Beat Your Way to Linda’s Kitchen

Beating the Street again this Sunday afternoon 15 October? Meet at Linda’s Kitchen, 26 Woodvale Road, Belfast, BT13 3BS at 2pm.

Bring your Beat the Street card or fob and map if you have one, but if not we will have a supply available. Under 16s to be accompanied by an adult please.

Meanwhile check out the Beat the Street leaderboard. Lagan Valley Orienteers still holding out in 2nd place, but Belmont Walkers are stealing a march into 3rd place just ahead of Black Mountain PS but both are advancing! Keep on Beating the Street team LVO!

Beat the Street goes East again

This Sunday 8 October our Beat the Street Sunday Afternoon Session returns to East Belfast. Bring your map and card or fob if you have them. If not we’ll have a supply and give simple instruction how to play. All ages welcome, especially families. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

There is no charge and no need to pre-book; just meet us at 2.45pm for a 3pm start at Jack’s Café, Eastside Visitors Centre, CS Lewis Square, BT4 1HU. The session runs until 3.45pm then join us for a cuppa on return. Get double points on Box 20 & 23 from 3pm-4pm.!

Beat the Street – Sunday Afternoon Session 3

We are Beating the Street again this Sunday afternoon 1 October. Meet at Wholly Ground Coffee House, 143 Northumberland St, Belfast BT13 2JF.

Turn up 13:30 reading for a 13:45 mass start score training; time limit 45 minutes. Bring your Beat the Street map plus your card or fob if you have them – but if you don’t have them, then we’ve got plenty to give out as well!

Due to insurance all under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult. Everyone is welcome; the training is nice & informal and a great way to explore a part of the city that might not be so familiar to some.

This training is FREE. Bring a few ££ for coffee & cake afterwards.

JIRCs Report September 2017

by Sophie Pruzina

As a second year W18, this was my last year running in the Junior Interregional Championships. I first ran in the JIRCs in Sandringham in 2012, where I got very lost in the unfamiliar terrain and head high ferns that had grown up overnight. Since then I have competed in Graythwaite in the north west, Breton Spurs in the west midlands and Cambus O’May in Scotland, and each year the experience has helped me to improve my navigation skills and confidence, as well as meet other orienteers my age from all over the UK. This year the competition was held in the south east of England. We got up at 4:30am on Saturday morning and flew from Belfast International Airport to Gatwick, some managing better than others to catch up on sleep along the way. Our squad was, as usual, quite small, with 9 members instead of the standard 24. Andrew Elwood ran up to M18; Daniel and Matthew Vasey, Odhran McGoldrick; and Peter Reed ran M16, and Daniel Earnshaw ran M14; while I ran W18; Rachel Collins W16; and Meadow McCauley W14. Stephanie Pruzina, Mark Earnshaw and Stephan McGoldrick came as leaders. This year we were proudly modelling our brand new NI Junior Squad shirts, recently designed by Andrew and Rachel, and in a range of sizes so we no longer had to fight over the remaining handful of shirts that weren’t ‘extra small’. After a quick stop at Sainsbury’s for lunches and snacks, we headed somewhat early to Winterfold and Pitch Hill for the individual race. Looking at old maps before the start, we could see that there were lots of green hashings, indicating undergrowth, as well as deep re-entrants to avoid where at all possible. My course was 6.6km, with 22 controls. I quickly learned that the runability of the bracken could be unpredictable and, on some legs, the re-entrants were unavoidable. However, where the bracken was low, the terrain was perfect for running. Where it grew higher, route choice along the small tracks was key, and map contact was important to avoid getting lost on these, particularly towards the end once fatigue had kicked in. Learning to take full advantage of timed out road crossings is another useful skill I need to work on! Back at the finish, we discussed our courses and those of us with friends in other regions got the chance to catch up.

Our 5 star accommodation that night was the sports hall floor of the local school. Once there, we were free to mix with other squads. As usual, some form of rugby and/or football with varying very large team sizes took place outside on the pitch, while others sat around and played cards or chatted in the hall. (Slightly chilly) showers were provided, and we had a team meeting, looking over our courses and discussing our best route choices. After dinner, we headed into town, exploring a bit and stocking up on snacks before the prize giving. Lights went out at 10:30 and everyone was tired enough after their run that the hall went quiet very soon after.

We were up early again the next day for breakfast at 6:30, then headed to Blackheath for the relays. The weather was sunny and over 20 degrees- perfect for relays as they involve a lot of standing about and it meant you didn’t have to worry about handing over clothing at the changeover. We had a full boy’s team of Andrew, Peter and Daniel Earnshaw and girl’s team of me, Rachel and Meadow, while Odhran, Matthew and Daniel Vasey ran the ad-hoc relay. In the male and female relays, M and W16s ran the first leg, followed by 14s and 18s. This meant I was running last leg. Stephanie and I got some nice photos of first leg runners starting off in mass starts, and of the changeovers between runners, while  we all looked out for team members passing through the spectator control, as this was our cue to get into the start box. Meadow sprinted down the run-in, touched my hand and I was off! The terrain was more open than Saturday’s, but with the same unpredictable bracken and complicated path system. I again really enjoyed my run and had some really good legs, but also some less good ones, including accidently running to number 6 before 5 and having to go back on myself. The easy terrain and sudden direction changes made it fast and furious, leaving lots of scope for ‘silly mistakes’, so you had to stay awake and keep careful contact with the map.  After finishing, we again had time to eat lunch, chat and make the most of it still being summer in the south of England, knowing autumn was fully underway back home. At the prize giving it was announced that we had come in 11th, and improvement on 12th and last place the night before (unfortunately, it was later found that this was a calculation error). Our flight wasn’t until 18:10, so we took the chance to lounge about in the sun and go for a stroll around the park. Rachel even took some photos for her school art project! We made it to the airport in plenty of time, and no one’s shoes were stinky enough to be considered a weapon and confiscated in security. After and hour in which we made full use of the airport food court, we were on the plane headed home. As always, the chance to run on unfamiliar terrain, very different to that of Northern Ireland, has been hugely beneficial to all of our navigational abilities, while being away with other orienteers our own age has been a great experience that I would fully recommend to any other Juniors, whether they’re approaching M or W12, or have come more recently to older age classes and are interested in competing at this level.

Beat The Street in East Belfast this Sunday

Beat The Street Sundays continue – this Sunday 24th Sept it’s East Belfast.  We’re meeting at JACK Coffee Bar which is on the ground floor of Eastside Visitor Centre , beside CS Lewis Square on the Newtownards Road (beside box 25).  There is nearby parking at the health centre car park, or at Connswater Shopping Centre.

Bring map 2 plus your card or fob if you have them – and if you don’t have them yet then we’ve got plenty to give out as well.

Turn up 2:30 to 2:45, ready for a 3:00 mass start score training; time limit 45 minutes.  Explore the sights of East Belfast, including the new Connswater Community Greenway, linking all the way to Victoria Park (if you think you can get there & back in the time limit………..)

Due to insurance all under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.  Everyone is welcome; the training is nice & informal and a great way to explore.

This training is FREE.  Bring a few ££ for coffee & cake afterwards at JACK.  I have extensively tested their menu, & am happy to report it’s excellent.