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Past posts

Scottish Championships

Brislington Urban

BOK Trot

BUCS success!

New committee!

Crawling up Cribyn

Sugarloaf saga

UBOC at the JK

Double sprint weekend

The grand finale of the Western Night League

Snow can't stop us orienteering....

Success at the British Night Championships

2 Weeks Run up to BUCS

Battling the elements (and steep muddy slopes)

Triple Gloucester weekend

The run-up to BUCS begins...

Fog and contour fun at Yoxter

Keeping a cool head at Headless Hill

Blorenge fell race and Southern Night Orienteering Championships

Wild weather in the Lake District

UoB Orienteering Club News 26/11/2017

Choosing Bristol as an Orienteering University

UoB Orienteering Club News 19/11/2017

UoB Orienteering Club News 12/11/2017

UoB Orienteering Club News 05/11/2017

UoB Orienteering Club News 29/10/2017

UoB Orienteering Club News 22/10/2017

UoB Orienteering Club News 15/10/2017

UoB Orienteering Club News 08/10/2017

UoB Orienteering Club News 01/10/2017

Ashton Court Give it a Go results

Downs Give It a Go results

UoB Orienteering Club Welcome Email 2017

Welcome Fair Maze Results

UoB Orienteering Club News 18/09/2017

10th Anniversary Celebrations

Race Reports Round-up 2016-17

Stoke Bishop urban race 3/5/17

A busy summer of orienteering!

Stoke Bishop Urban Race

BUCS 2016

BUCS Orienteering 2016 Overall Results

BUCS 2016 Relay Results

BUCS Results after Individual

Tom prepares to represent GB

BUCS 2016

New year!

BUCS 2015

November Classic

End of Year Review!

Tough racing at the JK Festival of Orienteering

UBOC is crowned Club of the Year!

New Spring/Summer 2014 Collection now in (Race tops)

Men's relay sneak 4th at BUCS

Bristol has a Southern Champ

Merry Christmas!

Stretching Sessions @ The Breakfast Roll

BUOT Bristol in pictures

El Classico

Training, Racing & Treasure Hunting

Sweeping the board in Ashton Court

Fantastic first week for UBOC

Old City Sprint Race Results


Bristol Old City Sprint Race - Sunday 29th September

Aviemore 2013

New Website

Scottish Championships


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Hello UBOC!

I hope you are all doing well! Summer approaches with thunderstorms, blazing sunshine and the end of UBOC emails for the academic year. Over the summer there is plenty of opportunity to get your fell running/orienteering fix, British Orienteering keep a comprehensive calendar of events in the UK and the Fell Running association keeps a similar list. This weeks email includes two such events that UBOC will definitely be going to, the Midsummer of the Gower weekend run by SBOC and the Harvester Night Relays in West Sussex.

Scottish Individual Champs and Relays – by Tom Dobra

The Scottish Individual Orienteering Championships were another test of endurance, like the British, only rougher under foot but with a drinks station this time. My 12.7km course started in low visibility forest crossing deep vehicle ruts before heading out across boggy heather, through gorse bushes with amazing yellow flowers, then some lovely runnable pine forest. On exiting, I discovered an unmapped man-eating marsh, ending up chest deep unable to feel the bottom but too muddy to swim either; I only managed to get out by lying on bits of semi-floating grass! After another heather and gorse round, I finished in 15th place with a time of 145:39.

The relay on Sunday at Roseisle was superb! Running for one of BOK’s two teams, I set off first in a mass start of over 100 teams for a high-paced race on forested sand dunes. Except for a leg along the beach, wiggly contours was the order of the day – orienteering at its purest! After my respectable men’s open leg of 51:25, my team was unfortunately last in our handicap class, but a fun day nonetheless.

Brislington Urban


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I hope exam revision is going well for everyone with exams, and that everyone else is enjoying a nice quiet University! Another week’s email of fun and adventure, with upcoming race details and completed race’s reports, the highlight of course being the second part of Tom’s ETOC escapades.

Race Reports:
Brislington Urban - Sophie Gordon
Adam and I headed over to Brislington for our favourite kind of revision break: orienteering. The course featured a few interesting alleyways and underpasses (although not quite as many as Bower Ashton!), some steep roads and a nice path along the river. Adam escaped a 3-minute smoking courtesy of Owain Jones from BOK, who would have won if he hadn't missed a control, leaving Adam with a clear lead. Unfortunately I also managed to miss one, but I didn't have so far to fall down the leaderboard!

ETOC Relay and TempO - Tom Dobra
After a big improvement on the second day of the ETOC PreO, I still certainly wasn’t expecting the excitement that would following the next day at the relay (PreO + TempO as a relay team of three). Having won the toilet race after Antti Rusanen (FIN) took a wrong turning into a cleaner’s cupboard, I was stood watching the relay start some 75 minutes late. The cause of course then materialised to a huge cheer at -3 minutes with all the paras ready on the start line: the toilet truck had finally cleared the motorway! Charles Bromley Gardner (BAOC) was off on first leg for team GBR1, back in good time to hand over to me. The PreO was in the dramatic backdrop of Devin Castle with an entertaining collection of short, medium and very long range (2 km with 1.2 m large kites on the opposite hillside) problems, followed by two challenging TempO stations. An hour’s wait and John Kewley’s (MDOC) PreO result came through with us in 2nd place! We were all clean in the PreO component, placing us safely behind Finland and with a bit of a lead over Sweden. This just left JK to clear the TempO as 2nd last competitor (done in reverse order). Marit Wiksell of Sweden made one mistake on the first station, giving us a 40s advantage into the final station. Unfortunately, we were no match for the Scandinavian TempO specialist, so we slipped down to 3rd, but nonetheless European bronze medallists!
Tuesday brought in the TempO on contoured sand dunes in a pine forest. Too many mistakes, too slow and not being able to anchor myself at station 3 left me well outside qualification. As our only qualifier, JK came an incredible 18th in the final, which looked incredibly hard with no paths between the stations to anchor your location. The evening saw our relay medal ceremony and the best ETOC or WTOC banquet in quite a few years!

Sunny Sussex Weekend - Tom Dobra

On Sunday, we went to the long distance race of the Sunny Sussex orienteering weekend at Worthlodge Forest. It was a lovely runnable forest of varying character, caught just in time before the bracken grows up, with the weather holding up as promised too. Peter Dobra improved substantially on his previous green performance with a time of 64:11. I started with a lot of mistakes over the first half of the course with plenty of deployments of the run in a random direction method. For the second half, I focused a little better to win some splits and come home 5th on the black in 89:03.

BOK Trot


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Another exciting week rolls by, congratulations to Tom who has performed incredibly well at the European Trail Orienteering Championships and to other Tom and Michael for a brilliant race down in Bower Ashton. I must make a quick apology to Sophie and Abi who ran their own event week before last - but did not get a mention at all!

Ross On Wye Urban - Megan Carter Davies
Today, Ben, Adam and I headed to Ross-on-Wye for a race around the town, part of the UK Urban League. UBOC alumni Richard Cronin planned some good routechoice legs, some of which I’m still not sure which the best way would have been! The nature of the town meant lots of long road running legs, with simple navigation. The boys battled it out over their 13km (shortest line) course to finish just 10s apart with Adam taking the win and Ben 2nd.

BOK Trot, New Beechenhurst - Sophie Gordon
After some pavement pounding on Saturday, Adam, Ben and Meg along with Sophie and Michael headed off to New Beechenhurst in the Forest of Dean for the BOK Trot. The event was part of an OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) weekend with trail running and mountain biking races, so the event arena was buzzing. The course took us straight into an intricate contour area then out into runnable woodland which was gorgeous in the sunshine. Unfortunately the warmth was not to our advantage as gradual dehydration seemed to give most of us fuzzy heads - combined with aching legs from yesterday this meant the most common response to "how did it go?" was "terrible, but I enjoyed it"!

BUCS success!


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Well done to all who competed at BUCS this weekend, a month later than planned - but at least it wasn’t snowing! Some brilliant results by Megan (winning the Women’s A individual race with a legendary winning margin) and Adam (podiuming on Men’s A).

BUCS relay race report - Matt Pickering

Two cars left Bristol carrying the remaining 6, their destination: a forest in close proximity to Oxford. We use the word forest loosely, but there were trees, and in fact Lawrence said it would be a forest that NGOC would be proud of. The atmosphere in the arena was electric, universities had traveled long distances from across the country to be at the relay at Shotover Country Park. Despite the tension, we still found time to admire a few (unpixelated) flags before the relays started. It was Adam potter and Lawrence on the start line for Bristol, striking fear in those to the left, behind, to the right and in front. Before we knew it they were off into the woods, the pace was fast and furious, there were many paths but the terrain was quite rough going. Lawrence took an early lead but was quickly by Adam potter who returned home in a time of 30:41 (maybe). Just behind was Lawrence and then the second leg runners, Michael and Abi, were on their way. Finally the third leg runners, Matt and Angus, were on their way chasing the BUCS championships. Teams did fairly well, coming 8th and ‘not last’. We even had time to make friends with Loughborough and Matthew Leitch: EUOC JK 2018 tempO champion. Matt was defeated by the intricate download arrangement. Safely returned from the forest our only desire was warm showers and food in our bellies. So we headed to the sports hall floor and then onto Tesco's where we dawdled so much Angus though we'd left him there. The UBOC train evenly reformed at Keble bar and then were eventually fed (Lawrence sat diagonally opposite little Perks) before heading back and swiftly fell asleep.

BUCS individual race report - Lawrence Jones, Magnus Ross and Matt Pickering

Magnus had lots of fun. We suspect the sun rose on the second day but we couldn't see it because we were in a room with no windows. Our team of six grew to nine with various members arriving on trains. We all arrived at the map area, mildly put as rather green. While Matt's car acted creepy looking a random cars on the street. Race connoisseurs, Lawrence, Michael and Adam headed to the pub for a quick pre race breakfast. Magnus had breakfast at the best Western hotel while Megan and Ben flew from the deepest depths of scandinavia (Stockholm). Angus and Magnus were nervous about having to use emit, and to be honest so were us all. Out in the terrain all runners did exceptionally well - not at all put off by the ground rumblings of the UBOC train (heading to the wrong control). BUCS is always a time for smokings and this year was no exception: Michael (who smoked Lawrence by 4 seconds) and Angus (who smoked Magnus by 30 seconds). Unfortunately the best kind of smoking, beating Dobra, was rendered impossible as he was too fearful to attend (we suspect scared off by the smoking threat). Megan won the women's by an insane 9 minutes. Adam potter proved Bristol is the best university for training after finally winning bronze (never managed in three years at Sheffield). A good weekend of racing complete, we headed home to write the race reports.

European TrailO Championships - Tom Dobra

This year's European TrailO Championships PreO was this weekend in hot, sunny Slovakia. The two days were tough with lots of pure map reading on contoured hillsides with plenty of cliffs. On Saturday, I made a few mistakes, scoring 20/24 (44th), but still top Brit by 5.5s. Today, I was clean, except for a stupid miscall on the final timed control, earning me 15th today, 35th overall and clear top Brit. In a field of the best, there's no room for error! 

New committee!


Congratulations to our new committee members for the next academic year, elected at the AGM.

Crawling up Cribyn



Ben (left) and Sam slogging up Cribyn

Cribyn Race Report - by Sam Hutson-Smith

The race kicked off at 1pm, starting at the bottom of Cribyn, staring up at the daunting climb ahead. We started off climbing up a gradual ascent, before dropping down into a valley, jumping a river and scrambling up the other side. The steep incline and hot weather made this the most gruelling part of the race, and most competitors spent it on all fours. After reaching the Cribyn summit, we then descended again before climbing to the summit of Pen-y-Fan - having to dodge our way through groups of confused looking walkers who probably thought we were insane. Ben won the race in a time of 55:12, taking the lead on the final downhill stretch. Tim finished in 12th place and I came in 27th. Charlie came in 38th place, gaining 10 places from the top of Cribyn, and still found the time to take photos of the amazing views at the summit. This was no doubt the hardest short distance race I've run, but was (just) worth it for the views at the top

Black Down Race Report - by Tom Dobra

I went for a gorgeous orienteering race on the Mendips on Sunday with plenty of distracting views. Despite the controls being well hidden, the navigation was relatively easy on the open hillside, although that didn’t stop me from making several errors. Unfortunately, this was all eclipsed by not really being able to run due to a cold, leaving me down in 7th place in a time of 68:09, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Sugarloaf saga


Sugar Loaf fell race report - by Michael Lai

What I thought was a casual Saturday fell race up the Sugar Loaf turned out to be the Welsh Senior Inter Regional Mountain Running Championships. All that means is that there is an extra team category competition between West, East, South and North Wales and the presence of a few very good runners who’ve travelled over to compete. My coach Dic from Aberystwyth was very enthusiastic about this race and drove me down to Abergavenny to compete for West Wales.

The forecast of the day was heavy rain until 11am and it was accurate. The rain died down minutes before the start, but the ground was soaked through. This route took us through a steep climb through some beautiful woodland before opening up to a flat, fast section of open moorland, where the peak, shrouded in mist can be seen towards the left. The race really stretched out here, a group of 5 pulled away from the rest, disappearing into the distance. The rest of the climb came suddenly at the end of the nice flat bit. A very steep, rocky ascent took us up to the trig point. I was really struggling up this ascent when I decided that trying to keep my position was not worth it at this point and surrendered to walk up the hill, reaching the peak in the 13th position. The descent came immediately after the ascent, and it was just as steep as the up, pretty technical too. Having relatively fresh legs, I was able to overtake 4 runners on this section and kept it this way until we descended back into the woods again. At this point, the front runners were long gone and have been out of sight very a good while. The guy with the beard and buff behind me closed the gap and really put a lot of pressure on my position. This was a definite contribution to a lapse in attention towards the front, resulting in me crashing and rolling over the stile which was partially hidden behind a drop. Luckily, mud was in abundance, the fall was cushioned and I was able to hold my position until the end and came in 9th overall.

The fastest runners were 5 minutes in front of me and the top 3 finished within 10 seconds of each other/ This is quite rare in a fell race, which goes to show how strong the field at the front was. As for the inter regional, South Wales were the clear winners, East was second and West was third. Me and the Sarn Helen lads each got a Welsh Athletics bronze medal!

Went to the Honey Cafe near Talgarth for cake and coffee on the way back and Dic drove back to Aber through the scenic mountain road. All in all, a great day off from revision and the project report.

East Harptree Woods race report - by Matt Pickering

Matt Whipple, Adam Potter, Tom Dobra and Matt P dusted themselves off for a dust-up in East Harptree Woods on Saturday. A new area for the boys a week after a muddy and physical JK, a deceptively tricky area was the perfect place to settle some scores. The forestry commission presented a number of challenges from beautiful mature woodland with a bed of wild garlic to thick young trees requiring care. In the end, Adam came out on top (as always) then Matt Whipple despite some mistakes pipped Matt P (being towed by Clive Hallett) and Tom Dobra a few seconds behind. All in all a good day out and a good new area.

UBOC at the JK


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JK Sprint race report - by Tracy Tse
This Easter, 10 brave and keen UBOCers entered themselves to the biggest annual orienteering event in the UK – The JK. The first day began with a bit of stress for those of us travelling from Bristol. First there was the miscommunication between two young men who live in the same house, then the big trucks at the gas station, followed by the annoying traffic on M5. Matt P, Tom Ds (Dobra and Dixon) and I managed to arrive at MOD Stafford just in time for my start. Greeted by a sergeant armed with a gun at the car park entrance (everyone was shocked when we saw real guns), I rushed off to the start. The area was quite straightforward to navigate. It was more of a challenge of fast running and making spot-on route decision. Rachel (50th), Sophie (38th) and I (31st) ran WOpen; Abi came 18th in W20E; Tom Dixon came 6th in M20L; Tom Dobra (32nd), Kit (48th), Matt P (60th), Lawrence (71st) and Michael (72nd) ran the M21E (Lawrence beat Michael by only 0.02s!). Finally, a huge congratulation to Megan who came first in W21E! Although the day ended with the disappointment of early shower closure and a sudden heavy rain, the Walton village hall crew had a fun food shop and were surprised by the amount of food we bought. Joined by the DUOC lads, the night was wrapped up with the game Werewolf.

TempO - by Tom Dobra

I didn’t get on at all well with the TempO course, adjacent to the sprint area, coming 12th with far too many errors, behind both Matt Pickering (2nd - superb!) and Rachel Khan (10th). On the face of it, the course was reasonably well planned, with a mixture of urban and woodland stations, so it was good to see several from UBOC taking part. And then Matt was kind enough to (accidentally) drive off with my bags and phone before I could finish the course, leaving me to walk to the car park in a heavy downpour to find no car - just like in the cartoons!

Middle - by Tom Dobra

The middle was my favourite race of the JK: fast, runnable terrain, leaving no room for switching off. Most of the area was woodland, with a few open bits and lots of moderate sized hills to make you work hard physically. It was perhaps one of my best ever middle race performances, with only a few errors of a few minutes, leaving me in 49th. The top performance was Megan Carter-Davies in 2nd, only 11s off the lead.

