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South Yorkshire Orienteers

Jenny sprinting in31/8/07: World Champs Kyev (without Oli)

This year Oli missed out on running World Championships for the first time since he was a junior. Jenny headed out to the Ukraine with the GB team to run the Middle Distance and finished a creditable 23rd= with team-mate and Sheffield training partner Rachael Elder. This turned out to be the top British women's result of a disappointing week. More to follow...

Whale watching!

16/6/07: Honeymoon - Iceland (finally!)

Well we finally made it - thanks to everyone who contributed through our wedding list to an amazing trip. We were very lucky with the weather and very much regretted forgetting to take suncream. 14 hours of running during the week felt easy as none of it was training! Full report and more pictures to follow soon or you can see the pics on facebook...

24/1/06: Warrior O Trial
the viewThe annual Warrior race is a perfect competition for the time of year - it is basically an excuse for a long, tough run in the hills. This year it was held on Harrop Tarn, near Thirlmere with the added twist that the fells were covered by a thick clag with visibility reduced to around 10-15m. Add this to the fact that the race was run on a 1:40000 map blown up to 1:17000 with a 15m contour interval and it became an extremely challenging race. The fells were dotted liberally with lost orienteers and fell runners who had often grouped together to perform a sweep search for the controls. For the last part of the course there was a switch onto a 1:5000 orienteering map of Harrop Tarn forest which demanded a sudden change of technique.

I managed to find the controls pretty swiftly mainly using the technique of running optimistically in the right direction for a bit further than you expect to. Coming over Low Saddle towards no. 6, the Long course runners emerged from the fog for a few controls to discover that the whole of the rest of the Lake District was bathed in sunshine, only to plunge back into the murk on the way to no. 12. The Medium and Short courses were entirely fog bound. Jenny had some major problems in the mist on the medium course. Relocation was virtually impossible as she dicovered when trying to find Blea Tarn and had to resort to listening for the sound of waves on the shore.

The steep 'sprint' section at the end was extremely difficult after 100 mins on the fells and I was weaving all over the place. It must be good training to try to focus hard on intense navigation at the end of a long run and this is something I might try to incorporate into my training. You can see the results on the Warrior website. Many thanks to the organisers.

17/1/06: British Junior Squad come to Sheffield
weekend saw the British Juniors come to Sheffield for a weekend of technical training. Saturday was based on the edge of the city in the Peak District, with a long technique session followed by a middle distance race on Burbage Moor. Oleg Chepelin was the fastest junior on this tricky and rocky course. On Saturday night I gave a small presentation on technical training - now the juniors must think that I am a real map geek! (They're probably right).

On Sunday the training moved into town for a sprint technique session through the scenic housing estates of Walkley. Here the juniors ran several mini exercises to practise high speed decision making. This was followed by a one man relay just down the road in Beeley Woods. Here Duncan Coombs showed his strength coming in first, while Rose Hodkinson was fastest girl.

You can see some of the maps here:

Burbage middle distance walkley sprint Beeley one man relay

X Country Yorkshire Champs
On Saturday Jenny ran in the Yorkshire XC champs in Rotherham, where she finished 26th on a gut busting flat and firm course. Lizzie Adams was just in front in 21st. Rob Baker finished well in the mens' class in 31st. You can see the results here. The next XCountry for Jenny will be the Northern Champs in Blackburn in two weeks time.

9/1/06: Winter training and racing etc
Snowy GarrigillSorry for the long break in news! Firstly the exciting announcement (that Oli has obviously forgotten to mention) that Oli and I got engaged in November and plan to get married this August here in Sheffield - tying the wedding in with the White Rose weekend in the hope of attracting some of the world's elite!!??
read more

