Orienteering in your 5k

When I began to write this piece it was entitled Events for the Christmas Period but as with everything these days we have to adapt! Let’s not dwell on what could have been and focus on what’s available to do from an orienteering viewpoint all be it within 5km of home!

If you are lucky enough to have one of the many permanent orienteering courses around the country near you then why not use it as a change to your usual run, a change of seen and terrain. They can also be used as a training aide. Many regular orienteers ignore these assets; why not ask a friend to set you a course using the markers available, plotting a different course than is already available? The course can be planned from anywhere in the country, on your local map. Alternatively, if the permanent courses are too short for you, run several courses at the one location back to back or in reverse. Use the course as a map memory exercise only checking the map after two or three controls. Be imaginative!

There are also an increasing number of Maprun courses around the country, these allow you to compete against the clock uploading results at the end of your course, if you wish. Real maps can be requested or downloaded for courses if you prefer to print a paper version for easy reference. Check the DIY orienteering page for listings of all the courses available. These courses are also a great introduction to orienteering, so why not suggest it to a friend or family as many are starved of their usual sporting activity with the current restrictions.

Whilst these past months have been frustrating, it is one of the many emotions orienteers have learned to live with!

More orienteers have been learning to make their own maps this past year, with the internet to hand it has made it much more accessible to us all. Pat Healy has been running a course on MaprunF and encouraging newcomers to make their own courses and maps. Basic maps can be made using google earth or Open Orienteering mapper, they may not be a perfect map like we are used to however it’s better than nothing! If you are able to make a map of your local area, why not send it to a friend and ask them to do some armchair planning and create you a course to run!

As the New Year starts we often set goals for ourselves, so whilst we are all missing the usual competition and social aspect of events why not add a little orienteering training to your weekly fitness regime. It looks like we will be under restrictions for some time but there is now light at the end of the tunnel! Add a little map memory, cross country or rough terrain to your training, the last thing you’ll want is an injury when at last ‘real’ orienteering returns.

You or some of your friends may be taking part in the get Ireland walking or 100 days of walking campaigns, why not suggest adding orienteering to their daily walk? It would be great to get more people involved and help our mental and physical health too.

If you have any ideas for orienteering based activities or training please share them with the wider orienteering community. You can share on the forum, via social media or email comms@orienteering.ie, we’d love to hear from you.


The Christmas and New Year period are packed with events to shake off those winter blues and burn off a few excess calories!

Many of the Christmas Orienteering events below have a Christmas twist to their format and are a great way to get the family out and about and active over the break. Why not bring a friend or the extended family along to your favourite event? It would be great to spread the word on our wonderful sport.

Wishing all orienteers new and old a Happy Christmas and New Year. Hoping Santa will bring you all you wish for.

Don’t forget to book your place at Irish Orienteering Championships 2020 and check out the new website at www.irishorienteeringchampionships.org .


 December 2019
22 Mount Desert Wood Cork Cork Autumn League / Family Day / No. 8 Bishopstown
26 Murphys & UCC Farms & CIT Campus Cork Christmas Family Fun Event / No. 1 Bishopstown
26 Three Rock Wood Dublin St Stephen’s Day Fun Score Event Three Rock
27 Fota House & Gardens Cork Christmas Family Fun Event Cork
27 Lee Fields South & Inchigaggin Park Cork Christmas Family Fun Event / No. 2 Bishopstown
28 Macroom Castle Demesne Cork Christmas Family Fun Event / No. 3 Bishopstown
29 Hoddersfield Wood & Estate Cork Cork Autumn League / Family Day / No. 9 Bishopstown
30 Tramore Valley Park Cork Cork Autumn League / Family Day / No. 10 Bishopstown
31 Rostellan Wood Cork Cork Autumn League / Family Day / No. 11 Bishopstown
*  January 2020
1 Curragh Wood Cork Cork Brass Monkey Winter League / Family Day / No. 1 Bishopstown


Orienteering in Ireland
  • Orienteering Ireland
    Irish Sport HQ
    D15 DY62
  • fixtures@orienteering.ie
  • info@orienteering.ie