Urban EndurO, Endeavour Hills, Saturday April 1

Our first EndurO for 2017 is on Saturday April 1, at Endeavour Hills.  There will be 40 controls, worth varying points, the aim being to maximise your score in the time allowed.  The A courses for Runners and Walkers are 120 minutes long, starting at 2pm and finishing at 4pm.  The B courses for Runners and Walkers are 90 minutes long, starting at 2.15pm and finishing at 3.45pm (note this differs from the incorrect information in the printed fixture).

Entry fees are the same as other Saturday series events, ie $5 for adults and $2 for juniors under 21.  Saturday season tickets include EndurOs. And look out for the JWOC Jam Stall, featuring delicious jams, pickles, chutneys and cordial.

Directions: Endeavour Hills Library. Use the car park south of Raymond McMahon Boulevard (Melway 91 D5).

Summer Series Final Week

Summer Series results were decided last week, and there was some great competition, with some divisions going right down to the wire, and even some ties! This week will feature some really fun, non-scoring events that will involve a bit of puzzle solving as well as navigation.

Everyone is invited to the Awards Night on Wednesday March 15, an occasion not to be missed. First up is a fun final event on the Maroondah Triangle map in Ringwood East. This will be a Score event with two runners courses and a power walkers course.   You’ll need a pen or pencil to mark your answers to the cryptic clues.  Everyone will be finished before 8pm,  then we’ll head indoors for the delicious BBQ dinner, catered by the Scouts and sponsored by OV – yummy burgers and salads, drinks, and delectable desserts.

We’ll announce the prizewinners from the Monday and Wednesday series, as well as the prestigious Course Setter of the Year.  Millennium Club Legends will receive their certificates, and we’ll acknowledge our Champions by presenting their medallions. Western and Northern series will have separate presentations at their final events.

Then it’s straight into Autumn, with park and street events on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, as well as Saturday afternoons.  The new fixture is now available at all events, as well as online at http://www.vicorienteering.asn.au/parkstreet/.  You can upload a device-friendly version as well.

Season tickets for Orienteering club members will be on sale during the first three weeks at all park street events – these provide a huge discount, and are well worth the cost of joining a club.  Don’t delay in signing up!

Park and Street Championships

Over 60 Finalists gathered at Bellbird Dell to tackle a physically tough course, where the shortest routes were almost impossible to discern.  Careful map reading was required in the Dell, and the event was a true test of both skill and stamina. Bruce Arthur’s unbroken streak of Open Mens wins was retained, but Rachel Johnson had to hand over the Womens title to Lanita Steer, who won by the narrowest of margins.  Congratulations to:

Mens Open 1st-B.Arthur, 2nd-L.Haines, 3rd-P.Hobbs

Mens Senior 1st-I Davies, 2nd-C.Pearce, 3rd-T.vanGeldermalsen

Mens Vet 1st-S O’Connell, 2nd-T.Hatley, 3rd-P.Mallen

Mens SuperVet 1st-T.Bird, 2nd-W.Davis, 3rd-R.Bailes

Womens Open 1st-L.Steer, 2nd-A.Steer 3rd-R.Johnson

Womens Vet 1st-J.Steer, 2nd-J.Yeatman, 3rd-D.Dodd

Womens SuperVet 1st-C.Jackson 2nd-D.Pike, 3rd-P.Lohmeyer-Collins

Boys (U19) 1st- B.McCarthy

Mens PW Open 1st-D.Stillwell, 2nd-B.Hollaway, 3rd- I McLean

Mens PW SuperVet 1st-P.Grover, 2nd-Dennis Mews, 3rd-L.Budge

Womens PW Open 1st-J.Torr, 2nd-L.Greenwood, 3rd-L.Bell

Womens PW Supervet 1st-Helen Kerley, 2nd-Ros King, 3rd-Rosie Salvaris

Medals will be presented at Summer Series Presentation Nights on Tues 14th March (Western Series) and Wednesday 15th March (East/South/North Series).  Huge thanks to Ron Frederick for courses, Pam King for the map, and Ray Howe for organising another very successful Championships night.

