Heard about orienteering, perhaps at school, or from fellow runners and want to check it out? Derwent Valley Orienteers welcome anyone who is interested to try out orienteering, either as a competitive run or a walk out with the family, or anything in between.
Help for newcomers
DVO welcomes beginners and new members, whatever your level of experience. We can help you learn orienteering and improve, either informally by guidance from club members at your first events or through coaching.
Often, people will try their first events in parks like Markeaton or Darley Park in Derby and then try more challenging woodland, moorland or urban street courses.
Many newcomers are families who can walk or run together or separately. Orienteering starts are usually timed at intervals, so there is no pressure of a mass start. You can go at the speed you want to navigate to the controls on your map, with or without a compass. Your overall time and split times are recorded through a dibber (electronic timing chips strapped to a finger) to record your progress. It’s fun to work out where you may have lost time or could have improved your choice of route.
Runners from a Parkrun, running club or fell-running background often enjoy the challenge of running across different types of terrain while navigating with a map. The fastest runners aren’t necessarily those at the top, but it certainly helps and you will need to run fast to win your age class. Most Men’s Open winners have 5K Parkrun times of well under 20 minutes.
More experienced runners upload their GPS traces from their watches to compare their routes to other competitors via the optional Routegadget tool which is available when results are published after every event.
Recommended advice for newcomers
- Your First Event (pdf)
- Your Second Event (pdf)
- Navigation Techniques (pdf)
- Contour Interpretation
- Skills Videos
- British Orienteering Newcomers Guide