Welcome to the Cambridge University Orienteering Club (CUOC) website.

If you're looking for a list of upcoming training sessions and races - see the calendar. Beginners always welcome.

For more information about the club see the about section or email the captain with any questions.

JK Day 1 Results

Pulled from race-results.info. Might be incorrect or out of data, but at least they load


BUCS 2019

After two days of rather excellent training (see here if you have been unfortunate enough not to have read the previous article) it was time for the real fun to start! Heather and Elizabeth arrived late-ish on Friday night to complete the team, and after a good stretching session and some stupid games with a foam roller and spiky ball, we all headed to bed to prepare mentally for the challenges of tomorrow.

Sharks exist in two dimensions

We got up, ate porridge, packed bags, and waited until it was time to go. To avoid clashing with the annual Birnam Hill race, starts had been delayed until after 1230, so we could spend most of the morning leisurely chatting at Iain's house, marvelling at the fact that tiger sharks don't have a height. Eventually it was time to hit the road, so we started driving north.

After a while, we reached Birnam, and were very pleased to see that the Wood was stationary, and very much not marching towards Dunsinane, Satisfied that we would be able to compete without the control sites going for a dander, we got ready to race. The courses were well planned in some fantastic terrain: a big hill with beautiful Scots Pine forest at the top, oakwoods on the slopes below and a tantalising taste of open hill near the start of the race. There were some great results all round, with Fiona winning the women's, Helen 4th, Paul and Aidan 8th and 9th in the Men's. Heather completed the scoring Women's team in 15th, Emma had an excellent run to take 19th, and Elizabeth came in 29th. In the Men's, James was sadly stricken by two dodgy knees to limp round in 38th, while Jonathan, Rowan and Jeremy packed in at 53rd, 65th and 70th.

Fiona storming across the hill in the relay

When everyone arrived back, we set off south again for Edinburgh, where it was a quick turnaround at the hostel before leaving again for the social. This year's theme was Farm Animals, so we all channeled our inner cows, complete with splodges, tails and horns. Aidan had along a yak bell that Mr and Mrs Bigby had brought back from the Himalayas, and James had some rather less impressive cowbells. We also had a guest appearance from a certain Iain Davies, who had elected to spend the day running a 800m along something that he called a 'track', which we assume didn't mean any of the tracks we found in the forest earlier. The meal was in the Edinburgh Students Union, and was a pretty good buffet with almost equal varieties of suffer-full and suffer-free food, which pleased our resident vegans.

After the meal, we spent the next hour preparing for the Boat Race, which was an impressive feat of disorganisation. First we lined up in the dining room, then we lined up upstairs on a balcony. Next, we lined up in the dining room, and then we lined up in the bar downstairs. Eventually we got started, and needless to say, ShUOC took the victory, with CUOC languishing several places behind. Some people headed back to the hostel then, and the rest moved across the square to a very empty club playing not not-great music. Sadly, Crooked Iain was denied entry for scheming to help a certain Oxford Cross country captain into the club after he'd been turned away for tripping on a fence. Instead, they went to Revs and then back to the hostel soon after. For the rest of us, the club gradually filled up, but the music didn't change much, and most people left by about Bedtime +3.

The next morning, we awoke to the surprise that the hostel kitchen wasn't going to open until after we had to leave, so we quickly decamped and drove over to the Ackland Residence, where James treated us to luxuries such as porridge and tea, and even allowed us to use his cutlery! Only 15 minutes after we intended to leave, we were out the door and on our way up the road again.

Two-thirds of the relays medallists

We got to the parking at Stirling University and began the long and treacherous ascent up the slopes of Dumyat, spurred on by the promise of a portaloo at the top. After many long minutes, we were greeted by bad news - a bifurcation of the path, one fork leading to the loos and the other to the start. Luckily, there was time to spare and it was possible to both perform one's ablutions and make it to the start on time. The relays started soon after we arrived, with some speedy racing over the top of the hill, and a short loop after the spectator control in the woods below. There were some more good performances today, with Fiona, Heather and Helen coming 3rd, and Paul, James and Aidan 7th. The Men's second team of Jeremy, Jonathan and Rowan overcame Jeremy's malfunctioning legs to take 19th, and the Women's second team of Elizabeth, Iain and Emma unfairly being denied their rightful spot in 8th because apparently Iain isn't a woman.