Long - by Sophie Gordon

After some good Middle performances we were all raring to go for the Long race on Sunday - with some trepidation on the part of those running the 18 km M21 Elite course! Beaudesert was a lovely area with some nice bits of runnable woodland and lots of spurs and re-entrants. I started off well until I got to number 17, cursing whilst searching for a pit in some featureless woodland, until I found my number 14 and realised I was in the adjacent bit of woods. Well done to Ben, Adam, Kit, Tom Dobra and Michael for surviving the Elite course, and to Megan and Lawrence for great performances on the W21 Elite and M21 Long.

PreO - by Rachel Khan

After the shock results from the TempO on Friday, all was to play for at the PreO..

I went round the 20 control Elite course, my feet still tired and muddy from the long distance. The allowed time was 88 minutes but my new technique following the success from the TempO was to not dwindle too much.... (Mistake right there may I can tell you now). Some control sights seemed straightforward, others much more tricky, and some just a bit dodgy.. The area was very pleasant though and the two timed controls at the end were in interesting locations. In the end, Matt came 20th, Tom 22nd, and I came 43rd. It seems my rogue technique of not thinking too hard about it was not the way, moreover, I got told off for dithering by one of the punching stations.. Alas, It seems I still have a long way to go in the world of TrailO.

Relay - by Sophie Gordon

Monday dawned grey and drizzly as we returned to Beaudesert for the relay (thankfully not using the same car parking field that we'd had to push cars out of the day before...) Before long, the assembly area was such a mud bath it could be mistaken for Glastonbury if the Foo Fighters had turned up. We slithered our way around getting thoroughly splattered, with several people sliding off their feet completely on the final bend to the changeover point. Congratulations to Megan's team for coming third in their relay (sadly not competing for UBOC), as well as many strong UBOC runs.

Double sprint weekend


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There are lots of exciting things coming up soon: rescheduled BUCS, signing up to next year’s committee (AGM) and the annual club photo. Many of us are also starting to feel the buzz for the JK orienteering festival this weekend.

Bath Spa University race report - by Tom Dobra

On Saturday, five of us went for an extended sprint course around Bath Spa Univerisity’s Newton Park campus. The courses were superbly planned, requiring frequent changes of pace when moving from urban to farmland to woodland areas and back again. I made quite a few classic mistakes, including misreading control descriptions, not planning ahead and cutting through the green to come 5th on the green in a time of 25:29. Ben Mitchell, Adam Potter and Megan Carter-Davies all did a better job to come 1st (20:53), 2nd (21:04) and 4th (23:00). Abi Bateman produced a steady run (check Splitsbrowser) to come 27th in 33:46. See the course and our routes on Routegadget.

Lyneham race report - by Kelvin Lam

Sunday marked the start of the university's Easter holiday (and dissertation deadline over the corner!) - Tom Dobra and I celebrated this occasion on a weekend spree at MoD Lyneham (former RAF Lyneham station), hosted by MoD servicemen and North Wiltshire Orienteering Cluc (NWO). The course was an orienteering paradise (and for myself, an avid planespotter and military enthusiast), as it contains highly unusual geographical features for navigation: stripped down Lynx helicopter & tanks, runway beacon lights, air traffic control tower etc. Due to the urban nature of the course it required extensive knowledge and use of control descriptions, as some EMIT sensors were hidden behind army barracks. Tom Dobra came 1st in the Blue race and 2nd in the Urban Sprint (equivalent to Green level), and I scored 1st in Orange and honourable 25th in the Urban Sprint race. Adam Potter won the sprint, but cheated by not running another course beforehand!

The grand finale of the Western Night League


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Saturday 11th March - Fell Race - Hannah Thom

I set off on Saturday morning looking forward to running through some beautiful scenery in the Brecon Beacons national park. This was not to be the case, with low cloud and visibility at almost 0 in some places. This made for a challenging race, requiring lots of compass work with a lot of steep rocky sections. Despite the weather I thoroughly enjoyed the race, with its long grassy descents and the technical finish through rocky woodland. I finished 20th overall and managed to successfully not get lost in the fog, so all in all a successful trip out.

Saturday 11th March - Ashton Court Night Race - Matt Pickering

The rescheduled finale to WNL was always going to be fireworks to end a successful season. From the familiar *endroit* of Blaise Castle to the misty, murky dangerous Yoxter, the westerners head torches have been working overtime for the preceding nine fixtures. To the evening's events; a mass start race starting at 7:03pm in the centre of Ashton Court estate. Nervous tension on the jog to the start line fizzled through strained conversation. 3-2-1- the burn-up begins. Heading north, a train crashing into the bushes to the first control, splinters crackle around the locomotive as it chugs onwards. However, it is the runaway carriage, the decoupled Adam Potter who scythes through the field to catch the engines by control 117. Then, loneliness, the solitude of the night, interspersed with heavy breaths and flashes of lights from a far. Once again alone in the forest until at sixty minutes congregating on the summit by the finish. Adam P: 600 Matt P: 514 Rachel K: 159

Saturday 17th March - NGOC Saturday Series - Megan Carter-Davies

It was back to the muddy, dirty slopes of Highmeadow for this Saturday’s event. There wasn’t much hanging around with the mini Beast from the East about, so we all quickly registered and headed to the start. For me, the way to control 1 included bouncing between trees down a wet, slippery valley side, eyes watering due to the cold. Definitely type 2 fun! ;) Thankfully it soon got a bit more grippy and felt more like you were in control of where you were going. The courses were fun with some interesting detailed areas and good routechoice legs. Matt, Jack and Harry did the green course(kudos to Jack and Harry completing their first Green course!), making up 3 of the top 4 in the end, while Ben and I made it a UBOC 1-2 on the Brown.

Snow can't stop us orienteering....


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Top left: long snowy run to Abbots Pool on Saturday.  Other photos: ultrasprint on the Downs on Sunday (photos by Steve Rush).

Sadly, heavy snow before the weekend meant that BUCS was cancelled, but that didn't stop us getting out for some adventures!  On Saturday 6 intrepid UBOCers enjoyed a snowy run to Ashton Court, Abbots Pool and Leigh Woods, and on Sunday Ben Mitchell kindly planned an ultrasprint race on the Downs which was a new challenge for some and great fun.

Success at the British Night Championships


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Tom, Michael, Ben and Meg after the British Night Champs

British Night Orienteering Championships race report - by Michael Lai

Around 250 hardy orienteers turned up at the Merthyr Mawr Warren as the day waned for the long-awaited British Night Orienteering Championships (including two M80 competitors!). This area was made up of a large swathe of intricate sand dunes with large clumps of impassable vegetation and a small area of tricky woodlands. The sky was clear and the moon was out, it was cold but there was no fog, in other words, it was perfect conditions for night orienteering.

The course was well planned, long legs with lots of route choices requiring a mix of very accurate bearings and fine navigation. My only complain is the amount of vegetation out there. It was sometimes difficult to work out the difference between unmarked bushes or impenetrable brambles.

Five UBOCers competed, Megan won the W21 by a large margin, Ben came second in the M21, Adam Potter came 11th and Tom Dobra came 18th but I did not manage to finish. A lack of careful planning and the difficulty of relocating in sand dunes meant I lost a lot of time at the start, it was already course closure time when I just started getting used to the map and area. It turned out to be a very good learning experience. Plus the well-deserved veggie chilli at the end was delicious.

Pembrey race report - by Lawrence Jones

Sunday saw several UBOCers heading out to Pembrey Forest for another day of fantastic Orienteering. Conditions were good: not a cloud in the sky (we checked ... repeatedly), an incredible of variety of terrain available, and courses that performed gymnastics to steer through open, technical terrain while mostly avoiding the areas of the map more reminiscent of the Forest of Dean. Overall a good set of results, Ben Mitchell and Megan Carter-Davies taking out first on the black and short brown courses respectively, Adam Potter coming in third on the black, Tom Dobra coming in 15th (showing the effects of a round trip to Bristol between his weekend's two races) and Lawrence Jones coming in at 18th, both also on the black.

2 Weeks Run up to BUCS


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Gower Weekend Away

This weekend 5 UBOCers travelled to the Gower to join the Welsh junior training across the complex sand dunes. The weekend cover everything from rain to sun to and earthquake adding to the excitement of the orienteering. See the photos below.

NGOC League Bixslade by Abi Bateman

4 of us set off eagerly to the famous NGOC league event in Bixslade. I enjoyed the event, only having a few problems of brambles in my way and on my second control arriving on top of the crag so I could see the control but not reach it for another 5 minutes of scrambling down. I finished 5th on the Green Course. Better results were shown by Jack Giltrap who came first on his first ever Short Green course in a time of 39:39, followed by Lisa Smith in 7th (first ever event) and Harry Lee in 11th (also first ever short green course).

Battling the elements (and steep muddy slopes)


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Clevedon Court race report - by Cai Wood

As UBOC’s sole representative I made my way down to a newly mapped Clevedon Court. The weather proved to be horrible, with the rain intermittently paused by drizzle. The hardest course available was a green, and so navigation wise it was not very challenging. The conditions of the paths did cause trouble and after a few falls I learnt that running was not going to be an option. This lead me to finish 26th with a time of 80:32, nearly double the that of first placed Jack Miller who I shared a lift with, both of us being driven by 2nd placed Phil Murray. Overall a very nice area despite the conditions, mostly open woodland with a quarry and dense forest in the corner.

Wyche Ridge race report - by Tom Dobra

On Saturday night, I cleared the 60 minute score in the Malverns with 2 minutes to spare, only to find that I had lost to Ifor Powell by a mere 2 seconds. Analysis in the pub afterwards showed that I had run substantially further than Ifor, so clearly need to sort out my route choice to reduce my 500m of climb on a steep area with lots of paths along the hillside plus a few brambly scrambles. I managed to find a few brief seconds to admire the view, so perhaps that’s where I lost the time, or maybe it was following dead-end sheep trails into gorse after control 1?

Pen Tir Drop fell race report - by Sophie Gordon

Tom Dobra and I headed over to Cwmdu in the Brecon Beacons for Pen Tir Drop fell race. On the way there, experienced Pen Tir runner Andy briefed us about the possible shortcut speedy veterans often choose to take, and the blood-splattered bramble-ravaged legs that result. We decided that battle was one not worth fighting. During the hour before the race, there were two bursts of heavy horizontal snow interspersed with bright sunshine, which led to a long kit faff - baselayer or waterproof? Woolly hat? Luckily the sun prevailed as we slithered up the steep first section and made it onto a more gradual mossy slope. Tom, in second, thought he was at the halfway point until he saw the frontrunner carrying on to a further away cairn… that flat top section felt very long but gave us great views of the snow-sprinkled surrounding hills on the way back. Tom held on to finish in second place, whilst I was just pleased not to be last! The final challenge was sampling the huge variety of cakes afterwards (I think Tom managed at least 5…). Ed: It was actually 3 + 1 small one + my lunch.

Triple Gloucester weekend


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UBOC were out in force this weekend, with a total of 10 orienteers out enjoying three great races hosted by NGOC.

Saturday day - by Matt Pickering

Anticipation had been building for many months for the Triple Gloucester weekend. The day started well as I picked up Sophie, Sam, Harry and Jack from the student union and we made our way into the big bad forest. Michael, Megan, Ben, Meredith and Lawrence met us there. Mallard's Pike is a flat part of the Forest of Dean with lots of interlocking ditches, routes are straight, compasses need to be accurate and ditches need to be jumped. I timed my race to perfection, Big Purks (the planner) was both at the start when I started and at the finish when I finished. I shall be refreshing his Attackpoint this evening to see what he thought about the day's events. Upon returning to my car, Jack, Harry and Sam had already escaped from the forest having successfully completed their first race on the Orange. Harry beat Ella Rush into 2nd place, Jack was 3rd and Sam 8th. A good effort by all. You can look at the results if you want to know how the rest of us did.

Saturday night - by Megan Carter-Davies

Some of us stayed out after the first race for the evening’s night-time sprint races around Chepstow. The town exceeded all our expectations with lots of little alleyways, some hills, slippery grass slopes and well planned courses - it was really fun! I did the short course while the others did the longer version. Ben (for once) didn’t take the win as he was pipped by 2 seconds(!). Meanwhile Meredith successfully completed her first urban course in a great time. An added bonus to the evening was the free soup (all 7 varieties!), bread rolls and tea/coffee at the end, om nom nom..

Sunday - by Lawrence Jones

Sunday's saw six brave UBOCers return to Mallards Pike for the final race of the Triple Gloucester. With far better weather and fewer pesky short legs than Saturday, but with the same snow stunted bracken, there was some very fast running. Ben won the Black course followed (at various intervals) by Megan, Matt, Lawrence and Michael, who managed make up 30% of the competition field for that race. Tracy also put in a good race on the Green.

The run-up to BUCS begins...


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The mighty UBOC dwarfed the competition last year...

February is almost upon us, which means it's just over a month to go until BUCS, the inter-university orienteering competition!

Welcome to those who have just joined us after our successful Give It A Go on Saturday, kindly led by Lawrence Jones. If you enjoyed it, get stuck in now! 

Meredith Moody, Michael Lai and Matt Pickering were out at the night race on Saturday, coming 34th (first time!), 21st (big improvement in a week) and 6th respectively.

Fog and contour fun at Yoxter


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This weekend we found ourselves (or lost ourselves) at Yoxter in the Mendips, with a 7-strong team taking part in the day race and Michael, Matt and Tom staying to brave the night race.

Yoxter day race report - by Sophie Gordon

T'was a beautiful sunny morning (we wish)... it was a damp and foggy morning when Lawrence, Sophie, Tracy, Meredith, Michael, Matt and Tom Dobra set off towards the Mendips. Mike entertained some of us on the way there with a story of the last time he ran on this area, when at the mass start of a mens' relay everyone ran off enthusiastically, saw the vast maze of depressions on the map and immediately stopped dead to have a good think. As you can imagine this filled us with confidence for our runs. Compulsory waterproofs donned to ward off the stealthy drizzle, we ventured out into the fog. It was an interesting experience which made an open area much more challenging when you can't see the fence you're heading towards! My general race tactic ended up being follow the compass and hope you hit the control bang on, then when you don't, wander around until you see someone popping down into a depression and back up again in meerkat fashion. Lawrence made the right call of being fast (5th on the Blue course) and finishing before the heavy rain started; meanwhile I dripped along an earthbank hoping to find my last two controls as quickly as possible. Tracy accidentally retired due to what must be an unprecedented technical problem: the end of the dibber broke off and got stuck in the control box, so she went to punch the finish and found she only had two thirds of a dibber! Well done to Tom for being unfazed by the technical terrain and finishing second on the Brown course.

Yoxter night race report - by Matt Pickering

Three lads, now soaked to the bone recalled the teachings of society as to what men their age should be doing on a Saturday, retreated to the nearest pub for the afternoon. The pub, warm and homely served cool chips, blackcurrant & lemonades and coffees, a roaring fire dried the dripping gloves, buffs and coats. This time the temptation of a cool beverage was resisted. As we waited for darkness to fall, we finished our race preparation by trying to guess control sites for the evening race but little difference that would make. The darkness fell, the fog fell, the rain lifted for the climb back up to event hq. Visibility down now to less than 5m in places, accuracy was going to be crucial. Steep, sticky contours drew us all into the centre of the map. Dobra escaped with both 122 and 123 on his way to a great result just behind Big Purks :clap:, but Michael and Matt have a lot to learn and left something of themselves behind in the gulleys and pits of Yoxter.

Keeping a cool head at Headless Hill


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Headless Hill race report - by Megan Carter-Davies

4 of us headed over to Headless Hill (Lawrence will be in awe of this pun) on a fine winter’s day. The forest is so runnable at this time of year and this part of the Forest of Dean had some good technical slopes too, making for some fab orienteering. The boyz, Ben, Matt and Tom, raced around the very hilly Brown course (400m climb over 7km!) with Ben taking a solid win, Tom taking 11th place and Matt dnf’ing (Orienteering speak for “did not finish”) after running out of energy by control 9. However he did lead Ben into control 3 – highly commended, well done Matt. Meanwhile, since I am recovering from a small injury, I had a lovely walk/jog around the Green course as a break from revision. I was really impressed with the planning, such a fun little course – might have to go back one day to run it full speed!


  • Give it a Go
  • Orienteering Races
  • Fell Race
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Race Report

Blorenge fell race and Southern Night Orienteering Championships


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Wow that was a hectic November with two weekends away, lots of races and a run up the Old Man of Coniston last Sunday in the snow!

Blorenge Fell Race Report - by Megan Carter-Davies

Ben, Michael and I headed to Abergavenny today for the Blorenge race today, a brutal 400m climb in 1.5km followed by a slightly nicer descent over 2.5km. After some very nervous warming up (when you know how much pain and grim-ness you’re about to put yourself through!), we started alongside many fellow Welshies. Ben led the way from the start, Micheal not far behind and me in the second pack. I managed to keep up the running most of the way through the steep forest then we hit the open fell where it gets even steeper and it becomes a walking race! By this point Ben had pulled out a big lead, Michael was somewhere in the front group and I was in 10th. Quads burning, I eventually made it to the top, enjoyed a very brief glance at the view all around (including Skirrid, another Abergavenny hill with a fell race 16th December) then began the winding descent. I managed to overtake one guy and almost caught another at the very bottom but just didn’t have enough room. Anyway, prizes all around!

