Summer: The Wawel Cup
The Wawel (pronounced "wow these people look really cool") cup in Krakow was our first venture abroad as a club in recent memory. Our specialist training program for the indoor race of staying indoors for most of the year gave us great results, Bronwen winning the women's elite and Andrew coming in a very respectful second place in the men's. Half of the forest races were in familiar looking terrain, very similar to North Yorkshire, it didn't really help. In the other races we were met 20m+ high cliffs, but the real challenge was map preservation due to the torrential rain washing the ink off. The only constant were the free beers at the end of each race, lovely.
A nasty first leg straight up a rather steep climb awaited us in the BUCS relay, some ran, some walked but we all had fun at some point of the day. Our star runners didn't win, but that's alright because we tried our best and that's what matters.
The rest of the year...
Sorry for the lack of updates throughout the rest of the year - Daniel and I got quite busy with final year stuff!
Firstly, congratulations and best wishes to all the new exec:
Captain: Sam New
Vice captain: Bronwen Mansel
Treasurer: Peter Jackman
Coaches: Oisin Brennan and Luke Parker
Webmaster: William Phillips
Social sec: Nick Wilson
Kit sec: Beatrice Law
Social media and community: Tamanna Dasanjh and Hannah Goldswain
Please note that the AGM minutes will be up in due course. And finally, good bye from us in terms of the website - I'm sure Will can keep it far more up to date anyway!
Edinburgh Big Weekend - 25th-27th January 2019
As always, Edinburgh Big Weekend is one of the best events in our calendar. This year saw much more forgiving weather, which made the weekend a great opportunity for experienced orienteers to show their improvements, and for newer competitors to test their skills on some difficult courses!
The first event was focussed around Calton Hill, with a timed out road crossing thrown in there for some fun! The late night was cold for the EUOC volunteers marshalling on the course, but was comfortable for the competitors.
Some of the Durham cohort started the weekend strong, opting for the longer course. Andrew showed that he wasn’t really injured by finishing just over 3 minutes behind the winner! Luke Parker also put in a good performance coming just 31st out of 82 finishers. In a tight bunch was Luke Piper, Oisin, then Daniel in 46th, 48th and 50th respectfully.
On the other hand, some decided to enjoy the short course instead. This included a great performance form Bronwen (just under 4 minutes from the winner) and also a decent finish from Beatrice. There wasn’t much good news for the others… Will was confused early on and didn’t scan the first control! Arthur too miss punched on the course. But no performance could have been worse than Nick’s, who showed up and chose to not compete on the Friday, and then he suggested going to MacDonald’s!!! Truly DUOC’s finest athlete!
The urban event on Saturday punished competitors for a few bad mistakes. Not every leg had a tough decision on route choice, but one wrong turn and you lost a few minutes on your opponents. There was added excitement as the second side of the map was zoomed in around a riverside estate with many stairs and alleyways to get lost down! This event left us all discussing optimum route afterwards. The star of the weekend, Parker, gave a great performance finishing just 15th on course 1. He was not far behind one of his personal rivals…some say his control description holder was weighing him down…Andrew again showed he wasn’t injured (or a supervet) by narrowly winning the supervet course 3! Quite an achievement at the ripe age of 22. Most other DUOC members finished in pairs: Piper then Nick came in around 62 minutes, then Daniel followed by Matthew at 69 minutes, and Peter then Oisin finished impressively at about 84 minutes, all on course 1. Beatrice trumped Bronwen on course 2 by just 22 seconds! Arthur and Tamanna completed course 3, only just behind Andrew!
Sunday was better for some, worse for others. The keen Crosscountry/Fell running genre of orienteers in DUOC showed great strength in traversing Arthur’s Seat. Claiming the territory of his namesake, Arthur really upped his game for the Classic event, finishing just 20th out of 53 people on the Brown course. Parker played his experience card to defiantly take 11th on Brown, attributing all his success to his lucky charm, his CDH. Piper then Nick finished just behind Arthur, trying to stay with Parker on the course!!! Matthew showed his strength at running and navigation on this testing terrain, finishing only a few minutes behind these young whippets. Daniel took his rightful place as 2nd (last) on the Brown course, participation being the main objective! Andrew showed he still wasn’t really injured, coming just 5th on Blue! Bronwen showed her skill in this sort of navigation, finishing blue in just 69 minutes, just a little ahead of Beatrice. Oisin decided that his green course wasn’t hard enough, and so ran OFF HIS MAP to add on some extra distance and a lot of extra climb, exploring previously undiscovered parts of Arthur’s seat. Peter narrowly pipped Will on Short Green, finishing 12th and 14th respectively. Tamanna put in a good effort on the tough terrain although found this harder than the urban the previous day.
