Peter Palmer Relay

Last Updated: Thu 15 Sep 2022

Congratulations to our junior team who took part in the Peter Palmer night and day relay event in Birmingham over the weekend of 10th and 11th September.

Read on for a brief report and photos.

The Peter Palmer Junior Team Relay was established by Peter Palmer, then Director Coaching of British Orienteering. Peter wanted to create a junior relay, similar to those in Scandinavia, which incorporated legs which would be completed in the dark.

The current Peter Palmer format consists of 6 legs of differing length and technical difficulty: Red – Red – Light Green – Orange – Yellow – Green. It is usual for at least two of those legs to be completed in the dark, with the third being the dawn leg. Of course this all depends on the speed, or otherwise, of those running the early legs and the time of the start. The team must be made up of at least two female competitors.

This year’s Peter Palmer was hosted by the COBOC (City of Birmingham Orienteering Club) at Sutton Park, to the east of Birmingham.

SO usually try and enter this event every year. This year a last minute injury meant that we didn't have a competitive team of 6 from our own club, but thanks to Jamie Goddard from FVO, we did still have a complete team and we made the trip to Birmingham to take part with five juniors from SO and one from FVO.

The team was:

Leg 1 Red - Tommy Heap M18
Leg 2 Red - Jamie Goddard M18
Leg 3 Light Green - Ben Chapman M14
Leg 4 Orange - Emma Chapman W12
Leg 5 Yellow - Emily Waters W12
Leg 6 Green - Emils Ummers M18

The relay started in the dark at 5am with a mass start (ten teams). A spectator control allowed us to keep track of progress and Tommy came back in the lead to handover to Jamie, who also had a smooth run and was still in the lead to handover to Ben at about 6:05am. Ben took over in the pre-twilight gloom and had a good run against much older competitors. He handed over to Emma having only dropped a few places. Emma headed off into the woodland at about 6:36 and shortly after the mist descended making it very difficult to see. Emma handled it really well and although she had a 12 minute leg managed to keep her cool and get back to hand over to Emily who was running a relay for the first time. Emily kept her nerve and had a great run to get back to hand over to Emils who had a green course to finish off. Emils came back with the third fastest time on the green course and the whole team had the 6th fastest time overall.

Given that we had three much younger runners we were all really proud of the team. Emily said at the end of it - when's the next one?

We hope to give everyone the chance of experiencing a relay - they're great fun. Maybe more of you would like to try it!

Categorized under: Juniors

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