Ben was first, just 7s off the record, Michael was 5th and first under 23, and I was 9th, first lady and 18s off the female record. We’ll have to try harder next time ;) We’re sorted for New Year’s Eve with some well earned champagne and a very well selected Toblerone (Michael!)!

Southern Night Orienteering Championships Report - by Matt Pickering

It was with dreams of becoming Southern champion and a bootful of trophies that we approached Penn Common for the Southern night championships. Dobra had promised us a cloudy but dry night but by the time we pulled in to Oxford to pick up Kit that was clearly not going to be the case. A damp drizzle had set over Penn Wood and a light fog meant visibility with head torches was dropping. The sequence: Matt then Tom at six minutes then Kit at 10 minutes. The catch: At control 9 on the earthbank, Dobra catches Matt and charges off on bearing into a patch of low visibility forest hunting for a depression. The breakup: Control 11, Matt drags Tom off line for a 10 minute parallel mistake. The reunion: Control 12, we find Kit looking for 9. After these few brief moments together, the union was broken. Each went their separate ways to only catch fleeting glances of bobbing headlights for the remaining part of the course. I was first back to the warn glow of the village hall, followed by Kit who had retired and then Tom. Two breakfast baps later the boys were back on their way to Bristol looking forward to the next championships and wondering what might have been if Big Purks had showed up.

Brierley Race Report - by Sophie Gordon

Tom and Matt were straight out in the forest again on Sunday morning along with Meredith and Sophie to see what Brierley had to offer us - as it turned out, about 25% lovely soft runnable pine underfoot and the rest Matt’s favourite ‘dirty NGOC forest’. I ran the Blue and was smashing it until control 9 where I spent 15 minutes wandering around, then fine until control 17 where I killed my chances spending another 15 minutes going up and down the wrong gully. Quite amusing when I ended up in a herd of Blue runners following each other towards the end and cut through some green forest to try and lose them - then heard some branches cracking behind me and realised they had all tried to follow me! There was some tight competition between Matt and Tom, who finished 10th and 11th respectively on the Brown with only 23 seconds between them. Unfortunately Meredith Moody doesn’t appear in the results, but a suspiciously similarly-named ‘Meridith Woody’ was successful on the Green course, coming 22nd of 68. Results and routegadget.

Wild weather in the Lake District


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Lake District weekend report - by Abi Bateman

10 UBOCers rocked up on a chilly Friday night to make the long journey up to their nightly accommodation kindly provided up north in Matt’s house. My car left much later than the other, arriving 1am Saturday morning, ready to appreciate the warmth of the house. Awaking Saturday morning to the smell of porridge drifting through the rooms rose us all, excitedly anticipating the excellent orienteering to come. Saturday Morning was spent on Dale Park with wet feet right from the beginning, we completed some complex orienteering jumping between marsh and more marsh. Experiencing sun, snow and rain we had a confusing morning of weather, but managed to stay dry (apart from our feet). We then travelled to our afternoon site, Tarn Hows, only to remind ourselves of how expensive (more than last year) National Trust Parking is and spending many of our well saved up pound coins (needed for that night’s accommodation). 7 of us completed much more technical orienteering including a corridor exercise just to find the start. Meanwhile, Tom Dixon, Anna and George set off for a fantastically long fell run (they planned only 12 miles but ended up running 16). The 7 orienteers finished off the afternoon of accurate navigation with much more tired legs by completing the Tarn Hows permanent TrailO course. Some did better than others with me only getting 6/13 correct! Driving to our overnight accommodation in the dark we thought of the fell runners still struggling on foot to reach the hall. Arriving early, we began work on the pasta bolognaise and Ratatouille (for Matt) still anticipating the arrival of the three runners. At around 7, they emerged out of the darkness, exhausted and collapsed into the warmth of the hall having completed 4 hours of running, ready for their bolognaise. Counting out our pound coins (needed in this hut for electricity, cooking and heating) we assessed our capability of warming the hut overnight and eating warm food. We settled down in many layers and our sleeping bags for a good night’s sleep before being awaken early in the morning ready to start again. Another morning of porridge, this time with banana in, we set off out into the wilderness to find our next orienteering area. Matt parked our car in the car park on the edge of the road and we sat watching Tom and both EUOC mini buses pass before turning and coming back again. A final morning of orienteering at Summer House Knott with fantastic spurs, re-entrants and steep slippy slopes to contend with gave us the opportunity to perfect our skills and adapt them to a trains exercise in groups across the forest. Tom’s car then bravely left for an afternoon of fell running in the drizzle while we left for Bristol, almost already dark.

Castell Coch race report - Megan Carter Davies

4 of us headed to Castell Coch today, just North of Cardiff. I ran the Brown - It started off well and was a fun middle style course until control 11, where I unfolded my map to find that control 12 was on the opposite end of the area on the other side of the next hill! The best route was probably around to the left with as little loss of climb as possible but, being the great route chooser I am, I went straight, taking in a lovely descent and a brutal climb.. The rest of the course was middle style again and I was racing head to head with Owain Jones and Peter Ward to the finish, keeping me at a quicker pace than I might have otherwise been going. Thanks to Ben Mitchell for a stellar map! (Even if it did have a bit too much undergrowth on it ;) ). Sophie and Cai both completed the Blue - Cai’s first Blue, having done his first Green last weekend!

UoB Orienteering Club News 26/11/2017


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It’s been a week full of fantastic orienteering in the Lakes and around Bristol. Make sure you get your tickets early for the famous UBOC Christmas Dinner to guarantee yourself a place and keep working towards winning the Captain’s November Challenge by attending as many official UBOC activities as possible!!


  • Christmas dinner and ice skating
  • Training
  • Upcoming orienteering race and fell race
  • Bath Christmas trip
  • Lake District weekend report
  • Castell Coch race report

Choosing Bristol as an Orienteering University


by Megan Carter-Davies

For those of you who are studying A-levels and looking for a university where you can keep orienteering at a high level, you’ve probably got Edinburgh and Sheffield in your top 5, among others that you know have a good orienteering club. Hopefully the University of Bristol is in that list too! I want to give you an honest review of what’s on offer here.

There are three main areas of support for aspiring orienteers at this university: UBOC, the Sports Performance Squad and our local clubs.

Firstly, UBOC. As a club, we are pretty active with the schedule for committed orienteers generally being..

Monday: Steady hour evening run, mainly off road.

Tuesday: Intervals with UBACCC (athletics & cross country club) e.g. 8x4min (1min) on grass, I usually choose to do about 6 reps… UBACCC sessions are run with Bristol and West AC – the fastest guys run sub-15 min 5km so even if you’re that fast, there’ll be someone for you to keep up with.

Wednesday: Orienteering training locally. Given that we have to keep it within running/cycling distance, our training areas include parkland and sprint maps but we do have decent woods nearby! (Orienteering areas on a map here).  Throughout Autumn, the sessions are tailored to beginners but as the nights draw in early over winter, we tend to do more night-o. In Spring, the training ups in technicality as much as possible (corridors, blank maps etc) and then the BOK Urban series begins in May for a weekly fast paced Wednesday night somewhere around Bristol. Across winter and Spring, there are also events held most Wednesdays by the Army in decent forests with ~10km courses, but they require a bit more travel (can get lifts from BOK members).

Thursday: Intervals/tempo as on Tuesday, otherwise an easy run.

Friday: Steady hour evening run, mainly off road.

Weekend: Occasional training weekend (e.g. Lake District, sand dunes on the Gower, New Forest). Otherwise there are local events literally every weekend, including the Western Night League from October to February, and BOK are always happy to give lifts. The Forest of Dean, the Cotswolds, the Mendips and loads of awesome sprint areas are all within about 45mins drive. On non-orienteering days, we go for a long run.

Summer trip: This summer, we went to the Scottish 6 days and, in 2018, we’re going to OOCup in France for some super technical forests.

We go to various fell races too, in the Brecon Beacons and in the Mendips. As for XC, the Gwent league is our closest league, with one race in Bristol, plus BUCS (if you’re in UBACCC).

Sports Performance Squad

Since starting uni, I have been on the Sports Performance Squad. It’s a group of athletes from a range of

sports all trying to reach a high level, and you get loads of support from the staff at the Sports Centre. You have to apply online and go to an interview with some of the main staff, but it is so worth it! I have a free all-access pass to any sports facilities in the uni, personalised gym programme, massage, nutrition and psychology advice. Most of the S&C related stuff I do comes through this programme with 2 gym sessions with the squad weekly, 2 injury prevention sessions (mobility and stability with a physio) and pilates. We do some fun things too like cooking sessions together, going for breakfast, frisbee golf, rowing. We’re all friends 😊

As for funding, you don’t get a specific grant, since all the above is given to you free, but if you need some funding for JWOC or World Uni’s for example, they can give you money towards that.

You can find the application form here (under How to Apply):

Local Clubs: The most local club is BOK. BOK are so helpful for lifts – I don’t think there’s a single event in the past two years where I couldn’t get a lift with them! We put on at least one event per year for them and help out with other things too. Other local clubs are NGOC, NWO, QO, SWOC, SBOC - there’s plenty going on every weekend.

Training with UBOC and the Performance Squad covers most of my weekly training and outside of that, it’s GB squad or with my foreign club RR to get the most technical training in. For foreign camps, Bristol Airport is only 30mins on a bus, otherwise train links to Heathrow or Gatwick are easy.

Where to live and run:

The best place to live in first year is probably any of the uni halls in Stoke Bishop. Avoid the halls in city centre if you like running off road… At Stoke Bishop, you’ll live by the Downs which is perfect for an easy, flat 5k jog on grass (great views too). From there, you can either create a loop to Blaise Castle and its woods which are just gorgeous(my fave!)! Otherwise you could head across the suspension bridge, dealing with a bit of road to get across the Suspension Bridge then off into Ashton Court (parkland with deer) or Leigh Woods and pretty much make a run as long as you want, all off road.

Bristol isn’t flat but the hills aren’t massive either. You can get a 100m climb in a single uphill easily but if you want serious climb, you’ll have to do various hills.

For 2nd+ years, Redland, between the Downs and uni, is probably the best place to live – loads of student houses, close to uni, close to the Downs (and all that off-road running) and Sainsbury’s nearby, perfect.

Bristol’s got great cycling routes to the Mendips or Bath for those inevitable injury-induced cross training periods, and also mountain biking in Leigh Woods and Ashton Court if you’re into it.

I think that’s most things covered. If you have any extra questions, feel free to ask us at any events, on our social media accounts or email .

UoB Orienteering Club News 19/11/2017


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Thank you to Angus Currie and Megan Carter-Davies for helping make a successful British Schools Orienteering Championships at New Beechenhurst today. I made several running trips across the area in addition to spending a couple of hours stopping boys from running off the map (the girls’ course didn’t go near). Meanwhile, others have been busy with all the usual training and races plus a long run in the Cotswolds today. An impressive 9 of us will be heading for some quality training in the Lake District next weekend. Everyone, let’s keep up the effort, attend lots and, of course, score points in the captain’s challenge: the winner is the member who attends the most official UBOC activities by the Christmas dinner.


  • Christmas Dinner
  • Orienteering Races
  • Fell Race
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Sugar Loaf Race Report
  • Windy Down & Broomfield Race Report

UoB Orienteering Club News 12/11/2017


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Congratulations to Megan Carter-Davies on winning the October captain’s challenge! Newcomer Kelvin Lam narrowly missed out into second place, demonstrating that these challenges are designed such that anyone can win. I will arrange a time to present the prize. Full results are here. The new challenge is to attend as many official UBOC activities between now and the Christmas Dinner on 4th December. Whoever attends the most (as advertised in the emails, including dinner itself) will be presented with a prize at the dinner, plus a second prize reserved for non-committee members.


  • Lakes Weekend Away
  • Summer Trip
  • Fell Race
  • Orienteering Race
  • Training
  • Schools Volunteering
  • Christmas Dinner
    - Race Reports

UoB Orienteering Club News 05/11/2017


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Normality resumes this week, now that the November Classic has passed. Make sure you get out there and join us at some of the upcoming races. Our Lakes weekend is now less than 3 weeks away and promises fantastic terrain.


  • Summer Trip
  • Lakes Weekend Away
  • Orienteering Races
  • Fell Race
  • Training
  • Schools Volunteering
  • Christmas Dinner
  • Membership
  • November Classic Weekend Report
  • Ultramarathon Report

UoB Orienteering Club News 29/10/2017


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With the Gower weekend having just returned, I’m in Slovakia at the European Cup in TrailO and the November Classic to look forward to next weekend, this is the time for big trips. Read on to get excited about trips, races and outreach opportunities further into November, while training continues as normal. The October captain’s challenge winner will be announced on Facebook and in next week’s email, with a November challenge to get stuck in with.


  • Lakes weekend away
  • Orienteering races at Blaise Castle
  • Upcoming fell race
  • Training
  • Schools volunteering
  • Gower trip race report
  • European TrailO Cup report

UoB Orienteering Club News 22/10/2017


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Good to see lots of you out and about over the past week! Well done to those who competed for various home clubs at the Compass Sport Cup Final today, with Tom Dixon and I helping Bristol to victory (see below). For those of you who aren’t going to the Gower this weekend, there’s a choice of three races on Saturday, so take your pick. We’ll also be going to the Lake District 24-26th November, so get that in your diaries now. 


  • Upcoming weekend away to November Classic
  • Upcoming races: Bathampton and Trellech Common
  • Fell race at Sugarloaf
  • Training
  • Schools volunteering opportunity
  • CompassSport Cup race report

UoB Orienteering Club News 15/10/2017


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The current leader in captain’s challenge is Michael Lai - come to races to win a box of chocolates at the end of the month. We had 3 new members of UBOC out yesterday at Danby Lodge - read about all the fun below and make sure you join us next time for some of the action! 


  • Weekends away - Gower and November Classic
  • Fell race - Sugarloaf
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Danby Lodge race report

UoB Orienteering Club News 08/10/2017


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Well done for a great turnout on Monday’s run and at the races this weekend - keep it up and don’t forget our Wednesday training series, which will have you orienteering confidently ready for the November Classic! There are 8 entries so far for October’s captain’s challenge with Lawrence Jones the current leader; to take part to win a box of chocolates, buy your membership and get racing.


  • Orienteering Race at Danby Lodge
  • Weekends Away
  • Fell Race
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Race Organising Course
  • Race Reports - Downs Race and Mendip Muddle Trail Race

UoB Orienteering Club News 01/10/2017


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It was great to see so many of you at our Give it a Goes. We hope you enjoyed it and will be back for more. Here are the results for the University, Downs and Ashton Court. Congratulations to Megan Carter-Davies for winning the British Middle Championships today and Ben Mitchell for coming 2nd! To get you all into the racing spirit, I am offering a captain’s challenge: whoever has the median time for leg 7 across all orienteering and off-road running activities by paid-up UBOC members during the month of October will win a box of chocolates (or equivalent if you prefer) - full details here.


  • Explore Bristol run + free pasta party
  • Orienteering race on the Downs
  • Trail race: Mendip Muddle
  • Weekends away
  • Race report from Highmeadow

Ashton Court Give it a Go results


Ashton Court Give it a Go 30/09/2017 - Results

Click here to see split times between controls

Easy (6/6) - 600m, 0m

Name Club Category Time Diff min/km Penalty Race time
1 23 Ted Dvorak 9:59 0:00 16:38 2:00 7:59
2 5 Ruta Sliazkaite 12:26 2:27 20:43 2:00 10:26
3 6 Yunni Gao 15:58 5:59 26:36 2:00 13:58
4 7 Jen Lee 16:32 6:33 27:33 0:00 16:32
5 8 Ren Cheong 41:01 31:02 1:08:21 0:00 41:01
9 Jack Bennett MP 0:00 --:--

Hard (6/6) - 1400m, 0m

Name Club Category Time Diff min/km Penalty Race time
1 1 Peter Dobra 22:46 0:00 16:15 0:00 22:46
2 21 Ruta Sliazkaite 24:53 2:07 17:46 0:00 24:53
3 19 Jessie Brown 28:48 6:02 20:34 0:00 28:48
4 20 Emma Narbett 28:51 6:05 20:36 0:00 28:51
5 24 Yunni Gao 52:06 29:20 37:12 0:00 52:06
6 25 Ren Cheong 1:16:56 54:10 54:57 0:00 1:16:56

Long (1/1) - 3000m, 0m

Name Club Category Time Diff min/km Penalty Race time
1 14 Peter Dobra 40:33 0:00 13:31 0:00 40:33

Medium (10/10) - 1100m, 0m

Name Club Category Time Diff min/km Penalty Race time
1 10 Sophie Gordon 13:09 0:00 11:57 0:00 13:09
2 22 Ted Dvorak 15:29 2:20 14:04 0:00 15:29
3 3 Jessie Brown 15:36 2:27 14:10 0:00 15:36
4 4 Emma Narbett 17:11 4:02 15:37 0:00 17:11
5 2 Meredith Moody 18:45 5:36 17:02 2:00 16:45
6 12 Jen Lee 23:04 9:55 20:58 0:00 23:04
7 18 Ren Cheong 24:59 11:50 22:42 0:00 24:59
8 11 Ruta Sliazkaite 25:35 12:26 23:15 2:00 23:35
9 17 Jack Bennett 29:33 16:24 26:51 0:00 29:33
10 15 Yunni Gao 30:21 17:12 27:35 0:00 30:21

Downs Give It a Go results


It was great to see lots of new faces on the downs on Wednesday afternoon for our give it a go session! The times for the long course are below. We had a few technical difficulties on the day but hopefully you can work out what happened for yourself from the information below.


