Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nordic Tour: Stage Two Standings

Our clubmate Nick remains top of the Irish at the Nordic Tour after two stages. Hubmann takes a good lead after two stages, with a tight battle taking place between Weltzien and Muller for third place, with only a second seperating the pair. A similar dual is taking place between Seamus O'Boyle and David Healy in the Irish camp, with again a mere second between them.

1. Daniel Hubmann 53.46 (total time)
2. Audun Weltzien 55.10
3. Matthias Muller 55.11

59. Nick 66.04
63. Darren 70.26
65. Seamus 73.19
66. David 73.20
67. Ger 78.58

In the women's race, Niamh is putting up a strong and steady show, despite making a last minute decision to run in the second stage, after taking ill earlier in the tour. Niggli appears to be running away with the tour at this stage, but there is still another difficult stage to come.

1. Simone Niggli 51.29
2. Lena Eliasson 54.33
3. Maja Alam 55.33

Hope you all are keeping an eye on the live GPS tracking and web TV.

47. Niamh 69.24

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nordic Tour Stage Two

Stage 2 Sweden
Stockholm - Gamla Stan, Tuesday 22nd June 2010

Nick came out on top of the Irish again today at the Nordic Tour Stage 2 in Sweden.

1. Matthias Muller 15.32
2. Jerker Lysell 15.33
3. Fabian Hertner 15.41
4. Daniel Hubmann 15.43

58. Nicholas Simonin (BOC) 17.45
64. Gerard Butler (3ROC) 18.38
67. Seamas O'Boyle (CNOC) 19.18
68. David Healy (GEN) 19.33
69. Darren Burke (CorkO) 19.49

Women's Qualification
1. Simone Niggli 14.58
2. Helena Jansson 15.35
3. Marianne Andersen 15.51
4. Lena Eliasson 15.56

44. Niamh O'Boyle (CNOC) 18.02

Unfortunately, non of the Irish team made it as far as the semi-finals but some strong runs were seen.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Update from Nordic Tour

Nicolas reports from Finland on Thursday race.
NORT Stage 1, Tuusula, Finland
"Today's race was in two parts, a middle distance for the first two thirds of the overall distance, followed by a map exchange where we changed to a sprint race for the last third of the course. All the men had early start times so we didn't have to spend too long inside a fenced army compound in quarantine, unlike Niamh, but it was a nice afternoon in Finland. First out was Gerard, followed by Seamus, Dave, Darren and then Nic. The start draw resulted in all the Irish men starting in close proximity to each other.
The actual start was not a pleasant experience as we had to wait on the start line for a minute with mosquitos attacking, with a tv camera pointed at us. There were cameras at a number of controls on the course, with pictures being shown in the finish arena, and a highlights show this evening on Finnish television, with other countries also likely to air the programme.
The middle distance course had one thing in common for most of the Irish lads (and many other nations), people left the 1st control in the wrong direction to 2! Everyone had GPS tracking so if you have time you can view this mistake as it happened and wonder what were they thinking! It was a long leg to 2, followed by two short legs before another long leg where the route choice was left or right of a big hill. After that we ended up in a very wet marsh before starting a butterfly with two loops. After 18 controls we dropped our Middle Map and picked up a Sprint Map, with different scale and different mapping standards to the middle.
The women's course was very similar to the men's course, minus a couple of controls. Niamh was 80% pleased with her race, while David was only 68.2% pleased with his overall race. This change in scale, from 1:10000 to 1:5000, didn't affect any of the Irish to a major degree. But we were surprised to be running across a supermarket car-park in the middle of the course. There was a possible route choice through an underground car-park but don't think we were allowed to do that (one of the women competitors may have done this though).
Overall the Irish team was pleased with how today's experimental format worked. We now have the Sprint Race experiment to look forward to on Tuesday in Stockholm. Over the weekend the team is heading to the Jukola Relay where we will be running for various teams".

