What is a Street-O Race?
You are given a special map of the local area, with the aim of running around looking specific locations (“controls”) on the map, under the street lights. You will also be given a clue sheet, which will ask a question for each control, which you will be able to complete when you find the correct location –
e.g. “name of the pub” or the “colour of door at number 20?.
Each control is assigned a points value – generally, but not necessarily, the ones further away are worth more points. The aim is to score as many points as possible, within the given time limit. You will be penalised points for every minute you are late getting back! If you don’t want to run for a full 60 minutes you can always come back earlier.
Where are the events held?
The street events are usually based either at a local pub or sports centre, so you can have a drink and/or food afterwards. The events will take place on the fourth Thursday of the month, running from September until March, but excluding December. If you get hooked on the idea of evening orienteering, SLOW also run a series of winter street O events, and there is also a summer series of orienteering evening events in London parks from May to August, making the most of the light in the evenings.
What time are the events?
Unless the details say otherwise, start times will be between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. The organiser will always be there to give you the map and record the start time, and there will be other people around to give you tips and advice before you run.
What equipment will I need?
You need to wear whatever clothing is appropriate to the weather and the day. A watch is obviously essential. It is a good idea to have a torch (preferably a head torch) and compass with you, just in case. You will need a pen or highlighter pen to mark the correct answer from the three multiple choice answers presented.
Under 16s are not allowed to street orienteer on their own.
What does the map look like?
It is usually a black-and-white A4 map, showing the outline of the streets (but without street names) in solid lines, and paths in dotted lines. There are sometimes additional useful features included, such as bridges, railways and waterways, and you may get some broad indication of contours or direction of climb, depending on how flat the location is. The map shows the control points which you need to find – there will usually be 40 or so of these.
What is the scoring system?
For CHIG’s Street-O competitions, the leading man and leading woman at each event will each score 100 points, the second place 99 etc. If you go as a pair, you will be ranked as a man if either of the pair is a man, otherwise as a woman, and the points will be shared equally between you. The overall results will be based on the best 4 scores in the series.