  1. Megan Carter-Davies - 7:43
  2. Matthew Pickering - 9:08
  3. Tom Dixon - 9:29
  4. Michael Lai - 12:12
  5. Cai Wood - 14:12
  6. 221531 - 22:14
  7. Sophie (? didn't clear) - 14minsish
  8. Bogi Geogiev - 13:56 (MP - m7)
  9. Tracy Tse - 32:57 (MP - m1, m3)
  10. Will Harveys - 33:47 (MP - m2)
  11. Lili Fillip - 33:48 (MP - m2) 

UoB Orienteering Club Welcome Email 2017


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Hello UBOC!

Welcome to all those who have just joined our mailing list. We will normally email all the orienteering club news and races to be in your inbox on Monday morning. We’ve got a few introductory events to get you into the swing of things over the next couple of weeks, then plenty of orienteering and some trail or fell races too. All these are listed on our calendar, which is available through our website. Often these will also be posted on our Facebook group, so make sure you join that too.


  • Our weekly schedule
  • Give it a Go sessions
  • Training
  • Explore Bristol run + free pasta party
  • More events
  • Your committee
  • Results from Welcome Fair maze
  • Join UBOC!

Welcome Fair Maze Results


Well done to all those who ran round our maze at the welcome fair! If you skipped/failed to register at any controls, a 60s penalty has been applied. Also, one timing chip has gone missing, but not one that was used by anyone who appears in these results; reply if you think you know where it might be.

Maze 1 (4/4) - 35m, 0m

Name Time Diff min/km Penalty Race time
1 Rebecca Gulowsen Ekeberg 1:04 0:00 30:28 0:00 1:04
2 mustakim 1:59 0:55 56:40 0:00 1:59
3 Andrea ioannidou 5:49 4:45 2:46:11 4:00 1:49
4 cHRYSOVALANTO PERICLEOUSL 6:33 5:29 3:07:08 4:00 2:33
Maze 2 (5/5) - 35m, 0m
Name Time Diff min/km Penalty Race time
1 Binghao Lei 0:51 0:00 24:17 0:00 0:51
2 Rim 0:59 0:08 28:05 0:00 0:59
3 Ella Horne 1:03 0:12 30:00 0:00 1:03
4 jesvin 1:05 0:14 30:57 0:00 1:05
5 Alex Little 2:58 2:07 1:24:45 2:00 0:58

UoB Orienteering Club News 18/09/2017


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Welcome back after the summer!  This week sees the return of the Monday run and more orienteering on Saturday, so come join us! See email for details and then all the news from the summer and last weekend (in chronological order).


  • Races this weekend
  • World TrailO Championships report
  • UBOC 10th Anniversary Sprint race report
  • Ashton Court Score and TempO race report

10th Anniversary Celebrations


It is 10 years this year since the University of Bristol Orienteering Club was re-formed in 2007.

To celebrate we have decided to organise a special weekend of orienteering and more just before the start of term with the aim of bringing current and former members together.

The weekend is the 16-17th September at the beginning of Freshers Week just before the new academic year.

We kick things off on Saturday with a 2x2 Sprint Relay around the University Precinct and surrounding streets. This will see runners racing head-to-head and trying to keep their own as they navigate through the University's buildings and gardens.

Saturday night sees a meal for members and alumni aboard the Grain Barge in the Floating Harbour followed by drinks at who-knows-where.

On Sunday one of our members is organising a race on behalf of Bristol Orienteering Klub in Ashton Court, just across the Suspension Bridge from the city. It is a 'score' format where competitors have no set route to follow but must reach as many checkpoints as possible within the 45 minute time limit.

Details can be found on our UBOC @ 10 page.

Race Reports Round-up 2016-17


It certainly has been a busy year for UBOC, as you can see in this collection of weekly race reports - ranging from comical mishaps to impressive athletic feats, and everything in between.


Parkend (Forest of Dean) – Abi Bateman

On Saturday, 5 members of UBOC went in Abi’s car to the NGOC event in Parkend, Forest of Dean. The area was lovely, running through mixed woodlands being generally very runnable. 4 of us ran the 5.7km Blue course with very respectable times, and 1 ran the Yellow course, again in a very good time. It was a good race, I only ended up running in the wrong direction a few times!

CompassSport Cup Final, Tankersley Woods

On Sunday, the CompassSport Cup Final was held in Tankersley woods near Sheffield. This is an event where various clubs have qualified from different regions and their members compete for their club to win the overall cup. Tom Dobra and Matt Whipple both ran on behalf of BOK (Bristol) and Ben Mitchell competed for his home club, SBOC (Swansea Bay). All three of them ran brilliantly with BOK coming 3rd overall. Well done boys!

Malvern weekend – Lawrence Jones

UBOC’s treasurer travelled up to Malvern for a weekend of orienteering: The double header run by Harlequins Orienteering this weekend in Malvern proved to be a fantastic pair of events. Both Saturday and Sundays events were set against the impressive backdrop of the Malvern Hills (and quite useful as well as they tend to run north-south). Saturday was an urban race set in Great Malvern (and halfway up the Worcestershire beacon) with some great route choice legs and lots of sneaky walkways. Sunday’s race was more traditional set around Castlemorton common, which the organisers made trickier by deciding to not map the seasonal (but waist high) bracken patches. A lovely weekend with the added bonus that I managed to not do terribly on either day!

Welsh Senior Home Internationals, Anglesey – Megan Carter-Davies

Meanwhile, Ben Mitchell and I headed up to Anglesey to compete for Wales at the Senior Home Internationals. We came away with some good results, though the terrain was so tricky it was hard to avoid making mistakes. It was a great weekend anyway and the sunshine meant we had gorgeous views of Snowdonia!

Warmley score event – Megan Carter-Davies

Several UBOC members showed up at Warmley on Saturday night for some orienteering in the dark! It was a score event – you have an hour to find as many controls as you can (though some are worth more points) and return to the start before time’s up. Matt Whipple, Ben Mitchell and Tom Dobra took the top 3 spots on the results having found all of the controls. I thought I had found them all and returned early but had accidentally missed one, oops! Tom Dixon, new UBOC member, tackled this as his first ever orienteering event and did very well too – well done Tom! - Megan


November Classic, Salisbury – Abi Kerr

On Saturday 10 UBOCers tracked down to Salisbury via the mysterious Stonehenge car park and Old Sarum for the November Classic. The girls took on the 6.4km (more like 15k) women's open, exploring the streets of Salisbury and a school for some intricate navigation. The boys ran a swift 7km with Ben triumphing on the Men's open with Tom close behind in 3rd. All the other competitors enjoyed their runs through the streets. We headed to our accommodation viewing many fireworks on the way. A delicious bolognese dinner was cooked in swimming googles by Abi before ending the evening with some pictionary and charades. After a cold night in the scout hut where our best runner was left with nothing but a blanket to survive sub zero temperatures we were ready! An argument later and Kit had a new start time. Ben led the men's elite boys home with a solid run. Dobes, Ho and Kit all paced it round a brutal 16k. Duncan Birtwistle refused to comment on his DNF. Abi made sure her legs were bruised as a peach but still franked out the womens elite. Abi Bateman chalked up a stone cold win. Lawrence's precision navigation helped him complete a tough course. Biggest shout out goes to Rachel whose first forest event went smoothly and she picked out every control. Go UBOC!

Welsh League event, Foel Goch – Megan Carter-Davies

Ben Mitchell and I went to the Welsh League event at Foel Goch – a steep, heathery, rocky open area in West Wales. The navigation wasn’t too hard but it was really tough physically. At least there were nice views! Ben won the Brown course with most of the fastest splits, and I managed to win Blue ahead of some of the boys from my home club (though my shoes fell apart in the process!). A good day out!

Oxford City Race

Two from UBOC made it to the Oxford City Race on Saturday. Those who went were rewarded with decently long challenging courses in and out of many beautiful colleges that are normally closed to the public. Having negotiated all the shoppers, Abi came 6th on the women’s open in a time of 56:37 and Tom narrowly missed out by 1 second to come 7th on the men’s open in 56:56. Since one race is never enough, Tom went on to race around the hilly Shotover Woods, just outside Oxford, on Sunday. With a dense path network and lots of lumps, it was perfect route choice practice, and he came 11th on the brown course.

Stoke Park event – Matt Pickering

A lot was going on this weekend! Firstly, 3 UBOC members went to the local event in Stoke Park on Saturday. Charlotte Bermingham ran the Green course in a great time to come 12th, meanwhile newer members of the club Michael and Matt tackled the Light Green course:

“Little had been said about the difficulties which lay within Stoke Park Estate and so it was with trepidation that your two brave peons (M & M, Michael and Matt) arrived in the early morning sunshine to see what lay inside. Both opted for the light green (3.6km) course which started with a woodland section before opening out into longer legs running north to south through the park. Michael got unstuck on a long leg to control 7 whilst Matt had some trouble early on in the woodland. Ultimately their training had served them well with Matt coming in 1st and Michael coming in 5th. The event was finished off with a custard cream each and a pocketful of leaflets we couldn't refuse to take. Which reminds me, I must dig them out and find out when the next local event is!” - Matt Pickering

We had Tom Dobra repping UBOC at an event in Thetford Forest and Ben Mitchell, Abi Bateman and I competing at the Southern Night Champs in the Quantocks. It was a lovely forest and the courses were great fun, plus we each took home the trophy for our individual age category!

Also on Saturday, Ben and Kit Grierson dominated at the Blorenge hill race in Abergavenny – a very steep, short race - coming away with 1st and 3rd position along with some goodies.

All in all, a good weekend for UBOC!


Night-O, Leigh Woods – Megan Carter-Davies

Tom Dobra planned the event in Leigh Woods on Saturday evening. I didn’t have the chance to enjoy it myself after having a bike puncture, but 4 UBOCers went along to see what Tom had in store! It was a score event with the aim of gaining as many points possible in 1 hour. It proved to be very well planned and challenging with no-one scoring the maximum number of points. Well done to Ben, Matt Whipple, Lawrence and Matt Pickering, who ran this as his first night event (it was a tough one!), and of course to Tom for a successful event.

Lake District training and race weekend (Tarn Howes, Claife Heights & Bishops Wood) – Kit Grierson

Unseasonably mild weather meant a great weekend of orienteering in the Lake District. On the Saturday training with CUOC took place on Tarn Howes, a technical and physically challenging area. After a penguin warm up a series of skills focused courses were completed. The training ended with a 'tape race' where UBOC's star runner Ben got disqualified and Dr Whipple's precision O-skills delivered him home ahead of the field.

The highlight of the day though was the mad Alc-O! A series of five races and drinks which took place at night. Tom (not Dobra) was taken out by the VK stage and sadly missed a great dinner.

The next day the big race on Claife Heights took place. A brutal and varied technical course was calmly dealt with by Ho Ching whose precision map reading ability was utilised. Abi managed to finish the course which would be considered a female elite course length and ability. As each runner came back there was no sighting of the early starter Michael. The squad was getting worried as the rain clouds came in - however, as a search party was being assembled he triumphantly returned home!

To the delight of many we went to Bishops Woods for further training. Described as 'if heaven was a runnable forest' and 'not Leigh Woods'. A lot of fun was had.

The UBOC man of the trip has to be Dobes for his efficient driving and O technique.


NGOC event at Cranham – Matt Pickering

Great race, truly great race. Tom and I went to Cranham on Saturday for a race which trod the same ground as the BUCS relays. There was everything you would expect from a race, mud, elevation, thickets, steep banks and many depressions. Tom did very well on the blue course with a slight navigation error when he happened to run past me costing him the victory. I fared less well on the green with a 21 minute leg trying to locate a control at the bottom of a big valley -- there was little sympathy from the assembled masses as I traipsed towards the finish -- the whispers only echoed the thoughts in my head -- I should have read the contours.

BOK Galoppen at Cannop Ponds – Megan Carter-Davies

5 UBOCers attended this event – Ben, Matt P, Ho Ching, Tom Dobra and myself. It was lovely forest, even after parts of it had been churned up by wild boar. Matt did the Green as his second course of the weekend, while the rest of us did the Brown. I found it really enjoyable running steadily all the way, enjoying the scenery and I saw some deer out there. Ben came flying past me at one point, running fast enough to win but he struggled to find a couple of the controls and came 2nd to Adam Potter, with only 11s in it. Tom, Ho Ching and I had better value for our money anyway, though we all still finished in the top half of the results.


Gower weekend – Tom Dixon

‘Twas Saturday the 28th of January 2017, when nine cheese-loving (except Michael who says cheese ‘smells like feet’) orienteers set off on a journey by car to the land of Wales. Tom Dobra’s car picked up Samuel from the train station near Cardiff on the way to Swansea, and the Mum and Dad of the trip (Megan and Ben) left for a Megabus the night before. Arriving at Swansea, we travelled to our first orienteering destination: tall sand dunes near a village called Llangennith at the far end of the Gower. The weather was great (maybe a little cold) and the views were fantastic! Many orienteers showed up from different clubs and with 100 checkpoints set up around the dunes, we were spoiled for choice on different circuits. The day ended with a competitive relay before heading back to the cars, exhausted and hungry. We stayed the night in Ben’s old scout hut in Killay. With no showers we resulted to sink washing - a great experience that I would highly recommend, especially if you’re not flexible and can’t lift your feet high enough to wash them in the sink! Trying our luck to eat out at a local pub on a busy Saturday night failed, so instead we cooked a delicious pasta bolognese back at the hut, topped with mountains of cheese along with cake and custard for dessert! Filled to the brim with food, we collapsed on our beds and went to sleep. Up early the next morning with porridge-filled stomachs, our next destination was Oxwich Bay which had even more sand dunes to explore. Ben and Megan left early to put out controls and the rest of us set off a little later. Dobra’s car may have taken a few too many wrong turns but we all eventually made it to the bay. Despite the extremely terrible weather (lots and lots of rain), we still tackled the dunes with much enthusiasm, using maps which were drawn by Ben himself! We finished with a 1k sprint race with 12 checkpoints and SI. Heading back to the cars, cold and wet, we got changed into warmer clothes before setting off home to Bristol (or Cardiff in Samuel’s case). Overall the trip was brilliant. The Gower is such a beautiful place and I’m sure that many of us wouldn’t hesitate to go back again. Thanks for a great weekend guys!

Blaise Castle – Tracy Tse

On Saturday, 11 of us went to Blaise Castle for a nice afternoon orienteering. Tom joined Lawrence to go on the most mega warm-up run to Blaise Castle while the others chose to ride a bike, walk or take a bus like I did. Having checked the weather forecast which indicated no rain, I assumed it would be sunny (apparently I am not an expert on English weather!) and it turned out to be cloudy. This was a bit disappointing. Considering I haven’t orienteered for some time, I chose the Orange course. Tom and Rachel did the Light Green while the rest had a go at the Green. The orange course was quite easy to manage, and I think I should challenge Light Green next time. Tom was the first to come back and congratulations on completing his first ever day orienteering race! Those who went on the Green course found a few controls tricky, especially the one near the wall. We decided to take a UBOC group picture as it was the race where most of us turned up! Finally, the sun showed up after the race! Followed by a small ‘climb’ to the Blaise Castle (only Orange and Yellow courses had controls there), Lawrence led us on the most mega supreme ultimate cool-down walk back to city centre. Overall, it was a worthwhile way to spend Saturday afternoon and well done everyone!

P.S.- Looking at the results (as promised here is some analysis), Ben came the first in Green course and within that, UBOC is in the top 60%! For Light Green, UBOC is in the top 80% and Tom is one second off first place! As for Orange course, we are in the top 15%!

Bristol 3km Relays – Matt Pickering

In a change of pace, UBOC headed to the Bristol relays this Saturday. Teams comprised of three members each and the course was a muddy 3km loop around the downs.

For the boys, Kit led us out before Michael handed me the metaphorical baton. Unfortunately I couldn't keep up their good work and dropped three places for a finish of 8th.

The girls also had an 8th place finish. Rachel, Tracy and Tracy fought their way around in worse rainy conditions. Tracy (Tse) cut half the course on the final leg but the team managed to avoid detection and subsequent disqualification.

All in all, the six of us had an enjoyable afternoon away from dibbing and diving through overgrown woodland. That being said, I'm still looking forward to a return to the hills next week at the Welsh Championships!

