Major roads in the area, and the majority of minor roads, are open and snow-free, with temperatures set to stay above freezing. The forest is under a couple of inches of snow, as is the hardstanding car park, but this should not cause major problems.
Although we can assess conditions in the local area, you must of course make your own decisions regarding the safety of your journey. Please allow extra time.
The likelihood of cold conditions means that cagoules and whistles will be compulsory.
Final details in printable format.
SMOC's next event will be held at Aspley Heath, near the village of Woburn Sands. This is a delightful area of mainly fast, runnable woodland with man-made features ranging from an iron-age hill fort to recent mining. The area was last used for orienteering in 1974. A full range of color coded courses (white to black) will be provided. The event will be the third round of the East Anglia League.
Keyne-O regulars will find that the Yellow course is similar to an Amble, with the Orange more like a Trot, although both are shorter. Email the organiser, or talk to the Registration team on the day, if you would like advice on which course to run.
Aspley Heath is mainly runnable woodland on sandy, well-drained soil. Human activity has left numerous contour features, including an iron-age hillfort, and various quarrying and mining remnants. Several of the resulting slopes are steep, but none is precipitous. Extensive bracken is expected to be at its lowest ebb at the time of the event. There are areas of rhododendron thicket which present entertaining navigational challenges, and some areas of dense planting and gorse thicket, which are best avoided. Brambles are - by Midlands standards - rare. Recent forestry work has left extensive networks of rides, which will be mapped using ISOM 2017 runnability conventions.
The area is extensively used by mountain bikes, dog walkers, and horse riders.
Competitors are allowed dogs in the parking area. Please email the organiser if your dog would like to run your course with you.
Aspley Heath is private land. Many thanks to Bedford Estates for permission to use the woods, and to the Greensand Trust for their help in organisation of the event.
Online entries are now closed. Here is the start list. Entry on the day will still be available if the event goes ahead.
|Seniors MW21 and over||£10||£12|
|Juniors up to MW20 and students||£4||£5|
|White, Yellow and Orange courses (team or individual, any age)||£4||£5|
|Extra maps (subject to availability)||£1|
|SI card hire||£1||£1|
Car parking, enquiries, registration and toilets will be at Milton Keynes Irish Centre, Watling Street, MK2 2HX.
By car: navigate to the roundabout where the A4146 meets the A5, follow signs to Fenny Stratford, and turn left after 500m at the signs marking the Irish Centre and Bletchley Rugby Club.
By public transport: the centre is 2.4km walk from Bletchley Railway Station, or 3km by taxi. The taxi fare should be £4-£5. It's possible to get a number 1 or number 5 bus to take you about half the way, but the likely waiting time is at least equal to the time that you would save.
There will be a minibus shuttle to the forest. Please don't let this deter you from entering. The ride is short and the buses will be frequent. Total waiting, travel and walking time to the start is planned to be 20 minutes or less.
A4 Waterproof paper, 1:10,000, 5m contours.
ISOM 2017 symbols will be used. Some of these may be unfamiliar even to experienced orienteers. BKO offer a helpful guide to the changes from ISOM 2000. The map uses the new dotted green symbol for distinct vegetation boundaries, and makes extensive use of the new ability to show runnability of narrow rides.
Control descriptions will use the new 2018 specification. If you are familiar with the old specification, you will find that the differences are somewhere between minimal and undetectable.
If you are new to orienteering, visit the Maprunner site for handy guides to mapping and control descriptions.
The map has been resurveyed almost from scratch by Steve Hardy, Freya Askham, Robert Dove, Dorien James and Kevin Hopkins. The previous map was surveyed in 1974 by an OUOC team including Chris Johnson, Mike Forrest and David Rosen.
SportIdent punching will be used. SI card hire: £1. Lost SI cards will incur a £30 replacement charge.
Registration and Enquiries will be open from 10:00-12:00. The first bus will leave at 10:10 or when it fills up, whichever comes first. Pre-entered competitors with their own dibbers can get straight on the bus, no need to visit Registration. Buses will continue to take everyone who was in the bus queue by 12:00.
There is one start, roughly 150m from the bus drop-off. Clothing and bags can be left at the drop-off.
Control descriptions will be available in the start lanes. IOF pictorial control descriptions will be used for all courses.
Start times will not be allocated.
Return buses leave about 150m from the Finish. Courses close at 14:15, and the last bus will leave at 14:20. You MUST report to download.
A full range of courses will be available, from very short and easy, to very long and hard. Help, including advice on choice of course, will be available for those new to orienteering.
Final distances will be published when courses are confirmed. Orienteers can run any course; the EAL column shows the standard East Anglia League course for the age class, while the subsequent section shows how scores will be calculated for EAOA runners who choose to run a different course.
|Course||Distance||EAL Age group||Difficulty|
|White||1.9||very easy, suitable for young beginners|
|Yellow||2.4||M10, W10||easy, suitable for confident youngsters|
|Orange||3.0||M12, W12||suitable for adult novices and improving youngsters|
|Light Green||3.5||M14, W14||suitable for confident novices|
|Very Short Green||2.5||M80, W75, W80||suitable for experienced orienteers not wanting distance|
|Short Green||3.5||M75, W65, W70||suitable for experienced orienteers not wanting distance|
|Green||4.3||M70, W16, W55, W60||suitable for experienced orienteers|
|Short Blue||5.0||M65, W18, W20, W45, W50||suitable for experienced orienteers|
|Blue||6.3||M16, M55, M60, W21, W35, W40||suitable for experienced orienteers|
|Short Brown||7.6||M18, M20, M45, M50||suitable for experienced orienteers|
|Brown||9.4||M35, M40||suitable for experienced orienteers|
|Black||11.0||M21||suitable for fit, fast and experienced orienteers|
Valid courses for the East Anglia League are shown below. N represents the normal course for your age class; U means running up; D50 and D75 mean running down. Points calculation for the different categories are:
|Very Short Green||*||*||D50||N||N|
|Very Short Green||*||*||D50||D50||N||N||N|
* The Very Short Green course is shorter than Light Green and Orange, and therefore does not count as running up for MW14 or MW12.
Organiser: Dorien James firstname.lastname@example.org
Planner: Steve Hardy
Controller: Mike Capper (WAOC)
As always our events can't take place without our volunteers. SMOC helpers will get half price entry; if you can help, please email Dorien to get your half price helper code.
If you are new to orienteering and wish to join SMOC you can join online via the BOF website here.