Looking at the teams entered, it’s clear that JWOC is taken very seriously by the big orienteering countries. The list of past winners reads like a who’s who of elite orienteering, and it’s great to see IOA putting resources into orienteering at this level as a preparation for future World Championships.
Unfortunately none of the lads qualified for the Middle Distance final (only the top 20 in three very competitive heats go through).
Update: An incredible 3-way tie in the Men’s Middle Distance race on Thursday saw Austrian, Russian and Finnish runners taking Gold medals! The top three all had a time of 25 mins 43 secs.
Follow them here.
A team of M16’s (Harry Millar and Jonathan Quinn – pictured in the Relay start), M18’s (Eoin McCullough, Laurence Quinn and Mark Stephens) and W16’s (Clíona McCullough and Niamh Corbett) ran in the European Youth Championships in the Czech Republic at the end of June. The team was led by Greg McCann and Brenda Hynes and the results can be found here.
The team had mixed fortunes, but EYOC is great experience as preparation for big international competition.
Rather belatedly, a brief report on another memorable Shamrock O-Ringen in West Cork on the June Bank Holiday weekend. Yet again the visitors almost outnumbered the Irish competitors, for whatever reason. Are we scared of the contours? The marshes? The midges? Are we afraid that we’ll get terminally lost? Even if we did, to be running around a West Cork marsh with the cuckoos, the myrtle and the fantastic terrain is a wonderful way to spend a weekend.
Word of the Shamrock is leaking out, though – people from all around Europe come back again and again to savour the atmosphere and terrain. One runner put it in the same category as Finland’s Jukola overnight relay – it’s simply a unique event.
Kilcrohane provided the focus, with a middle distance race on Saturday, a classic distance on Sunday and a chasing start on Monday (where the winner is the first to cross the line). Darren Burke took the M21 Elite title, only seconds ahead of ken Peeters (Belgium) – see the photo. Cath Chalmers from Australia won the W21 Elite race. Overall results are here.
Next year’s Three Day is in the Oughterard area of Co. Galway, run by WEGO, on the first weekend in June.
A number of Irish competitors are at the World Masters Orienteering Championships at Pecs in Hungary. The forested karst limestone terrain is different to anything we have here, so it will be a new challenge. Read about the events here.
The lady on the left is Sarolta Monspart, 1972 World Champion from Hungary. She was the first non-Scandinavian World O-Champion, seen here at the opening ceremony for WMOC 2011.
Boggy underfoot conditions and very warm weather did not deter the competitors at the 2011 Setanta Orienteers Rogaine on June 25th/26th in Co. Wicklow. The championship event, 24 Hour Team, was won byNicholas Mulder & Ryno Griesel (Rand OC, South Africa) who managed to collect all controls within the 24 hours. This is a great achievement in the bog and heather of Wicklow, something the pair wouldn’t be used to. The conditions were very wet under foot after a lot of rain the day and the night before the event. They may have been more used to the heat wave that we suddenly got over the weekend though, with temperatures of 23C during the day. It was a warm, clear, calm night for those who spent the night out on the hills. The 6 Hour Teamevent was won by Ruth Lynam & Don Short (CNOC). This was a great win for them in their first 6 hour Rogaine after competiting in many previous 24 hour Rogaines. Paul Mahon took the honours in the new addition to the Rogaine events, the 6 Hour Individual.
There was a small Irish presence at the Jukola 7-person overnight relay in Finland on June 18/19. A CNOC team of Conor and Ruairi Short, Shea, Kevin and Niamh O’Boyle, Hugh Cashell and Colm Hill finished in ahighly respectable 296th (not 765th as I said earlier!) place among the 1500 teams to start. Bishopstown’s Nick Simonin, running for his Stockholm club Lidingo IFK, came in an amazing 23rd place on leg 1 (which started at 10.55 pm), only about 90 seconds down on the leaders. John and Eoin McCullough and Ronan Cleary ran on a London OK team and Nina Heikkinen (Philips) and Julie Cleary ran in the Venla 4-person Women’s relay earlier in the day.
The Jukola is an amazing event: about 15,000 runners between the two races. There are orienteers in Finland whose only event of the year is the Jukola.
Next year’s race is only 10 km from Helsinki Airport …
My first experience of the Jukola relay in Finland is one I will never forget. Myself, my dad and two friends arrived in a muddy car parking field with a hint of rain in the air on Saturday afternoon. We found our army tent, which would be our accommodation for the night, and then went to check out the arena. For those of you who haven’t been to Jukola before, the arena is like a small town, with everything you could possibly need at an orienteering event, or anywhere else, for that matter.
World ChampionshipsOf course the big event this summer is the World Orienteering Championships near Chambéry in France in mid-August. Will Thierry Gueorgiou be disqualified or fail to finish again? The Irish team have been preparing in France and Scandinavia and are ready to go: read their blog here. The Junior Squad are taking in the associated “O-Festival ERDF” as their summer tour. Details of this event, with more than 3000 runners, are here.
Meet the Irish Team, David Healy, Marcus Pinker, Seamus O’Boyle, Darren Burke, Nick Simonin, Ruairí Short, Niamh O’Boyle, Aislinn Austin, Ros Hussey and team leader Kyle Herron, here
John McC .