Mid Wales Orienteering


Mid Wales Orienteers

Club News & Views

2010 review of the Year

Wentwood Wandering

October saw the postponed Welsh champs of 2009. A good number of POWers made it to the classic event on the Saturday with noticeable success for :

Tom Carter Davies - 2nd in M10A

Callum Carter Davies - 3rd in M12A

Ducan Carter Davies - 1st in M16B

David Pal - 4th in M40S

Mike Kay - 4th in M50L

Dave Brodie - 6th in M50L

Robert Griffiths - 7th in M60L

Bill Marlow - 2nd in M60S

Malcolm Reynolds - 2nd in M65L

Fay Walsh - 1st in W12A

Zoe Walsh - 2nd in W12B

Megan Carter-Davies - 1st in W14A

Eunice Carter - 2nd in W45L

Andrea Marlow - 1st in W55S


On Sunday the Short Course saw Fay and Zoe achieve 2nd and 3rd!

Well done to all :-)

Bounding around The Begwns

POW's September event was a score event on The Begwns, a National Trust owned common in southern Radnorshire. Terry, Bev and Ali Smith put on a magnificent event that attracted over sixty starters in this area on the fringes of traditional POW territory. The weather was set fair, warm and cloudless, numbersd being boosted by the WOA meeting at nearby Erwood. Terry had devised three score courses that saw us running all over the large area that had been recently mapped by Steve Willis and Roberts Mapping. Local farmers had harvested much of the fern leading to fast running for much of the day. The result was many red and happy faces as we tried to squeeze the last possible control in the minutes remaining to us. At the "apres-O" at the Erwood Station Craft Centre it was agreed that this event had been successful and enjoyed by all including many newcomers.


West Midlands relays

POW put in two teams for WRE's event on the Long Mynd on the 6th September. The crack team of Andrea Marlow (3/12), David Pal (4/12) and Bill Marlow (7/12) finished overall in 6th position. Unfortunately the "B team" fielding German first-timer Detlef Rieger were less successful, being disqualified for mis-punching controls. Sarah Rees (7/12) and Stuart Rees (9/12) completed the three some).

Calon 09 - the heart of Wales

Over 100 competitors, some more competitive than others, were drawn to this year's Welsh league event, run by POW and HOC. On a fine day with tremendous 360 degree views of mid Wales, runners and walkers set out to tackle 6 courses, ranging from the family-friendly yellow course to the designated "super-hero" only Brown course. Responses from everyone seemed positive. Even Gethin and Dayfydd Elwyn, aged 10, who took a relaxed attitude to timing expressed their joy at having got lost! The winners were:

Yellow - Alistair Gardiner-Smith (POW)

Orange - Michael Cunningham (Erwood Craft Centre)

Light Green - Sam Mitchell (SBOC)

Green - Ben Mitchell (SBOC)

Blue - Bill Marlow (POW)

Brown - Andy Hemsted (HOC)

Esgair Gorlan

to follow

Sunshine in Builth

POW held its first CATI in Radnorshire at The Groe, Builth Wells on Thursday 4th June. Although the forecast was for a dull day this never materialised and we were basking in sunshine throughout. We used the Sport Ident equipment for the first time and it worked a treat, it certainly adds a further dimension to orienteering.

We were inundated with "Helpers", namely Malcolm & Diane, Steve & Gabriella, Terry, Stuart, Andrea, Emily (Builth 5x60 Officer), Vicki & Katie (Builth Youth Club) and myself. At times we only needed a couple of people helping as there was only a slow "trickle" of participants throughout the afternoon and early evening.

However, we had a photographer from the Brecon & Radnor Express come at one point, so hopefully a little publicity will come out of it for us.

There was no doubting that the majority of participants enjoyed the experience, and some were highly competitive the way they ran around - I can still see nine-year old Natasha Powell go charging ahead of mum and dad on her way to Control No.1 on the Yellow Course!




With the normal correspondent away with his leg up, there is a need for a cub-reporter to step into the breach on this one. Reports reaching the newsdesk speak of extremely challenging courses and steep slopes but if "you knows cuz you were there" then please give us a report!



On a beautiful Spring day, the "McCullough Three", planned three cunning courses around the beautiful University of Wales estate at Gregynog, near Newtown. Healthy numbers attended once again, particularly noticeable were visitors from "over the Dyke".

On the short course there was healthy competition between eventual winner George Nash, Callum Carter-Davies and Aled Pal. At the medium level, newcomers, the Beeson family impressed, while traditional rivals Megan Carter-Davies and Zoe Walsh battled it out for the points. However both hadn't reckoned on stiff competition from eventual winner, veteran Diane Reynolds whom claimed the full 1000 points with a fine run. On the long course the plaudits must go to Secretary Marlow and former Chairman Reynolds for exceptionally fast runs. Mentioned should also be made of Mike Kay who ran exceptionally well considering he'd been self-handicapped by a late night lock-in at the Ship and Castle!


