Sidmouth’s Ben CHester in top four of the Jan Kjellestrom International Orienteering Festival.

11:24 01 May 2014

Ben Chesters in action

Ben Chesters in action

Archant

Whilst Sidmouth Running Club has a membership which enjoys a variety of running disciplines, only a small number compete in Orienteering - a sport where competitors navigate around a course, finding control points en-route, writes John Perratt.

However, Ben Chesters is one of these and, over the Easter weekend, he competed in the Jan Kjellestrom International Orienteering Festival.

This is Britain’s largest annual event, attracting between 3,000 and 4,000 competitors, from the UK and abroad, which is held in a different part of the country each year. The event comprises of four consecutive competition days, encompassing various orienteering disciplines, and this year’s event was in South Wales.

The race on Good Friday was a ‘sprint’ race, which was held in the grounds of Swansea University. As this is not Ben’s strongest discipline, he opted out of the Sprint race to save his energy for the longer races to follow.

The following two days of competition were held on the Brecon Beacons, just north of Merthyr Tydfil, with Saturday’s race being held on the area known as Merthyr Common and Sunday’s race being held on the adjoining area known as Llangynidr. Both areas are highly technical, with many thousands of pits and depressions on the map, and areas of intricate contour detail. These factors, combined with tough running on the heather covered mountains, would make for a testing two days of competition. Saturday’s weather was favourable with bright sunshine and excellent visibility. Despite this, it was still necessary to pay close attention to the navigation to avoid significant time loss.

Despite making some small errors, Ben had a steady run and finished second in his class. With the times from the Saturday and Sunday events combined to produce the final results, there was all to play for the next day.

The weather for Sunday’s race was very different – damp and with thick fog reducing visibility to as little as 50 metres in places. This meant that it would be vitally important to maintain good map contact for the entire duration of the race, as relocation in such conditions would be very hard and, therefore, mistakes would be very costly. With the exception of one minor mistake, Ben executed this plan excellently. Unfortunately though, as the fog lifted for later starters, making the navigation easier and faster, his run was not enough to take the overall win. However, his fourth place on the day was enough to ensure that he maintained second place, out of 31, overall, with a combined time of 157 minutes and three seconds. A result that Ben was very pleased with.

Also competing in this event was Ellie Stone, the daughter of running club member Tess. Ellie had an excellent weekend competing in the Women’s 18 Elite class; she finished seventh on Saturday and third on Sunday, which meant she finished in an impressive second place, out of 43, overall. This result may put her in contention for selection for international competitions later this year.

The final event of the weekend was the relays, which were held on an area known as Pwll Du, also near Merthyr Tydfil. The sun was back, and Ben was representing his Salisbury based orienteering club, Sarum Orienteers, in the ‘Men’s Short Class’. A team consists of three legs, and Ben was running the third leg. After the first leg, Ben’s team were in 20th place and the second leg runner brought the team up to second place out of 59 – but it was close.

This left Ben to battle with the Team from Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club, and the local Swansea Bay Orienteering Club, for the gold medal. An intriguing race ensued, with the runners changing place a number of times. However, Ben’s team-mates were pleased to see him appear over the final hill, and heading towards the last controls, in first place. Ben simply had to get the final two controls right, and the comeback was complete! To the delight of his team mates, Ben achieved this and Sarum won the relay with 32 seconds to spare. A great end to a fun weekend in South Wales.

If you are interested in trying orienteering, Devon Orienteering Club is holding a local event on Mutters Moor on Sunday May 4.

See www.devonorienteering.co.uk for information. Details of Sidmouth Running Club’s activities can be found at www.sidmouthrunningclub.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Midweek Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Midweek Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Midweek Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other Sport Stories

Yesterday, 12:48
Wet Wet Wet now appearing at Honiton Football Club. Ref mhsp 0055-01-16SH. Photo Simon Horn

The first Saturday of February was a complete washout across the football and rugby divide in terms of East Devon Clubs.

Read more
Fri, 16:31
Tom Gooding receives the D Division East champions trophy from Devon League chairman Stuart Munday.

Ottery St Mary, Honiton and Kilmngton all picked up divisional titles at the Tolchards Devon Cricket League annual meeting, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Read more
Fri, 09:05
Sidmouth B who have just secured the Exeter and District Winter League Division Four title

Sidmouth ladies B team completed their Winter League campaign last week, writes Kate Truman.

Read more
Fri, 09:04

Just when you thought you were all organised - along comes a change of date, writes Susie Bonnell.

Read more
Fri, 09:03
Tennis - generic picture

Ottery St Mary tennis club is once again offering sessions for both juniors and seniors in the coming months, writes Gina Cox.

Read more
Fri, 09:02

Ottery St Mary made it two wins out of two matches under the management of Dave Fairweather when they won 3-1 at Otterton, ending the hosts’ eight game unbeaten season in the process.

Read more
Thu, 10:00
Neil King with his award at Exe SC

Despite it being the middle of winter there’s plenty happening at Exe Sailing Club on and off the water, writes Rex Frost.

Read more
Thu, 09:53
Football generic picture

Exeter City is seeking talented young footballers to join their Development Centre at Exmouth.

Read more
Thu, 09:53

The Morrison Bell, Grandisson and Golesworthy cups committee have set their Annual General Meeting date.

Read more
Thu, 09:48
Exeter Chiefs player Luke Cowan-Dickie

Luke Cowan-Dickie admitted he was delighted to mark his return to competitive action with victory over Worcester Warriors in the Aviva Premiership.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications