Photo: Southern Championships Forest, November 2018.
Dull November brings the blast; Then the leaves are whirling fast.
Sara Coleridge The Garden Year
In November, the 2019 GB Squad was announced. There was one major domestic race: the Southern Championships, which incorporated South London Orienteers' "OK Nuts" Trophy. The UK Elite Orienteering League announced its 2019 fixtures. Alasdair McLeod married, and the groom had company at a Parkrun that morning (and no, they didn't let him win as it's a time trial not a race.)
The British Orienteering News Item about the squad was published on the 11th November. There are three new names and two leavers.
Jamie Parkinson of Devon Orienteering Club, who won the British Middle and Sprint titles in 2017, and was second in the Sprints this year, joins. Two first year seniors at Edinburgh University also join: Matt Fellbaum, who won the silver medal in the sprint at the Junior World Championships, and Alex Carcas. Matt and Alex were first and second in M20E at this year's British Long Distance Champs on the Balmoral Estate.
All three ran in the final round of the World Cup this year in the Czech Republic.
There are two runners leaving the squad: Peter Bray - who won the November Classic at the start of the month (with the City of London Race winner, the Austrian Eric Nilsson-Simkovics - who is currently studying in Birmingham - second), and Aidan Smith - who has longterm injury problems.
These were held at Hindhead Common & The Devil's Punch Bowl 50 miles south-west of London. Until 2011 one of the great routes of England, that between the capital and the chief base of the Royal Navy, ran through the middle, but now the A3 runs in a tunnel 60m under the big curving ridge in the middle of the competition area - map and routes. The racing proved a good test of physical endurance and route choice, and with many runners now routinely wearing GPS and uploading their tracks the post-race analysis can be better informed.
M21E was won by Ben Mitchell of Swansea Bay Orienteering Club, and W21E by Megan Carter-Davies of Mid-Wales. Neither was eligible in the Southern Championships (it is necessary to be affiliated via one of the three southern English regions).
The Championships were co-organised by Southern Navigators and South London Orienteers.
The Southern Championships trophies both went to members of the Salisbury club SARUM: William White and Lucy Butt.
Our The Year Ahead article.
A domestic highlight is the 2019 UK Elite Orienteering League.
It is also November. The noons are more laconic and the sunsets sterner, and Gibraltar lights make the village foreign. November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.