Cambridge City Race 2023

NameCambridge City Race 2023
LocationCambridge (OpenStreetMap, Google Maps)
Race ID80473
Notes8th edition of the Cambridge City Race
LinksFinal Details Photos - Kings Bridge Photos - Dik Ng
ResultsResults Routegadget Winsplits (without excluded times)

Please see Results, Winsplits, Routegadget and Photos links above (uploaded 3pm Sunday 29th oct)

Planner's Comments

It was lovely to receive so many positive comments about the courses! Planning (if the form of getting permissions) started a year ago exactly – I sent my first armada of emails off to colleges on 28th October 2022 precisely! Since then it has been all fun and games of ensuring all colleges (and the various authorities within each one) are still onboard with plans, with only the odd spanner in the works appearing when a certain college had a change of head porter, which resulted in ‘WALK’…!

Before the ‘thank you’s, a couple of matters to address:

Course 1 & 2 – the routechoice leg over to 131. For those that chose left, along Grange Road, several of you were caught out by the lack of the dead end track that wasn’t marked before the correct road. This is why we decided to void this leg, removing 3-4mins from total times. We realise this disadvantages the runners among you who seemed to crank it into top gear along those pavements – some very speedy leg times! But, had I drawn this bit of map from scratch, I’d have marked it as we did the private drive just south of control 100 – shown the entrance. I think this highlights the fact that Robinson was new territory for us – we haven’t used west of Grange Road before. Trust that this is being added to the map as we speak!

To those that missed the control at the end of timeouts/road crossings – we realise it’s frustrating to mess up due to ‘logistics’, rather than actual navigation. We hope we made the fact there were crossings clear enough in the details – and hopefully this will prevent you making that mistake again in future urbans! Sorry.

Apologies about the ground conditions towards the end of all courses - especially the fact that this made up a relatively large proportion of Course 5 especially. We've had a LOT of rain over the past couple of weeks (trust me, from coxing experiences, getting into and out of boats even with wellies has been interesting)! So apologies that routes into controls such as 152 were SO incredibly wet (with that control in particular not helped by some impromptu cow moving on the day that affected those taking the NE route). Just be glad that your experiences earlier on in the courses were far more mud free (...and I was very relived to see the grass round control sites was still green, for the sake of future permissions...!)

And now as promised…

Firstly, thank you to everyone (390!) for coming along, and making it all so worthwhile to plan. I realise that trusting in an event ‘organised’ by students is potentially a bit of a risk, but hopefully one that paid off! Thank you also for being so good at obeying all the olive green and keeping colleges happy – very much appreciated, as thus far no angry emails about paths across front lawns!

As we said at the prizegiving, there were a few key personnel to this event, from outside of the club. Bruce Marshall (WAOC) the controller was so wonderfully supportive of all my plans, which remained relatively fluid for some time as permission situations with various colleges fluctuated. Particularly in some of the more funky elements of the event (map exchange and the infamous WALK), Bruce was again very supportive and keen to offer his thoughts to help refine my plans. Caroline Louth (WAOC) also deserves a big shoutout! Caroline is custodian of the Cambridge West map – which covers all the area west of the Backs. CUOC the technically maintains the map of the City Centre, but Caroline was wonderful in quite literally not ‘drawing a line’ at the Backs, and instead offering hours of assistance in helping to merge the two maps ready for our event – no easy task to ensure symbol sets etc etc all work out fine. She also was very instrumental in the mapping of our two new colleges – Robinson and Selwyn, the former of which all senior courses got to explore. Many thanks also to Hebe Darwin (WAOC) for designing and producing the beautiful medals – all of her own initiative. They were a great addition to the event! Stephen Borrill (WAOC) and Matt Vokes (DrongO) between them provided the equipment and expertise to run download so competently. Finally, Felix and myself were greatly supported by other members of CUOC, not least Matthew Dixon (Assistant Planner and Mapper) and Alexander Corbett (Mapper). Finally, thank you to the many CUOCers and DrongOs (and our family members!) who were tasked with marshalling gates – you stood at your posts like absolute pros, and enabled courses to have so many routechoices into the colleges.