Many lessons were learned over the weekend. Overall the club put in a strong performance with everyone coming out a better orienteer than before. The older members were certainly not jealous of some of the great freshers, and sadly the club looks like it will be brilliant for may years to come!
It would be a shame if I didn’t mention in some small way the Ceilidh! Firstly, the evening started calmly with a chill pub dinner with NUFOC. Great interclub rapport was built and the whiskey drinking seemed to be a highlight of this experience!! Later at the ceilidh, the DUOC members slowly overcame their shyness and were dancing the night away, haggis fuelled and eager for the raffle!! There were some great prizes from buffs, running tops and juggling balls in the evenings earnings. The best moment of the weekend will always be remembered as the anticipation for the last prize (pink hair dye) to be won by someone stylish enough to pull of that look. We were almost as overjoyed as he was when Matthew ran on stage to claim his prize!!! It was helpfully applied by Bronwen and Peter later that night and some say that you can still smell it off him to this day…
Results: Friday Saturday Sunday Overall
Report by Slow Coach: Daniel
And now a message from the Captain:
First annual Edinburgh big weekend awards!!!! The "I wish there was a black course" award goes to Oisin, who managed to run further and gain more elevation than anyone else on Sunday despite only being on green.
The "Liverpool FC under Brendan Rogers" award for nearly acheiving greatness, but for a slip, goes to Peter, one huge mistake in the urban cost him the chance to beat over half of DUOC including veterans Muphy and Foskett in only his first proper event.
The "I wouldn't cut it in the arctic" award goes to Tamanna, who despite wearing 5 or so layers could just not stop shivering.
The "Scot's hand" award goes to Arthur, who gained the earnest respect from a very Scottish bloke over his love of scotch whisky at such a tender age of 20 years.
The "Least weird" Award goes to Luke Parker, because he isn't weird. He isn't weird.
The "Most loyal to DUOC" award goes to Nick, who turned down the chance to go out with his other friends (ooooh) to stick the evening out with the ladssssss.
The "Sorry, I don't know what I'm doing with this dibber thing" award goes to William, who quickly learnt that the start and control 1 were two different places, and that he had to punch both of them.
The "Biggest U-turn" award goes to Daniel, who for 3 and a half years had never seen the point of a control description holder and had even been explaining how pointless they were to anyone who would listen just two hours before he decided that he would in fact buy one.
The "Future BMI of 30+" award goes to Luke Piper, who over the weekend had two states of being: 1) eating 2) complaining about being hungry. The "Julie Emmerson" award for having friends in Edinburgh goes to Bronwen, who had spent a WHOLE AFTERNOON away from DUOC.
The "Most likely to have been bullied in a Scottish school" award goes to Andrew, for having two teenagers point and laugh at him specifically whilst racing around the streets in his massively oversized running vest.
The "Most relevancy of the WOC 2022 embargo" award goes to Beatrice who is the most likely of all of us to compete in the 2022 world championships. And finally, the best award them all, the "Matthew Foskett award for being an absolute madlad" goes to Matthew, who not only picked up pink hair dye as a prize from the raffle, but was also so very keen to use it. He's now a proud wearer of a pink streak with plenty left for future applications! Thanks to everyone for making it such an enjoyable weekend!
Universities Orienteering Training Weekend (Oct 2018)On October 27th 6 DUOC members (Matthew, Andrew, Daniel, Bea, Bronwen and Oisin) assembled at Durham train station at 7:15ish to head to a training weekend in the woods and moorland surrounding Leeds. The first lesson learned came on the train there, courtesy of Matthew, which was to always keep your railcard and ticket together. After disembarking at Leeds we travelled by car and minibus to our first location of the day, Harden Moor. There were several courses on offer for those with varying levels of experience. I found Harden Moor to be quite a challenging landscape for orienteering with many dips, pits, hills and hummocks. It wasn’t long before I lost all sense of direction and had to return to the start. Matthew kindly let me collect the controls with him to help identify where I went wrong.
After some lunch and a short bus ride we arrived at our second location of the day, Ilkley Moor. Ilkley Moor was a steep hill with some woodland, cliffs and lots of bracken. Some longer legs allowed for different route choices to be made and tested decision making skills. A few brave souls attempted the corridor course which went through some head high bracken. One unlucky Loughborough student lost his shoe to a bog never to be seen again. After a day of orienteering we headed to our accommodation for the night, a local scout hall. After a slight navigational error in determining which hall we were meant to be staying in we arrived at our accommodation. Before the night navigation began we were joined by two more DUOC members (Nick and Luke) who were competing in the Manchester relays earlier that day. The night navigation provided a good challenge and led to some arguments over the placement of some of the controls. After running about in the dark many looked forward to returning to the scout hall for a hot meal. To our dismay it had turned out the hob had not been switched on so we would have to wait a little longer for dinner. However it was worth the wait for a hearty serving of veggie chilli. We then settled down for the night in the now surprisingly warm scout hall.
