet and windy too, with snow on the moorland for earlier runners. The sprint races were longer than usual, and the championship races a bit shorter.

In the women's Megan Carter-Davies won both the sprint and the Northern Champs race. Megan, of Mid-Wales Orienteering Club, is not eligible for the Northern title, which was won by Charlotte Watson of West Cumberland O.C..

Continue reading...

Will Photo: Will Gardner at Portugal O Meeting 2019

The Portugal O Meeting traditionally attracts large numbers: 2.600 this year. The top open classes, have large entries. This year over 100 in the women's, and well over a 120 limit in men's meaning there is a split to "super-elite" and "elite" based on world ranking position. The races see many of the world's best having their first competitive races after the winter. Several top clubs such as Halden and Kalevan Rasti are there in strength, and the Swiss National Squad ran Sunday and Monday's races.

  • Friday March 1st - Sprint Relay Competition and Open classes.
  • Saturday March 2nd - Middle distance
  • Sunday March 3rd - Middle distance
  • Monday March 4th - Middle distance World Ranking Event
  • Tuesday March 5th - Long distance, chasing start for elite classes.
Continue reading...

BritNightsPrizegiving Photo: M21 prizegiving, British Nights, from Scottish Orienteering Twitter (L-R Hector Haines, Graham Gristwood, Thomas Wilson, and in background - controller Richard Oxlade)

For most of the athletes the winter is mainly about training for the big events to come. And for On The Red Line it has been quite a quiet time with mostly background updates - such as to athlete profiles. There have been happenings, but we have been content to use Twitter. We have also been taking in the eight skills videos produced by South London Orienteers. The primary target for these is teenagers as they take on harder courses, but we think all orienteers can enjoy them. They were released through January and February, and are each presented by a different member of the squad.

Now, as February ends, after the hottest ever temperatures for this month in Britain, here is a roundup of some of what's happened through the winter months of December, January and February..

Continue reading...