Contours training at home with our Junior Orienteers!

Since the start of lockdown all of our Irish juniors from M/W10 up to M/W20 have been engaged in orienteering activities and training on Zoom.  We have had a great response from seniors, coaches and older juniors to host these sessions and this initiative has been incredibly successful.  A massive thank you to all of these mentors!! 

On 16th May the juniors were treated to an engaging zoom presentation on contours by Steven Linton.  We are incredibly thankful to Steven for sharing his time and experience in such a fantastic presentation.  This particular zoom meeting was for juniors from M/W10 to M/W16.  Straight away the juniors were practically involved by circling hills, re-entrants, spurs and depressions on their screens.  Steven helped everyone visualise the map terrain by adding 3D videos and detailed illustrations.  All of the juniors learned a great deal and to help them assimilate this knowledge they were all set a challenge at the end of the presentation. 

The 10/12 age groups were tasked with creating their own set of contours in a tray using sand, clay or soil and whatever added details they wished.  The challenge for the 14/16s was made a bit more difficult as Steven gave them a specific section of map that they were to recreate in 3D (See the map section below).  All the juniors were given instructions as to how they might add in their contours.  This was an incredibly informative presentation.  

In order for all models to be judged fairly, Steven came up with a marking scheme for each challenge.  The 10/12s were marked out of 5 for terrain quality, marked out of 5 for contours and marked out of 3 for imagination to give them a total score out of 13.  The 14/16 group were marked out of 5 for accuracy on plan, marked out of 5 for ground shape and marked out of 3 for overall presentation to give them a total score out of 13.  We had some incredible entries and were delighted with all the results.  

Top Marks in each category were as follows:
M/W10:  Deirbhile Hassett
M/W12:  Fionnuala Rowe
M/W 14-16:  Eve Buckley

We do hope everyone had a great time making their models.  Rebecca Linton has created two collages of all the entries we received.  All participants received a little box of treats and the winners each earned themselves a voucher to choose their own special treat.  Well done to everyone and huge thanks to Steven and Rebecca for their time and expertise.

Irish Orienteering Championships 2019

From a Swedes perspective…

 As the Irish Senior Squad Trainer, an ambitious Nordic skier and adventurous runner, I decided to run IOC 2019 very early. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do any orienteering in preparation, but I predicted that Nordic ski training, in combination with mental preparations and a strong psychological mind-set would make me powerful enough.

When I studied the maps before the races, the terrain didn’t seem to be very interesting really. A lot of open areas, not very detailed terrain and relatively easy orienteering. But I was so wrong. The sprint forced me to rethink my orienteering expectations. I was taken by surprise. How could they even made a sprint course that hard in such simple area? After I finished the sprint which were ran in a beautiful area and held both  technical difficulties and amazing views, I immediately started to prepare for the middle distance. I prepared in a different way than I had done before. I gave the map more respect, the terrain more deference and expected the course setter to fool me again. That might have been what caused me to run one of my best races for many years. When running the middle had I a great feeling. I wasn’t afraid of the course but I didn’t either disrespect it either. I ran with it. I was open minded about route choices on every leg, I ran fast where the map told me to and I went slowly in all other places. I didn’t make any mistakes. A clean race with high speed. A lovely course which held all the difficulties you may ( or may not) expect. Running into the finish with a majestic view and sharing public. Amazing!

Regarding the classic distance the next day, it was expected to be won in around 100min, but since my shape was good I didn’t mind the distance. I ran it harder than both the sprint and the middle. Enjoyable at its maximum, slow tricky forest combined with superfast running grass areas. How could you not love such a course? Demanding with a lot of good route choices. I didn’t make the 100min, but no shame on the course setter, without mistakes sub 100min would have been possible.

Last day was a relay, once again the terrain changed and this time the race was held in a smaller area which invited to high speed through the whole course. Lots of tracks ant paths, fast forest and deadly green areas.

Four days of running, four days with amazing organisation and demanding courses. After a weekend like this, you have a great possibility to evaluate your own results, your strengths and maybe more interesting also your weaknesses. When the races were so different from each other, both in length and technical level. I am sure you can evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses. Where you performing best on the relay and sprint? In the end of the long distance? In the forest in the middle? This is only possible when the variation is as high as it was on this weekend. Keep that up, I love it!

Overall and summarized a weekend including a short sprint, a fun middle, a long classic and a fast relay. Four days of fun. Exhausting of course, but that’s why I loved it. Since I came home have I been talking a lot to others about it. Not just because it was an amazing event, but that I can see a change. It was seven years since I first stepped off the plane at Dublin Airport, and I have been running a lot of training sessions and competitions in Ireland since that day. During these seven years I have seen the progress in Irish orienteering moving forward a lot. Today the standard of an event is high, professional and highly serious. Just as it should me in a championship.

I look forward to going over again soon, but when I fly over for the eighth time? I haven’t decided yet, but it´s probably going to be sooner or later. I can’t be without you guys more than a few months. I am deeply and honestly thankful for the IOC 2019 organisation. It was a pleasure to be a part of it and I have been telling everyone at home that you NEED to come visit Ireland. An Island having the absolutely best atmosphere for having a great time and always making you feeling heart-warming welcome. Thank you!

Anton Hallor

  • 7th Place Sprint M21E
  • 2nd Place Middle M21E
  • 1st Place Long Distance M21E

Many thanks to Anton for giving us an insight into his IOC 2019 , we look forward to next years IOC2020 to be held in Kerry and West Cork. More information coming soon….

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