WSX Chat 5th May 2024

Posted on Sun, 5th May 2024 by Jolyon Medlock
Club News, Event Reports

For those of us who have been to the JK, the British Long and the British Middles, it has been 3 weekends out of the last five travelling north of Birmingham, with two visits to Yorkshire. I’m minded how much time and money this sport requires, if you commit to these big events. For those with aspirations for summer training camps or more, it’s quite committing (and expensive). That’s my reason though for not having written a blog since March. It was very pleasant today to run in a quality woodland, on a great map and course, just 20 minutes from home. Hopefully we will be back at Shearwater for a night event.

Casting our minds back to the JK in the Midlands, Friday was an excellent sprint event at Loughborough University, followed by two days in the mud of Beaudesert for the middle and long. It’s a lovely old forest park in the Cannock Chase, but the small number of controls used and the heavy usage of those controls (same control on different days on my course) meant that the paths became quagmires, which was a shame. Having said that, anyone who can get a forest event approved by a landowner over Easter weekend deserves a medal. The courses were not very technical but all aspects of the organisation were excellent. The relay event on the Monday was up in the Peak District on a misty moor which was very exciting. It was great to see Andrew over for his last JK, just as he turns 95. It was also the Heckford family’s first JK, and is great to see Nick and Teresa orienteering and part of the club too. The highlight of the weekend for me was that we had 3 relay teams, with Lyra, Esk and Nesa (back from Switzerland) getting silver medal in the Women’s short class.

The BOC this year was near Whitby on a very tough terrain at Mulgrave woods. I must have waded the river four times on a very long course. The weather was great all weekend, and again a small contingent of WSX travelled north. Andrew broke records by demanding an M95 class, and promptly being crowned British Champion. On the Sunday a few of us formed relay teams, with Lyra and Esk again on the podium (bronze), this time with Grace in the W18 class. I ran with Gavin and Rob, both running up to M50 class, with a very respectable 5th place.

The British middles was on a very enjoyable, steeply wooded hillside, with numerous gritstone boulders, near Otley, Yorkshire. It was a fast and furious event, with a great arena location. After much illness over winter, and much disappointment at the JK and BOC, Lyra had recovered enough from illness, and had restored some fitness to gain Silver in the W18E, just behind a NZ international; the daughter of Yvette Baker, and so eligible for the British titles. The following day was a bitterly cold day on Kilnsey moor in the Dales. The mist lifted and the sun peeped out, making it a fine weekend.

Closer to home we’ve been busy taking part in the Dorset Summer Maprun, six maprun events over the summer. Upton was during April, and its Poundbury this month. For the physical events, we had Hamworthy last month, and the next one is at Hive Beach, at Burton Bradstock. The Crickmores seem to be dominating the Standard and Age-graded league. Sheila leads the women’s age graded league, but Emma and Oliver are threatening on both leagues, so watch out!

We’ve had to change a few dates of upcoming winter forest events for various reasons, so keep an eye on our fixtures and amend your diaries. Hope you all enjoy the rest of the summer. The SW sprints are at Bath University in June, which is very tricky (3 levels), followed by the British sprints and sprint relays at Birmingham and Warwick Universities. Later, in July, is the Welsh 6 days, which promises to be a cracker.

Enjoy the spring!



Orienteering Club