Why Every Second Counts

Last weekend saw a change in the orienteering calender with the NIOC being held in June, rather than it's usual place in September/October. This year's event was held in the picturesque Tollymore Forest Park, on the edge of the Mourne Mountains. LVO marketed the event as a social weekend and there were plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. One section of the campsite in Tollymore was reserved for orienteering and this area was used as the assembly and parking area as well.
A 2.3km walk to the start greeted everyone who were on courses 1-7. All those on the shorter courses started close to the assembly area along a forest road. Those on courses 1-3 went through the second starting area and had then a further 700m with 140m climb to go to their starting punch. The walk to the start brought us up through the park itself and gave us the opportunity to see what the forest had in store for us. I allowed plenty of time for the walk to the start, sensing that the final 700m would be pretty steep.
I wandered to the second starting area, taking my time, trying to take in some water and save my energy. Once I arrived at the second start I was told by Nigel that this was also where the third start was. Confusion. I asked the lady at the start where I should go and was told to wait at the second start for my time to be called and I would then proceed to the third start, and was given 15 minutes to complete this leg of my journey. There was a lot of mulling around the starting area as those on the higher courses questioned why we could not proceed further at our own pace and laughed at our over-estimations as to how long the walk would take. The LVO person with the bug spray at the start become a life saver!
Those starting at the second start (courses 4-7) remained in the forest areas, while those on courses 1-3 started on the open mountain. Once we got to the third start, there were two start punches and two different start kites. This split up the runners once more. Courses 2 and 3 started from a boulder and had only two controls in the open, while the M21L started at a stream and headed further out into the mountainside. This division in the starts made for a very interesting race. First of all, there were fewer people to be seen on the mountainside so there was less 'guiding' into controls and also people were able to concentrate on their own races. Secondly, there was no watching where people went from the starting area from all three starts as the starting kites were well positioned and the viewing limited. It also meant that from the officials point of view, more runners could be started in a smaller time frame, thereby making planning a little easier for the first one or two controls. It did mean that man power was stretched as three starts had to be manned.
The only issue I had was the walk between the starts. I was conscious of the time I had to make this climb and found my energy sapped by the time I started the course. This resulted in the pretty slow first two splits. Another reason I didn't delay too long at the starting area was my 'Susan Paranoia'. It all began two years in Portugal, at POM 2009. Myself and Susan Lambe (LVO) were both running W21L and I found myself starting just minutes in front of Susan at every day's event. Since then, we have come to realise that I will also be out of the starting blocks just before her, meaning that for the whole course, I am counting down the minutes I am losing and expecting to see her gain in on me. Saturday was no different. There was a 6-min gap between us so I knew I couldn't afford to wait around too long at the start. I did suffer the price for this on two occassions. The first was the lack of energy to get to number 1, the second, that I will get to later!
The course was pretty straight forward, which was a bit disappointing. My long voyage to the start was not rewarded with lots of open mountain controls and navigational tests. The first control was straight forward and involved very little route choice. The second control brought with it an incredibly long leg, but again the route choice was limited. From Number 1, you could see it was a case of down of this hill, over the wall and rivers and then straight up the mountain at the other side and the control was at the foot of a crag, a few metres from the top. Route choice involved going either left or right of the hill, or over the top. A large boulder was a useful guiding point into the control. After that, there was a long road run to number 3, bringing us back into the forest. By the time we were at Number 4, we were back along the same routes as those on the second start.
All courses were fast and the main route choices involved quick thinking on which network of paths to follow. However, the glorious sunshine and wonderful scenery made for a lovely run and noone could complain about the courses. I ran an ok race, made a couple of silly mistakes but nothing overly time costing. That was until the end. Susan Paranoia struck again. As it was, what I felt, a runner's course, I expected Susan to catch me at some point once we got back into the forest. I had lost serious pace going to number 2 and felt the time ticking by too quickly. The second last control was nestled in the forest, just beyond the corner of the camping/assembly area. There were tapes around the edge of the field so I followed those around, admittedly taking a slightly longer, indirect route. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of black and red as a blonde head sprinted through the field and into the forest. Susan! I had fallen at the last hurdle. I felt the energy drain from my body and the waft of defeat enter as I knew there was no way I could salvage back time on the last 400m of the course. I spluttered my way through 9 and 10 and gave a pitiful 'run' into the finish. I punched the Finish and accepted defeat to my worthy opponent. Looking around the finish area I wondered how Susan had vanished so fast and tried to calculate how fast she was or how slow I really was at the last few controls.
I headed back to my tent, content with my run and happy that I was able to run after the lack of sleep the night before. The bitter cold and howling wind that had kept me awake the night before being quickly forgotten once day broke and the temperatures rose with the birds. The campsite had hot showers to reward us all and our weary bones after our runs. It was after this reward that I was greeted with the realisation that I had in fact, NOT seen Susan and that all this paranoia had taken its toll on my race!
I wandered to the registration van and waited with others for the results to flash up. TWO SECONDS!! The words came out of my mouth as I heard someone to my right say 'Look, you won by just two seconds!' I had lost to Inga Ausekle-Salaka by two seconds! After much excited chat, I met with my other opponent from Luxembourg. There were only three of us in the race as Ciara Largey, FermO, had decided to run in the M21L to get more distance. A quick review of the splits showed that my valuable seconds had been snatched from me on the run in!! I learned a very valuable lesson this weekend - the race is NEVER over until the Finish is punched!! Never give up no matter who (or who you think) passes you out.
I headed off to Newcastle for a while before the BBQ, accidently missing the prize giving and my one chance to stand on a podium! LVO had one great set up this weekend!! As I run with FermO and BOC, as I have done since my W18 days, I claimed the title of NI Champion, though Inga won the race. Susan finished 18 seconds behind me, meaning that a mere 20 seconds seperated all three women in the 21L - perhaps a first in history of NIOC? The cup may eventually make its way down to Cork, though the result could have been much different, an extra second or two at each control could have changed the results for everyone and let's not forget that Ciara ran M21.
Steven Linton NWOC 71:32
Billy Reed LVO 82:46
Patrick Higgins LVO 83:12
Ivan Millar LVO 85:22
Inga Ausekle-Salaka LUXOC 71:04
Sharon Lucey FERMO 71:06
Susan Lambe LVO 71:24
The BBQ followed soon afterwards where a feast was laid on for a mere £5 per person, including dessert and seconds if one was bold enough to ask! A friendly and social atmosphere emerged from the assembly area and the sun shone high in the sky until the merriment ended. It was then time for those brave enough to tackle the Night Event to psyche themselves up once more. This consisted of courses of approx 2.6-3km in length with different gaffling so that the runners could be mass started. The mass start exited the carpark at 10.20 and the bouncing beams disappeared into the forest. In all, 43 competitors started this event in the twilight with most finishing in darkness. Six course variations of roughly similar length were used with the central portion having the controls arranged in a circle. Competitors joined and left the circle at different controls with every competitor's covering all legs of the circle. An enjoyable head-to-head battle was seen at the finish line as Jack and Eoin ended up racing the same course, meaning that it was impossible for one to shake the other off.
The top three results were:
Jack Millar 23.35
Eoin McCullough 23.38
Igor Stefko 25.39
The weekend also offered TempO, Sprint String Courses, LVO Club Championships Prize giving, Fun Day on Sunday and adult coaching sessions. This was an excellently run event and that is a credit to all those involved in LVO. To host such a variety of events in one weekend is a challenge to any club and LVO meet this with great success. Looking forward to the JK2011 already..........
Full results and RouteGadget can be found here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Stage 1 Results

