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Oxford University OC

Roger and Blanka win this year’s titles

The results and Routegadget for Tuesday’s final event of the year are now available. There was a gaping hole in the logic of my preview of the last event, and not surprisingly the situation I hadn’t noticed was exactly what happened! Ben Stevens won on the night, but Roger Thetford’s second place was enough to draw level on overall points because his weakest score was much lower. The tie-breaker in this situation is head-to-head performances during the season, and Roger’s strong start to the season means that he wins this 3-1 and is this year’s new champion! Marcin Krzysztofik completes the men’s podium in third.

In the women’s competition Blanka Collis was already guaranteed the title, with Marie-Anne Fischer second. Anne Edwards won on the night and moved up to third place overall.

Congratulations to all of the prizewinners, and thanks to everyone who ran and particularly those that planned an event. See you all next year!

End of season preview

With the final event of this season fast approaching (on Tuesday, based at the Britannia Inn in Headington) it is time to look at the overall results and see who is still in contention for prizes.

Blanka Collis has already wrapped up the women’s title as she has maximum points with one race to go and regains the trophy she won in the inaugural season. Behind her, Marie-Anne Fischer currently has a comfortable margin in second place, but can still be caught by Charlotte Boughton who has only run three events so far. Either victory on the night, or second if Marie-Anne doesn’t win, would be good enough for Charlotte while any other result would lift her to third overall.

If Charlotte doesn’t run, Marie-Anne will take second in the series with quite a few contenders for third: Suzy Robertson’s organising points will lift her to 161. Current third position holder Laura Ingle can beat this with a top-four result (a win would take her to 174), while Carol Edwards needs a top-three finish (a win would take her to 179). Of others with only three races so far, Anne Edwards is by far the best placed (a win would reach 178) but a win for Liz Cross would also bring her into contention (maximum possible score 170 thanks to her organising bonus). The big question is – who will turn up on the day?!

The race for the men’s title is much closer, with Ben Stevens just one point ahead of Roger Thetford. A win on Tuesday for Ben would obviously suffice, as would second place if Roger finishes no higher than fourth and Petter Andreas Bergh doesn’t win. Third or worse for Ben leaves him vulnerable to a top-six finish by Roger, first or second by Petter, or a win by Marcin Krzysztofik. There is nobody else that can trouble the current top three other than Petter

With so much at stake, I hope we will see most of the contenders on Tuesday. See you there!

Review of the season

This week saw us reach the end of the second season of the Oxford Street-O Series, which has built on the first with two more events and on average 33% more runners at each one. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make it a success, in particular those who have planned an event but also the regular runners without who there would be no competition.

The final event was followed by a short prizegiving to celebrate the success of those who have spent the season at the top of the results lists. In the overall men’s competition, Ben Stevens convincingly won the final event (visiting every control within the hour) to join John Owens on a perfect 200 points. As they had each won one of their head-to-head meetings, the trophy is shared. Roger Thetford, who unfortunately wasn’t able to make the last event, was third overall having accumulated four second places during the year. There is a new name on the women’s trophy, with Anne Edwards winning every event she attended. She was joined on the podium by Marie-Anne Fischer and Carol Edwards.

Joint men's champions of the 2011-12 Oxford Street-O Series, Ben Stevens and John Owens

The top three women in the 2011-12 Oxford Street-O Series, Anne Edwards, Marie-Anne Fischer and Carol Edwards

Congratulations to all and I hope to see you again when the street-o season restarts in September!

Season finale this week

Tuesday sees the 8th and final event of this year’s series, based at the Britannia Inn in Headington where we began in September. I hope that as many of you as possible can make it, not only for your final fix of street-o before the summer break but to support the prizegiving which will take place as soon as everyone has finished and the results have been worked out.

In the men’s class we have the same duel at the top as last year: John Owens already has the maximum 200 points and a head-to-head win over Ben Stevens, though if Ben wins on Tuesday and beats John in the process the trophy will be shared. Roger Thetford is sure of third place in the series after four second place finishes during the winter.

There will definitely be a new women’s champion, as Anne Edwards has already secured the title. The battle for second place is more interesting, with Carol Edwards needing to win to overhaul Marie-Anne Fischer. (Blanka could also capture second place in theory, but is otherwise engaged at the moment…)

See you on Tuesday!

Review of last season

I’ll soon post some initial details about the new season, but here’s a reminder of what happened last time round.

As Oxford has a sizeable population of orienteers, has a variety of street patterns from the historic centre to modern estates, and with nearly all roads having a 20mph speed limit is probably one of the safest cities to run around, too, I decided to set up the competition hoping that there would be enough interest to sustain it. October 2010 saw the inaugural event of the series, around the streets of Summertown – chosen for no other reason that that I live there – and attracted 14 runners with the top three places taken by Ben Stevens, Alex Fullbrook and Blanka Collis, all names that featured highly in the results throughout the series.

November’s event, planned by Anne Edwards, saw the action move into the city centre. Unlike the rest of the events it was just about possible to get all 30 controls within the hour time limit and three people (Alex, John Owens and Jon Marsden) managed to do this. The final event of 2010 was around the streets of Marston and was planned by Blanka and won by Ben. Hopefully starting from HRR’s base at OXSRAD managed to raise awareness amongst the running community.

The series ventured outside the ring road in January, with Heather Walton planning and hosting the event in Botley. John was the winner in probably the only area where the contours on the map were important. In February we returned to the University Club with the courses venturing further north, planned by Neville Baker and Marie-Anne Fischer. Ben came out on top on a very wet night, with many people having problems with waterlogged maps.

Coming into the final race around the Cowley and Iffley Road areas, the races for the Men’s and Women’s overall titles were very different. In the Women’s, Blanka won five of the six events (and planned the other) and had the title wrapped up well before the end of the season. Marie-Anne won in December and was a comfortable second, while Liz Turner won a tight contest for third spot.

Liz, Blanka and Marie-Anne (left to right)

In contrast, the Men’s competition was a close contest throughout and the lead changed hands twice during the final event. Ben, who could have actually won the title by not running in the final race, was off first and set a target of 460 points after a penalty for being late back. John, who would snatch the title with a win, was next on the road and narrowly edged out Ben with the same score but no penalties to take the lead and put one hand on the trophy. However, John’s hopes were dashed when Alex returned a few minutes later, having amassed a mammoth total of 520 points. As well as handing the series title back to Ben, Alex’s win was enough for him to claim equal second place in the series with John.

OSS 2010/11 Men's podium

Ben, John and Alex (left to right)

The series attracted an average attendance of 16 and a total of 40 different competitors in its first year, but this still leaves plenty of room for improvement – come and join in!