The next day we set off for Otley Chevin forest park. There were several good courses including a very challenging windows course where the entire map is blank except for a small area surrounding each control. This proved difficult for Daniel and me so the aid of the all control map was enlisted. Finally the weekend was topped off with a relay in golden acre park. Each team had three members with different levels of experience and the less technical terrain allowed for some fast running and a competitive race. All and all it was an enjoyable and instructive weekend and hopefully there will be more like it in the future.
A very belated update from Matthew...So, Daniel and I have been slacking(mostly me tbh...). And so the website has been in a state of disarray. I’ve now finished all my Durham coursework forever, so now seems a nice time to get it up to date :-) And keep it that way. Just don’t mention the fact I have a final year project to finish…
The chances are that no-one will ever get to the end but I thought I should provide an Autumn term review:
So, before term started Daniel and I went with Dave (who kindly gave us a lift) to an event in the Military League North at Bishop Auckland Castle. I was actually ok at orienteering for once, but they got my name wrong so I guess it doesn’t count… Then we had Freshers Week and stuff – new people joined so we can’t have been too off putting. That said, initially it was a little quiet; Oisin was the only Fresher to experience all of the training weekend (with Nick joining midway through) at the end of October. Thanks to Bristol and Loughborough for joining us on this, especially the organisers and Andrew for working out getting us all there. It was a really good weekend and we had some real quality orienteering as we lost control kites in the dark on a ‘train’ training exercise in the dark on the Saturday evening.
As term moved on we went to quite a few small local events. These were often tied into dong a parkrun too and included Redcar/Flatts Lane, Newcastle Town Moor, Newcastle Uni at night and Albert Park in Middlesbrough. We normally had about 5 of us to these and again thanks to Dave for giving us lifts to some of these even if he did cause chaos for the registration one Saturday Morning. Also big thanks to all the local clubs who put on these events – we really appreciate them!
Bea organised some great socials: pizza making, visiting cafes in town after training, cocktails and of course a Christmas Meal. Sorry I failed to come to half of these...I need quite a bit of notice if anything is to be on a Tuesday evening. I’ll try better this term (this is a recurring theme, sorry if I am equally poor at attending this term. In my defence I retained second place in the pick up a cereal box competition, what else is there to care about on DUOC socials?).
There were few bigger events last term but Andrew did lead an all star team to Roseberry Topping in Mid November… 4 out of 4 DUOC DNFs must be a new record. People also went to Simonside and showed off some brilliant poses (see the gallery for photos btw) and there was an trip to Blyth Beach.
I’ll finish with training because I thought I’d leave the best until last. Thank you to everyone who has been :-) We altered the sessions to make them more interesting for those who already can orienteer. I’ve no idea if this has worked because it only seems to be freshers who come along! Even so Daniel and I have enjoyed it (well I have and I have assumed Daniel’s opinion for him) and thanks to those on the exec who have taken on a session or too. Highlights for me have been the Vampire-O where we were joined by the Hampshire-Wrights of NN, Daniel’s corridor training even if he harshly put a massive bush in the middle of my bearing and the Newcastle Street-O because it (apart from the missing control) seemed to work ok. Thank you for Daniel for all the work he has done with training this term.
Anyway….I’m looking forward to this term. Edinburgh Big weekend has already been brilliant and I know there’s quite a few other good events on the way :-)
North East Score Champs, Sunday 7th October - NATOScore events are not my favourite, I find it far easier to set my mind on doing one route as quickly as possible rather than constantly re-evaluating how many controls I can reach in the time limit. So to negate this worry I had simply decided that I would get all the controls. This in many cases is a very naïve way to do a score event, with the real possibility of coming back late having ventured far too far and then losing points. But I had decided and that was that.
A mass start for the men led to a flurry all heading into the woods for the closest control and immediately into chest high undergrowth, I took any route through I could, as a result flattening it all for the DUOC members who foolishly had decided to follow me. A much slower start than I had expected, with very grim running. As if I hadn’t run through the rough stuff enough, I decided for some stupid reason to follow a stream to my next control, rather than a path of similar length. This turned out to be the worst mistake of the day. I first felt a very sharp pain in the back of my calf and thought that I had encountered a very painful stinging nettle, upon glancing down I saw and heard a buzzing of wasps (or bees, I wasn’t checking their anatomy too closely). It quickly dawned on me that I had run through their nest and they were mad. Using my map as protection, I swatted them away the best I could, leading to two further stings. Realising that they were still following me I had to run away fast! After removing a few that had stuck to my socks I was free, I pulled my socks up and I headed on, knowing I had given myself one of the worst starts to the race that I could.