British Night Championships, Lake District (Great Tower Scout Camp & Bigland) – Tom Dobra

Three intrepid orienteers from UBOC headed to the Lakes for a very demanding weekend. Saturday night saw the British Night Championships at Great Tower Scout Camp, consisting of fog, steep muddy slopes and intricate contour detail. Ben proceeded round the M21L to come 6th in 89:33 on the 9.1 km course, followed very much later by Tom in 157:48 having got stuck waist deep in a marsh on the way to the first control, performed relocation at every other control and been tempted to give up as the course went near the finish twice. Clearly this temptation was too much for Megan as she skipped the second half of her W21L course after straining her back. I unfortunately saw a lot of injuries including someone else hurting their back and I sliced my finger open on don’t-know-what which didn’t stop bleeding for over 2 hours. All in all, it was a tough night.

On Sunday, we went to the complicated wooded hillsides and boggy lumpy fells of Bigland, the venue for the BUCS 2012 relay and long distance race at JK 2015, for the Northern Championships. Ben stormed round the 14 km M21E to come 4th in a time of 111:26. Tom did the same course, aiming to beat his previous day’s time but over a much longer distance, but it wasn’t to be as I missed out in a time of 166:39, perhaps due to the efforts of Saturday and the 730 m of climb with marshes. Megan sensibly walked round part of her course. Overall, it was a cracking and enjoyable weekend, requiring plenty of perseverance. The good news for all you less experienced orienteers is that it is seldom that tough, and it serves as a good reminder for us how tricky life can be when you’re not used to it. On a final note, the entry was superb value for money at £13 for 5:24:27 of running for me!


Teddy Hall Relays, Ashton Court Parkrun, Bath Half Marathon, CompassSport Cup Qualifier – Matt Pickering

The whole week: It was a busy week for UBOCers this week as our many members competed on the roads, fells and running tracks.

Earlier in the week, Kit and Michael competed in the Teddy Hall Relays for UBACC. The course is a picturesque 5.8km lap around Oxford with 1 lap of the Roger Bannister running track. Kit's team came in 3rd place overall.

Moving onto Saturday. There was an impromptu UBOC gathering at Ashton Court parkrun where myself, Abi and Michael rolled out of bed early to tackle the hilly course. We finished 21st, 24th and 56th (w) respectively in what was a change from the normal mud.

On Sunday, Tom Dixon completed two speedy laps around Bath to complete the half marathon. Looks like his training is on track for London on 23rd April which he is running for Helen & Douglas House. Good luck Tom!

Finally, Ben, Tom, Kit and I went to Cwm Lickey for the Compass Sport Cup qualifier event. From the course description, the brown course always looked quite punishing and it turned out to be the case. Ben was just pipped by Marcus Pinker with a time of 60:25 whilst the rest of us trailed in quite a bit later! I even managed to mispunch the second to last control.

MOC camp – Megan Carter-Davies

Last week I was on a brilliant training tour in Italy with the GB squad! We spent the majority of our time within Gargano National Park on the east coast for a lot of sprint training around some steep and technical seaside towns with various other national teams. It was great being able to train and race against some of the World’s best orienteers and I learnt so much. As a team, we’re aiming to win some relay medals at the World Orienteering Champs(WOC) this summer so it was great to work together and build the teaminess! Then we drove back across to the west coast, south of Naples, to race at the Mediterranean championships. The first race on Friday was a nighttime sprint race around Agropoli, so we spent the day well, being tourists at Pompeii!( I hadn't realised how well preserved everything was from around 2000 years ago – it was pretty incredible). I was surprised to come 4th in that race, amongst a high quality field with several WOC medalists. The next race was fun sprint around Paestum Archaelogical site, which contained temples dating back to 600Bc! We weren't allowed to cross any walls or run through the temples making for an interesting maze. The final race was around a Royal park, with the coolest control being at the top of the waterfall where you had an amazing view of the palace and its grounds. However the tiredness from the week’s training really caught up with me and I basically bonked on this 4km course… We also had a concert from Nic Manfredi, including several renditions of the famous “you and me” aka the best orienteering song ever, live. All in all, it was a very cool week and definitely worth all of the uni work I now have to catch up on! Hopefully I can show you all some of the maps sometime.

BUCS Report – Tom Dixon

Go UBOC for a great weekend at BUCS, and what an amazing time we all had! It all started at around six on Friday evening. The mini bus took us up driven by Dobra containing me, Matt, Rachel, Lawrence, Rory, Abi B, Michael and Kit, as well as Abi Kerr’s car with Meg, Ben, Mark and Cecelie (who was from Oxford university studying maths, yet another mathematician in the orienteering ranks!). A huge turnout! Our first destination of the trip was a Hostel in the National Forest (about two hours away from Bristol). Upon arrival we checked in, allocated rooms and set to work on a masterpiece meal coordinated by no other than Chef Dobra (and lots of others who helped along!). In the meantime, some of the guys retired to the pool table where some of the most amazing shots in pool history took place, Lawrence really did show off his master skills by potting the white ball in more ways than I thought were possible. Belly’s rumbling, we all tucked in to Tom’s delicious bacon and leek carbonara (probably the most bacony tasting meal I have ever had, it was heaven!) before having a presentation from Megan about the future goals/ambitions of the club. Exhausted and full we headed to bed. A good night’s sleep would be necessary for the next two days of orienteering mayhem.

Up early on Saturday morning, we headed towards Sheffield to our first event at Wharncliffe. The course was really great with tricky route choices and tough terrain including woods, rocky slopes and flat open grass land. I personally found it quite difficult, but loved the variety in the terrain. On the Men’s A race, Ben came 7th overall with a time of 66:35 (well done Ben!), followed by Kit in 22nd in 74:44 (a very good run!), Tom Dobra in 45th in 91:07, Rory in 53rd in 94:27, Mark in 59th in 98:29, Lawrence in 64th in 101:53 and finally Matt in 74th in 109:38. On the Women’s A and Men’s B race, Meg came 2nd with a time of 48:23; just 2:07 behind first place, very well done Meg (go UBOC!), followed by Abi K in 29th in 66:16, Me in 40th place in 75:59 and Abi B in 59th in 96:47. Unfortunately Michael miss-punched, but he still managed to bring himself over the line in a steady 120:20. Finally Rachel Participated in the woman’s B course and came 14th in a time of 74:41.

We set off to Sheffield at around three o’clock after the race finished where we went to the University gym hall. This was our accommodation for the next night - sharing floor space with the 100 or so other orienteers – it didn’t look promising for a good night’s sleep. However, dwelling on the potential lack of sleep was not the main concern – it was fancy dress time! All the Universities at BUCS had to dress up as characters from Disney movies, and as UBOC we were blessed with going as ‘Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs’. The 7 dwarfs consisted of: Me, Abi B, Abi K, Meg, Ben and Rachel – complete with cotton wool beards, signs, hats and belts; Michal was Snow white, and might I add he wore a short yellow skirt – 10/10 for effort there; Dobra was the Nobel Huntsman, with his own trusty sword; Lawrence was the evil witch with a cool bin bag cloak; Matt was the Handsome prince; Rory was the magical mirror (with curtains!) and Kit was the poisoned apple (his costume was just an apple he brought, very fruity).

Once changed we headed to the buffet Chinese where we all ate until our stomachs doubled in size, or maybe even tripled. Not to forget is was also Abi Batemen’s and Mark Libby’s birthday, so there were lots of celebration cheers to go around for them too – happy birthday guys! Walking back the to the gym hall (mainly because I was a dope and forgot my ID) we got ready to go to the iconic club in Sheffield – Poptarts. We did however have a few drinks in the bar first, which was a nice way to wind down and socialise with others. Those of us still standing headed on into the club whilst the others got back to the gym to get a good night’s rest. All I can say is that the Cheesy music was on point and there was some serous dancing going on! Lots of laughing, and sympathy for Ben who was rather drunk, but all in all what a great night!

Waking up the next morning a little too early for good (6:30am) and a tad hungover, we set off to Hugset Wood for the Relay races. The course again was tricky: woodland area but with loads of hills with depressions, as well as brambles as far as the eye can see. Again I thought it was hard, and on one of the controls I struggled for a while trying to find one labelled ‘66’ – all I kept coming across was one labelled ‘99’ and it took me 10 minutes until I realised I was reading it upside down! I think being the dopey dwarf the previous night suited me well! We had two men’s teams consisting of: Kit, Dobra and Rory; and Lawrence, Michal and Matt. The first team came back 17th overall (not sure of 2nd team yet, hopefully results will be up soon!). The women’s team included Meg, Abi K and Abi B who finished 8th place! And we also had a non-competitive team consisting of Michael, Me and Rachel. Ben also ran non-competitively as he was the only one from his University (UWE).

The weekend was beginning to draw to a close. It was goodbye to Rory who is off to France for even more orienteering – hope you have a great time! We headed back towards Bristol, but stopped at the services for some lunch where we ate some birthday cake and gave out some exclusive UBOC prizes including: Dobra for best carbonara, Ben for most drunk, Mark for fastest run-in time (self-proclaimed) and Michael for the best fancy dress and sexiest legs! Thank you so much to Abi Kerr who organised the trip. The weekend overall was fantastic and I’m already buzzing for next year’s BUCS. Well done to everyone who competed and to those who did well, thanks for a great few days!

Run to Clevedon – Ben Mitchell

How did you spend your Saturday?

Matt, Tom and I spent it running all the way from Bristol to Clevedon!

We met up at Ashton Court Mansion at 10 and started along Matts carefully planned route through Ashton Court and out onto the open road passed 50 Acre wood. It wasn’t long before we hit a very muddy patch! But then we were out into the open fields with fantastic views of the beautiful country that is Wales 😉

The route then joined the Gordano Round (a well know running/walking route). Until we opted for a more direct line past all the (very fancy) houses along Cadbury Camp lane. Next we made a quick detour to have a look at the impressive Cadbury Camp hill Fort. The run then carried on along the ridge which continued to give us fab views and a welcome fresh breeze. Then we had to find a way to cross the M5.

Over the bridge and into Clevedon Court Woods - This was my favourite part of the run especially the steep downhill into the village. Not far from the finish we took on the biggest hill we had faced the whole way – Strawberry Hill – Talk of ice cream started now and after a final push up to the top of Dial Hill it was a nice gentle downhill to the Pier and more importantly the ice cream parlour, see the photos!

Highly recommend everyone else does this route on another sunny day! Thanks to Matt and Tom for a great run!

Midlands Championships – Matt Pickering

Another sunny day greeted Ben, Abi K, Duncan and me at the midlands championships on Sunday. The elite courses were middle distance races which meant a lot of controls in a short distance. The private forest provided varied terrain and tricky thick wooded sections but was very runnable, even in the green areas. In a very competitive field, Duncan had the best result of the day coming home 5th in a time of 37:35 after passing me just after control 16. A sunny day didn't mean that we avoided the mud but the course was thankfully light on brambles which despite not being the most technically challenging provides some of the most enjoyable orienteering.


Easter events: Painswick Beacon, JK, Leckhampton Hill, Kingswood, London Marathon

There has been a huge amount of orienteering (and marathon-ing) happening in the past few weeks. The holidays started with Matt Pickering and Lawrence Jones battling it out at an NGOC league event at Painswick Beacon – they ended up 6th and 7th, just 22s apart!

The following weekend was a much bigger event – the JK. The JK is the largest event in Britain, held annually, and consists of 4 races over 4 days, as well as some Trail-O competitions. This year, UBOC had 7 turn up – Tom Dobra, Abi Kerr, Matt Pickering, Abi Bateman, Rory Burford, Ben Mitchell and myself. There is so much to say about the JK but rather than write about it here, I encourage you to ask us about it tomorrow at the meal. If you can’t wait, you can check out Rory Burford’s JK photo albums on facebook – very entertaining!

Coming towards the end of the break, on Saturday, Tom Dobra, Kit Grierson, Matt Pickering and Rachel Khan ventured to Leckhampton Hill near Cheltenham to test out the new area with steep slopes and some nice contour detail. Tom won the blue course, just ahead of Kit.

On Sunday, Michael, Ben and I took on the Brown course at Kingswood near Monmouth. Ben took the victory, I went for an easy Sunday jog taking in the views, and Michael completed his first ever Brown course- a great achievement for someone who started orienteering less than a year ago!

Altogether today, we might have just about run half the distance that Tom Dixon did. Tom ran the epic London Marathon in a great time of 3:36:10 for Helen and Douglas House. Amazing stuff, Tom!


Amesbury urban – Tom Dobra

I ventured out late Saturday afternoon to my first UK urban league race of the year at Amesbury and what a cracker it turned out to be! The race started with a classic route choice trap, which I fell for, on control 1, before requiring careful planning ahead to find feasible routes through all the alleyways that were often blocked at the ends. Clearly I had the speed, so, despite my error at number 1, I won the 6.8 km course (more like 11 km after all the wiggles) by nearly 5 minutes in a time of 43:09.

Ancient Wiltshire Orienteering weekend, Savernake Forest – Matt Pickering

Spirits were high on Sunday as Tom and I were picked up by Tommi for a fun filled trip to the Ancient Wiltshire Orienteering weekend. It wasn’t long before conversation turned to the previous night’s events in Sweden (featuring Ben, Megan and Dane Blomquist) but attention was soon diverted whilst travelling through Calne. Signs warned us of runners in the road, at which point Tom suggested that they should “find a real sport”. It was then established that Calne was the location of the BUCS sprint triathlon where UBOC’s own Rory Burford was competing. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to return Rory’s valedictory salute from Wednesday.

After so much excitement in such a short car journey, we reached Savernake, the UK’s largest private woodland. Now managed by the forestry commission on a 999 year lease signed in 1939. From looking at the map, it looked flat and fast. Brambles and nettles were to be expected but the planner’s notes said the courses were planned to avoid the worst of it.

Dobes (King of Leckhampton Hill and Duke of Amesbury) and I headed out on the brown 8.8km course. The (not quite distinguished) BOOBS coordinator, Kit, gave me some sage advice on Friday: “Make sure you hit your bearings” and boy was he right. The terrain was very flat and runnable. The best routes were in straight lines into featureless indistinct forest areas which required accurate compass and map work. The saving grace was the bird feeders dotted around the forest which provided attack points. A few misses here and there added up, Tom got round in 82:17 whilst I pipped him in 79:25 for a mid-table finish.

At the end of the middle day of our bank holiday weekend, there are still unfortunately unanswered questions. Of foremost importance, the pronunciation of Savernake was not fully established. It pains me somewhat as I now know the contours, I know the pits and I know the knolls but yet I don’t know the name of the place I explored. However, whilst orienteering you often know exactly where you are without understanding how all the local fragments piece together. Thus, it feels apt to leave the woodland without this holistic knowledge but a satisfying sense of orientation.

Stoke Bishop race – Matt Pickering

Several improvements to my report writing were suggested after last week’s carefully composed chronicle so this time, I’ll get straight to the point.

As the planner, I had a different perspective to usual. After hanging, it was fingers crossed that the courses were set up correctly and we hadn’t overlooked anything whilst organising the race.

At 17:50, there were already queues in the start lane as we hastily redrew the start boxes but at 18:00 the first competitors were released to tackle the courses. We made good use of the hill as the first few legs sent competitors on all courses up towards Durdham Hall before a short circuit of the campus and then a long leg out into the streets of Stoke Bishop. The longest courses went out to the Trym valley before the finishing with a loop of Badock and one final climb to the finish.

In total, 10 current members and a couple of BOOBS (‘Bristol Orienteering Old Boys and Sisters’, our alumni club) had a go at the courses and even more helped out organising and doing jobs on the night. Hopefully our next race can be as successful.

British Long Distance and Relay Championships - Megan Carter-Davies

5 UBOC members made the journey up to the Lake District for the British Championships weekend, consisting of a long distance race at High Dam on the Saturday and relay race on Sunday, and also incorporating the British TrailO Championships (read Tom's story).

The men's 15km race sounds long as it is but add to that 750m of climb and super tricky navigation, at 1:15000 scale of course, and the race gets rather tough rather quickly! Indeed, it lived up to expectations but our uboc boys were tougher. Matt Pickering made it around his first elite long distance race to come in 37th, while Tom Dobra had a strong run to come in 31st. Ben ran a great time and would have been 7th however some unfortunate dibber issues put him down as mispunching (he did visit every control really!).

The women's courses were equally tough. Abi Kerr took on the W21L course and smashed it, finishing 7th, meanwhile I raced the elite class, struggling over the first half especially on our 15 minute uphill leg, but turned it around and came 2nd overall for my first senior national medal!

One sleep later, we were at Summer House Knott for the relays. Today we were fielding one Uboc team of myself, Matt and Abi, while Ben and Tom ran the first leg for Swansea Bay and BOK respectively, all of us in the men's premier race.

Our heated first leg started at a brutal pace and I was just holding on to my group until a mistake at control 6. Following this I thought it might be a solo struggle for some time but came across BOOBS member Duncan Birtwistle (running for OD) for a couple of controls. I took a different route to control 9 and he got away but then Ben appeared out of nowhere - maybe I was doing pretty well?! Anyway he got away too but I managed to keep up with an Edinburgh uni team for the next few controls before the spectator run through. For some reason the crowds seemed extra loud for me there, and when Ben passed me again a few controls later I realised why - he made a mistake before the run-through and I had been ahead of him! Oh the abuse he got ;) Our hare and tortoise race didn't stop there either, with a mistake in the last loop I caught Ben one last time. He finished around a minute ahead of me but with our mistakes we were both about 10mins off the pace of the leaders. Tom, newly crowned TrailO champion, came in shortly after, tactically letting his favourite team (UBOC) have an advantage over his other team, BOK.