Well done to Nick who came out top of the Irish at today's race.

1 Daniel Hubmann 39:53
2 Audun Weltzien 40:03
3 Valentin Novikov 40:28
4 Baptiste Rollier40:33
5 Matthias Müller40:37

65 Nicolas Simonin 48:19
70 Darren Burke 50:37
73 David Healy 53:47
74 Seamus OBoyle 54:01
75 Gerard Butler 1:00:20

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Elite Squad head to Scandi

Six members of the Irish elite orienteering squad are heading for Finland on Thursday (17th June) as the first leg of the 2010 Nordic tour kicks off. This is part of the team's preparation for the World Championships in Trondheim, Norway, in August - the selection races will be in Norway in July. The Irish team of Niamh and Seamus O'Boyle, Gerard Butler, Darren Burke, David Healy and BOC's own Nicolas Simonin start the competition tomorrow.

The Nordic tour consists of three World Cup events held in Finland, Sweden and Norway throughout June. The runners fight in the first 2 competitions not only for prize money and glory, they can also get bonus seconds for the last stage which is a chasing start. They also have to run shoulder to shoulder in the knock-out-sprint in old town of Stockholm.

The programme for the event:

Stage 1: 17th June 2010 Tuusula, Finland Middle distance/sprint, combined
Stage 2: 22ndJune 2010 Stockholm, Sweden Sprint, Qualification and finals
Stage 3: 26th June 2010 Raufoss, Norway Middle distance, chasing start

How the stages are run:

Stage 1: The competition will be organised as a mix between middle distance and sprint. One part of the course will be of middle distance character and rules, while one part will be sprint character. There will be a map change with a change of scale and map standard. Bonus seconds will be given to the six best athletes after middle distance section: First 60 bonus seconds, second 45 sec., third 30 sec., fourth 20 sec., fifth 10 sec., sixth 5 sec. The bonus seconds will count for the overall Tour only.