A lot of the next controls were easy path running, with the flag not too far off the side of them, this allowed me to get into my groove and I sped through the next section of the course with relative ease. Half way round and at the most northern section of the course I saw that many of the control descriptions were cliffs. Thinking that we were in the middle of Newcastle, I just played them off as ‘East Anglian cliffs’ where each and every rock feature, no matter how small they appear, are mapped. When I found these vertical rock walls in excess of 10m I was very impressed, especially when we had to pass though a narrow gap in between two massive boulders, crazy to think just a couple of minutes later I would be back on the streets of Jesmond.
A bit of scrappy orienteering followed as I was putting more effort into running quickly than taking care, despite this with 10 minutes left, I realised my plan to visit all the controls in the time limit was achievable. Which made missing out one right at the end even more gutting. I hadn’t seen an uncrossable wall on the map heading to the 36th/36 control and upon being greeted by this obstacle I frantically tried to find a solution, but it was clear the mistake I had made was too big and I did not have enough time to run 3 sides of a big rectangle and back to the finish in time. Making the finish with a few seconds to spare meant I was pleased, I rarely ever make score events back on time, but I was left rueing the mistakes I had made earlier on in the course, costing me the time I needed to visit all the controls.
It was enough for me to become Men’s open NE score champion 2018, which will go straight on the CV. Bronwen did fantastically well, managing on the Women’s open to only miss out from victory by arriving at the finish after the winner (a former GB JWOC orienteer no less), with both accumulating the same number of points. Daniel proved that running steady and nailing the navigation is a very effective tactic in orienteering, with another good result. Also well done Arthur on your first race for DUOC!
Thanks for NATO for organising a very well planned and enjoyable score race!
British Sprints and Middles 2018, 1st & 2nd SeptemberThe Sprint Championships were held at the University of Bath on 1st September and the middle-distance Championships were held at Stockhill Woods on 2nd September. I’m not particularly fond of the sprints and middles because they’re so fast paced that if you make a single mistake, there’s no time to make it up. This year the DUOC members at this national event were Andrew, Beatrice and me (Bronwen). (Michael and Cameron were also there as alumni)
Day 1: The day started off with a warm up walking from our accommodation to the university (who knew Bathwick Hill was so steep?!) and then struggling to find the way to the assembly area (a great start). The assembly area was in the Bath University sports centre (which looked a lot nicer than Maiden castle- there was a pool for a start!!) and there was a good area for looking out over the finish which was in the middle of the running track. Then I headed to the start for the heats. The first part of course was nicely planned although there were a lot of building works going on all over the campus. I was slightly disappointed to discover I only had one point on the technical parade area with two levels, which I had spent hours studying in the 3-page spread in the final details. I went the wrong way after the manned road crossing and then it was a kind of boring dead run to the finish. I was kicking myself for all the small mistakes I had made when I realised I was 4 seconds off being in the B final, but I was the final person starting on the C final (supposedly being the best on the course). Beatrice was running the same heat as me and only 24 seconds behind me so in the C final too and Andrew was 11th on his heat and made it to the B final for his course. After a 3-hour break, after all the elites had finished, it was my start time for the final. I felt determined at the start (even though I wasn’t competing with the best people) and had remembered my bib and to write my course on it, which is more than most people. The course was in mostly the same area as the heat earlier and I had one point on the parade area and a leg across it (still not worth the time spent studying the map extracts). I messed a few points up a bit but felt like I was having a good run, knowing that I was the last start and that I was beating anyone on my course I overtook helped. I sprinted to the finish and looked at my watch, pleased with my time. Then I went to download only to discover I’d punched the wrong 10. I wasn’t that bothered, I mean it’s only the C final, until I looked at the results later and saw my time would’ve won the C final (apart from the non-competitive person who mispunched on their heat). Beatrice had the best performance out of us in the finals coming 2nd in the WOpen C. Andrew managed to pick up the wrong map at the start, realised his mistake, and finished the correct course in 26th.