Once it was all done, we walk back down the hill to the cars, said our goodbyes and, with heavy hearts, returned to the South. Aidan and Paul had a race back to Paul's house, with Aidan taking the train, and Paul driving. In the end, the results were very close, with the automobile just taking the win by about ten minutes.

Well done to everyone who came and raced this weekend - there were some brilliant results all round, promising good things for the rest of the year's races. Now all that remains is to begin the slow burn of hype for BUCS 2020!

preBUCS 2019

Jeremy in a toilet at the castlle

This weekend sees the British University Championships in sOrienteering take place, with the individual at Birnam Hill on Saturday, and the relays on Dumyat on Sunday. Because Scotland is a really long way away, we decided to add on a couple of days’ training at the start. This is the story of that training.

Once upon a time (1013 on Wednesday morning, to be exact), Jeremy picked up a car from Enterprise Cambridge, and embarked upon a circuit of Cambridge, picking up Paul, Helen, Helen’s human-sized bag, and Emma. They sped away down the road, and soon arrived at Waitrose in Newark, where Rowan was waiting for us. After some boot-repacking and a small amount of food-purchasing, we went for a walk along the river and around the castle, even getting to view an exciting exhibition about the ‘much maligned’ King John. We then returned to the car, and continued on our way.

Helen doesn't like being photographed

After another section of driving, we arrived at Helen’s house, where her bag disembarked. Fresh from a trip to Sweden, Helen’s mum had been inspired by the local cuisine and produced some excellent vegan cinnamon rolls, among other delicious baked goods for our consumption. John thought they would be better if they weren’t vegan, but didn’t seem to mind too much as he ate three.

Fiona excited for some delicious orienteering

After another long section of driving, we arrived at Lockerbie Tesco, where several quiches and some peas were quickly bought for dinner, before continuing on our way, eventually arriving at Iain’s house in Dunblane at about a quarter to bedtime. Fiona and James had already arrived, after having the good sense to take the train and live in Edinburgh respectively. After a small amount of tea, we headed to bed for dreams of yummy skog.

In the morning, we got up, had porridge, and headed off to the shores of Loch Katrine for some tasty training in the notoriously tough Trossachs. Fiona had planned some nice courses, of which we only tried three, because the long legs course seemed a bit long. The rest were very lovely, and everyone had lots of fun. When they were done, we headed down the hill again, then had lunch on a bench at the end of the Loch, with the picturesque vista of a steamboat in front of us, serenaded by faint bagpipe music from a speaker across the bay.

Jeremy charging through the skog

Meanwhile, James had been attempting to hang controls in the other half of the area, but sadly failed on two of them because he couldn’t find them, and five of them because his knee was too sore. Hopefully it’s better by the time he’s got to race. We climbed slowly up the hill, worked out a handicapped order in which to start, and threw some sticks at other sticks.

The afternoon’s activity was a spiral course, going twice round the hill anticyclonically from the top to near the bottom, which meant that there wasn’t too much climb, which was quite nice. There was less debate about correct control placement than normal, because most of the controls hadn’t been hung.

Emma becoming one with the skog

When we were done with that, we headed back to Iain’s. On the way, James, Fiona and Paul got stuck behind a Very Slow Driver, which was annoying, but provided entertainment for most of the way. After overshooting the house accidentally on purpose, they went to Tesco, where Fiona went in, while James and Paul pulled a hilarious prank – moving the car to the other side of the car park. However, the wiley Fiona saw through this clever ruse; upon exiting the shop, she immediately noticed that something was afoot, and decided it was a better idea to just walk home. After fifteen minutes or so, James and Paul eventually returned home crestfallen and admitted defeat, before having some tea and biscuits.