Special 40th Anniversary Event at Blackburn Lake, Wed February 22

This season Park Street Orienteering in Melbourne is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Blackburn Lake was one of the first maps developed for Park Street orienteering, although I am told the current map is a lot more detailed than it was back then.

To celebrate this map’s 40th  anniversary, Russell is digging back into his archives to provide us with a little nostalgia.  The map will be the current version – but does that control site feel familiar or perhaps the whole course?

Come along and find out and help Yarra Valley celebrate Blackburn Lake’s 40th anniversary this Wednesday evening, February 22.

The event will also be a qualifier for the Park Street Championships, with the final to be held the following Wednesday at Bellbird Dell.

If you would like to be part of this competition, check the details, compete on the running or walking course that matches your age group, and use a BLUE card to signal your nomination as a qualifier.

Click here for the current list of finalists.

Summer Series Getting to the Pointy End

As we approach the last few weeks of Summer Series, attention turns to the Park and Street Champs.  The Final is on Wednesday March 1 at Bellbird Dell, but first we have the lead-up Qualifying races.  These commence on Tuesday February 14 at Altona Green, and continue for the following fortnight.  There are 8 Qualifiers in all, including one each in Macedon and Geelong, one in each of the Southern and Northern series, and two in each of the Western and Eastern series.  To be considered for a Finals position, you need to compete using a Blue card, and you may have to run on a different course depending on your age grouping.  All the details of this year’s Champs are here: http://www.vicorienteering.asn.au/parkstreet/championship/

Winners and placegetters will be presented with their medallions at the end of season Awards Night in March, along with recognition of The Millennium Club Legends.  The Course Setter of the Year is also announced, and we are currently calling for nominations.  If you have a course that you think worthy of winning this prestigious prize, please submit your nomination to Debbie or Margi before March 6.

Orienteering at Christmas

We wish everyone a very merry Christmas!
The holiday break is a perfect time to get out and explore new places, work off some calories, and keep your brain ticking over.  Why not take advantage of reduced traffic, and head off to try some of the many orienteering opportunities on offer?

Monday 26th (Boxing Day) – Lynbrook Gums.  As the name suggests, we start in beautiful shady Banjo Paterson Park, underneath the spectacular river red gums and beside the ornamental lake.  Enjoy the pleasant parkland and quiet streets of Lynbrook.

Tuesday 27th – Kensington.  One of our most popular maps and former Champs venue, Kensington is full of tiny streets and linear parks on multiple levels.  A unique and historical area where the former stockyards help to provide testing route choices.

Wednesday 28th – Colchester.  At the foot of the Dandenongs, this map has a bit of everything from meandering creekside bike trails, roads that curve in all directions, and a conical hill for a bit of extra challenge.

Thursday 29th – Diamond Creek.  If you love getting off road, this one’s for you!  Minimal bitumen, testing climbs, and open parkland.

And if that’s not enough, there’s a special Saturday morning map run on Christmas Eve, in Croydon. Check the Saturday page for details.

Plan a Summer Course to Fitness and Fun!

It’s December – that means summer has arrived!  While weekend orienteering takes a break until February, there is plenty of navigational fun during the week to keep your body and brain fit and active for the next couple of months.

Park and Street orienteering events are on four nights a week all over Melbourne, as well as in Geelong and Macedon.  There’s sure to be an event near you!  Select from several running options (distances vary from approx 3-10 kms), or a 1 hour Power Walkers course. Each course is different, and you choose your own pace.  Groups are always very welcome.

No need to pre-register, just check the fixture, and arrive between 6.30-6.45pm to be ready for a mass start at 7pm.  You don’t need a compass, just a pair of running shoes and comfortable clothes, and a drink on warmer nights.  You should also wear a watch or carry a phone so that you return by cut-off time.

On Saturday mornings we have informal map runs – no scoring, just a fun group run or walk with a map, and coffee/brunch afterwards.  Check the Saturday page each Friday evening for updates.