Stage 2: The competition will consist of a sprint qualification of regular length and style. The 30 best athletes will qualify for the finals, which will be run in heats of 6 athletes/heat in quarter finals, semi finals and Final. All the heats will have mass start without forking with the best athletes advancing to the next round.

Stage 3: The competition will be a chasing start based on the overall results after two stages. The competition will have middle distance character and rules, but the courses will be 10-15 minutes longer than a regular middle distance.

You can follow the team's performances on the Nordic Tour website. There will also be live tracking of the events so you can support your team from afar! We also hope to have regular updates from the team members on the Irish blog. Best of luck to Nick and the team on the Tour and for all the team preparing for WOC.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

NIOC 2010 - Social Weekend

Hi all
Please read the info below on the upcoming NIOC, with a whole host of additional activities to suit all the family.
The event will be based at Tollymore Forest Park, near Newcastle, Co Down. There may be a charge to enter the park.
Planner - Colin Henderson
Controller - Richard Williamson
Organiser - Wilson McAlister
Entries - Declan McGrellis
Tollymore was originally intended to be used as one of the JK2011 venues and as such as complete resurvey of the area including Meelmore Moutain was commisioned from Stirling Surveys. This newly resurveyed 1:10,000 map will now be used to host NIOC 2010 instead.
Dogs are allowed in the assembly area and also on the courses on a lead. Please be responsible for your dog's behaviour. Toilets Toilets are available near the assembly area.
All BOF classes including B, Short and Long where appropriate. Only standard long courses will be offered for all classes. A single M21s and W21s course will be available for anyone who wants to enter a shorter course. Anyone can enter the M/W21s course irrespective of their actual age. Some colour coded courses (light green, orange, yellow) will be available for entry on the day. It is also possible to pre-enter the colour coded courses. Courses may be amalgamated or withdrawn if there are insufficient numbers. Further details of provisional course lengths now available.
Electronic Punching Sport Ident will be used for the event. Remember to include your SI number on the entry form. SI cards can be hired for £1/adult and 50p/junior and picked up at registration. Start Times Starts will operate from 12:00 to 14:00. Results Results will be posted on this website.
Alan Gartside will be running a TempO event - similar to that at the IOC at the end of April. A great way to test your map reading skills while against the clock!
LVO are making a social weekend out of the NI Orienteering Championships and are encouraging people to stay over at the campsite on the Friday and Saturday night. LVO will be subsidising the cost of camping. The cost will be £4/adult/night and free for juniors who are accompanied by an adult. Camping tickets for adults should be pre-booked via the online entry system.
LVO will be hosting a BBQ on the Saturday evening. Everyone is welcome to stay for food and socialising. The cost will be £5/adult and £3/junior. BBQ tickets should be pre-booked via the online entry system.
Night Event
There will be a night event on the Saturday evening.
Pacing and Bearing Event:
Part of the entertainment for the weekend will include a Pacing and Bearing Competition.
The idea is that anyone (independent of whether you are taking part in the foot orienteering competition or not) can take part in this challenge over the weekend. The entry fee will be will be £1 / entry and there will be a small prize awarded to the winner as declared on the Sunday afternoon.

Upon payment of your registration fee you will receive a small uniquely identified wooden peg. You will also be told a specific distance and bearing (same for all entrants). The challenge will be to use only a standard compass and your own skill to pace out the given distance and bearing from a fixed location on the campsite. You then place your wooden peg in the ground to mark your estimate. Simple !

The winner will be the owner of the peg closest to the correct location as deemed by the panel of judges on Sunday. The judges decision will be final.

Register from 1pm on Saturday and the winner will be declared at 1pm on Sunday.
Some simple rules:
no GPS devises allowed
no use of orienteering maps allowed
no mapping/sighting compasses allowed
Basically, fair play and good luck to all participants for this bit of additional fun.
Adult Coaching Sessions
Helen will be leading a number of adult coaching sessions on Sunday 20th June. The adult sessions will run from 11am – 1pm and will then be followed at 2pm by the junior fun day events.

The adult sessions will be a series (3 or 4) exercises to practice/learn skills at TD 4 & 5 level (Lt Green/Green +). These are coaching sessions not races, and you take part at your own pace and hopefully develop your skills. If you have a particular skill you would like to practice let Helen know and she will try to include it – no guarantees.
Contact Helen by sending an email to