James pretending to post a letter

While James hadn’t been not hanging controls, he had been writing a nice book as a present for his grandparents on their 60th wedding anniversary (Congratulations Mr and Mrs Ackland!), and according to the younger Mr Ackland, it needed to be posted by today to reach them in time. As such, we set out on a quest across Dunblane to find the post office to buy some stamps. Once James had posted his parcel, we walked on, seeing the Museum (run by Iain’s Nan, but closed), the Cathedral (closed) and the Andy Murray Golden Postbox, where James pretended to post his letter. We also went to Coop to buy some vegan biscuits, and Helen found a local newspaper with the thought-provoking headline: 'It has to be Beige!' - advertising the disappointing decision by Scotrail to offer the citizens of Dunblane a choice of colour for their newly repainted bridge, but with the only options being 'oyster white', 'light ivory', 'ivory' and 'cream'.

It has to be Beige!

When we got back Fiona and Helen made dinner, while James stirred the pot, Paul made some vegetable cake, and everyone else worked. We had dinner, which was less spicy than expected given the volume of chilli, and very tasty. Next, we had cake and tea, before some people began a jigsaw puzzle and Jeremy and Fiona did some secret captain stuff before bed.

The next morning, we all got up and had breakfast, before heading off to the Very Reverand Lord Majesty Sir William Wallace Official National Park Monument, for a morning of quiet contemplation and wonder at how His Holiness saved us all from the dastardly English. Once our prayers were complete, we did some orienteering on the surrounding Abbey Craig area, which was very nice; much more runnable than yesterday, but the scale of 1:4000 meant it was steeper than it looked, and easy to overrun. There were several courses, imaginatively labelled 1,2,3 and 4, which Emma described as 'garlicky'.

Once that was done, we went back down the hill and drove to Bridge of Allan to have lunch beside the Bridge and overlooking the Allan, where we met a very nice doggo, which Paul rated 9/10, but James decided didn't pass the height test, and therefore could only achieve 5/10. Next, we went to get icecream and sorbet, before heading back to the cars and going home for more tea, more biscuits, and more jigsaw puzzling. Several boring people decided that it was time to do some work.

Jeremy's ill-fated attempt at fixing his mistake. Note the lumps

Eventually Jeremy and Jonathan began to make the dinner, with assistance from other people, while Fiona and Helen made some apple crumble for pudding. When the veggie chilli was ready we ate it, and it was tasty. Once Rowan had finished his thirds, Jezza attempted to make custard. He mixed the powder and the milk and started whisking. The sauce developed, taking on a delightful canary yellow (#FFFF99) hue, and an excellent creamy consistency. Jezza kept whisking. The colour developed, progressing through Unmellow Yellow (#FFFF66) all the way to Gold (#FFD700). At the same time, the smooth and nice texture was altered, getting stiffer and stiffer with every whisk of Jeremy's hand. Finally, it was done; to the unwitting observer, a saucepan full of yellow jelly. Jezza triumphantly proclaimed it to be finished, and our hearts sank as we realised we were to be subjected to poor quality condiment. As the rest of the club sadly tucked in to their sadness-sauce, Fiona and Paul smugly helped themselves to the cruelty-free alternative, which provided a delicious and nutritious alternative the tears of mother cows and hens (Jezza would like to point out no eggs were used in his custard either, and questions Paul's credentials to critic his custard after many rudimentary errors in describing the fine art of custard making). After everyone had finished their first servings, Jezza brought the custard back through, to find that it had further evolved into a new form. Now best described as playdough, our esteemed Captain attempted to salvage his honour by claiming he could fix it by whisking even more. Needless to say, no one believed him.

Later on, Jezza read this report, and complained to the Author that his description of how to make custard is incorrect. However, the Author would like to comment that clearly, Jezza doesn't know how to make custard either.

Older news is available on the news page

logo logo logo logo
Sitemap Login © 1990 - 2019 CUOC