Colchester UrbanSun 15 May

UK, East Anglian & SE Urban Orienteering Leagues

Regional level event

Explanation of Event levels

Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport and Training events are non competitive and used for training and coaching, aimed at members of the club, but they can attract people from neighbouring clubs, and are often ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Regional events attract participants from around the local Region, National events are high quality competitions that will attract people from far away, Major events are Major Events such as a British Championships.

Terrain type: Urban



Organiser's Report

Firstly my thanks go to all those members of the club who helped run the event, both those who volunteered and those who stepped into the odd gap on the day. Thanks also go to competitors who made positive comments after their runs - they are always much appreciated.

Two situations cropped up on the day:

1. I was phoned by the manager of one of the retail areas just before start time, a control was on their private land and he was concerned about large numbers running through the square. I was able to assure him that these events generally have just the odd person running through every few minutes, and he was satisfied once David Lumby (who went home) could supply a copy of BOF insurance and I duly later sent a copy of the Risk Assessment. Ownership in a town centre is certainly not as simple as woodlands where only a few owners may be involved!

2. I received an irate email from a member of the public complaining about a runner who burst past his son and dog whilst on their Sunday morning walk. I do not know where this took place but felt that I should apologise on behalf of the club and the other runners not involved. Again, I do not know the ins and outs of the situation, but would ask all runners to show full consideration to members of the public who have the same rights as us.

John Collyer

Planners Report - Colin West

Colchester is a great venue for urban orienteering, given its Roman capital of Britannia heritage of 1700 year-old walls and gates, Norman castle, medieval Dutch quarter, civil war history as a a Royalist town under siege, parks from the Victorian benefactors, and twentieth century housing and retail developments.

More recently, parts of the town have been locked up to reduce areas of anti-social behaviour, so some interesting control sites and legs have been lost.

I could not resist repeating the control site beneath the footbridge to the castle, used last in 2014. Challenges in Castle Park are about the openings to move between different areas of the park, and how to access the park from the urban streets. Challenges in the town include heritage public areas, shopping areas, changes to elevation, crossing the thoroughfares, visiting green spaces, and navigating the alleyways and underpasses of modern usage of old areas. I tried to meet the challenges - I hope that you enjoyed meeting them too!

Several controls had escaped being enabled into beacon mode for SIAC use - my apologies for this, I will investigate further to learn for next time. Most impressively, no-one mispunched as a result.

Thanks to the sage advice from Bruce as Controller, Lyn as joint planner, John as wise organiser, Kevin for delivering maps updated to the moment, Colchester District Council for access to their terrain, and all who chipped in to delivering the event.

Controllers Report

Colchester offers a lot of variety in a small area. I'm pleased that SOS extended the "urban" area from its extent in 2017. Some of you had to deal with some real vegetation. I hope that wasn't too much for you. Looking at the tracks on RouteGadget I can see the evidence for route choices, little mistakes, and even some people running off the map. Thanks to SOS for giving us an excellent urban challenge.

Bruce Marshall (WAOC)

Last updated: Wed 18 May, 2022


Urban event around Colchester’s historic town centre.

Entries are now closed. Late entries/entry on the day available subject to map availability by emailing event organiser John Collyer

Location Info

Near: Colchester
Lat,Lng: 51.89595,0.90472
OS Grid Ref: TL990255
Postcode: CO1 1YH
What3Words: ///museum.taps.over

Open an interactive map in:
GoogleMap - OpenStreetMap - BingMap (OS 50k)

Directions / Parking

Leisure World, Cowdray Ave, Colchester CO1 1YH

Leisure World has a large car park and we have negotiated a reduced price of £1, but to get this you must pay at reception quoting parkrun and then enter your car registration on the ipads provided. You cannot use the pay and display machines to get the reduced price. Helpers will be on hand to guide you.
Leisure World is approx 18 minute walk from Colchester North Station. There are 2 other stations in Colchester (Colchester Town and Hythe) but the walk is longer. Currently (with just over one week to go) no delays / bus replacements have been posted on the Greater Anglia rail system locally.

Map / Terrain

Urban event including parkland, river meadows, town centre streets and historical sites of Roman Colchester.

Map scale 1:5000. Contour interval 2.5m Map extended and updated for the event by Kevin Machin.

Course Information

Classes are in line with UK Orienteering League

Juniors under 16 on the day can only enter Courses 6 & 7

Distance (km)

Climb (m)ControlsMap
Course 1 Men Open8.18032A3 Double sided
Course 2 Veteran Men (M40+), Women Open7.2


23A3 Double sided
Course 3 Supervet Men (M55+), Veteran Women (W40+)5.85525A3
Course 4 Ultravet Men (M65+), Supervet Women (W55+)5.16520A3
Course 5 Ultravet Women (W65+), Hypervet Men (M75+), Hypervet Women (W75+)3.94017A3
Course 6 Junior Men (M16-), Junior Women (W16-),3.83518A4
Course 7 Young Junior Men (M12-), Young Junior Women (W12-)2.920



Please note that SI-cards 5 & 8 do not support more than 30 controls. Course 1 has 32 controls. If you enter course 1 and have an SI-card 5 or 8 you can exchange it for a hire SI-card free of charge. Complete the entry with your own SI card and come to enquiries before running to exchange the card.
SI-card 5 have number range 1 – 499,999
SI-card 8 have number range 2,000,001 – 2,999,999

Entry Details

£10 seniors (£8 members of British Orienteering), £3 juniors (under 21) and students.

SI card (dibber) hire £1.

Pre entry via Racesignup Closing date 23:59 13th May 2022

Registration and Start times

Enquiries open 10:am

Start times 10:30-12:30. Times will not be pre-allocated.

Start will be on open area behind Leisure World adjacent to car park. Walk to the start is a right turn by the entrance / exit, is less than
5 minutes and will be taped over car park crossings for safety. The Finish is a similar walk back.

SIAC enabled but all competitors must punch start and finish.

Courses close 14:30. You must report to download by then even if retiring from your course.


We have a room upstairs in Leisure World for First Aid, Enquiries, Download, Dibber collection, Clothing dump. Helpers will guide you there but please do not wear spiked shoes (also known as Dobbs) and clean shoes before entering if wet weather has made them muddy.

Toilets available in Leisure World

Coffee shop in Leisure World opens at 9am Sunday and has a range of sandwiches, wraps, cakes, etc., ice creams and drinks.

Dog restrictions

Sorry no dogs allowed at this event

Contacts / Officials

Organiser: John Collyer

Planners: Colin & Lyn West

Controller: Bruce Marshall (WAOC)

Nearest A&E Hospital

Colchester General, Turner Road CO4 5JL 01206 747474
NHS Urgent care search

Safety Notes

Orienteering is an adventure sport. You take part at your own risk and are responsible for your own safety. A full risk assessment has been carried out.

The event takes place in a public area. Please be courteous to other users to avoid jeopardising our future use.

Courses 1-5 will encounter traffic which is generally slow moving. Please take care crossing roads. The busy Balkerne Hill is marked out of bounds and should only be crossed at mapped crossing points.

All courses will have some parkland grass. Courses 1 & 2 have a section of rough terrain which may be muddy if there is rain.


There are medals for the class winners of 2021 EA Urban League. These can be collected from Enquiries. Full results are available as pdf here