9/11/05: South Yorkshire Cross Country League 2
(by Jenny) In my 2nd Cross Country race of the
season I finished 3rd at Graves Park just missing out on 2nd in a sprint finish. It was a muddy course but not as steep as Norfolk Park. This leaves me in 3rd position overall with club-mate Julie Wilson in the lead with 2 races to go. Rob Baker was top orienteer in the Men's race finishing in 8th place, comfortably clear of Chris Sellens and Mike Sprot. This Saturday I'll be running in the National X Country Relay Championships at Mansfield for Hallamshire Harriers.
9/11/05: Still Sore
(by Oli) Well over a week has gone by since the KIMM and I am still too sore to do any real training. But it was definitely worth the pain and effort. Andrew Middleditch and I finished 4th on Elite - the sort of result that is likely to tempt us back for more in the future...I am determined to improve on this. For now, though, I am satisfied that we ran the best race that we could. I have never run that far or for that long before so it was an interesting experience to venture into the unknown for a change. We were both very impressed by the level of competition, and Steve Birkinshaw and Morgan Donnelly ran a very strong race to fend off several top teams. For a more detailed report about our race, see our article on planetFear. read more
Some New last
Well, it's taken a while. But finally we have got around to updating the website. When you've got loads of motivation in the middle of the season it's easy to write stuff on here, but when things are winding down, and the motivation is in short supply, it gets more difficult. Anyway, here is what has happened in no particular order: read more
21/08/05: World Cup Finals Selections and Kelly!
Congratulations to those athletes selected (see here for selections) for this competition especially those who will be making their debut and to Heather for who it will be her final international race. I hope it is as exciting as Kelly Holmes's farewell which we witnessed at Don Valley yesterday! read more
17/8/05: Sayonara Japan
WOC is over and although I can still feel the races in my legs and my body is still working on Japan time, I have had some time to reflect on the week. As usual it had its ups and downs and I was happy with my performances, even though I have still not achieved my dream goals. But this is what will keep me fighting for years to come. WOC 2005 posed some unique challenges; extreme heat and humidity, the steepest courses ever in WOC and some of the slowest ever minutes per km in an international. I had prepared as well as I could for these demands and by the time the races began, I felt at home in the Japanese terrain. Throughout the week the courses were fair, the maps were excellent and the organisation was great. It seems as though Japan has arrived as a fully developed orienteering nation.
read more
24/07/05: Adventure Racing
Yesterday Jenny made her adventure racing debut as part of Team Compasspoint alongside fellow rookie Dickie Wren and comparative expert Andy Simpson. The race was the final in the ACE race 1-day series at Cannock Chase and the format consisted of a trail run followed by a navigation run, bike and then run again picking up checkpoint punches on the way with various challenges at some of these. read more

18/07/05: PostFinance Sprint and Swiss 5 day (and a holiday!?)
The rest day!?Oli and I headed to Switzerland for a holiday/pre-WOC training camp which included a possible 7 races in 8 days.

The first weekend was the 2nd annual PostFinance Sprint which started with a middle qualifier (and WOC selection race for the Swiss team) with a very tough 10% climb. Oli ran well with just one real mistake to finish 7th whilst Sarah Rollins and I had bad runs but managed to qualify for the following day's sprint final. read more

29/06/05: WOC Selection Races (maps to follow)
Another tough and trying weekend of make or break racing. For me it went well, but for Jenny it turned out to be a repeat of last year's bitter disappointment.

For now, Jenny is struggling to come to terms with this and its implications for the future of her international orienteering career. I am preparing for WOC. Next week we will leave for Switzerland and the Post Finance Sprint and Swiss 5. We'll also be there at JWOC cheering on the GB juniors - good luck to them! read more
15/6/05: Japan comes to Yorkshire
HopeJenny and I made the tough decision to miss the GB Team's latest camp in Japan at the start of June due to work and training commitments back home. Because of this we have been finding opportunities to prepare for the unique challenges of Japan back home in Yorkshire. Although it is impossible to replicate the technical challenge of Japan's intricate interlocking spurs and gullys, we can certainly find ways to train for the physical demands. In Sheffield this has meant spending plenty of time at Hope Woodlands, one of the steepest orienteering maps in the country but we have also travelled further afield to Barnscliffe of White Rose fame. read more
31/5/05: York City Trophy
the winners celebrate in style!
Bank Holiday Monday saw over 100 orienteers descend on the city centre of York for the 5th running of the York City Trophy. Oli had won this race for the previous 3 years whilst I was pushed into 2nd last year by SYO and GB team-mate Helen Winskill. This year's race saw us start and finish in Parliament Street once more - right in the centre. Route choices around streets, snickelways, tunnels and bridges saw us make our way to St Nicholas Field Urban Nature Park for some more traditional orienteering for a few controls before it was back on the tarmac with controls on church doorways,gravestones, an ice house, hidden in very narrow snickelways and the like and a route choice that lead some competitors to consider jumping off the bar walls! read more

