Club News May 2024

Learners and Coaches at one of our recent MapActive sessions in Markeaton Park.

Welcome to our latest Newstrack! We’ve just about recovered from staging the JK Relays on Easter Monday at Stanton Moor, with 1100 runners from 7 countries. A full write-up will follow, but it’s one of the items at our forthcoming Open Meeting at the Lime Tree in Matlock on Tuesday 21st May (so no spoilers). Please email ">Simon Brister if you wish to attend and haven’t yet confirmed (food and hot drinks are provided, and parking is free).

Hope to see you at Hardwick. I went along with Dave on one of his planning visits and saw a feature I’d not spotted in 28 years of orienteering there …

The ice house at Hardwick, marked on the O map as a cave.

The next Newstrack round-up will come out in July, but articles are welcome any time and can be put on the website very quickly!

I wish you all lots of great spring orienteering – overseas or at home!

Sal Chaffey (Newstrack Editor)

Welcome to our new members

A big welcome to the Williams family (Emily, Rob, Benjamin and Jessica), to Kiyoko Naish, Andrew Smyth and Joel Hawkins. See you at an event or MapRun soon!

Summer Holiday ideas (for real or vicarious travel)

One of the fun things about orienteering is competing abroad in sunnier climes with relaxed clubmates!

The Welsh 5 Days, this year in the Brecon Beacons (entries close 22nd June)

The Welsh 5 Days is always fun & challenging. On this years’ trip are the Middletons, the Bedwells, Simon & Nicky, Sally Calland, Dave Newton and Dave Bennett.

As you read this, 5 DVO members are taking part in the ASOM sprint weekend in Leuven, Belgium (while 49 of us are running at Hardwick!).

Some of our members are doing epic bike rides to their summer orienteering holidays this year, quite a DVO tradition now (see September 2022 Newstrack, pages 24–32)!

Helen your Treasurer has cycled the length of South Korea and is now taking on Japan with partner and honorary DVO member Andy Leedham, aka ‘the Mechanic’ in her blog:

She’s back in July for the Swedish O-ringen, and will then “do the Stans” (Russian republics ending in -stan). You can follow her adventures on Strava as well as on her blog.

Heading to the O-ringen (a multi-day event with some 20000 participants, so big it has its own village) on Sweden’s Baltic coast are:

  • The Duckworths (John cycling there)
  • The Johnsons (both cycling there)
  • The Vincents (using 4 wheels instead of 2)
  • Stuart Swalwell (bought a bike and has taken extensive advice from John D, as Stuart is cycle touring for the first time)

Sports Personality

Two Sports Personalities emerged from our Chester Green MapRun in April …

Sally Calland, who had a phone glitch and ran off 90 seconds before the Mass Start at 7pm. Everyone called her back, as she’s fast enough without a 90 sec head start!

David Vincent, who (like me) didn’t spot Control 50 cunningly positioned on the west bank of the Derwent until he was at Control 45 on the east side. He carried on collecting all the Chester Green controls, then swerved the Finish and went back through Darley Park to get #50, only to get back 3 minutes late but still placed a solid 16th!

MapRun briefing at Derby Rugby Club and Sally running sheepishly back to the Start!


MapActive Navigation Course, May & June

Chris Millard and some of the other Club coaches have been busy this month helping our 8 new orienteers get to grips with some of the TD 1, 2 & 3 skills needed to complete White/Yellow/Orange courses. Some are coming along to Hardwick, where they’ll try the Yellow course, then another of their choice! We wish them luck and hope they have a fun morning!

Learners and Coaches at one of our recent MapActive sessions in Markeaton Park.

They’ve enjoyed practicals at Markeaton Park and short Zoom sessions. In June, the Saturday sessions are at Darley Park and Allestree Park, where they will consolidate their skills and move towards Orange and Light Green.

Find out more about MapActive here!

Autumn 2024 MapRuns

Programme TBA, but Thursday MapRuns will be back in September. Please contact Chris if you’d like to help set one up! You can either just do it on paper and get Chris to put it into MapRun, or have a go yourself with Chris’s help.

I’d really recommend this series, as my fitness has improved over the course of the winter and I’ve met lots of new people or the runs and at the pubs and microbreweries afterwards!

Heanor MapRun in January rivalled Alvaston Park in November 2023 for record low temperatures. David Vincent organised Heanor, and awed us with his astronomy knowledge. Did you know that Mintaka (the lowest of the 3 stars in Orion’s belt) is closer to Earth than it is to the next star in the belt? You do now!