Want more information to help you get started on a course to fitness and fun? Click here.

Sprint Into Spring – Bendigo Wrap ‘n’ Maps

Maps Race 6:  BSEC Mo     BSEC Sally     BSEC Usain

Maps Race 7:   south-star-mo     south-star-sally     south-star-usain

The Sprint Bendigo weekend was highly anticipated for many reasons – it was the Grand Finale of Sprint into Spring, as well as the Victorian Sprint Champs.  Three new maps, three different terrains and course setting styles, and the chance to use SI AIR, all attracted big numbers to Bendigo.  Even the weather was perfect.

Race 6 was at Bendigo South East College, a small but complicated campus with its fair share of irregular buildings, stairs and ramps, fences, landscaping, and even a small lake and tiny patch of bush.  Course setter Richard used a map flip to good effect.  Lots of short legs with constant direction changes kept us on our toes, and we quickly adjusted to the swipe technique of SI Air.

Race 7 required a quick shift across to South Star in Eaglehawk.  This was unlike anything we’ve used before at Sprint Into Spring, and was a great test of versatility.  The terrain here was heavily eroded gold mining with not a building in sight.  It abounded in small intricate gullies and mounds, intersected by narrow and sometimes indistinct tracks.  Patches of thicker vegetation influenced route choice, and pure speed was less of a factor.

The Mo Farah men’s Yellow jersey has been a very tight contest between Patrick Jaffe, Brodie Nankervis, and Kerrin Rattray. Today there were a handful of interstate raiders itching to spoil the party, but Brodie had his eye firmly on the prize.  He won Race 6 in 13:44, 8 seconds clear of Kerrin, with Ian Lawford claiming third and Patrick settling for fourth.  In race 7, Patrick came within 6 seconds of Brodie’s winning time (15:52), with Angus Haines taking third in an ominous sign for the Champs.  Brodie’s two wins gave him possession of the 2016 Jersey.

The Mo Womens yellow jersey had been a two horse race between Tash Key and Liis Johansson.  Liis took the 10 points from race 6 after Tash DQ’d herself, realizing that she had crossed an Out of Bounds area.  In so doing she wins our unofficial Fairplay award, setting a great example to other competitors.  Noora Koskinen was second, and Lotta Kirvesmies third.  In race 7, Tash was back in winning form, cementing the 2016 Jersey.  Liis was second, and Belinda Lawford third.

The 2016 Green Jerseys went to James Robertson and Liis Johansson, while the Polkadot Jerseys went to Shane Mallia and Clare Brownridge.  Shane was right in the mix for both Green and Polkadot jerseys this year, while Clare came from behind this weekend to repeat her 2015 victory.

The Sally Pearson course was hugely popular today – I have never seen so many people line up for the Sally!  In race 6, the honours went to Mason Arthur in 12:59, followed by Torren Arthur and Jensen Key.  Jensen needed the points from race 7 to claim the Yellow jersey, and he did that by winning Race 7.  Mason had a strong finish to the series with a second place, followed by big improver Hadyn Tang, who has really come to the fore in recent weeks.

Jenny Bourne has been all class this series, and she won race 6 – but only just, with Heather O’Donnell hot on her heels and only 8 seconds behind. Carolyn Jackson came third.  Race 7 saw Jenny win in 15:51, a comfortable margin over Carolyn and third placed Carola Ray.  The Yellow jersey was Jenny’s to keep.

Brody McCarthy has been in great form all series, and was this year’s Green jersey winner.  Heather O’Donnell has also been a very strong contender, and she also earned herself a Green jersey.  Will Davey was unstoppable on the hill climbs, and now has a Polkadot jersey, as does Julie Francis.

The Usain Bolt featured some new names as Bendigo locals came along to give sprint orienteering a go.  They took to it very quickly. Race 6 Men’s winner Lachlan Feuerherdt finished in 12:15, ahead of Felix Corcoran and Ashley White.  Carol Coad, Claire Adams and Pat Mews were the top three Women.  Lachlan was a dual winner, completing Race 7 in 13:24, with Felix and Ashley again the placegetters.  Ashley was a very happy winner of the Yellow jersey (and may not have taken it off yet!)  Pat won the Womens, and the Jersey, ahead of Dale Ann Gordon and Trisha Osborne.

