January 2012/1

Happy New Year
Rather belatedly, Happy New Year everyone. After the Christmas excesses (the Goal Mile, maybe followed by a run up the mountains on Christmas day, then orienteering on St Stephen’s Day, followed maybe by the Djouce trail race, the Setanta hike and a race on New Year’s day), it’s good to be back to normal!
Why not make a new year promise to yourself to try some new orienteering experience this year, whether it’s night-O, Trail orienteering, sprint-O, mountain bike orienteering, running in a new county, a new province or a new country? The world is your oyster …

Accessible orienteering

In the current economic climate, orienteering can represent great value for money: where else would you find a fun day out for a family for an entry fee of €20 or less? One of the major costs of orienteering is transport, however. This could be tackled in several ways: bring to people to the orienteering by public transpiort, by special O-buses (there used to be buses organised to events so that non car-owners could still travel) or by car-pooling as the IMRA have been forced to do to reduce parking difficulties. Another way is to bring the orienteering to the people: the growth of urban orienteering, in the UK and across the world, has opened up the sport to runners and others who might not have tried it before; you can run events on people’s doorsteps and still provide an orienteerting challenge.
With sprint and urban races taking place in competitions with the profile of the World Championships, we can no longer say that we don’t have suitable terrain in Ireland. We may not have the complex forests of Scandinavia, but we have the towns and cities to make challenging city races and maybe draw in a whole new generation of orienteer who will then move on to the classic sport.
Anywhere with a higgeldy-piggeldy core should provide a good challenge; throw in a few parks, a few hills and some buildings like a university campus and you’re almost there. Look at any map of an old Irish town and see the potential: Cork, Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, Drogheda, Newry, Galway, Howth, Sligo, Dublin, Balfast, Derry …  Of course we need the orienteers there to first produce the maps and then to capitalise on the event and grow the sport, and we need the existing orienteers to support the events, but even might oak trees grow from little acorns …

New Squad Blogs
Ivan Millar has launched two new blogs for 2012: one follows the Senior Squad’s preparation for the World Championships in Switzerland in July (see it here) and the other follows the elites generally – see here. World Championships selection will take place at the Jubilee 5-Days orienteering in Scotland at the beginning of June, unfortunately clashing with the Irish 3-Day in Galway.

Try Night-O
It’s one of orienteering’s better-kept secrets. Night orienteering adds new challenges – it makes even the most innocuous areas interesting, and makes interesting areas much more so. There are three events left in the Dublin by Night series (Barnaslingan (behind The Scalp near Kilternan) on Jan 28th; Slade Valley, Saggart on 4th February and The Curragh on February 11th). The Northern Ireland Night Championships are also on February 11th at Parkanaur, near Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. Details from LVO here. Note: For insurance reasons, night orienteering is restricted to M/W 16 and above.

2012 O-Planner
It’s that time again – armchair planning for the events you’d like to take in in 2012. There are competitions at home and abroad, one-day to multi-day, suitable for all ages and abilities, some family-friendly, some less so, some big, some small. If you can recommend any events that you think others might enjoy, send the details to TIO and I’ll include them. Have a browse here and see what appeals to you….


Do some night orienteering! See the IOA fixtures list for details.


18-21 Portugal O-Meet, see here. This is tied in with the date of Easter but this year it coincides a bit with schools’ mid-term: good for kids, bad for air fares. Inland, not too far from Porto.
18-20 Morocco 3-Days including sprint and supersprints. See here.
24-25 Israel Championships near Jerusalem. See here.
25-26 Marina Grande, Portugal. World Ranking event. See here.


2-4 Murcia, Spain. Details here. At this time of year the south of Spain can be lovely to run in: oranges and lemons fresh from the trees at the finish …
10-11 Slovenia. Karst limestone terrain near Trieste. See here.
23-25 Mediterranean Championships, Rome. 2 middle distance, 1 sprint. Park World Tour. See here.
24-25 Danish Spring: a new format and a new name for the Spring Cup. May be a bit early for some – there can be snow on the ground still, but this is when the Scandinavians come out of hibernation. Seehere.
24-25 British Sprint and Middle Distance Championships, York. Detailshere.


6-9 JK2010 at Easter in Scotland. Challenging terrain (the 2015 World Championships will be in Scotland) and the awesome Craig’a’Barns near Dunkeld. Don’t miss it! See here.
6-9 Sardinia 4-Days. See here.
6-8 Prague Easter. Sandstone forests in the Czech Republic. See here.
13-15 US Championships, Georgia. Sprint, Middle, Long, Trail-O. Seehere.


5-7 Irish Championships in Kerry. Sand dunes at Castlegregory, Inch and the Maherees. Bishopstown OC.
5-7 British Championships, Cumbria. A pity they clash with the Irish Champs. A new BOF rule means that non British Citizens can’t be British Champions, though, so we may see a few more of our UK-based orienteers running at IOC instead of BOC. Details here.
5-6 Tio Mila overnight relay for teams of ten runners; legs from 7 to 18 km, near Linkoping, Sweden (served by Ryanair). Details here.
5-6 European Rogaine Champs, Kaunas, Lithuania. See here. Good preparation for the annual Setanta Rogaine! (A rogaine is a long distance score event, typically 12 or 24 hours).
14-20 European Championships, Dalarna, Sweden. Public races from 17th to 20th. Entry cap at 5000. Details here.
17-20 Holland-OL. 5 events in 4 days at Breda in Holland. Detailshere.


