Preparation for WOC 2017

Ruairi Short gives us an insight into his training programme for WOC.

WOC is approaching and I personally am getting very excited. That means various things for various people. This is the first year I’m running more than one discipline, both the Long and the Relay. For me, my training on a daily basis has been focussed mostly on preparing for the long distance. That has meant long runs and long tempo sessions, my most horrific was an uphill tempo session on a treadmill. This consisted of setting the treadmill to 5% and increasing the speed every 3 minutes for 30 minutes. These kind of sessions are also relevant for the relay as that is likely to be a very intense race. On the other extreme, spending evenings with my feet up as much as possible is hugely important!

An example of long training is one I did recently, mixing physical and mental training into one session. Regina kindly planned a long course (which she named roartechoice short for roar route choice) in the nearby forest where I took only path route choices. While I was running that I had another course that I had made on a map right beside the long distance area. I tried to plan 2 of these Estonian legs per one on the course I was running. The result was quite a challenge. Normally I would use the actual long distance area but unusually there are no old maps covering the whole area for this year (Just one really old once covering one corner). It is really useful to look at old maps from the areas to get familiar with making route choices and the lie of the land. At the moment my apartment is gaining about one printed map of somewhere in Estonia per day, but I will need to find a few more before I travel. I think it makes quite a difference to be looking at paper maps rather than those on a computer screen when planning legs or trying to read details as it simulates the real race experience a bit better.
An important aspect of my build up this year was was to travel to Jukola with the club, as a big event in itself, but also a training competition. This was in somewhat relevant terrain, at least with plenty of green, and was excellent racing practice to see what things I need to polish in the last 2 weeks. It was also great fun to be on the second team that managed to come 57th! I learned there that I need to do a bit more work on my route choice selection and compassing in green areas to achieve my goals.
As I am living in Uppsala, Sweden, there is a lot of club activity and trainings going on. Unfortunately, at the moment these are not all hugely relevant to me. There are 5 other guys from the club (OK Linne) going to WOC, although only Albin Ridefelt lives in Uppsala at the moment. Thierry Gueorgiou also lives in Uppsala but runs for a Finnish club, and they have been putting on trainings for the middle distance in which both of them are running. Since I’m not, I’ve been skipping these sessions and have been working on my own for the long distance. At the same time it is great to have the atmosphere and to talk to people that are aiming for medals to understand better how they are preparing.
I’m travelling on Wednesday 28th and meeting up with Conor there in the first instance. That gives us 5 days in Estonia before the Long distance which is our first race. The last few days are quite a balancing act. While one wants to spend as much time as possible in the forest, too much will tire you out so close to the races. The top athletes were out training 2 weeks ago so that they could do many hard sessions in the forest and have time to recover before the competition. I will use the few days off work that I have to best effect and of course will cheer on the sprinters too.
Ruairi’s training log can be found here.
Ruairi Short
Senior Squad member

EYOC 2017

Our junior athletes will begin their trip to EYOC Slovakia on Tuesday morning with their team leaders John McCullough and Ber O’Sullivan.

There are over 400 competitors from 35 countries.

The skills and stamina of the team will be put to the test with the Sprint held on hilly terrain of historical city of Banská Bystrica with narrow streets, newly mapped for the event.

The Long and Relay are held on the surrounding hilly terrain with varying runnability, from very good to difficult. The areas were previously mined and so have highly detailed terrain, vegetation is mixed with mostly beech trees.

We wish them every success.

Senior athletes have been giving their top tips via social media.

Run with full control, total confidence and Irish pride. Nic Simonin.


Trust your abilities and have the confidence to do what you are best at. If it’s your first, remember it’s a learning experience and take notes for next time! Ruairi Short.

Ruairi compress

Please keep up to date with their progress via social media.

WOC 2017 nearly there

Seven senior athletes have been selected to represent Ireland as one of 50 nations from all over the world participating in Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships in Tartu, Estonia.

Their hard work and training will now be put to the test with the Long Distance terrain stretching over an area between the highest hill and the deepest lake of Estonia. Runnability varies from good in the coniferous forests to poor in the deciduous forests and there are only a few tracks.

The sprint races will be held in Tartu, a univeristy town, the terrain is a mix of old town and modern with mostly paved ground and a hilly park with soft ground and numerous paths.

The Irish team is made up of Olivia Baxter, Eoin McCullough, Josh O’Sullivan Hourihan, Niall Mc Carthy, Nicolas Simonin and brothers Ruairi and Conor Short , click on the name and you can check our their profiles.

The team will begin to arrive in Estonia on the 28th in preparation for the sprint qualification races.

The races will be televised live this year so you can keep up to date with our athletes. Please support our athletes via social media.