Daniel Kaman was a newcomer to the series this year, and he performed strongly to claim the Green Jersey.  Claire Adams overcame the disappointment of a mispunch in race 1, to take her second Green jersey.  Peter Beggs won the Mens Polkadot jersey, while the Womens went to Paula Davey.

And so it was on to the Sprint Champs.  These were right in central Bendigo, just up from the iconic fountain.  With very little time to get into the map, we were thrown first into the Chinese temple and gardens, then into the fern maze, and up the hill to the school campuses and former jail before criss crossing back down the hill and into the finish.  Small details were very important, and most errors were caused by the fences in the central section, and the single entry point into the maze.

The Mens Open race was incredibly close, with the first four separated by only 17 seconds!  Brodie Nankervis emerged the winner to cap off a great weekend, with Ian Lawford and Kerrin Rattray claiming the places. Patrick Jaffe, running up an age group, almost pulled off an upset.  With several years to go still in junior ranks, watch out!

The Mens Junior featured a very strong interstate field, and they showed the locals how it was done. Angus Haines was the winner, from Alistair George and Dante Afnan, with visiting Finn Jonathan Ray very unlucky to miss a place.

Other notable Mens results were Haydn Tang’s 6 second win over Mason Arthur, and Ian Dodd’s 2 second victory over Tim Hatley (yes they were in different age groups but the long standing rivalry continues unabated!)

The battle between Liis and Tash resumed, with Liis repeating her 2015 victory on Womens Open, in 14 minutes flat and a 12 second margin.  Lotta Kirvesmies and Noora Koskinen were third and fourth. Lanita Steer held off sister Asha and WA rival Jo Anna Maynard to claim the Junior Womens title in her last race at that level.

Most of the other women’s classes were won fairly comfortably, but Judi Herkes was only 9 seconds clear of Ruth Goddard in the closest competition of the day.

And so another amazing Sprint Into Spring series has drawn to a close – maps and courses were discussed endlessly, jerseys were handed out, there were smiles and tears (mostly smiles!), and none of us can wait until next year.  Already we have some potential new venues in the pipeline.

Highlights of 2016 were having 7 new course setters and 4 new maps; the ever popular Live results; and the fact that 120 people turned up to run in hail and gale force winds at Keilor Downs!  On behalf of the SIS team I want to thank all of the venue owners who let us run round their schools or parks; the course setters who all did a superb job; the clubs, who are such great supporters of the series and ran the events smoothly and cheerfully; and the handful of additional people who gave us a little extra assistance along the way with advising, mapping, organizing, taking photos, or simply helping get controls out on time or doing mid morning coffee runs.

The SIS team is a small but incredible group of people, who dedicate 6 weeks every year to putting on the best series of events going.  Ted as technical advisor has overseen the mapping and course setting, and has also been invaluable as a mentor to our course setters.  Margi has looked after multiple aspects of the organization and has been across every detail.  Jim and Ian have worked together on the IT side so that you can enjoy OLynx Touch and Live Results at every event; Jim also did a superb job of printing the maps. Registration, promotion and the website have been my area.  As the series grows in popularity, the team would love some fresh faces, new ideas, and extra hands.  If you want to be part of something great, just contact any one of us – we’d love to have you on board!

Sprint Into Spring Race 5 Wrap ‘n’ Map Newport Lakes

Mo Map   Sally Map   Usain Map

“How hard can it be?” we thought.  Tracks, trees, lakes, bridges, gates, stepping stones, more trees. An early Hill Climb.  A late Sprint.  A quick loop around the park.  Looked straightforward enough.  Looks can be deceiving …

Course setter Toby Cooper used the lakes to good effect in the first section of the map, setting up some nice “right or left”, “track or stepping stone” “climb or distance” type route choices, before bringing us back into the generally open western section, for a series of very short legs with constant direction changes that had us dizzy.  Some people weren’t reading their maps at the end, running to what they thought was the end of the Sprint leg to a control that was in plain sight – but was almost 100 metres south of where they should be.  This caused some consternation – and some upsets in the Jersey points comp.

