OSL Final: Splish-splash at Walter Sisulu

Although it was a wet ‘n rainy Orienteering Schools League Final at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, the event went smoothly and good times were posted by the selected participants, even in the light drizzle and rain.

Lisa’s Navigation Tip – Hare and the tortoise
In becoming a good navigator speed really is secondary. It so doesn’t help to run 4:30 mins/kilometre if you’re running in the wrong directions. I’ve seen this throughout the Series and I saw it yesterday at the Final.

While there’s the temptation to ‘race’, there’s more to racing in orienteering than running crazy-crazy. So many times I’ve said “Slow down” to runners and a minute later they’re shooting off again… in the wrong direction. We all know who won the hare-and-the-tortoise race…

Earlier this year at the Big 5 O event (five days of orienteering events – held very two years), I decided to back-off the pace and focus on my navigation because I didn’t do many of the technical events last year and I hadn’t been orienteering in forests for a while – it is quite a different skill.

After the last long event, I sat down with a friend and we compared our routes. She told me about all the mistakes that she made and where she went wrong. Goodness gracious – she really had a nightmare out there! Loads of searching and wrong approaches and a lot of distance and frustration. I took it much easier, running the no-brainer sections and walking where it was challenging. I made a few very small errors (where I lost a few minutes and not chunks of time, like my friend). I hit the controls spot-on, taking straight lines through the forest and negotiating tricky vegetation with great success. I was totally pleased. After about 2.5hrs of running, we ended up one-minute apart. She must have ran a good few more kilometres than me too. (You can read about my run on this course, see the map and the errors that I made here, on my blog.)

Orienteering ALL YEAR
There are orienteering events throughout the year. They’re mostly on weekends (Sunday mornings) but there are also the two or three-day events, the odd night event (like the one at the Houghton Golf Estate on Saturday, 22 March starting at 18h00 – PRE ENTRY ONLY), the novelty Metrogaine events, the annual Rogaine (in July)…

Everything you need to know about events you’ll find on the Event Calendar on the orienteering website – www.orienteering.co.za.

I’ll continue to send you free entry vouchers for the remaining six Urban Series events. Below are the vouchers for the Golden Harvest event on Sunday morning and the Houghton Golf Estate event on Sat, 22 March (in the evening). Note that you have to pre-enter for the Houghton event.

Please speak to your teacher about participating in the annual Club and Schools relay event on Sunday, 16 March at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in Auckland Park. Relays are excellent fun for teams of three. School teams must have at least one junior. Teachers and parents – please come along too. We’ll place you in teams.

They are here – on the Orienteering Schools League Facebook page.


Results from the FINAL @ Walter Sisulu (Full results are available)

Junior Girls
1) Kirsten Chambers, 15:03 (Fourways), 2) Emma van Nierop, 16:51 (Fourways), 3) Emma Harvey, 18:25 (Brescia)

Junior Boys
Jaya Curtis, 10:32 (St Davids), 2) James Hancock, 13:01 (St Davids), 3) Martin de Beer, 14:37 (Cornwall)

Senior Girls
1) Christie Courtnage, 12:07 (Trinity), 2) Cian Oldknow, 15:42 (Fourways), 3) Kirstyn Hutcheson, 16:48 (Fourways)

Senior Boys
1) Timothy Chambers, 12:54 (Fourways), 2) Peter Carides, 15:07 (St Davids), 3) Henlo van der Westhuizen, 15:32 (Helpmekaar)

OSL 2014 OVERALL RESULTS (Full results are available)

Junior Girls
1) Kirsten Chambers (Fourways), 2) Emma van Nierop (Fourways), 3) Ruth Avierinos (Cornwall)

Junior Boys
Jaya Curtis (St Davids), 2) James Hancock (St Davids), 3) Franco Hay (Helpmekaar)

Senior Girls
1) Christie Courtnage (Trinity), 2) Cian Oldknow (Fourways), 3) Jureya Dildar (Fourways)

Senior Boys
1) Timothy Chambers (Fourways), 2) Peter Carides (St Davids), 3) Connor Moodie (Fourways)

This was awarded to Fourways.

Karen Chambers very much heads up the organisational side of the Orienteering Schools League. She handles all the registrations, map printing, name tags, EMITS… And this is just a bit of what she puts in to make OSL happen. Warm thanks and much appreciation to Karen for everything that she does.


If you’re coming to the Golden Harvest event on Sunday, I’ll see you there. Please come chat to me about shadowing and other coaching – I’d love to help you really improve your navigation for orienteering, adventure racing, hiking… and many other wonderful outdoor activities.


OSL final collage