Scots head south to JK2019

A well-organised Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering 2019 saw a huge effort put in by many volunteers from across the south of England and as far afield as Moravian. Four days of racing, plus two days of Trail O (Temp O and Pre O) proved fairly demanding for anyone who went for the full weekend!

Relay orienteering mass start at the JK2019

The first day’s sprint was around a typical modern Army accommodation blocks, complete with a special symbol marking boot cleaners.

Day 2’s middle distance event at Windmill Hill caught many of the Scottish runners out and there were some “long” times posted for what was meant to be a much shorter race (perhaps due to the high number of paths being something we are not so used to)!

With temperatures sizzling around the 25 degree mark it was very hard to stay cool and hydrated, and on Sunday the temperatures persisted for the long distance races at Cold Ash north of Newbury. Again there were lots of paths and some pleasant areas of runnable forest.

The JK2019 finished at Minley, close to the imposing French-styled chateau of Minley Manor.  Some fantastically fast times per kilometre were recorded by the Elite runners in what was – for many – the best venue of the Easter weekend.

Moravian Eddie Harwood finishing the Relay at Minley

With the touch-free punching system being utilised for the first time at a major UK orienteering event, there were some issues with punching and results which made many orienteers appreciate the slick service we’ve become used to in domestic events, but it was an otherwise superb event.

Look out for JK2020 coming to a forest a bit nearer to home – the North East of England.