Photos courtesy of Robert Lines and others- Thank you!
JK 2019 – the Jan Kjellstrom Orienteering Festival.
The JK is one of Britain's most prestigious orienteering competitions, run every Easter in different parts of the UK. This year's event was run in the south central region, around Aldershot, west of London. Fast running, excellent maps and courses, and good organisation with parking close to the arenas all led to an excellent weekend's orienteering. The JK has four races: Sprint, Middle Distance. Long Distance and Relay. As usual there was a large Irish contingent who achieved some great performances this year. The only downside of the event was problems with electronic timing and results processing which delayed prizegivings and caused exceptional numbers of disqualifications which are still being resolved.
There were notable Irish performances in age classes right across the board from junior through senior to veteran.
Sprint: Top-ten places were recorded by Ruairi Long (UCDO) 10th M20E; Cliodhna Donaghy (GEN) 8th W18E; Emer Perkins (UCDO) 8th W20E; James Logue (ex NWOC) 1st M50; Frank Martindale (3ROC)
8th M80; Trina Cleary (3ROC) 9th W75. In addition, IOA Chairperson Mary O'Connell finished 11th in W55.
The Irish W10's
really shone, with Fionnuala Rowe (GEN) 2nd, Niamh Browne (GEN) 4th and Aoife Masterson (CNOC) 9th in the sprint.
In the middle-distance race, UCDO's Kathryn Barr finished 10th; James Logue and Bill Edwards finished 1st and 2nd in M50L; Aaron Coughlan (CorkO) 6th M18L; Ciaran
Kearns (FIN) 2nd and Eoin Riordan (UCDO) 3rd M20L; Oisín Wickham (AJAX) 1st M18S; Fiona O'Brien (KerryO) 7th W45S; Heather Cairns (LVO) 3rd & Nora Perkins (BOC) 7th W55S; Frank Martindale 4th M80; Trina Cleary 3rd W75; Sinéad Kearns (FIN) 2nd W16B; Maeve O'Sullivan (BOC) 4th W14B; Niamh Browne 2nd and Fionnuala Rowe 9th W10A; Aoife Masterson 1st W10B.
In Sunday's Long Distance race, the UCDO trio of Kathryn Barr, Emer Perkins and Clodagh Moran finished 9th, 10th and 11th in W20E; Aaron Coughlan (5th M18L) and Eoin Riordan (2nd M20L); Conall Whelan (UCDO) 1st and James Haynes (ex DUO) 2nd M21S; Toni O'Donovan (CorkO) 8th W40L; Oisín Wickham 1st M18S; Olivia Baxter (LVO) 2nd and Maebh Perkins (UCDO) 4th W21S; James Logue 1st and Bill Edwards 4th M50L; John Riordan (3ROC) 4th and Brian Rowe (GEN) 10th M50S; Rachel Collins (LVO) 2nd W18S; Julie Cleary (3ROC) 4th, Mary O'Connell 5th and Nora Perkins 9th W55S; Helen Bater (LVO) 2nd W60S; Sinead Kearns 3rd W16B; Gerry Browne (GEN) 5th M12A; Maeve O'Sullivan 4th W14B; Fionnuala Rowe 2nd and Niamh Browne 8th W10A; Aoife Masterson 2nd W10B.
Other great runs in the Long race from UCDO's Ruairi Long (12th M20E) and Niamh Corbett (13th W21E).
In Monday's Relay the UCDO team of Aoife McCavana, Róisín Long and Niamh Corbett finished 8th in a top class field; LVO (Olivia Baxter, Sophie and Stephanie Pruzina) finished 8th in the Women's Short class; also finishing 8th in the Intermediate Men's race were the Irish Junior Squad team of Eoghan Whelan, Daire O'Brien and Darragh Hoare. The IJS team of Gerry Browne, Maeve O'Sullivan and Oscar Rowe finished 6th in the Mini Relay and the 3ROC team of Aidan, John and Clíona McCullough also finished 6th in the Mixed Ad Hoc class.
Exposure to high-class maps and competition is essential for our competetive orienteers, particularly juniors, to motivate them to train and improve. The numbers taking part at home are small, so running against thousands of other orienteers teaches us that we have to keep running and trying our best to get to those big international competitions like the JK, the Scottish 6-Day and big events on the continent like the Swedish O-Ringen or the French 5-Day.
JK2020 will be in Yorkshire at Easter 2020.
And, by the way, there is still a vacancy for a Junior Representative Orienteering Officer on the IOA Executive!
John McCullough (3Roc)