11/5/05: World Cups
It was great for me and Oli to be back in the GBR team together at the recent World Cups in Guildford. Unfortunately the week didn't go quite as well as we'd hoped but on reflection there are lots of good things we can take away with us and use during our preparation for the World Champs.

A big thank you to the other athletes, staff and organisers and most of all to all the fantastic supporters who travelled down to the races and made it a week to remember for us! read more

20/4/05: British Championships
It's been a tough few weeks of competitions, but it has been good preparation for the challenges of next week's World Cup races in Guildford. After BUSA we went straight in to the two consecutive BEOC weekends, first the Sprint and Middle, then the Long and Relay. All of them were fast and furious races in one way or another, from the asphalt and cropped grass of Sandhurst to the open dunes of Penhale. Although several top names were missing in the men's class I was very happy to come away with 2 individual wins in the Middle and Long, while Jenny and I were both part of the winning teams in the Relay for SYO (Jenny, Jenny Peel, Helen Winskill) and ShUOC (Andrew Middleditch, Matt crane, Oli) respectively. read more
7/4/05: BUSA Champions
BUSA 2005 was superbly organised by Warwick University and OD, great orienteering, great social and great results...if you were from Sheffield. Going into the weekend we had expected a tough show-down between Edinburgh, bouyed by the success of the JK relays and ourselves, out for revenge. Due to a strange set of coincidences things didn't really work out that way. read more
29/3/05: Almost a Great JK
Yesterday's relay was a great end to a frustrating weekend with good courses on a really good map. SYO (Jo Stevenson, Jenny and Helen Winskill) fought off CLOK to take the victory in the womens trophy, while ShUOC (Chris Sellens, Neil Northrop, Matt Crane and myself) pushed hard to catch EUOC but had to settle for 2nd place. Congratulations to the young Edinburgh team for running a strong race, but watch out next weekend at BUSA...great to see 2 uni teams at the top though. read more
22/3/05: Japan Training Camp
We have just returned from the first GB Team training camp to Japan. We spent one week in Aichi, near Nagoya, training in the WOC training forests and then moved East to the slopes of Mt Fuji to take part in the Japan Championships. It was great to be back in Japan again and we're starting to feel quite at home there. read more
20/2/05 Cross Country: Nationals.
Whilst Oli is away having fun on Jon Duncan's stag do I had something a bit more serious to do: make my debut in the national cross country Jenny running for Hallamshire at the Nationals championships. With over 450 women competing it was a pretty exciting race. My previous experience of cross country includes a few races back at school in York and then a 3rd in the South Yorkshires and 55th in the Northerns earlier this year. I ran for Hallamshire Harriers along with Rachael Elder but unfortunately we didn't get a team out this year. I finished a creditable (I think) 124th with 34.25 for a hilly (but not at all muddy unfortunately!) 8km with Rach not far down in time in 170th. Becca Kendall also ran finishing 94th for Kenilworth. The race was won by Hayley Yelling and it was pretty cool just to run in the same race as the European Cross Country Champ, even if I was only half way round the final lap of Cofton Park when they announced her finishing! Sheffield student Hattie Dean (who trains with us on Tuesday nights) finished a fantastic 3rd after recently winning BUSA. Visit for more info! read more
1/2/05: France, rocks!
part 1I (Oli) took some time out from training at home to take part in an early season French selection race and check out the St Etienne setup. The race weekend took place in Le Caylar in the South of France in an amazing, rocky Lunar landscape. It was very difficult in spite of the perfect, detailed maps and it was impossible to run at full speed without making big mistakes. Unsurprisingly Thierry dominated the weekend with 2 impressive victories in Middle and Long, with Nicholas Girsh winning the sprint race. read more
1/2/05: Warrior weekend
This year's Warrior O Trial took place on Silver How on a weekend of perfect sunshine, the first time it has stopped raining in the Lake District for the last 6 months. It was a tough 2 hour score after a long uphill run to the start on top of the fell. The route choice was not easy, but it was just about possible to get all the controls within the time limit - three people managed it, myself (1.52), Andy Kitchin (1.59) and Steve Birkinshaw (just over in 2.01). Jenny won the women's competition on time over Karen Heppenstall who got the same number of controls.
21/1/05: Training and bad luck
Last weekend saw the first squad weekend of the new year and the start of preparations for the World Cup. We were based in Cranleigh, near Guildford and trained on several areas that are close to the WC terrain. Although this style of orienteering seems simple at first glance, it was good to be reminded that it has its own special set of difficulties (not least the fact that you have to run VERY fast). We also remembered that at its best this kind of terrain is really good, with open forest, steep slopes and pockets of vegetation and contour detail. Highlights of the weekend included a mass-start course around Bagshot Heath and an (extended) badge event course on Broadstone Warren. read more
9/1/05: South Yorkshire Cross Country Championships
Today saw Jenny take the Bronze individual medal and Women's Team Gold for Hallamshire Harriers in the South Yorkshire Cross Country Championships held at Graves Park in Sheffield. Jenny Blizzard (Rotherham) won the 6km course from Liz Such (Hallamshire) with Jenny finishing 3rd in a time of 20.23. In the Men's race Phil Winskill also finished 3rd and was part of Hallamshire's Gold medal winning men's team. Unfortunately the course wasn't quite rough enough (despite yesterday's rain/hail/sleet) for the orienteers to take full advantage!
3/1/05: Happy New Year! read more
21/12/04: Happy Christmas! read more
15/11/04: Japan Challenge week read more
27/10/04: Walkley Street Orienteering read more
17/10/04: DPFR: Double National Fell Relay Champions! read more
17/10/04: Vasteras 36th at 25 Manna Relay read more
5/10/04: Dark Peaks best ever results at Ian Hodgsons read more
26/9/04: Running weekend read more

