Skip to Content

Taking it seriously

Aiming to win- Nick Barrable at BOC '15, Cannop Ponds

Aiming to win- Nick Barrable at BOC '15, Cannop Ponds
Credit: Wendy Carlyle

Last edited: Sat 18 Nov 2017

Competing, winning and losing and setting realistic goals for yourself.

I was struck by a comment by Ben Maliphant of BOK which appeared in CompassSport magazine. "I'd like to see the word 'event' banned, they are races!"

He's right. They are races and there is a winner. Not everyone gets to be the winner. But you can have your own competitions between your peers. Or simply compete against yourself - do the best you can do.

I have seen plenty of smiles at the finish from people who are well down the leader board, but have done well by their own standards. If you want to treat orienteering as a pastime, a day out in the fresh air, or just "something to do" then that's fine. But it can be more than that if you want.

All the facilities are in place to let you take it more seriously if you want to. And there is a lot of satisfaction when you've raced properly and you know you did your best.

Just glad to have made it back!

Just glad to have made it back!
Credit: Altitude Design


Coping with losing is something to learn as well. If you do badly, you can cheer yourself up by dissecting your run and identify the parts that went well. You can gain positives by analysing your mistakes and learning lessons from the experience.

The worst thing you can do if you've not had a good day is to blame the organiser, the mapper or the planner for your own failures - that is not fair on the volunteers, and you don't help yourself if you deny your own faults.

Richard Sansbury

  • Skilling Up, Hints and Tips for Improvement #15, QuOnicle 158, November 2014

Archived under: Training

Previous level

Intermediate