Orienteering in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

Results : Southern Area and SCOA Championships, Chiltern Challenge and a round of the UK Masters Cup. 13th March 2011

Sponsored by SAS

Hambleden Results Page

Results by course/class and championship results are available on the EMIT UK web site.

Splitsbrowser (with competitors grouped by age class)
Routegadget (with competitors grouped by course)

String Course results - "It turned out a really lovely day and we were very pleased with the uptake - even those over 10!! Thanks to all those who came and enjoyed the wood. Hope to see you at Penn Wood on Easter Saturday. The Blackies"

Updated UK Cup standings


Photo Gallery:
Photos by John Last
Photos by Ian Buxton


comments from : organiser, planner, controller.

Organiser's Comments
Far rather have rain at the beginning and glorious sunshine at the end than the other way round!

It was a big undertaking. Surely the biggest event TVOC have organised since NE2 in 2005? And arguably bigger, as we had 18 more pre-entries this time around!

We were dealt one bad card. Rat Race Adventure's "Horseplay" event was inadvertently scheduled on the Hambleden Estate for the same weekend. Their 10k run took place through the same area only 17 hours before our first Start!

This limited the number of controls we could put out on Saturday, and meant we couldn't set anything up in the field until Sunday morning. Setting out a run-in at 5:00am is tricky. It's definitely still dark then!

We did have two specific problems at the Start. My apologies for these, and for the knock-on effect that one of these issues had on the printing of results.

Jerry at EMIT UK got the results up at www.emituk.com later in the evening and has sorted out all the timings and splits issues. Thank you, Jerry, and the entire EMIT UK team. I hope this didn't cause too many problems for any of you.

And my apologies for anyone who was not able to run the Colour-Coded course of their choice. We clearly didn't print enough Light Green maps, despite careful calculation.

Fortunately everyone seemed to enjoy their run. It is a fantastic area (we knew that already), and I have already had some very positive feedback by email about the whole event. Feel free to email me with your comments.

At the end of the day, it was all hugely worthwhile. Six years is a long time to be away from an area the size and quality of Hambleden. I think we did it justice!

And one day. Perhaps just one day, (despite having associations with the Hambleden Estate going back 20 years), one day I might actually get to run there myself!!!

And the irony of this: the only thing I lost was my compass. Explain how that happened!

John Dalton
07767 362805

Awards and Certificates
I was very pleased so see so many people staying for the Prize Giving ceremony. For those winners that couldn't, I will be making contact with you separately to arrange to deliver your awards and trophies to you.

Certificates to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the Southern Championships will be coming in the post.

Lost Property
Please do contact me if they are yours.

  • 1 electronic children's game in a brown compass-like housing
  • 1 pair muddy running shoes, no doubt left only temporarily on the ground outside the owner's car!

Special Thanks
OK, you don't have to read this bit, but I want to say it anyhow!

I'd like to personally thank every single person who helped at the event, whatever their role. Volunteers are critical to the success of the sport, and never more so than at a major event.

Most pleasing of all were the number of junior members of the club helping, such as the Kippins and the Bunns (and the Dalton boys, but they didn't have much say in the matter!).

I am also extremely grateful for the TVOC Team Leader system and the Team Leaders themselves. Great "stuff" just seemed to happen without my direct involvement at all.

I have acknowledged the support of Sponsor, SAS, of the Hambleden Estate team, and owner of the estate, Mr Urs Schwarzenbach on both our web site, and in the Final Details. It can do no harm to thank them once again.

Some clubs and other individuals were particularly helpful. Peter Brett, as Controller had a style and approach to the job that was a joy. Mike Edwards' advice and help as Organiser of the Southern Championships in 2009 was critical to me. Happy Herts also lent us some vital equipment (SOC would have been happy to do the same). Ian Marsden was a master of the commentary and PA set-up, but without Ed Nicholas, Graeme Ackland, Mike Edwards, and Colin Duckworth, there would have been no commentary. Helen Errington (and Katy Stubbs) were also a godsend.

And finally, I must comment on the enormous efforts of Planner, Steve Long, and Mappers Mark Thompson and John Farren. You were the real stars.

I remember the frustration in John when, minutes after he had mapped a number of the horse jumps, they were lifted up and moved across the estate!

I didn't have the heart to tell John that two days before the event they were all being moved again!

Planner's comments
My inspiration for the courses began with the terrain. The Chilterns do not offer technical terrain, other than isolated pockets on a few maps, and therefore the orienteering challenge must come from route choice, which Chiltern terrain usually offers in abundance.

Another, possibly unusual, inspiration for the courses came from an old book on orienteering I chanced upon in Settle market last year. It is "Know the game - Orienteering" published in 1965 by the SOA. Original price 5 shillings.

In the book the authors describe what orienteering is, and it is a navigational course between controls on land features that may or may not be marked on the competition map. To enhance the difficulty of the course, and to reward the most skilful orienteer, courses are planned to offer a choice of routes.

The contents of the book made me reflect on how far we have come since those days, in terms of map quality, competitors' expectations, and the different styles of the planning that high quality large scale maps allow. We have come a long way since route choice was always a significant factor in determining the quickest time between two controls. This is in contrast to the emphasis on fine navigation that is often found in orienteering courses these days.

Those who have run courses planned by me before will know I enjoy trying to find long route choice legs, and the view of orienteering in the old SOA book was resonating with me. Although I felt under pressure to plan courses more in line with current expectations of many shorter legs and fine navigation, I decided to stay true to myself and the spirit of orienteering as embodied in the old book, and try to focus on route choice in the courses. My fear was that you'd find the long legs boring, but I hoped to build enough interest into the route choices to counter that. Whether I was successful in my aims is for you the competitor to judge

I'm grateful to Peter Brett who was the voice of reason when it came to, for example, the average leg length on the older age group courses. I put in extra controls to try and keep the older, less quick, competitors interested. I'd like to thank Peter for all his sensible advice, for quick turnarounds when checking various stages of the planning, and for his valued suggestions for changes.

I'm also grateful to Dave Peel, the event's Elite Adviser, for his advice and comments in the early stages of planning. Dave also offered useful feedback on the mapping, which contributed to the enhancement of readability of the 1:15k version.

Thanks to everybody who ran at Hambleden, and I hope you enjoyed your course whatever your level of competitiveness. I received a number of positive comments which have made all the hard work and heart ache worthwhile.

Steve Long

Controller's comments
To follow.


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