Next up in our "UBOC ridge of death" team was Matt. I can't account for every stage of his race but he and another guy stuck together taking the navigation carefully and minimising mistakes. He seemed satisfied with his performance and rightly so - he had a great time and bettered his not-mispunching-in-the-relay rate from 50% to 66%!

Matt handed over to Abi for the third and final leg. Enjoying the lovely terrain and weather, Abi ticked off the controls at a steady pace with just one 2min mistake. She twisted her ankle but powered through to bring us home in 13th.

Today was a bit controversial with the top 3 premier men's teams mispunching, and a couple of the top women's teams having a non-British citizen running so not counting under the British Relay championship eligibility rules - all the drama! At least we could all enjoy the beautiful sunshine!

British Trail Orienteering Championships - Tom Dobra

After a very physical long race, I went on to compete in BTOC later on Saturday afternoon. The Lakeside YMCA centre provided an entertaining mix of undulating contours, knolls and crags on a much more legible 1:4000 map. The course started with two stations each of two timed controls, requiring you to select the correct kite (with no kite correct, zero, not an option) to be used as a tie-breaker. Two mistakes left me with a poor score of 153 s. Then, came the main course of 22 problems, with a decent selection of zeroes. I completed the testing course with very little time to spare with a respectable score of 18. Much to my surprise, this was sufficient to win, despite the weak timed controls, making me the British champion!

Westbury-on-Trym - Michael Lai

After a whole day of miserable weather, the rain died down just in time for the 3rd race of the summer urban series. 7 UBOC members took part in the race (including Dr. Whipple). 6 of us ran in the 6k blue course and Rachel ran in the 4.1k green course. Congratulations to Tom Dobra, Kit and Megan for finishing 1st 2nd and third, respectively, all within 2 minutes of each other. The area was very suburban, with lots of dead ends and small paths between houses. There were lots of comparably optimal route choices for many of the controls. As far as I know, there was only one case of falling over, committed by our Matt Pickering on his way down to cross the river.

The TrailO was an interesting addition, with a challenging timed exercise at the end. It was a test of observational rather than navigational or physical skills.

Preseli race report - Matt Pickering

Some late start times meant a leisurely start on Saturday morning for the long drive to Pembrokeshire for the Pembrokeshire orienteering weekend.

After letting our loyal fans on twitter know about our weekend's activities we still had quite a bit of the journey to go. Eventually we spotted a hill then some cyclists and finally the assembly. Spurred on by the retweets we were in high spirits looking forward to a good afternoon's orienteering.

The very remote location was already 200m above sea level and the highest points on the hills standing at 350m. After my turn to stand around waiting for my start. I knew that the course was going to physical and reward accuracy so I was cautious out of the start up the hill. The winds on the moorland were sapping and Ben quickly gained 4 minutes on me by control 5. After then seeing him disappear into the distance on his way to a blistering time, my concentration turned to interpreting the many rocks on an indistinct hillside. Tom was the second UBOCer, followed by Kit and then Megan closely behind.

I also met Kit's parents, Megan got to watch Tom getting lost a lot and Phil showed us all his dog bite. All in all, a pleasant afternoon on the fells.

Tenby urban race - Megan Carter-Davies

Today's urban event was held in Tenby, on a great map produced by our very own Ben Mitchell. As usual in Wales, the sun was out and we had a fun start on the beach, launching us straight up some steps into the town. All of the guys (Matt P, Kit, Tom Dobra and Ben) ran in the Men Open class on a 7.6km course, though in reality running around 9km. The course, wiggled and zigzagged across the town,took you out onto and open hill, and then back along the beach searching for caves. Top UBOC dog was Dobra coming 5th, Kit Grierson came 11th and Matt P 13th. Ben ran the fastest time but having made the map, essentially knowing the area like the back of his hand, was non-competitive. I ran Women's open, 6km (7.5km in reality), had a pretty good run just one mistake, missing a cave on the beach, and took the win on the course overall, ahead of all the m40s!

Primary schools orienteering session - Kit Grierson

To celebrate World Orienteering Day, Tracey, Ho Ching and Kit volunteered to teach over 200 students orienteering skills. Exercises included a cone course where orientating your map was key and a relay exercise to improve symbol reading. It was a fast-paced day but only a handful of kids had ever orienteered before and so hopefully it will have sparked some interest! Orienteering is a niche sport and so events like this are helpful in improving access to orienteering for the public.

Oldbury Court urban - Matt Pickering

Oldbury Court was the park of choice for this Wednesday's urban series event. Situated in north Bristol, the courses started in parkland before heading down the Frome Valley and back through some urban areas.

It was sweltering, even the shade of the leafy riverbanks couldn't save your trusty heroes from the beating rays and oppressive humidity.

None of us were a match for the speedy Adam Potter who finished 6 minutes clear of Tom Dobra with Kit just behind in third place. I was a few more minutes back in 9th. There were several long legs which really rewarded the good runners on the night.


Threshfield TrailO Challenge report (last weekend) - Tom Dobra

I disappeared off last weekend to the Yorkshire Dales for two days of PreO in Threshfield Quarry, the car park for JK 2016 day 3. There was an interesting mixture of short and long range problems, including trying to identify small hills at the cliff foot 200 m away plus kites so close that you could touch them. Unfortunately, there were also some rather dubious ones/pieces of mapping, causing many of the top elites to get rather low scores and be beaten by the less experienced. On Saturday, I came 15th, but had clearly got into the mindset of the planner by winning on Sunday, coming 5th overall across the two days. Dedicated UK TrailO competitions are rare, so this was an enjoyable chance to go head-to-head and I’ll aim to get UBOC to more TrailO ranking events in future.

Bradley Stoke - Megan Carter-Davies

Charles Daniels, one of UBOC’s close links with BOK, planned the Urban Series event held on Wednesday at Bradley Stoke. The housing area with lots of dead ends and curvy roads lent itself to a lot of interesting route choice legs and occasionally it was quicker to head out to a river path or park for a smoother route. Despite the long travel and the rain, UBOC showed up in force and took 5 of the top 6 spots in the Blue course (Ben, Kit, Tom, me, Matt) with only Eddie Narbett from BOK breaking up our group. Lawrence and Michael had a tussle of their own and ended 39th and 40th respectively with 30s between them. On the Green course, Rachel Khan had a strong run and came 25th out of 40.

Bristol City Races

  • -Saturday – Tracy Tseng

This is my first time joining such a big event. The weather was so nice these two days. I was so excited the day before and feeling really happy after finishing the course when I can finally complete courses. The first day I missed the first point and ran the wrong direction, so I spent too much time getting lost. The others are fine; I did manage to find the right points with confident. The second day I thought it was going really well, but then I was lost again. Went to the wrong direction because I didn't turn the map to the right direction and meet Michael for three times I think. At one intersection a lady stopped me and asked me to check the point before I cross the road—she thought I was in the junior group although I’m wearing the UBOC top. That’s the most amusing part of the day. I really enjoy this event!

  • -Sunday – Ben Mitchell

Day 2 of the BOK blast took place around Bristols Temple Quarter and the Eastern side of the Harbourside. Most courses started in Castle park then wiggled through Temple over bridges and through underpasses and then into tricky local housing areas before heading over to Spike Island and finishing in Queen's Square. I was determined to have a good race today but again I was a little bit sloppy with my technique and made quite a few mistakes (They feel like an age but in reality are quite small) Anyway all that mattered in the end was that I was a whole second faster than Adam (yesterday’s winner) and took the win!

Well done to all who survived 2 days of pounding around the streets of Bristol. Now we have 2 new areas to train on!

RESULTS: Serious UBOC domination and lots of podium places!

Mens Senior (Sat)/Open (Sun)

  • Ben 2nd, 1st
  • Tom D 3rd, 5th
  • Kit 5th, 6th
  • Matt W MP, 8th ( Reclaimed as he's been recruited for Harvester)
  • Rory 9th, 10th
  • Matt P 6th, 14th (accelerating towards WOC 2018)
  • Mark 11th, 22nd
  • Lawrence 18th, 31st
  • Ho Ching rtd, 42nd
  • Michael 15th, 51st

Womens Senior (Sat)/Open (Sun)

  • Megan 1st, 1st
  • Abi K 6th, 6th
  • Rachel 24th on veteran women, 29th
  • Abi B 3rd on young adult women, (missed 30?) could have been 18th

Newcomers Medium Course

  • Tracy Tseng - 16th
  • and shout out to Jess Lavery (Mark Libbys girlfriend) 4th

Newcomers Short Course

  • Nuhaadh Mahid 2nd, 1st - fantastic double podium places for his first orienteering races!

Chippenham urban - Rachel Khan

On Wednesday afternoon, Matt, Tom and I got a lift with Katy to Chippenham for another BOK urban race. With the sun still high in the sky, Matt got an early start on the blue and hit the hot pavements first, followed shortly by me on the green and Tom later on the blue, after helping on registration. Assembly was in a school portacabin, and all the courses involved some annoyingly tricky navigation through the school grounds and tripped us all up in some way or another. After planning an escape route out of the school grounds, the map took us into some woodland along a stream (the dark green here on the map seemed a bit of an exaggeration though) and there was much confusion and attempted scrambling over crossable or maybe not so crossable walls... Matt also managed to find a secret tunnel under the road! Tom came in second after Adam Potter, Matt secured third place and I was chuffed to come 14th on the green! We all stayed to the bitter end and helped with control collecting, and after much grappling with the gripples, Katy drove the three us home and fed us her home made mincemeat loaf.

Night training report

On Friday night, a seven-strong squad of keen UBOCers headed out to Cleeve Hill for some pre-Harvester NightO training, courtesy of some inspired last-minute organisation from Tom Dobra (hereafter "Dobes", the "Dobinator", and anything relating trains and/or captaincy) and Matt Pickering (hereafter "Matt", or just "MP" if I'm feeling lazy). See here for an extended special feature featuring cake, compasses and controversy.

Ed: The author’s identity has been concealed, due to currently being under investigation. I accuse him of perverting the course of justice and he is likely to lie under oath (if he takes one). The full investigation will be disseminated via the most reliable communication channel.


Beacon Batch trail - Tom Dobra

I returned on Tuesday 20th June to the Burrington Inn for another 8 km trail race, this time with 300 m climb and summiting Beacon Batch for some amazing views on a baking hot evening. For me it was a tactical race, leading after the first 400 m, before dropping back to 6th on the first major climb then up to 5th with a large gap in front at the bottom of the hill again. A twisty, undulating, single-track path crossed two dry streams over which I closed the gap to 20 m and rose to 4th at the top of Beacon Batch. Enjoying the view and burning hard along the level, I opened a clear gap behind me ready for the steep descent into the finish, to come 4th, 4 s clear of 5th (but a minute behind 3rd). A couple of bowls of chips while waiting for prizegiving rounded off a fun evening.

Langford race report - Abi Kerr

Orienteers and sheep mixed at the first official Langford Veterinary School race on 21st June. Middle distance sprint-style courses, which caught many out, weaved between animal hospitals, stables, and labs. The map was specially produced for the event and attracted Bristol OK members, students and the local Guide unit. The locally based Adam & Chloe Potter smashed the longest ‘Super Beast’ course coming in first man and woman, with UBOC’s Tom Dobra 3rd and Matt Pickering 5th. Rachel Khan took on the medium ‘Little Beast’ course and came a very respectable 12th place mid-pack. Well done to everyone for surviving the heat and I hope that the new map will offer UBOC more sprint training opportunities in the future.

Harvester Relay - Tom Dixon

Do you wish sometimes you could be nocturnal? Do you love running in the dark? Do you like spending 20 minutes finding one control? If all of the above are true, you would have been sure to love the Harvester event on 24th-25th of June. Read all about it here.

Keynsham race report - Rachel Khan

Having got a lift in the green Forrestmobile, Tom, Matt and I arrived in a rather cloudy Kenysham, to partake in next chapter of the saga of the BOK urban summer series. Assembly was a car park, and despite asking Owain for directions, I managed to take the wrong way to the start and thus got photographed sheepishly walking sans map by a keen Steve Rush. The course started in a park and then took us out across the road and into a housing estate, mostly it was relatively straightforward, but at one point in a vain search for a through path (which was later pointed out to me to be impassable anyway) I wasted some time diving down every little ally discovering each in turn to be a dead end... Unusually, the finish control was semi hidden in a large pine tree, this initially led me to believe that everyone had already finished and left, but then I got sidetracked by a huge rat, and then realised that the finish was indeed still present and correct. I returned in 21st place on the Green course, and on the Blue, Tom (just pipped by Adam Potter) came second, and Matt (just pipped by Cecilie) came in 4th. Afterwards I had a conversation with Tom whilst sat in the car where he revealed to me that he is actually battery powered (thought this information needed to be shared) and we then inevitably discussed TrailO.

Dundry Thunder Run - Tom Dobra

Another trail race and another couple of hills on Thursday 29th June, but starting and finishing at the top. I started well and in control, but then disaster after the first kilometre! I tripped over something very small, grazing many places on my left side. This dropped me from 1st to 4th, but I hung on, completing the race to come 4th (again), but who knows where I could have been had it gone to plan? Another decent course, but personally I prefer the Mendips.

Moonraker Relay - Matt Pickering

The highly anticipated Moonraker relays finally took place on Sunday. As part of the prestigious South West relay series, it was with caution that Tom Dobra and I approached Dinton Hall.

Sitting in a couple of acres of parkland, the hall has an imposing view over the surrounding countryside. Teams of 3 assembled in its gaze, setting off simultaneously and having to run each of the four courses twice per team. The "Snail" contained a loop through woodland and then a second steeper loop. The "Microscore" with many controls in close proximity. The "Long", 2km. The "Butterfly", three loops.

To be honest, the courses were barely of yellow standard (Ed: actually orange, but I’ll leave you to make a point). Lots of controls on paths and some behind trees. This didn't stop me missing 5 controls over my three courses as our team crept into a feeble >4th place, crippled by our handicap and ability. On the other hand, it was good clean fun.

Clevedon urban race - Matt Pickering

A trip to the provincial city of Clevedon was in order for our weekly fix of urban orienteering. On a new map, new challenges were to be expected and indeed encountered. The course concentrated on the flat south end of Clevedon, took in all the sights and finished by the iconic marine lake. Some interpretive fence and vegetation mapping later, both Matt Whipple and myself ended up here probably in welcome sight of the finish after a long hot course.

European Cup in TrailO, Latvia round - Tom Dobra

As a warmup for WTOC, I did 3 days of TrailO in Dauvigpils, Latvia. I struggled in the PreO on Friday, scoring only 12 out of 19, on a course of vague undulations in a pine forest. Having learnt that lineups (sighting lines through other features, similar to bearings) was the way to solve the Latvian style, I fared much better on Saturday's PreO on neighbouring terrain to come 21st with 3 mistakes. Today, I rounded it off with a TempO of 6 stations, again in the same forest, with 4 mistakes in a somewhat sedate time of 244s, giving a score of 364s. Now that I'm back in the zone, I should be ready for a faster TempO at WTOC on Tuesday.

Stoke Bishop urban race 3/5/17


Wednesday 3rd May 2017 sees the return of the urban orienteering race around the halls, streets and parks of Stoke Bishop. There are courses for all abilities: 1.6 km (suitable for juniors), 4.0 km and 6.2 km. In addition, there will be an introductory TrailO course, to try this different discipline.

Registration is in Hiatt-Baker hall bar 17:30-19:00, last start 19:30.

Online entries (preferred) are available on Fabian4, or just register on the day. Seniors £6, juniors/students £3 (same price online).

Final details are available here.

Organiser: Tom Dobra -, 07715 517294

A busy summer of orienteering!


The 15/16 university year might be over, but that doesn't mean that UBOCers have been taking it easy this summer!

UBOC kicked off the holidays with the Harvester night relay in June – nothing like total darkness to spice the navigation up a bit…Team ‘UBOC ridge of death’ had a great time spending the weekend in the Cotswolds and absolutely smashed it on the B course, coming in 1st! Tom was also there representing DrongO - running the other course, so we’ll forgive him for his conflicted loyalties :’)

Huge congratulations to our Captain, Megan, who’s made a fantastic comeback from her injury earlier in the year. At the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Switzerland she came 4th in the middle distance final, 7th in the individual sprint and 5th in the team sprint relay with the other GB girls (a new GBR best). Not only that, but she then went on to compete at the World University Orienteering Championships in Hungary, coming 8th in the individual sprints and winning gold for Britain as a team in the sprint relay! Well done, Megan – we’re incredibly proud of you!

Meanwhile Tom has also been busy globetrotting in the name of TrailO, heading to Sweden to compete in the World Trail Orienteering Championships, qualifying for the final in the individual competition to come 34th and coming in 8th in the open relay as part of team GB. For those of you who haven’t heard of TrailO, it involves studying an orienteering area from various checkpoints along a track, and rapidly identifying whether any of the markers on the ground match the given map locations. Because it all takes place along one track it makes orienteering accessible to a much wider range of people, and it’s a really challenging alternative to ‘standard’ orienteering (FootO) – don’t think that staying in one place at each checkpoint makes it easy, because you have to be incredibly quick and accurate with your map interpretation! Tom has also taken part in a dizzying array of UK comps this summer and is currently leading the South of England Urban Orienteering League. He’s heading off to Norway this weekend for more TrailO! If you're struggling to imagine what a TrailO course might be like, here's an example of one of the checkpoints in Sweden.

