SMOC returns to international competition! Read Sandra and Ann's article about the recent Antwerp City Race weekend.
SMOC held it's 2021 Club Champs last December. Ian Byrne gives us a rundown of the results. Entries were adversely affected by the Omicron wave, so the event was not as competitive as usual. We hope to see more members ... especially the younger ones ... out in the forest next autumn to stake their claim to the trophies.
Milly Askham tells us all about her junior training weekend in the Lake District with the East Anglian Junior Squad. It sounds like great fun, as well as a great chance for Milly to practice her orienteering technique on some complex terrain... check out her maps.
Sandra Mather is dreaming of orienteering trips to city races in Europe this year, assuming we get past the current travel restrictions. A band of SMOC Lionesses ventured to Spanish city races in Bilbao and Girona pre pandemic, and they highly recommend the mix of well organised orienteering events, cultural attractions, pleasant weather and excellent food. We might need to think about trying to travel by train, or, if flying, making the trip part of a longer holiday, given climate concerns? Still...we can dream too.... Read Sandra's round up of the City Race Euro Tour 2022
To remind us of happier times, read Freya’s report of sunlit forests, beaches and ice cream at the POM multi-day event back in February. We can all dream of where we want to run when we get back out there.
Missing running in the forests? Yes!!! Read Sandra Mather's report on an international virtual orienteering event, held over Easter. This may inspire you to try virtual orienteering games and events to hone your map skills during lockdown.... alongside keeping your fitness up with the daily run.
Ian Byrne reflects on using public transport and bike to get to O events... this should prompt us all to give it a go, especially where the alternative is a solo car journey.
Do you know that there exists another SMOC? In addition to the Southern Mini Owners Club, there is an orienteering club with the same acronym as us. Ian Byrne was in the vicinity so decided to find out more. Read about his findings.
Twelve SMOCies travelled to the New Forest for technical coaching by Coach of the Year Jason Falconer. Read Freya's report.
Always wondered what urban orienteering is? Read Ian Byrne's informative article, and find out how SMOCies have been faring this year.
Ed Jones tells us about his latest ultrarun challenge, along the 185 miles of the Offa's Dyke Path. You will never be able justify walking during your 5k training jog! Read Ed's report
Rachel continued her orienteering adventures closer to home in Yorkshire, at the Race the Castles events. Read more here
James Nisbet went to the Scottish 6 Days event in August. He tells us about his experience of testing out a gps tracking system. Read more here
Milly Askham and her Gran Sue Rae went to Scotland. They discuss how they got on, at either end of the age spectrum. Read more here
Rachel Thomas was one of six SMOCies who ran in the World Masters' Orienteering Champs in Latvia in July. Read her story
Three SMOCies - Helen, Freya and Debbie - plus SUFFOC member Sally Wilkinson travelled to Finland to take part in the world's largest orienteering relay event. Read their report
Robert had been battling a serious illness for many years. Whilst his passing was not unexpected it was still a great
sadness to the very many SMOC members who had come to call him a valued friend. Read John and Keith's fond memories
We are delighted to announce that South Midlands Orienteering Club has achieved Clubmark accreditation. SMOC is now nationally recognised as creating a safe, rewarding and fulfilling pace for our participants. Clubmark is Sport England’s nationwide accreditation scheme which stands for high standards of welfare, equity, coaching and management in community sports clubs. You can find out more by visiting the Clubmark website.
This summer, 18 SMOC members competed at the Scottish Six-Day - a multi-day orienteering event that this year took place at Royal Deeside. The week offered varied and interesting terrain with both mental and physical challenges - rocks, heather, and a great many contours.
The SMOC contingent mostly coped well with the terrain, with Freya Askham achieving a podium place - third in W40S. Several other runners finished well up their age class table - while some of us were just glad to finish!
We also enjoyed a varied social programme, including a SMOC musical evening and a fiendish but fun quiz night.
* The next Scottish six-day will be in Strathearn, between 28 July and 3 August 2019, but if you fancy having a go at a multi-day event, there's next year's Lakes 5, running from 29 July to 3 August 2018. For more information, click here.
|Todd C. Rae||M50S||61st/70|
Congratulations to Keith and Sue on their wedding yesterday at the delightful Shottle Hall. Attending SMOCies report that it was a super day and the bride looked radiant. The promised sunshine was in short supply but it stayed dry and mild.
It is with great sadness that the club has learnt of Colin's sudden death. Colin, along with partner Rachel, was a founder member of SMOC back in 1986. He was a club stalwart until the onset of ill health in recent years, and remained the club archivist until his death. SMOC will greatly miss him. A full tribute will be included in the next edition of SMOC signals.
Colin's funeral will take place on Saturday 26th November at 11:15 at West Suffock Crematorium. Rachel has suggested that any contributions in memory of Colin should be made out to the Samaritans Bury St Edmunds branch as Colin was a Samaritan for many years.
At the British Long Distance Orienteering Championships held on the technical terrain of Brown Clee in Shropshire Helen Nisbet, the current SMOC Chair, won her class (W55s) by a comfortable margin. Other SMOC ladies also managed podium positions: Freya Askham (W40s) and Rosie Shaw (W65s) both managing third in their respective classes. Well done Rosie, Freya and especially Helen!
In the first international appearance by a SMOC member, Dorien James was selected to run for Wales in the M50 category in the VHI at Llynnoedd Teifi in Ceredigion.
Dorien says of the weekend: "I was very pleased to be selected, but slightly in awe of some of the competitors! England and Scotland usually compete for the trophy, while Wales has a private battle with Ireland for third. Llynnoedd Teifi is exactly my kind of terrain - marshy moorland with lots of contours and no trees - and I knew it having competed at Croeso in 2012.
"The first day was individual long courses. My watchword was 'don't mispunch'; you score at least 1 point if you get round at all, which is better than zero for a mispunch or DNF. After a good start, straight up 10 contours and hitting control 1 exactly, I then had a disaster at control 2 where I miscounted the marshes and lost time searching on the wrong ridge. The numbers show a 5-minute mistake, but it felt like most of the morning had gone, especially since there weren't many competitors and I didn't see another soul for 20 minutes. Not how I wanted to start my international career! However, I worked hard to focus on the next control rather than thinking about the mistake, and finally got round the 7.7km course in 76:09. To my surprise, rather than being last, I was still only 7th out of the 8 starters, and as the minutes ticked by, it became clear that I had beaten one Irishman, who was both slower and had mispunched - so that was 2 points earned for Wales.
"The second day was relays and went much better. The VHI format has four MWM teams and four WMW. After my poor run, I was the middle leg in the fourth WMW team. With three teams to count, we weren't expected to score. However, I focussed hard on staying in map contact - checking at least every 100m - and managed a clean run, with a speed of 9:04 per km putting me well into the top half of competitors. Together with very strong legs from Ann Darlington and Sophie Brown, this meant that we came 10th out of 16 teams, six more points to ensure that Wales stayed ahead of Ireland.
Next year's VHI is in Northern Ireland - training starts here to beat the Irish on their own turf."
Photo: Philip Baxter
Some sad news for those of you who remember Dick Denton - Dick passed away on October 3rd 2015. Dick was one of the early members of SMOC and I'm sure he is still remembered by most of the longer serving members of SMOC even though he stopped orienteering some time ago. Dick was quite a pillar of the club while he was with us, and brought a lot to it.
for his map of Rushmere being Highly Commended in the Chichester Trophy section of the 2014 Map Awards. As Robert says "Many thanks to my fellow mappers Steve Hardy, Ian McDonnell and Antonio Franco who played an important part in the survey and initial drawing." Well done all!