This years British Sprint Championships were held at Sandhurst Military Academy, Surrey. Super-fast urban orienteering was the name of the game, but some tricky park-o caught out those who had a lapse in concentration. For the first time in the Sprint Championships, qualification races were held. There were 2 heats each for men and women, with the leading 9 men and 6 women in each heat going through to the A-final, the next 9 men/6 women went into the B-final, and everyone else into the C-final (with all 3 finals running identical courses). It was imperative that you performed in the qualifications because even if you posted a faster time in the final than someone on a higher final, they would finish higher than you in the overall results.

The qualification races started off with a long first leg for the men which needed a quick route-choice decision. After this the courses were fairly simple, and the final result came down mainly to how fast you could run. In some very fast heats (the leading men were running at just over 4mins/km) Allan Bogle won heat 1, with Nick Barrable winning heat 2. For the women the heats were won by Heather Monro and Helen Winskill.

The finals consisted of much trickier orienteering, with large deviations from the red line being necessary. A number of underpasses saved time, but you had to be on the ball to spot these routes. Times were a lot slower in the final due to straight line routes not being possible. With the start lists seeded from the qualifiers, the fastest off last, the times were always going to get faster as the race progressed. Fastest time from the Mens C Final was James Williams, but his time was not a match for the B-final runners, Phil Winskill running fastest from this group of runners. In the A-final, Oli Johnson just got into the top 3, the same place as last year, and also beating last years 4th place, Murray Strain, by an almost identical margin of 1 second. Runner-up was Graham Gristwood, always a strong performer in sprint races, but he was beaten comfortably by the last starter Nick Barrable who cruised to a 27-second victory.

In the womens race Stefanie Blomquist ran the fastest on the C-final in a time which would have placed her 4th in the B-final, which was won by Aislinn Austin. The womens A-final was hotly contested by members of the British Squad. Jenny Whitehead did enough to secure 3rd place, with Claire Ward improving on last years bronze medal just beating Jenny into 2nd place by just 2 seconds. But the runaway winner this year was Heather Monro, who climbed from 5th at last years championships, to win by a massive 54 seconds.

British Sprints

Mens A Final
1 16:53 Nick Barrable FVO
2 17:20 Graham Gristwood OD
3 17:33 Oli Johnson SYO
4 17:34 Murray Strain EUOC
5 17:43 Matt Speake EBOR
6 17:55 Ewan McCarthy MAROC
7 18:05 Neil Northrop ShUOC
8 18:10 Allan Bogle NWOC
=9 18:28 Matt Crane ShUOC
=9 18:28 Rob Baker SYO
Mens B Final
1 18:27 Phil Winskill SYO
2 18:31 Niall Bourke EPOC
3 18:52 Ross McLennan CLYDE
Mens C Final
1 20:28 James Williams ESOC
2 20:34 Mark Saunders BOK
3 20:43 Rhys Findlay-Robinson ShUOC
Junior Men
1 20:43 Rhys Findlay Robinson ShUOC
2 23:09 Tom Bray SN
3 23:29 Ross Sanderson EUOC

Womens A Final
1 15:11 Heather Monro SLOW
2 16:05 Clare Ward INT
3 16:07 Jenny Whitehead SYO
4 16:20 Helen Winskill SYO
5 16:37 Helen Bridle WIM
6 16:42 Rachel Elder ShUOC
7 17:24 Annabel Fernandez Badalona
8 17:25 Helen Palmer CLYDE
9 17:31 Ruth Holmes SARUM
10 17:50 Naimh O'Boyle CNOC
Womens B Final
1 17:46 Aislinn Austin CLOK
2 17:54 Toni O'Donovan INT
3 18:02 Sarah Noot EPOC
Womens C Final
1 18:44 Stefanie Blomquist BAOC
2 18:47 Clare Leventon SYO
3 19:48 Julia Blomquist BAOC
Junior Women
1 17:31 Ruth Holmes
2 18:44 Stefanie Blomquist
3 19:48 Julia Blomquist

For full results see the EMIT UK Website

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