2-3 Bruges O-weekend Belgium. Details later here.
2-4 Irish 3-Day, Oughterard, Co. Galway. WEGO three-day. Can Oughterard match Inishbofin for differentness and good orienteering? We’ll have to wait and see … Details here.
2-5 Scottish Championships and Jubilee-5 weekend: details here. Sounds like a fantastic few days orienteering; includes the Irish Team selection races for the World Championships.
2-5 Jubilee O-Festival, south east England. Details here.
16-17 Jukola and Venla Relays, near Helsinki, Finland. A must-do-in-your-lifetime event. Overnight 7-person relay for anyone, Venla 4-person relay for ladies in the afternoon. Details here.
16-17 Veteran Home Internationals, Northern Ireland. A pity it clashes with the Jukola, but it’s great to have the event in June and not October or November when the weather can be against us.
18-23 Tallinn O-Week, Estonia. Includes two World Ranking events on sand dune forests. See here.
20-24 Greenland “Nuuk O-Festival”. See here. Maybe only for the really committed!
23 Setanta Orienteers’ Wicklow Rogaine.
29-July 1 European Youth O-Champs, Bugeat, Correze, France. Runners in M/W 14/16/18. There should be open events for the rest of us too. See here.
29-July 2 Belgian 3-Day near Liege. Long WRE (World Ranking Event), Middle and Long, plus training. See here.


1-6 Kainuu O-Week, Finland. Details here.
1-8 World Masters O-Champs, Harz Mountains, Germany, on the border of the old East/West Germany. Age classes M/W 35+, no selection required – just pay and play! See here.
2-8 Sorlandsgaloppen, southern Norway. Details here.
7-13 Junior World Championships, Kosice, Slovakia. Age classes M/W 20 only. Details here. 4-day public event also running with JWOC – details here.
15-20 Swiss 5-Day and World Champs, Lausanne, Switzerland. Support the Irish team at WOC! Details here.
22-27 Swedish O-Ringen 5-Day near Malmo, southern Sweden (easily accessible). The biggest multi-day event of all. See here. “Sand, sea and beech forest”. In recent years the O-Ringen has really opened up, with team events, a 2-day race, mountain bike and trail orienteering included.
22-28 Croeso Welsh 6-Day, Aberystwyth. The Irish Juniors are going here for their 2012 tour. Details here. Cheapest entry closes on January 31st.
24-29 Croatia Open, Delnice, northern Croatia. Negative Karst terrain, lots of huge depressions in the forest for 5 days. See here.


1-5 OO Cup, Slovenia. Includes “Ultimate” classes where the maps have no paths! See here. More karst forests, with the famous Postonja caves nearby.
9-12 Tyr-OL 3-Days, Austrian alps, including a World Ranking event. Sprint, Middle, Long. See here.
31-Sept 1 World Rogaining Championships, Prague. See here.


1 Copeland Islands, Co. Down. LVO event. Check your tidal tables before you travel …
5-9 SE Europe O-Champs, Bursa, Turkey. Details here.
22 City of London race. If you can’t make it to Venice in November, try this, the 5th staging of the event. See here. Followed next day by the Southern Championships at Epping Forest in Essex- see here.
28 Leinster Championships, Carraig na Seabhac, Co. Wicklow. Ajax.


2-6 and 7-10 Sicily. Two events back to back. Details here later in the year.
6 Northern Ireland Championships, Binevenegh, Co. Derry
13-14 Junior Home Internationals, south of London.
18-21 North American Championships, Delaware. Details here.
30 Munster Championships, Dromana, Villierstown, Co. Waterford. WatO.
30-Nov 4 Istanbul 5-Days, Turkey. Details here.


9-11 Adriatic O-Meeting, Italy, just defore the Venice street event. Details here later in the year.
12 Venice street O. A great event, by all accounts. Details here.
25 Connacht Championships.


26-30 Sylvester 5-Days. Annual Christmas time event in Belgium. Seehere as a starting point.
27-31 Australian Christmas 5-Day,  Victoria. Details later in the year from the Australian O-Federation here. Our own Eoin Rothery, former multiple Irish champion, won the Men’s C-class in the 2011 event.

… which brings us back to where we came in!

A really good place to look for events abroad is in the calendar section of the “World of O” web site here. More information and reports on these events will be found in CompassSport magazine ( Some of the information in this list came from CompassSport.

Changing age classes?

Are you due to change your orienteering age class in 2012? Your orienteering age is determined by your age on 31st December of the year. Junior age classes go in 2-year increments from M10 or W10 to M/W20; veteran age classes go in 5 year increments from M/W 35 upwards; Open classes (M/W 21) are for ages 21 to 34. Relatively few competitions with the exception of Championships require specific age classes to run on specific courses.

Age classes 2012
Year of birth
Age class
After 2001
Before 1923


Harold White receives Torch Trophy

As reported here before Christmas, Harold White has received a Torch Trophy for his voluntary work for orienteering over the years, culminating in his work as coordinator of the successful JK 2011 in Northern Ireland. The photo shows Harold with the award and Princess Alexandra at a ceremony in London. Harold is IOA Technical Officer.

International Trail-O 2012
There are two international Trail-O Championships in 2012. The European Champs will be run alongside the Foot-O in Falun, Sweden from 17th until 20th May; the team can be up to a maximum of 6 in each of the Open and Paralympic classes. The World Championships will be run as a standalone event in Scotland from 6th until 9th June; the team can be up to 3 in each of the Open and Paralympic classes. Preliminary entries have to be in by 15th and 31st of January respectively so this message is seeking expressions of interest from those wishing to be considered for selection in order to gauge the potential size of team. Please respond urgently to atgartside (at)
It should be noted that those selected will be required to bear the full costs of participation; at the moment it looks as if these will be for ETOC €225 plus accommodation and meals plus return travel from home and for WTOC GB£455 plus return travel from home.

TIO Archive

Delve into the past in the Irish Orienteer Archive from 1982 here.

Orienteering in Ireland
Orienteering Ireland, Irish Sport HQ, Blanchardstown
D15 DY62, Ireland