And finally, back in July Ben and Lawrence headed to South Wales to take part in Croeso 2016 and race on some very different terrain from UBOC’s usual haunts – three of the courses were on sand dunes! Ben set some especially impressive times, finishing in the top 3 on all five days. Croeso is a great competition featuring some really scenic courses, but sadly it’s only held once every four years - I wonder who’ll be heading there from UBOC in 2020?

And now Freshers Week is almost upon us - here's to another great year of orienteering! If you'd like to get involved with the club, come along to our Give it a Go session at Stoke Bishop on the 25th September, or just turn up at training and say hello!

Stoke Bishop Urban Race


The University of Bristol Orienteering Club invites you to take a break from revision with an introductory orienteering session around Stoke Bishop.

It may be a niche sport but we think it is the best way to exercise your body and your mind. The challenge is to get between checkpoints, using a map, as fast as you can. It can be done in pairs or individually and you can run or walk. It is a great way to explore new places and if you're really competitive – race your mates!

Registration - from 5:30-7pm at Badock Hall
Start Times - 6:00-7:30pm
Courses - Easy, Medium and Hard (ranging from ~2km to 5km)
Entry Fee - Adult £5, Student £3
Electronic timing chip hire - Adult £1.50, Student: free

Facebook event

Bristol OK Website

BUCS 2016


BUCS 2016 saw 200 athletes representing 28 universities competing for glory! Saturday’s individual race was at Moseley Green in the Forest of Dean. The terrain was a great mix of open forest, paths, dirt tracks, mounds and gullies, long and short legs. The men’s A was 10.5 km with an impressive 415 m climb, women’s A/men’s B 7.3 km with a 260 m climb and the open race 4.4 km with a 115 m climb.

Everyone in UBOC ran well, with only Kai mispunching though he was as jolly as ever. Particularly Matt, Abi and Ben (honorary UBOC member) had great times. This was a great opportunity for some of the UBOC newbies to get a feel for a big competition and see some of the pros in action. Determination, by both Tracy and Tristan, through some long splits is a great trait for an orienteer to have.

The social started with a meal at Cosmos wearing all our fancy dress and being thoroughly outshined by the other university’s efforts into their costumes, the teletubbies from Sheffield really looked the part. Then everyone moved onto Mbargos for the traditional boat race, and finally to Bunker for the most adventurous of us all.

Sunday, everyone shuck off their lack of sleep and went to Cooper’s Hill to compete in the relay. The weather was considerably better than last year’s snow and spirits were high, everyone had their competitive head on for the relay.

It wasn’t UBOC’s day unfortunately as all but one of our teams mispunched, the remaining team being the women’s second team called “We Tried”, the mood was disappointment. But after everyone ate some leftover breakfast croissants and got changed out of their muddy clothes, spirits were back up. Everyone made a valiant effort and it’s worth mentioning that the Ad-Hoc team (Lawrence, Kai and Claire) had a great time overall and would have actually been first.

Overall, we came 9th out of 29 universities, a very respectable achievement – only one place lower than last year and we had quite a few more people last time. It was a great weekend on home turf and the other teams commented on how much they enjoyed it.

Of course, there are many people and orienteering clubs to thank for making the weekend a success, I’m sure there were more people involved than have been mentioned by name, so a general thank you to everyone involved. Within UBOC a special thanks to Tom for his organisational effort; Mark and Abi for sorting out accommodation and breakfast; Matt, Ali and Abi for being the taxi drivers all weekend; Duncan for planning the amazing relay courses; Ali for the amazing social; Megan for helping out at the start on Saturday and Sophie for organising transport for UBOC members.


BUCS Orienteering 2016 Overall Results


23-02-2016 Update

Below are the overall results from BUCS Orientering Championships 2016 held at Moseley Green and Cooper's Hill. Results with Combined Services here, and without there.

1. Edinburgh (35 points)

2. Sheffield (67)

3. Oxford (211)

- Combined Services -

4. Durham (274)

5. Cambridge (287)

6. Leeds (331)

7. Heriot-Watt (345)

8. Sheffield Hallam (348)

9. Bristol (373)

10. Loughborough (399)

11. Manchester (405)

12. Strathclyde (442)

13. Imperial College (459)

14. Lancaster (509)

15. Glasgow (534)

16. Coventry (543)

17. Ulster (592)

18. Manchester Met (593)

19. University West of England (605)

20. Aberdeen (612)

21. Leeds Beckett (625)

22. Brunel (635)

23. Newcastle (640)

24. Exeter (646)

25. York (654)

26. Bangor (658)

27. Nottingham (664)

28. Reading (668)

BUCS 2016 Relay Results


After the individual teams headed back for Bristol for an all-you-can eat meal and night out. ShUOC were winners of the boat race.

The night out didn't noticeably affect the winning Edinburgh teams on both Men and Women courses.

Results can be found on the BOK website.

Routegadget. With head-to-head version as well of 'spine controls'.

Photos from Pat MacLeod.

Thanks to the help of Pat MacLeod, John Simmons, Pete Foster, Jo Foster, Mark Saunders, Alice Bedwell, Andy Monroe and Ed Nicholas in various capacities over the day.

BUCS Results after Individual


Splits from the Individual races earlier today can be seen on WinSplits.

Alexander Chepelin was the winner of the Men A course and Charlotte Watson the winner of Women A.

Overall team scores after the individual can be seen this pdf.

Overnight Edinburgh has the lead from Sheffield, followed by Oxford then Durham.

Raw results on the Bristol OK website.


Photos Part 1 Part 2 from Pat MacLeod.

Tom prepares to represent GB


The Orienteering Foundation is pleased to announce that a grant has been paid to Tom Dobra (UBOC/BOK and SWOA) to cover his entry fee at the European TrailO Championships to be held in the Czech Republic in May 2016. Further details about the Orienteering Foundation can be found on its website:

BUCS 2016


The club is hosting the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) and Combined Services Championships 2016.

Details can be found on the BUCS 2016 page.

New year!


The summer is almost over and we are looking forward to a new year with lots of orienteering fun! There's lots going on this term, and plenty of opportunity to try the sport if you haven't before. We are a friendly, active club and our trips and weekends away are an excellent way to explore areas of the UK you might not otherwise go to. So if we sound like your cup of tea, or you're just curious about orienteering, come and say Hi at freshers fair or join us at an event.

We have two Give it a Go sessions where you can try orienteering and meet the club. These are on Sun 27th Sept in Stoke Bishop Halls (meet by Wills Tennis Courts, signed from Hollybush Lane) and Sun 4th Oct on the Downs (meet by the water tower on the road from halls across the downs) and both are from 11am - 1pm. They feature a range of courses of all levels and club members will be on hand to get you started. There will also be free food, so don't miss out! 

You can also join us on any of our Monday pub runs, at 7pm from the water tower on the Downs. Why a 'pub' run? Well, we end up in a different pub each week to catch up over a pint (cider makes you run faster :p). Or come to our Wednesday afternoon orienteering training sessions (details will be in emails, so sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of the page). 

Want to know more about orienteering? Check out these links:

What is orienteering?

Epigram article

British Orienteering Website

Looking forward to meeting lots of new faces, and catching up with the familiar ones :) Please get in touch (, Facebook) if you have any questions.

BUCS 2015


Race Report: 21st-22nd February - by Ali

A record 18 members of UBOC made the 800+ mile round trip to Edinburgh to take part in the biggest event of the year for the club. After a comfortable night in a cute little hostel in Carlisle we arrived at Devilla Forest early Saturday morning ready for the Indivdual Event. This saw some great results across the board on what was a relatively flat course with a lot of fast paced technical controls at the end to keep things interesting. 

A great run by Matt Whipple on the Men’s A course saw him come 21st. Despite still being relatively new to the sport Matt Duffin put in a stellar performance to come 5th on the Men’s B course ahead of Robbie Herring in 7th. In the Women’s A ex-captain Abi Kerr led Bristol home in a fantastic 19th place with Charlotte Bermingham putting all her training into practice to come 34th. Sophie Evans showed some veterans of the sport how it is done and came in 41st. Ingy Berg looked set for a solid 3rd place on the Women’s B course but unfortunately miss punched.

After a tough race it was time to head into Edinburgh to briefly recover before heading out for the social in the Student’s Union. The club looked splendid in our red tights as we dressed as the Incredibles and there were compliments a plenty from the locals. A fun night was had by all but Duncan’s assurance that there would be a Ceilidh was unfortunately never fulfilled much to my disappointment.

On Sunday morning we wearily set out to Barr Wood for the relays and we quickly realised it was going to be a long day when the snow started to fall as we pulled into the car park. In brutal conditions 3 mens, 2 womens teams and an ad-hoc team headed out to compete. The Men’s A Team came in a respectable 9th position and injury and a miss punch unfortunately hampered the B and C team. The Women’s A team ran well to come 8th. The Women’s B team and the Ad-Hoc team unfortunately succumbed to the conditions.

These results all combined to mean the club came 6th overall out of the 25 Universities that competed. This is a great achievement and I’d like to thank everyone who came for putting in so much effort and making it such a fun weekend. A special thanks to Matt and Charlotte for helping to organise the trip and to Robbie and Tom for helping with the driving. Results. Photos

Kit word of the trip: mems


November Classic


Saturday - Winchester

UBOC memberships have sold like ‘hot cakes’ this year! Nabbing sporty and adventurous people, from all across the globe, for another year of orienteering fun. Beginners, and veterans alike, came together for a weekend of maps, mud and Matt Whipple’s crazy antics.

All together there were 17 of us, including our two orienteering crazy alumni, Duncan and Abi. Saturday saw us in Winchester for a spot of urban orienteering around the city centre. Many of us sported our new race tops for their competition debut.

Everyone either ran the Men’s (7.6km) or Women’s (6.8km) Open.

Success for the boys, taking 1st, 2nd, and 4th. Tom, newcomer to UBOC from the Cambridge team took the gold. Duncan, after a killer Halloween night out the day before, took Silver. Matt ‘the whippet’ Whipple just missed the podium in 4th, but still an impressive time.

Similar success for the girls. Charlotte had a cracking run and came in 5th with Abi hot-on-her-heels taking 7th. Newbies Sophie E. and Sophie G. battled it out for 19th and 20th, both finishing with impressive times.

After the event, in typical UBOC style, we went for an adventure. Kit took some artistic photos, everyone swung on a robe swing, then Matt demonstrated how he is both a monkey and a fish.

Sunday - New Forest

Up and off, we ventured to the New Forest. There were a range of courses to choose from across all colours of the spectrum.

Kai and Ellen were at home in the forest, navigating well and came in 3rd and 4th on the Light Green course. After a bit of confusion at control 14 in Winchester Ollie got back his strive on the Light Green, completing the course 15th. Blue finished the Light Green like a pro, after a mispunch on Saturday could have lowered his confidence. Sophie E. found the navigation on the Light Green challenging finishing 13th and still had energy for korfball after we got back to Bristol (you're a machine!)

Tim had a great run on the Green, coming 6th with under an hour time. My Green course was fun but not fast, after losing time on a few controls added up to around 20 minutes of faffin' around.

Sophie G. was disappointed with her performance on the Short Blue, as was IngieCharlotte was powering through after her amazing result yesterday bagging another high spot on the leaderboard, 5th.

Abi showed her orienteering skills on the Short Brown, pulling 4th out of her proverbial map-bag.

Kit had a stomping run on the Black, after a bit of worry about his injury on Saturday.

All the newcomers have so much potential, you guys are awesome!

Massive thanks to the drivers, Abi, Duncan and Matt, and Ali for organising everything. Legends.

Kit’s word of the weekend. Rassin'


Race Reports:

November Classic Day 1, Saturday 1st November: Winchester - by Sophie 11

A mighty UBOC contingent of 17 arrived eager to bother the good people of Winchester by running past them at high speed (we hoped…) - especially as the great weather meant lots of people milling around to dodge. Both courses were fairly long for a sprint event with some interesting technical Tom and Duncan made fierce competition for the top spot on the Men’s Open, with Tom just getting in there with an impressive time of 55:56. Matt was also very close behind: shame Jack Kosky managed to interrupt our UBOC top 3 positions (damn you Durham)! Kit had a good time of just over an hour despite getting cramp and finding that doing sprint events in brand new shoes isn’t a great idea… (but don’t give him too much respect for that, he wasn’t competing for UBOC!) Ali and Tim also had strong runs, coming in at 1 hr 10 and 1 hr 17 respectively. Kai bounced up from a nasty slip on some leaves right at the beginning to finish just 25 seconds ahead of Sean. Unfortunately Ollie had a bit of a hard time on his first competitive course and after soldiering on for an hour and 40 mins through the first half decided it might be wise not to kill himself as he had to run the next day. Blue persevered for over two hours only to find he’d mispunched the last control – so easy to do but so annoying!

On the ladies’ side, Charlotte stormed it to come in fifth, with Abi not far behind in 7th place – ahead of a few big names. Both Sophies were only a minute apart, followed by Emma, Ingie and Ellen; all 5 of whom lost a bit of time on some tricky route choices, but it made comparison afterwards very interesting! Results

November Classic Day 2, Sunday 2nd November: New Forest - by Kai

After a surprisingly comfortable night on the floor of our Scout Hut, we were headed for the slippery paths of New Forest and ventured out on a variety of different courses. Despite the tricky punching system, no one got disqualified and outstanding results were achieved.

On the black course, Duncan came second place. Matt (although not satisfied with his performance), Kit and Tom had some very good times and were among the top class athletes of this weekend.

Most of our orienteering freshers took on the Light Green course, with Ellen and Kai making good times. Blue and Olli had some nice splits as well, but got lost too many times. Sophie (not 11 - the korfball one) had many excellent splits and had no problems finding the first 11 control points, but unfortunately she lost her orientation and spent too much time trying to find the next control point. Emma and Tim went a step further and did the Green course, both achieved great times.

Meanwhile Ingie, Charlotte and Sophie did the Short Blue course and Abi, Sean and Ali ran on the Short Brown course. Charlotte came a brilliant forth place. Ingie ("I don't want to talk about this race") and Sophie ("this was the worst race of my life") were a bit disappointed by their race although they can be satisfied with their overall performance during the weekend. Results

Overall, a great weekend, lots of new people showing all the benefits of training, and performing way beyond expectation for their first few races, and also some older folks really pushing into the top level competition. And also, a comment from some of the bigwig trustees of British Orienteering- "How have you managed to get a university orienteering club so successful?" 

End of Year Review!



  • The year got off to a cracking start at Fresher’s fair with a record number of people signing up for our mailing list.
  • The ‘Give it a go’ sessions allowed newcomers to learn more about the sport and meet the current committee.
  • Our first ‘Pub Run’ of the year gave everyone a scope of what the club has to offer: exploring Bristol, training and regular socials.


  • Training became part of everyone’s weekly schedule as we moved from location to location focusing on different skills each Wednesday.
  • A successful social at The Lanes (bowling and pizza) was organized by our fantastic Social Sec to start the social calendar.


  • The competition season began and a real team spirit began to develop between our members.
  • At the Bixslade competition Duncan and Kit achieved success in the longest course coming 1st and 2nd. Seven members went to the competition, taking on a range of courses with a high level of success all round.
  • BUOT (Bristol Universities Orienteering Tour) weekend, orienteering clubs from all over the country descended on Bristol for a weekend of training and socials.
  • At November Classic, eight intrepid members ventured to the south coast to race on urban and forest terrain. Kit won the 8.2km short brown course in 46mins!


  • The cold weather really kicked-in as we endured brisk training sessions on Ashton court.
  • We celebrated the end of the first term with a Christmas meal at ‘Be: in Bristol’


  • Kit won M20 Southern Champion 2014! “The area’s rolling hills meant you really had to attack the course to keep the pace high.”-Exert from the weekly email.


  • This year the University of Leeds hosted the main event of the year, BUCS! We enjoyed the beautiful Yorkshire countryside of Ilkley moor and Danefield woods and had some cracking runs. UBOC came 6th across over 20 universities and our Men’s team grabbed 4th place in the Men’s relay.


  • We learnt how to “HASH” on one of the weekly pub runs. A crazy sport that somehow incorporated orienteering and flour.
  • All the preparations for our Stoke Park event came together showing a fantastic team effort. We raised money for the club and had fantastic feedback from BOK members and competitors.
  • Merthyr Mawr competition on the sand dunes, Duncan was crowned king of the Brown course (8.7km).
  • Caerwent South Wales hosted by the British Army, we enjoyed a pleasantly warm day and adventure around an array of derelict buildings.


  • On our last training session before the Easter holidays we joined the UBU Active Easter egg hunt, yum!
  • A few of our members went to Britain's largest annual orienteering competition, the JK Festival in South Wales. A four-day event over the Easter weekend exhibiting areas of the South Wales moorland, a number of great courses regularly attract over 3000 competitors.