And finally, to the 9 colleges and 5 uni sites that kindly granted permission – and especially the individuals named for their assistance over the past few months:

Newnham College (Wendy Evans & Bob Watson); Selwyn College (Matt Rowe & Helen Stephens); Sidgwick Site (Jamie Brittain); Caius Harvey Court (Martin May); the University Library (Craig Lawrence); Robinson College (David Reynolds, Nick Milne & Guy Fuller); Trinity Burrel’s Field (Ryan Carter); Clare College (Neil Lavender); King’s College (Philip Isaac & Shani Prestidge); New Museums Site, Downing Site and Judge Business School (Tori Robinson); Downing College (Phillip Law & Kevin Sargent); Pembroke College (Gordon Murray). See below a map showing all these different permissions!

Well done if you’ve read this far – you’ll need another lie down after that! Hope you enjoyed the event, and see you for another excellent City Race in 2025 (if not before at another of our events)

CR23 Permissions

Organiser's Comments

Another successful City Race! Cambridge is a great place to stage an orienteering event, but the jewel in the crown of any City Race is orienteering through the colleges. Dom did an absolutely fantastic job in obtaining as many permissions as possible (we had 9 in the end - a potential record?), long before I had even agreed to be the official organiser and therefore making my job a lot easier! I would like to thank Bruce Marshall for controlling the event, Caroline Louth for her mapping expertise, and DrongO, particularly Matt Vokes and Stephen Borrill on download. Without all their support, this event would not have been possible. Thanks also to Jacky Dakin for organising the cake stall, Hebe Darwin for making some awesome-looking medals and Dik Ng and Mark Dakin for taking some great action shots - see the links above!

Event Invitation

It gives CUOC great pleasure to invite you to the eighth staging of the Cambridge City Race, on Saturday 28th October 2023. With more colleges and university sites than ever before, it promises an urban navigational challenge around one of the country’s most beautiful university towns. This year courses will begin in the gardens of Newnham College, before exploring the mixed urban and parkland terrain Cambridge has to offer.

Final Details

Final Details and Start Times are now available! Final Details and Start Times. Please ensure you read the details carefully before starting, and take note of your start time so that you're not late!

Live Results

Internet permitting, Live Results will be updated every 5 minutes during the day.


Entries have now closed. There is some limited map availability on each course through the entries site. Once you've selected a course, if the page says Out of Stock, then I'm afraid we're out of that map, sorry. NO ENTRY ON DAY.

A list of current entries may be seen here (see Start Times link above)

Fees: Senior: £15 | Junior/Student: £6

Assembly and Travel

The assembly will be at Newnham Scout and Guide Centre, CB3 9JF. There will be no parking at assembly, so we encourage all competitors to make use of Cambridge’s public transport network. Assembly is approximately 2km from Cambridge train station and is well connected to the park and ride network.

Hot drinks and cakes will be on sale at assembly for some post-race refreshment!


A full range of courses will be on offer, in accordance with the British Orienteering guidelines for urban races. In line with these regulations, juniors under the age of 16 must run course 6/7, on which all road crossings with significant traffic will be marshalled for safety reasons. Provisional straight line course distances are listed below. Competitors on Courses 1-5 should expect to run between 45-55% further than the stated straight line length. Additional running distance on Courses 6 & 7 is negligible. Due to the flatness of Cambridge, on all courses climb is negligible.

There will be a prize giving; specially designed City Race medals shall be awarded for the top three in each class.

We are also pleased to say that there will be a photographer (Dik Ng) out on the courses taking photos.

CourseClassSTRAIGHT LINE Length (km)
1Men's Open8.4
2Women's Open, M40+7.0
3W40+, M55+5.9
4W55+, M65+4.4
5W65+, W75+, M75+3.4

Start Times

Start times are available 10.30 - 12.30. Please be aware that the start will only be open 11 -11:30 for junior courses (6,7) due to marshaling constraints. All juniors must be accompanied to the start.

Courses close at 14.15. Please take this into consideration when choosing a start block.

The prize giving will begin as soon as possible after the top 3 in each class are confirmed.


Planner: Dom Dakin

Assistant Planner: Matthew Dixon

Organiser: Felix Lunn

Controller: Bruce Marshall (WAOC)

Mappers: Caroline Louth (WAOC), Alexander Corbett, Matthew Dixon, Dom Dakin

Please contact us with any queries at

We look forward to seeing you in Cambridge!

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