The 3rd City of London orienteering race is happening this Saturday, and the entry this year is huge – over 700 people have pre-entered online, and entries on the day will also be taken – assuming there’s any spare maps and start times that is.
With these numbers, I am wondering – is this the second biggest standalone urban orienteering event ever, after Venice?
After last year’s race, which moved a bit west to take in the Temple complex, this time we go south a bit, adding Bankside and Bermondsey to the map. Many courses will start and finish on different sides of the river, ensuring at least one crossing of the Thames during the race will be needed.
My tips for competitors would be:
- Unlike the City of London itself which is quite at the weekends, parts of Bankside, especially close to the river, can be very busy with pedestrians indeed.
- We will be enforcing the out-of-bounds rules even more seriously this year, particularly as most courses go near busy roads. If you cross a road marked as out-of-bounds on the map (purple striping) then you will get disqualified. Don’t assume a marshal is going to give you the benefit of the doubt, tell you of or warn you. They will simply disqualify you without notifying you. I was amazed at some people trying to cross a four lane dual carriageway last year, right by a tunnel mouth, with a large barrier and a concrete slipe in the central reservation. Don’t do it! (There will be no tapes on the ground to mark such roads.)
- The south side of the river is more residential than the north, particularly in the Bermondsey estates. Please be courteous to any residents you meet. Remember, it’s just an urban race, not a championship, and there is no prize money at stake for taking the racing line. Please take particular care not to barge through crowds on the riverside or near Borough Market, even though they may slow you down.
- If you are on one of the longer courses, your route to the start goes across Tower Bridge – if the bridge has to lift for river traffic, you might be waiting for around 10-15 minutes to cross. However it’s quite a spectacle to see.
- Don’t forget to go straight to download, which is at the Assembly in T47 Sports Venue, as soon as you finish. You can then return to the Finish to spectate, if you want.
- Unlike in previous years, we have a licensed bar at the Assembly!