  • Committee AGM and exam craziness!


  • The AU dinner, we made our presence known with a full table of Orienteers representing 70% of our active members. It was a great end to the year; everyone dressed up and had photos on the balcony of the @Bristol science museum. We enjoyed a slap-up meal with wine, presentation of awards and colours (full colours were awarded to Abi, our captain and half colours to Matt Whipple, our Vice Captain).
    A great start, middle and end. Can't wait for next year...
  • Emma

Tough racing at the JK Festival of Orienteering

This Easter Weekend saw 3000 orienteers flock to South Wales for a full on four days of intense orienteering. Duncan Birtwistle, Matt Whipple and myself headed over to participate in the Elite courses (who know's why!). Good Friday was the Sprint race at Swansea University which comprised of simple buildings and disorientating parkland. Neither Duncan or I did very well here with two miss punches and an asthma attack we saved ourselves for the next day's race!

Harry Butt of Sarum Orienteers races round Swansea University

That evening we traveled to our accommodation which was a caving society's bunk house equipped with a kitchen, dining/lounge area, bunks and outdoor toilets. Fortunately there was a lovely wood fire to keep us toasty! We were sharing with Sheffield and Oxford Universities so there was lots of catching up and comparing routes from the sprint to be done.

Abi Kerr dropping into the spectator checkpoint at Friday's Sprint Race

After an ok night's sleep and a hearty bowl of porridge it was off to Merthyr Common for the middle distance race. This was a beautiful, relatively flat area with technical swallow holes and pits to navigate. Checkpoints were as close as 50m apart and your compass was the only hope - you didn't know you were at the right hole until you were on top of it! Duncan had an interesting time finding number one as did I but we then stormed the rest of the course. I was pretty chuffed with my performance coming just over half way down the results list. Unfortunately Matt was held up by car parking so missed his start by twenty minutes which they added on to his final time....apparently that is the norm at world ranking events!

What on earth is Duncan doing? Pre-start before the JK Trophy relay, not really doing orienteering any favours

Back 'home' (now with Matt in tow) for some group cooking organised by Oxford - jacket potato, chilli con carne and cauliflower cheese :) Easter Sunday saw the long distance race on the other side of the road to Saturday, but believe it or not the area was surprisingly different with depressions as big as a house - 50m wide! The weather had turned cold, wet and windy so waterproofs were made compulsory much to our displeasure. Duncan and Matt had 17km where as I only had 10.6km. Duncan smashed his rivals in an impressive time of 105 minutes, however victory wasn't to be because he forgot to punch the control at the road crossing - when will he learn?! Matt and I trailed round, but at least our scores still counted! Full results can be found here.

And they're off! Over 55 teams storm into the tough tussocky terrain. Can you spot Bristol?

The last day of the JK was beautiful sunshine and the arena overlooked the dramatic spoil heaps of Pwll Du. This was a glorious moment for UBOC as we had our first every JK relay team :D Of course I got conned into doing the Men's Premier JK Trophy and even the baby leg of 4.7km seemed daunting on sore, tired legs. Duncan on first leg dashed off into the distance ticking off control after control, meticulously checking his codes! He came back in 8th place - well now the pressure was really on me to do well.....uh oh. Full of adrenaline I hit the spoil heaps hitting one and two perfectly. I took a poor route choice to five which involved too many steep hills and slowed me down. By this time most of the speedy 2nd leg men had over taken me, but I carried on through the marshes and heather. At last the end was in sight and over to Matt for the final push. Matt did us proud by catching up a few places, making us the 27th team across the line :-)

Duncan Birtwistle, Abi Kerr and Matt Whipple doing Bristol University proud

Well done UBOC!
Abi Kerr

UBOC is crowned Club of the Year!


The University of Bristol Orienteering Club was crowned the British Orienteering University Club of the Year at this weekend's 2014 AGM.

With many activities each week the club has plenty to offer it's growing membership. This year the club has branched out and staged events on behalf of Bristol OK, planned student orienteering clubs training weekends and teamed up to organise accommodation at this year's JK Festival of Orienteering.

The club has strong plans for the future to continue it's programme of activities under a less experienced committee and attract new members. 


New Spring/Summer 2014 Collection now in (Race tops)


UBOC's Spring/Summer 2014 collection is coming soon.

It looks like this:

Pdf version of top design

We need to know what size you want:

Sizing information (pdf version)

It costs £22 and can be purchased from (insert link here)

Once I've collected enough orders we'll sent the order off and await the arrival of some snazzy new tops!


Men's relay sneak 4th at BUCS


After picking up some sweet hire cars we set off up the M5 on Saturday night to begin our BUCS roadtrip to Lichfield, Ilkley, Leeds and back.

A stop at Charlotte's house cut the journey in two allowing drivers to get get a rest and everyone to get the scissors out and sort their caveman/cavebabe outfits for Saturday night's social.

After a few 'accidental' detours all three, THREE!, cars parked up at the foot of Ilkley Moor.

A lot of thought went into the all important fear-inducing war paint.

Duncan Birtwistle accompanied Rachel Perry and Mate Zabaglo to the start who where the first UBOCers to head off onto the bracken-covered moorland.

Daniel Sanchez-Barrilero was one of the early finishers on the Mens B course.

Read More

Bristol has a Southern Champ


After a little persuasion we managed to prod Oxford University OC into running a mini students orienteering weekend.

Good man Ben Stevens planned courses and hung hundreds of controls in classic training area Shotover Woods just east of the city. We had some easy courses to choose from followed by some contour-only maps, peg-relay and SI-race. This was great practice for everyone and the longer training time allowed useful shadowing of some of our newer members.

Saturday night we had a big meal with the rest of OUOC followed by drinks in Balliol College bar. They managed to win the boat race with a few underhand tactics. Jamie Parkinson and Josh Milner put us up for the night on the heated floors of their plush Somerville College rooms.

A smashing Saturday night turned into a soggy Sunday as we headed to the Southern Orienteering Championships at Star Posts. The forest was lovely underfoot with dead bracken covering undulating contour features.

Some took longer than others in tough conditions but everyone had a great time. Man of the day was Kit Grierson who returned M20 Southern Orienteering Champ - well done Kit!

Merry Christmas!


In the last week of term we swapped the usual Monday night pub run for the Britton’s annual Ho Ho Street-O around the Horfield and Henleaze. A tricky score course was the deal with only a few managing a full sweep of the checkpoints.

Duncan Birtwistle was one of them and won overall, just 12 seconds ahead of James Hargreaves of Bristol OK. UBOC alumni Chris Stafford (visiting Bristol from his new base in Newcastle) nipped round to take a very competitive fourth place. Abi Kerr, Ingie Berg and Kit Grierson - who was embarrassed to win the Junior prize - rounded off our pack.

We also tarted up for a very pleasant Christmas Meal at a new restaturant on Whiteladies.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Duncan Birtwistle

Stretching Sessions @ The Breakfast Roll


A regular program of strength and conditioning work helps prevent injury and makes you more adaptable to zig-zagging through the tough terrain we find in orienteering.

The club organises irregular stretching and rolling sessions on a Thursday morning at 8am at a member's house. We call this The Breakfast Roll as a breakfast of cereal, croissants and orange juice is provided for a small donation to get you ready for the day ahead.

There is a rough routine followed each week but any suggestions for new stretches are encouraged! Scroll on to find out about the dreaded 'rolling'...


Here's some of the stretches we do in a typical session;

Ankle rotations

Calf against wall

Hamstring on chair

Hamstring on floor

Glutes on chair

Hip-flexors split-squat

Torso alternate sides

Arm rotations

Back nerve sit

Inner shoulder

Head and neck

Our stretches overall look something like this:

Rolling rolling rolling

Read More

BUOT Bristol in pictures


The ace hanging team

Team Sheffield arrive

Mike Beasant sets off on the Sprint Race

No Garmin, no training.

Expert advice

Get running Kit!

Mud, sweat and tears

Watch out for this guy.

Cheers everyone for making BUOT Bristol so awesome!

Abi Kerr (Captain)

El Classico


Eight intrepid members ventured to the south coast this weekend, for a hard weekend of racing among the urban jungle of Salisbury and the beautiful autumnal New Forest.

Saturday saw the inaugural Salisbury city race, seeing fast twists, changes of speed, with special navigational challenges traversing a plethora of local schools. Special mention goes to Ed, in the Mens open, in his first ever competitive event.

After some refreshing swimming at Bournemouth beach, we spent the night at Matt's house. Day two saw the Deer and Ponies of the New forest, in a classic race round the mixed woodland plantations.

Congratulations go to Kit, who's speedy time of 46 mins saw him win the 8.2 km short brown course. Duncan found himself in a 12km head to head race with the winner from Saturdays race, but lost time early on meant he dropped a few positions.

A high mispunch rate among other competitors meant they gained vital experience, as well as the reminder to always check control descriptions! Don't worry, we've all done it. A tiring, but rewarding weekend had by all.

Matt Whipple

P.S.Thanks to Oxford University OC for the headline

Training, Racing & Treasure Hunting


Term is now in full swing as is UBOC's full program of activities.

We were back in Ashton Court for the first Wednesday Training session of the year. Ashton Court is great for orienteering at all levels as it has as good variety features from ponds to cliffs hidden inside the woods.

The first race outside of Bristol was at Standish Woods on the edge of the Cotswold Hills overlooking the Severn valley. The steep slopes made for some tricky diagonal legs, and some tough climbs!

For a bit of non-orienteering fun we pulled a couple of teams together for the Race for Bristol scavenger hunt around the city centre. Team 'WTF? Where's the Finish' won while the girls team 'Pimp My Stride' came back a second after a spot of illegal cycling. You can see the winnings below!

Much more to come this term!

Duncan Birtwistle

Sweeping the board in Ashton Court


Two members took the win in the first race of the season earlier today in Ashton Court. Fresher Tim Owen completed the yellow course ahead of everybody else in his very first orienteering competition. Meanwhile on the tougher Score course old-hand Duncan Birtwistle was the only one to reach all the checkpoints within the time limit.

We met at the Suspension Bridge and jogged there together, picking-up Daniel Ramos on the way past Hillside Woodside, and dropping down through the dear park to the Mansion House. In total nine of us made the trip across, with the more experienced members tackling the Score course and the newer guys cruising round the Yellow.

After taking a lengthy orienteering sabbatical Adam Bushnell lead the Score course competitors off, pioneering an uphill route out of the start which the rest of us seemed to agree was the best plan! The early controls in the woods troubled a few but nothing too major went awry.

The planning encouraged a roughly anti-clockwise route with a decision needing to be made whether to push on to the further away controls towards the north-west. A couple got caught out by this and returned late (over the 45 minute time limit) receiving costly penalties. I was pushing hard for most of the way but was setting myself up for a slightly longer route than necessary until a mid-course change of strategy to shave off a little distance.

On the Yellow, Daniel Sanchez-Barrilero went out first, setting a good pace but slipping out of a solid third place on the penultimate control with a little detour into the woods! Rachel Perry and Tim Owens followed. Rachel was doing well but came unstuck toward the end, getting her control codes in a twist.

Tim charged out of the start and continued round the rest of the course in the same fashion, taking seven fastest splits and finishing almost two minutes ahead of second place - a great way to start your orienteering career! Captain Abi Kerr acted as sweeper but was disappointed to be beaten by Joe Hudd, over ten years her junior.

The gorgeous weather topped off a great day out for the club - thanks to the Maliphants and Fosters, Avon Schools Orienteers and Bristol OK.

Full results are here.

Duncan Birtwistle

Fantastic first week for UBOC


It has been less than a week since term really started but UBOC has already been busy.

The first date of the year was Freshers Fair, held by the Harbourside, on Thursday. Abi and Charlotte went down the night before to set up our lovely stall (perfectly located between UBES and Cross Country) which included a giant homemade checkpoint flag to grab students’ attention – so tall it’s out of shot!

Freshers Fair led onto our first ‘Give it a Go’ taster session. Carefully planned as a series of short courses, each one more advanced than the previous, allowing people a gentle introduction to the sport around the enclosed Stoke Bishop halls of residences.

Students came throughout the day, hailing from Gloucester to Texas, to have a go and take on the ‘Race’ at the end. Some impressive times were being set, faster than any last year – bring on BUCS!

The hectic first week didn’t end there. As part of the mayor’s Make Sundays Special initiative there was a chance to race over traffic-free roads in the Old City. We took the opportunity to organise our own sprint race, open to the public, using all our own equipment and a map made by Duncan over the summer.

After a slightly late start (we had a lot on our plates!) the little crowd around our stand began to set off one by one into the streets around Queen Square. Competitors’ courses took in the floating harbour, narrow cobbled streets and a complex 60s office complex. New BOK member Geoff Ellis completed the course the fastest in 14.40.

Despite being more than a little hectic, we really enjoyed organising while competitors showered us with positive comments. We learnt a lot about what it takes to organise and deliver an event and plans are already afoot for the next one... Results of the Old City Sprint Race are here.

Such a great first week of term for UBOC sets us up well for the coming year.

Our second Give it a Go taster session is this Sunday on the Downs by the Water Tower from 11m-1pm. Show up in your running kit and we’ll help you get started.

Old City Sprint Race Results


Thanks to everyone who came on Sunday for UBOC's sprint race around the old town and Queen Square. We hope you enjoyed yourself - we definitely did!

Final results are on Winsplits. Fuller results, report and photos to come.



Hope everyone new and old is looking forward to the new year.

Freshers' Fair was on Thursday 26th September on the Harbourside.

Give it a Go 1 was on Saturday 28th September at Stoke Bishop Halls

On Sunday 29th we we held a competition in the City Centre, see later blog posts.

On Wednesday 2nd October meet at the Downs Water Tower for an easy run around Bristol showing you all the best places to go running in your new city. We'll be finishing at the Highbury Vaults on St. Michael's Hill for (optional) drinks after so bring some money and ID! (although Co-Op round the corner has a free cash machine).

Give it a Go 2 is on Sunday 6th October at the Downs Water Tower from 11am-1pm. Check out the facebook event.

Bristol Old City Sprint Race - Sunday 29th September


Results are here.

Sprint Race around the alleyways and cobbled streets of the Old City, multi-level sixties walkways, and a Georgian park square, all topped off with a taste of the Floating Harbour.

Start/registration 10am-1pm on the junction of Baldwin Street and Queen Charlotte St, BS1 1PN. Entry on the day £2-4.

Senior course 2.6km straight line, 3.4km optimum. Juniors 1.5-2km. Brand new ISSOM map. Map and courses have been tested and approved by a mystery elite orienteer. Butterfly loop on the longer course. We have just got some last minute permissions making the courses even better.

On 29th September the roads are closed in the city centre as part of mayor George Ferguson's Make Sundays Special initiative. We though this was a great opportunity to stage a UBOC event and bring orienteering right down into the heart of the city. This one's flat unlike the BOK Blast!

There are lots of other things going on as part of Make Sundays Special (11am-4pm, see the link above) and caterers will be situated nearby.

Parking: There are good rail links to Bristol but if you want to bring your car here is the MSS parking information.

Keep checking here for more details. Here's the flyer and the link to similar information on the British Orienteering site and Attackpoint. Any questions then please comment below.

Mapper, planner, organiser: Duncan Birtwistle (07884 196677)

So the big secret is that this is UBOC's first fully self-sufficient event in a long time (ever?) - using a map we have made, with permissions organised by ourselves, registered by the club and using all our own equipment. So expect a good map and good courses (all you need really) but a touch of a inexperience in other areas. The main thing to note is that we only have ten SI-boxes so some controls will have pin-punches instead - we don't believe this will detract significantly from your run. We are learning all the time so please be forgiving and give us lots of feedback!


Aviemore 2013


What happens in Aviemore, stays in Aviemore. Apart from this.

Orienteering training, bridge jumping, heavy socials, mountain runs, towel parties, midnight boat trips, crazy golf, The Vault, fell races - it all happened in Scotland last week. ShUOC (Sheffield University Orienteering Club) booked out four wooden chalets by the River Spey and filled them with students for seven days. Abi, Alex and Duncan went from UBOC and there would have been a fourth, Graham, but he missed his flight.

Will Gardner had planned a series of training session for everyone each day, with a 'rest day' for a run up Cairgorm to tick off a few Munroes. The final day's training on Lock Vaa was the best. A head-to-head 'peg-relay' with rolling handicaps to slow the faster runners down - great fun racing flat out. On the evenings between the training we cooked in our chalet groups and then piled into the Freshers Hut each night for a social. The towel party (yes, dressed just in towels) was good but the nights ending at The Vault, Aviemore's only nightclub, were best.

We were in Jamie Parkinson's (Oxford) car on the way back and pulled over on our way through the Southern Uplands to take in the short but brutal Devil's Beef Tub race at Alan Cherry's recommendation. And we were glad we did with Duncan and Jamie claiming 2nd and 3rd and some beer and beef products in the process

See you next year!


New Website


Welcome to the new UBOC website. Fitter, faster and more up-to-date than ever before!

All comments are welcomed. However it is hard enough getting a website up and running with just your own ideas, let alone anyone else's.... But I will see what I can do for you. If I've 'borrowed' some of your content (SLOW) I'll update it sooner rather than later.