Social Media / WhatsApp group (now at 43 members)

A reminder of how our Facebook presence works: Derwent Valley Orienteers is the Club Facebook page. Only Admins can post but anyone can comment.

The DVO Facebook Group is chat for members, future members and past members. Mainly post-event banter.

To join our new and fun WhatsApp Group, please message Sally Calland. This is great for arranging lifts to events and live updates on event closing dates and traffic issues on the way to events. We often have dedicated WhatsApp groups for things like the Scottish 6 Days.

Chris runs our Instagram page, so this is great for finding out about MapRuns. The Instagram filters through to the Facebook page, so some posts and videos (but not all) appear on both!

Hoping we have a presence on TikTok in 10 years’ time!! I’ve yet to see a reel of a cat orienteering!

Monday and Wednesday Night Runs

For many years, DVO members have been running on Monday and Wednesday evenings throughout the year. You are welcome to come along, and there’s normally more than one group/speed on each night! They are free sociable runs (rather than coaching), but maps often appear as if by magic at the pub afterwards!!

Mondays – from a different pub, 6:30pm start, usually a faster and slower group, each running for 90 minutes. Contact if you’d like to come along.

Wednesdays – agreed by members of the WhatsApp group on a rolling weekly basis. All over Derbyshire, 6pm run for approx one hour and a drink in the pub afterwards. Sometimes they run at 11am and go for a pub lunch afterwards. Contact Mike Gardner if you’d like to give it a try.

Behold – A New Star Cometh (an alternative to Puzzle Page)! 

(Or, What To Do At Night Now That Night Orienteering Is Over For The Season)

Stars are very simple things. Put enough stuff – anything really, but usually mostly hydrogen, because this is what was created at the beginning of the universe, and there’s lots of it about – in one place, and you have a star. You do need a lot of stuff though – at least 20,000 times the mass of the Earth. Matter attracts matter through the force of gravity, so if there’s a big cloud of stuff, it will contract, forming a nice ball. The particles in the middle will be moving really fast – which is another way of saying that the temperature will be very high. Atomic nuclei are positively charged, and so repel each other rather than snuggling up, but at these intense pressures, some will approach each other hard enough to overcome their natural repulsion and actually collide. When this happens, some weird physics happens that is outside of our day-to-day experience – nuclear fusion. The nuclei stick together to make a larger nucleus. In doing so, lots of energy is given out. Bingo – a star.

For most stars, the fusion continues until the small nuclei in the core have been fused. At that point, the outward pressure from the fusion stops and gravity causes the star to collapse in on itself. It will then cool – taking billions of years to do so. The dead star is now a “white dwarf” – a tiny (even smaller than the Earth), hot object. Our own Sun will end up like this.

Three thousand light years away, in the north-east evening sky, are two stars orbiting each other. They are very close – about the distance between the Sun and Venus. One is a white dwarf – dead, dense, hot. The other star is a red giant (another lesson perhaps…) and is struggling to keep hold of its outer layers. Stuff from the big star is spiralling down on to the white dwarf. This added mass is fuel for more fusion, so, every eighty years or so, the dead white dwarf bursts back into life, rekindled by this extra fuel.

This is just about to happen! Sometime between now and September (the astronomers think), the white dwarf will massively increase in brightness and become a new star in our night sky. It won’t be amazingly bright, but about the same as Polaris, the North Star.

It will hit the news in a big way when it suddenly appears, but I’d like to prepare you all for the event by familiarising you with that bit of sky, so that you will then appreciate the “newness” in a special way!

On the next clear night…

  • Find the Plough (you’ll find that, at this time of year, it’s standing on its handle in the east-north-east);
  • Follow the curve of the Plough’s handle downwards to find a truly bright star – Arcturus;
  • Find the two stars to the left of Arcturus shown below;
  • The white circle shows roughly where the new star will be.

For more information, drop me a line, or see Wikipedia here.

The location of the new star in September (not to be confused with a night-MapRunner, also shining brightly).




Future events

Sunday 14 July 2024

Saturday 24 August 2024
Bradford Dale

Sunday 25 August 2024

Recent results

Saturday 22 June 2024
Allestree Park

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Sunday 19 May 2024
Hardwick Park

Routegadget (view routes)

MapRun Results

Join DVO

Derwent Valley Orienteers are a friendly, active club with members throughout Derbyshire.

We welcome new members whatever your experience and can help you learn orienteering and how to improve, either informally or through coaching.

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We’re supported by the Orienteering Foundation

In 2023, thanks to a grant from the Orienteering Foundation, our Club is focusing on offering training courses for newcomers and help at local events in the Derby Area and beyond, but open to people from across Derbyshire.