Introduction To Orienteering

25 August 2017 - By Darren Cook

During September I’ll be running a four-part Introduction To Orienteering course, specifically tailored to Witham Running Club. It is free (*) and open to all levels of fitness, and you don’t need any special equipment. You might think you are rubbish at navigation, but these are skills that can (and will) be taught. By the end of this course you will have learnt all the core skills, and have the confidence to tackle interesting orienteering courses.

Orienteering is a fun mix of running and navigation. If you associate it with forests, you might be surprised to hear urban orienteering is thriving and popular. There are age classes (slightly finer-grained than running); if you want to be competitive, you will find the running is much more varied in pace, from fast bursts to standing still, and you will curse your concentration as much as your fitness at the end of each race. But many people will walk the entire course, and enjoy the mental and physical challenge of just getting round.

The first two sessions, of this course, are in Witham town centre, to ease you in somewhere familiar, and to give you a taste of urban orienteering. The last two sessions will be in woodland/parkland, where we build our skills, and experience forest orienteering. Sessions 2, 3 and 4 will include a mini event, gradually increasing in technical challenge.

This four-part course is the last part of my L2 coaching qualification, so your help and support is very much appreciated!

Sign up for the events on Facebook; if you don’t use Facebook, please email me (darren at

Session 1: Wed, Sep 6th, 6:30-7:30pm
Meet at DS Fitness Experience, in Newland Shopping Centre.

Session 2: Mon, Sep 11th, 6:30-7:30pm
Meet in Newland Shopping Centre.

Session 3: September (date and place to be confirmed after first session)

Session 4: September (date and place to be confirmed after first session)

*There is a £2 fee per session, to cover map printing, compass hire, etc. but anyone attending all four sessions will get a free entry to an SOS orienteering event, worth about £8.

As there is some road running involved, the course is only open to adults. (But SOS has a very active schools league, junior squad, and regular coaching, so if your children are interested in orienteering, let us know.)

You do not need to be a member of either Witham RC, or Stragglers Orienteering Club (aka SOS), so it is fine to bring a friend; but if possible let me know in advance, so I can make sure we have enough maps and other equipment.

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