Day 2: The middle-distance championships. A new dawn, a new day, a chance for me to try to have a decent run (and actually punch the right controls). I had the earliest start time on my course but was surprised to see lots of elephant tracks already in the terrain. The forest itself was very runnable and had a good path network so I was adopting the classic East Anglian block forest strategy of ‘run along the path, into the wood, find the control* and get back to a path’. (*Obviously this is easier said than done since that’s the whole point of orienteering). This seemed to be successful until my leg 9 to 10 when I managed to exit the control 90° in the wrong direction, wondered why there were no other orienteers in the area and finally had to go back to point 9 to relocate. After that the course went relatively smoothly, even though in the piece of rough open just before the finish I was more concerned about tripping over in front of all the spectators than finding the controls. The one advantage of running so early was that I was announced by the commentators as being the leader on my course, which is always nice. When everybody else had finished the course, I ended up being 6th (which sounds decent but there were only 9 on the course so…). Beatrice finished one place above me in 5th. Andrew finished 28th out of 52 on the M21 course but he was probably preoccupied on the course with mental preparation for his big trail-O event later in the day.
White Rose 2018, 24th-27th August - EBOROnce again a group of us went to the White Rose Weekend run by EBOR Orienteers. This year with many people being away there was just 3 of us: Bronwen, Andrew and me (Matthew). It was all based near Helmsley (like last year) but this time to the west in Duncombe Park. I was the only one to make the Night Race (and only thanks to a kindly provided last minute lift from an EBOR member), but I was glad I did. After various mishaps with my last 2 night events it was good for one to finally go seemlessly (only being beaten by one M12 counts as a success in my books ;-)). It was a score event with a really runnable course and 3 different areas only joined at the start/finish which tested your timing skills as you tried to judge which area to start in and whether you should get one more control and risk potential penalty time for being late.
The next morning all 3 of us were out for the Middle Distance Course. It was an interesting area with lots of remains from WW2 practice fortifications to add a bit of technical difficulty. After Andrew purchasing 'fashionable' orienteering gear, having lunch, and us all attempting the photo-O we had the sprint to do. While it took me quite a bit of running past things to get used to the scale, Andrew excelled (second on Senior Men). The course took us round Hemlmsley Castle including a control down in the dungeons (note to self, look at the map lines to denote a tunnel instead on looking upstairs in future...).
Andrew then ate a dish designed for sharing all by himself before we attempted a difficult quiz... The next morning was the Long Distance and the Trail-O. Andrew sees this standard of Trail-O as very much below his elite trail-O level so I was very pleased(and slightly surprised given my inability to remember control descriptions...) to find myself tied on points with him even if his superior time left me in 5th and him once again second on the podium. Obviously as Andrew can tell you it was all done wrong though so Bronwen is the real winner here. The Classic event took us through varied woodland with some open patches, and although my later start led to me (as well as the only pair of trail shoes and running leggings I had with me) getting soaked, it was an enjoyable course. Just a shame I didn't punch Control 12 when I saw it...
Pizza in Pickering prepared us for the next day where we had the relay. After last years podium finish in the open we had mugs to win (well I had a mug to win, Andrew had millions already from all podiums and Bronwen had also collected for her impressive efforts on W20L) and despite a no time spared arrival at the start line from Andrew we picked up 1st in the "1 or more Female" category with a time equivalent to 2nd in the Open. It was a good effort all round (although, yes I know Andrew before it gets mentioned again I was only 4/5 on the final extra leg). Thanks to the Aspin family of Clok for the photo of us on the packed podium below:
Overall it was a great weekend once again and I'd really recommend it to anyone who is around next year - thanks to EBOR and everyone else who ran the weekend and also for Andrew who did most of the organising for the DUOC side of things.
BUCS Individual Event:The (rearranged) British Universities Orienteering Championship Individual race took place on the 29th April at Bradenham Woods and was organised by OUOC with help from TVOC. Despite the event’s proximity to exams and the results no longer acting as selection for the World Universities Championships in Finland this summer the event was still well attended at the higher end of the competition.
Both men and women’s A courses consisted of many quick-decision short legs traversing gentle slopes alongside a few long legs with tricky route-choice decisions between quick paths, staying on the contours, or navigating a short route through often thick undergrowth. On the Women’s A course Megan Carter Davies from Bristol University secured a comprehensive victory with a time of 463:5 with Fiona Bunn and Katie Reynolds from Cambridge and Bangor coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Meanwhile the Men’s A course saw a winning time of 58:27 by Jonny Crickmore representing Heriot Watt University with 2nd and 3rd place going to Jamie Parkinson of Oxford University and Adam Potter of Bristol University
Overall team results from the weekend saw Edinburgh comfortably win with 52 points, Cambridge second with 86, and Loughborough and Oxford join third on 104 points.
Results Individual Relay Overall