The schedule

Fri 30 June Sprint Qualification Tartu

Sat 1 July Sprint Final Tartu

Sun 2 July Sprint Relay Viljandi

Tue 4 July Long Distance Rõuge

Thu 6 July Middle Distance Elva-Vitipalu

Fri 7 July Relay Elva-Vitipalu

The Irish Orienteering community wish all of our athletes every success.

Safeguarding in today’s World

IOA committee members, Paul O’Sullivan Hourihan and Barbara Foley- Fisher attended a seminar entitled Safeguarding in today’s World at the Crowne Plaza hotel, Blanchardstown, on behalf of the Irish Orienteering Association . Hosted by Sport Ireland, aimed at CEO’s of NGB’s of Sport, National childrens officers and the Local Sports Partnership Network.

The primary aim of the seminar was to highlight the importance of Safeguarding in today’s world when it comes to Children in Sport.

An audit framework on Safeguarding for the NGB’s was introduced and it is intended to be implemented in the near future.
MC for the event – Anne Marie Hughes (IRFU Spirit of Rugby programme Manager)
Key note speakers included:
Philip Browne – (CEO IRFU) speaking about implementing Safeguarding and their experience of auditing clubs.
Karen Leach – speaking about her experience and about bringing about change.
Bill Woodside – (Chief Operations Officer – The INEQE group) To provide details on the Audit framework.
Una May – Sport Ireland intent.

How this will effect IOA and O clubs in the future

Sport Ireland have contracted the INEQE group to develop a programme of assessment on Safeguarding in the NGB’s.
The intention is to develop a template for clubs to carry out a self-assessment.
This is then assessed by the NGB’s and available for audit by Sport Ireland as requested. In order for this to proceed a “Best practice,Oversight and self-assessment group” will be developed.
There will be an initial consultation process before the development of the programme followed by a Pilot and roll out.
Once this has been agreed it is hope to supply NGB’s and clubs with templates for self assessment. Training and “HowTo” videos and manuals etc. From the seminar the recommendation could be (to be confirmed) for all clubs to complete a self assessment on a 3 yearly cycle.
This will take some time as a number of things have to happen first to get this project up and running. It is important that all children’s officers and clubs keep up to date with developments in the management of safeguarding.
If anyone has any queries or concerns in relation to safeguarding please contact Barbara at

2017 EYOC & JWOC Teams announced

Congratulations to all the members of the Irish Junior Squad who have been selected to represent Ireland in the forthcoming European Youth Orienteering Championships (EYOC) and Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC).
EYOC – 29.06. – 02.07.2017  Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
W16. Aoife O’Sullivan, Cliodhna Donaghy and Rachel Collins
M16. Aidan Mc Cullough and Andrew Elwood
W18: Clodagh Moran, Eadaoin Mc Cavana and Emer Perkins
Four new caps for Aoife, Cliodhna , Aidan and Andrew.
JWOC – 09.07. – 16.07.2017  Tampere, Finland
W20: Caoimhe O’Boyle
M20: Conall Whelan, Paul Pruzina, Ruairi Long, Zac O’Sullivan Hourihan and Zach Harrington.
New to the event are Conall, Ruairi, Zac and Zach.
Best of luck to both teams from their clubs and all the Irish Orienteering community. Be proud to be flying the Irish Flag!
We will be following the teams on Facebook and social media to keep everyone posted.

AGM of the Irish Orienteering Schools’ group

All are welcome to the annual general meeting of the IOSG will take place at Kilcoran lodge hotel at 7.30 p.m. on June 14th.
Minutes of previous AGM’s can be found on the Irish schools orienteering blog (check link on right hand side).

The agenda is below.

1. Attendance/Apologies
2. Matters arising from 2016 minutes (including breakdown of IOA expenditure between 2013 and 2015)
3. Regional reports
4. ISOC 2017 report
5. IOSG accounts
6. Fixtures 2017-18
7. Development
(a) Daff project
(b) Training set
(c) Permanent orienteering courses
(d) Links with Junior squad
(e) Communication
8. Health and safety/garda vetting
9. AOB

All are welcome to email the Development officer if they are unable to attend but have ideas to share.

WOC 2017 – Team Update

As a result of withdrawals from the original selection the following adjustments have been made:





Conor Short

Niall McCarthy

Res.  Eoin McCullough





Ruairi Short

Conor Short

Res.  Eoin McCullough





Conor Short

Niall McCarthy

Ruairi Short

Res.  Eoin McCullough


The following is the Sprint selection for WOC 2017.

Olivia Baxter
Nicolas Simonin
Josh O’S-Hourihan
Eoin McCullough

Orienteering in Ireland
  • Orienteering Ireland
    Irish Sport HQ
    D15 DY62