Squad Weekend

squad training Graham

catHollie Picture: Cat (GB top) and Hollie (Lakeland OC top)

The senior squad inaugural took place the weekend of the 1st-2nd December. This was a chance for the squad to get together, to celebrate the 2018 achievements, and to make plans for the coming year. Training started with some technical night-o in Haverthwaite on the Friday evening and then two forest sprints in Windermere on Saturday morning - one a mass start and one a chasing start to simulate the pressure and distractions of head to head relay running.

British Orienteering News Item Announcement of 2019 Squad.

It was a wet weekend.

start Picture: Squad athletes looking at maps together at the recent group training weekend

Liz Campbell very kindly gave us somewhere dry to begin team planning for 2019/20 (and soup). We shared our individual goals with each other and then came up with some shared team aims. We also made plans for the coming year and looked into how we can best support each other as we work towards the next two years of international competitions.

In the afternoon we headed to Graythwaite. Megan said “I enjoyed some head to head training with Hollie in Colonel’s Drive on the Saturday afternoon. I love how clean that forest is, so you can run fast and see the contour shapes clearly. With being out of competition season it’s a great time to just enjoy the orienteering!”

On Sunday we departed for home with most of the team heading to Holme Fell for some tough long distance training on the way. A few of us did sprintervals around the tricky alleyways of Kendal which really challenged you to plan ahead and keep on top of where you were.

I think we’ve all come away from the weekend feeling really motivated for the year ahead and ready to start our preparations for Norway and beyond. Big thanks to Ed Nicholas, Liz Campbell, GG, & Martin “Bilbo” Bagness for their input into what was a great weekend.


On Saturday evening the prestigious athlete awards were held.

Teammate of the year (voted for by the other members of the squad)

  • Charlotte Ward
  • Honorary mentions
  • Ralph
  • Megan
  • Alice

Male athlete of the year

  1. Kris
  2. Ralph
  3. Peter

On The Red Line editorial: Kris Jones has had a fantastic 2018. He won the bronze medal in the European Champs sprint, ran excellent fast times in the sprint and forest relays at the World Champs, came back first on the Jukola first leg, and away from orienteering, he became Scottish Cross-Country Champion, ran 63:55 wearing a Welsh vest in the Commonwealth half-marathon, and helped GB take the silver in the European Cross-Country Championships.

Female athlete of the year

  1. Alice
  2. Cat
  3. Megan

On The Red Line editorial: Eighth in the World Champs Sprint (noted below as the best British performance at the Championships) is the main reason for this (Alice also won the British Sprint title for the second year in succession), and Alice wrote probably our best-received article of the year afterwards.

Most improved athlete

  • Ralph
  • Honorary mention
  • Alice

WOC Performance

  • Alice, 8th in the Sprint
  • Honorary mentions
  • Men’s Forest Relay (sixth)
  • Mixed Sprint Relay (seventh)
  • Kris Sprint (tenth)

Masazō Nonaka Special Recognition Award

  • Graham Gristwood


On The Red Line editorial:

Even casual watchers must have noticed the complete absence of Graham's name from recent results. For the entire year he has been recovering from an injury (and we hope he continues to do so.) Nevertheless he has been active supporting the squad and squad initiatives.

"GG" is now leaving the squad; he continues to be available for selection for forest races. This is to avoid any perceived conflict of interest as he takes up his recently appointed role as Technical Director for the World Championships in 2022. If he is fit the forests of Southern Norway in August could well see him adding to his 13 World Championship appearances.

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