Brodie Nankervis, Kerrin Rattray, Patrick Jaffe and Bruce Arthur are the clear top four on the Mo Farah course, and they went into battle again. Brodie won in 15:03, but that was only a minute ahead of Bruce in fourth.  Brodie was second for most of the race, but snatched the lead after Kerrin made an error on leg 22.  It was very close on the Womens too, with Tash Key managing to hold off Liis Johansson by 5 seconds.  Patrick has kept the Yellow for now with Bruce, Kerrin and Brodie breathing down his neck, while Tash is four points ahead of Liis, not far ahead to relax.

James Robertson won the dash for the Green jersey from Bruce and Shane Mallia; he moved half a point ahead of Shane in the points tally.  Mel Gangemi again dominated the Womens comp for her fourth win and a three point lead despite not picking up any points last week.  On the climb, there was a four way tie between the men so points had to be shared. Shane has a good lead over Matt van der Peet.  Womens polkadot jersey winner Liis had to settle for equal second behind Mel today but she still has a few points more than Clare Brownridge.

It was a good day if your name was Brodie (or Brody) – junior Brody McCarthy claimed his second victory on the Sally Pearson course in 12:56, taking the lead from the second leg and never relinquishing it. He now has a clear lead in the Yellow jersey comp.  Jensen Key was second, and Callum White had a series best third.  So great to see such a competitive bunch of juniors! Sarah Davies was the fastest on the Womens course, ahead of Judi Herkes and Philippa Lohmeyer-Collins.  Heather O’Donnell scored enough points to take the womens Yellow jersey and is three points ahead of Jenny Bourne.

Brody won the Sprint leg from Callum, and Callum has the Green jersey.  Heather also won the Sprint from Philippa, who takes the womens Green.  Will Davey was the quickest climber and he has a big lead in the Polkadot comp.  Anne Robinson was fastest woman up the hill.  Julie Francis had a mispunch today so will be looking to score points next week to keep her polkadot jersey.

I had my first go on the Usain Bolt course (recovery from illness) and found I needed to keep on my toes. Those tricky short legs in the final section were the undoing of quite a few, and a good reminder to keep reading the map and never lose focus.  Peter Beggs was the winner today in 20:21, keeping cool where others came unstuck.  Martin Corcoran and Ken Moore were second and third.  Consistency paid off for me on the womens course, when faster runners also made errors. Olivia Moon and Kristy Flay took the placings.  Peter took over the Yellow jersey – he is now tied with Ashley White for points, but Ashley has the polkadot. Daniel Kaman is only 2 points in arrears and has been very consistent.  Pat Mews kept her Yellow but Luca Bogdanovits narrowed the gap to 3 points.

Ken won the sprint leg from Daniel, who moved into the outright lead in the Green jersey comp.  Claire Adams made it three wins in a row and is now only half a point behind Luca.  First time Angus Dalton made short work of the hill climb leg, but as mentioned Ashley claims the jersey. Claire also shot up the hill and scored 10 points, but Paula has managed to keep the jersey despite a mispunch today.

So … in a best of six competition, the next two races will be crucial in deciding who gets to take home the 2016 Jerseys.  I’m not prepared to call any of them yet.  It all hangs on the results of Race 6 at Bendigo South East College, and Race 7 at South Star in Eaglehawk, in next weekend’s Grand Finale.  With two very contrasting terrains, the winners will need to be adaptable.  Course setter’s tip for South Star – “full leg cover recommended”.  That’s all the help you’re getting.

Don’t forget that entries for the Victorian Sprint Distance Champs close THIS TUESDAY on Eventor.  This will be an unforgettable race next Sunday in the heart of Bendigo – whatever you do, don’t miss it!