21/9/04: Back home read more

18/9/04 Hallamshire take the Silver read more

17/9/04: Feeling nervous... read more

14/9/04: Oli through to World Champs Middle Final read more
14/9/04:Meanwhile Jenny's watching on the internet read more
8/9/04: Final preparations are over... read more
13/7/04: WOC Selection weekend... read more
13/7/04: Fin 5 Days read more
30/6/04: South Yorkshire Road Relays: read more
28/6/04: Training in Vasteras: read more
21/6/04: Jukola and Venla: read more
15/6/04: More Joy for Helen!: read more
3/6/04: York Race 2004: read more
3/6/04: Good Luck to the GB EOC Team! read more
3/6/04: SYO Spring Cup League: read more
16/5/04: York City Trophy: read more
20/4/04: JK-Blodslitet: read more
6/4/03: Post Spring Cup: read more
20/3/04: Lipica Open - the hole picture read more
29/2/04: UK Cup 1 and 2 read more
24/2/04: Visit!
17/2/04: Coaching in Barnsley Schools read more
17/2/04: Cold in the Sun read more
3/2/04: But first, Viva Espana! read more
28/1/04: Looking Forward to Lipica read more
26/1/04: Training weekend in Malham read more
16/1/04: Go Carbon neutral and support Future Forests read more
5/1/04: Find out more about WOC 2005 read more
5/12/03: The English institute of Sport opens in Sheffield read more
1/11/03: Will the British Team lose its Lottery Funding? read more
27/10/03: The end of an era; Peter Palmer passed away read more
25/10/2003: Seventh overall for Sarah Rollins in Park World Tour read more

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