Last week to welcome all our new Fresher's to Trinity we ran a small training around Trinity Campus. We were thrilled with the turnout of new and old members and were delighted to see plenty of familiar faces at our joint social with UCD Orienteering Club! Eoin, Conor, Jana and Laoise helped out new members and taught them how to use map and compass. We ended with a piggy back-O around campus!
Last June, an eleven-strong group from DUO, Queen's University and (even) 1 from UCD travelled to Finland to take part in the world's biggest orienteering race: Jukola, followed by a week of training in Sweden.
For those who aren't familiar with Jukola: Jukola is a 7-leg relay that goes through the night in Finland every year, with the Venla (The women's competition, which has 4 legs) run in the afternoon before Jukola. It is the single largest orienteering competition in the world with over 1,600 teams in the men's race and over 1,200 in the women's. All in all there are about 16,000 competitors (And no, I didn't add an extra zero). Jukola is an incredible experience and one that should be on every orienteer's bucket list.
We had all arrived at our luxurious accommodation by the morning of Jukola in time for the start of the Venla. DUO were represented in this by Rosalind, Stina, Regina and Eibhlin from Queen's. The girls had solid runs in the technically and physically demanding terrain to finish just inside the top 500, in 499th place.
After the finish of the Venla relay, it was time to wait until the start of the Jukola relay at sunset (ie. 11pm). Even then, when you're in the north of Finland, it never really gets dark. (It's more like dusk before getting bright again.) So, on the strike of 11pm, for over 1,600 teams the start of the Jukola relay was signalled with a flyover of a F-15 fighter jet and a blast from a heavy artillery gun and with that, a stream of headtorches flooded into the Finnish forest.
We did well with a team of James on first leg, Kyle, Henrik, me and Rosalind. I know what you're thinking, “That's not seven!” James was going to run leg seven, while Colm from UCD was to run leg six after running leg 2 for his Swedish club, OK Tisaren. Unfortunately, both James and Colm injured themselves on their first leg and so were unable to run two legs. Nonetheless, at the end of the 5th leg, we were sitting in a very respectable 386th place.
After Jukola, it was time to begin the second part of the trip and get the boat to Sweden to take part in an annual Jukola tradition: The Jukola boat party! This is exactly what it says on the tin: a big party on a boat where everyone gets some well-deserved R&R after the tough race the night before. ;)
Arriving in Stockholm early the next morning we travelled across the city to our lodgings for the next 2 nights with Nick Barrable. Over our 2 days with Nick he treated us with training on some fantastic areas around Stockholm and showed us great hospitality.
It was time then to move onto Hallsberg in the centre of Sweden to spend a night with OK Tisaren via a sprint race in Örebro university. The sprint was fast and not too technical. Conor was the best of the men finishing in 3rd place, 21 secs off the winner, while Rosalind was the best girl finishing 4th, 48 secs behind the winner. After sleeping in the Tisaren club hut that night, we ran a middle distance race in Hallsberg before a long drive up to Leksand with long distance training in Falun along the way.
The following three days were spent in the Leksand club hut training in the sandy, runnable forest behind the hut and culminating in Midsummer. Midsummer is a huge Swedish festival celebrated on the weekend of the longest day of the year, June 21, and is one of Sweden's most important holidays. Midsummer in Sweden is a pretty special experience, but Midsummer in Leksand is one of the biggest celebrations in all of Sweden and is the place to be over the Midsummer weekend. The festival centres around the raising of the maypole, followed by doing some funny dances around it and singing traditional Swedish songs. It was a strange experience, particularly when we found ourselves jumping like frogs around the maypole with thousands of others, but it was fantastic and one of the highlights of the trip.
As well as all the excitement of Midsummer in Leksand, we ended up on an unexpected evening excursion the night before Midsummer when we were asked to take part in a search for a little boy who had gone missing earlier in the day in a nearby town. We spent several hours combing the forest and, thankfully, at around 2am the boy was found. It was a strange experience, taking part in a search like this, in Sweden, when we were the only non-Swedes there, but one we were happy to take part in to help find the little boy.
The day after Midsummer, it was back to Örebro for a sprint double-header with an individual sprint followed by a mixed sprint relay. Ros finished 4th, which was good enough for her to secure the overall victory in the 3-race series in Örebro, having run the first race before Jukola. After the individual, it was time for the mixed sprint relay. This is a 4-leg relay with 2 men on the team and 2 women. Having started to lose people from the group in Stockholm, our merry group was down to five by this stage, so the team was Rosalind, Yours Truly, Henrik and Eibhlin. Colm, who was the odd one out, decided to make his own last-minute team and run all 4 legs himself. Although the sprint was not very demanding navigationally, we all enjoyed it and we finished 2nd in the Elite class, while Colm unofficially finished 2nd but as he was non-competitive, we took home the silver.
This brought an end to an incredible trip, with one final orienteering session in the forest next to Alistair Landels' house, who kindly took us into his home the night before our flight from Arlanda the next morning. By this stage, we were all well and truly exhausted, but by no means sick of orienteering. In fact, I don't think my enthusiasm for orienteering has been so high as after these 10 days because I enjoyed it so much and I think I'm safe in saying everyone else had a great time on this incredible trip. Big thanks to everyone who let us sleep on floors, in club huts etc; Nick Barrable, Alistair Landels, OK Tisaren and Leksands OK. Also to our drivers Henrik and Rosalind. Another thank you to the Trinity Alumni Fund who kindly helped subsidise part of the cost, which was a big bonus. And last, but not least, a massive thanks to the outgoing DUO captain Kyle, who organised everything and who without, this trip could not have happened.
A few DUO members enjoyed a lovely scatter event in Newbridge House Demense organised by Fingal Orienteers last Sunday
Congratulations to DUO member Laura Cox who won the medium category, Rebecca Ní Chonchubhair and Julien Beuken enjoyed their first scatter event ever too!
Lovely sunny start to the season!
2014 was a big year for DUO! We hit some really big competitions with both our beginner orienteers, our experienced orienteers and everything in the middle.
Photos below: Conor shows off the DUO Maze-O in Front Square, Trinity College Dublin.
Leinster League Events
We went to a lot of Leinster League events with our beginners to get a feel of orienteering all over Leinster
Déise Days - 2013
Then in October we attended an Inter Varsity Training Weekend down in Waterford (hosted by Waterford Orienteers (check out their blog on: waterfordorienteers.blogspot.com) where we had some training, some organisedevents and of course lots of socials and fun!
Several club members traveled to Wales to compete in the JK, an international competition for orienteers of all ages.
DUO dominated the Intervarsities this year with both our female and male teams winning the competition held in Clarabeg Co. Wicklow. Conor Short became overall men's champion and Mirjam Allik won the women's title
Jukola (Finland) and Sweden
See the blog post by our new Captain Eoin McCollough about his experience at Jukola (iFinland) and a trip to Sweden with DUO
DUO is the orienteering club of Trinity College Dublin with a history spanning over 40 years. Here you'll find stories and photos of events and achievements.