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(Update 7am Saturday 16th - list updated, apologies to anyone we have missed, you can let us know at @OnTheRedLineO on Twitter.)

We can perhaps usefully summarise British runners in Venla and Jukola.

There are ten British teams in Venla, and eleven in Jukola. You can find their runners in the full Venla/Jukola startlists.

Many of the stronger British or British-based runners taking part are running for Scandinavian clubs, some probably near the sharp end of the races - see below for list.

Tons of thought and hours of practice goes into who runs which leg. Factors such as the light conditions, how many other runners will be in near attendance, athlete style and mental approach all play a part as well as this year's terrain type and leg length and position in the relay.

The result is we see that every single leg in both Venla and Jukola is represented in the list of British runners in Scandinavian club teams. You may not be so surprised to learn which has most...

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mcd Photo by Wendy Carlyle

The weekend of 16th/17th June is the Venla and Jukola Relays in Finland. These are enormous. It's a big festival weekend and one of the big competitive weekends of the international orienteering calendar.

Venla is a 4-leg day relay for women. Jukola is a 7-leg overnight relay.

In Britain, a country of 65 million people, orienteering is not so well-known and remains a minority sport. Night orienteering is a minority sport within the minority sport, and a lot of active orienteers say they don't like relay orienteering because of "the additional responsibility" of teammates. Guess what - the UK's night relay, the "Harvester Trophy", is a connoisseur's event for two hundred people.

In Finland, a country with less than one tenth the population, orienteering has a higher profile and there is more navigation skill, the long days of midsummer are a big contrast to the winter, and the overnight relay weekend is several hundred times bigger, attracting over fifteen thousand runners. Many seem to enjoy orienteering more as part of team at a big event, and travel a long way to be there with their friends and family. For some it is their annual orienteering outing.

So for a cultural parallel think not of orienteering but of the London Marathon: a big festival event, a mix of top-level and participation sport, a tradition, and a lot of general interest.

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For Team GB it is the several rounds of the World Cup that defines the competitions. The rounds are hosted in different countries, and the programme is different each year. This year there are four rounds in all. The first round is the European Championships (EOC). The second round is the annual World Championships (WOC).

The European Championships are every two years. 2018 is a year for them - they are in Switzerland, in May.

This is the last year that the World Championships includes all disciplines. From 2019 forest and sprint will alternate. This year WOC is in Latvia in August.

The combination of an all disciplines World Championships and a European Championships makes 2018 the best year to further develop the interest of supporters and spectators in international orienteering.

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