Report on CATI @ Gregynog Hall Estate on Saturday 18th April:-

A small band of POW Helpers was in place by the time the first
Newcomers came along on Saturday morning. We were all rushed off our
feet at times (much better than standing there with no one to greet!).
Bill had placed flyers in Sports Centres, Libraries, sent flyers to the
local Running Club and Youth Workers, given out flyers at the two
Schools festivals that had taken place and had managed to get an article
in the County Times two weeks running. Andrea whilst doing Registration
had conducted a "survey", on where people had heard about us and many
were there as a result of the Festival flyer or County Times article.

Three courses were on offer, a 1.5km Yellow, a 2.5km Orange and a 6.1km
Red (aimed at the Club athlete - sadly they didn't materialise).
Probably, around 100 attended but as many went around in 2s, 3s or more
the results would not show this. A successful day, but would they then
come to the follow-up event the next week or to a later event, time will

If I had to change one thing, it would have been the date - it was still
in school holiday time, consequently many potential helpers and
potential newcomers were away!



POW's first score event of the year kicked off in the conifers of Coed Meanarthur, across the Afon Yswyth from Pontrhydygroes. A pleasing number of new and potential members turned up to tackle 30, 45 or 60 minute courses designed by Mike Kay. With a limited amount of time and stiff penalties greeting any late-finishers, there was added pressure on the orienteers to locate the controls. Yet which controls? Rewards ranged from 10 to 40 points depending on the distance of the control from the start and the difficulty of its location. Winners were:

Short course - Duncan Carter-Davies

Medium Course - Malcolm Reynolds

Long Course - Andrew Hill (points) & A Clough (handicap).



The best attended POW event for a number of years saw a great debut planning performance from the Walsh family. Set in mixed woods overloking Talybont and sheep-grazed fields with views of the Dyfi, Cader Idris, Cardigan Bay and even the Llyn peninsula, Allt y Crib proved a great attraction. With many first timers arriving at registration it was down to Chairman Dave to be the first to don the "Meeta~Greeta" T shirt. With the smell of bacon in the air, 66 competitors set out on the three courses. Well planned routes, with a much-appreciated " sting in the tail" for the long coursers, ensured that everyone seemed to enjoy their runs. A fine morning was rounded off by one of the best attended pub lunches at Y Llew Gwyn where a roaring fire was much appreciated. Plaudits go to the three winners - Ant Powell, Malcolm Reynolds and David Seward (SBOC) along with the Walshes.


Good attendance, varied running, snow underfoot, bright sunshine, fine Sunday lunch and Croeso 2012 gets launched - not bad for a few hours at Llanidloes! POW's first event of 2009 started in the woods of Coed Allt Goch overlooking Llanidloes. WOA's first Croeso 2012 meeting and excellent support from our friends at Wrekin OC brought a smile to POW faces as some 60 competitors found them selves running down, along but mostly uphill through the woods. The varied courses, light snow covering and winter sunshine brought out a variety of good runs, not least from Alistair Smith (short), secretary Bill Marlow (on the medium due to injury) and Ciaran Allen from ERYRI. Big thanks to the Reynolds for their third event in as many months.


What ever Hollywood has to offer, POW can match it! That seemed to be the consensus after a glittering evening in the Beverly Hills of Mid Wales, aka Llangurig. Anyone who was anyone in the Mid Wales Orieteering scene was there as a succession of limos turned up at the country pub hosting this year's event.

The Awards were as follows:

Outstanding service to Orienteering - Malcolm Reynolds, former Chairman.

Short Course female and overall winner - Emma Clarke

Short Course male winner - Alistair Smith

Short Course senior female winner - Bev Smith

Medium Course female and overall winner and first orienteer to score maximum points - Gabriella Walsh

Medium course male winner - Phil Clarke

Medium course junior winner - Fay Walsh

Medium Course junior male winner - Duncan Carter-Davies

Long course female winner - Kristin Hoydalsvik

Long course male and overall winner - Robert Griffiths

In addition a number of alternative awards were also "dished" out:

The Equal Opportunities Commission award for orienteering achievement, regardless of gender, age or ethnicity went to: Paul McCullough.

The Gordon Ramsay award for after course dinner : Diane Reynolds for the Tyn Arms, Ffridd Mathrafal

The Met. Office Award for coldest start / finish : Dai & Malcolm Reynolds for Nash Woods

The Mountain Rescue Teams Award for most training opportunities went to: Terry Smith for Allt y Crib, Hafren, Nant yr Arian etc.

The Harvey Nicholls Award for Best Dressed Orienteer went to: Bill Marlow for his vivid sartorial elegance.

The White Van Men award went to Dave Brodie & Robert Griffiths for their endurance at OMM and Croeso.

The AA award for off course navigation went to Terry Smith for his Hafren journey.

The Welsh Water Award for puddle-splashing went to: Daisy McCullough

The SAS award for tough, arduous courses went to: Richard Morgan for Nant yr Arian

The Hugh Hefner Hard Core Award for total attendance at POW events went to: Robert Griffiths, Malcolm Reynolds, Sarah Rees and Stuart Rees.

And that concludes the awards of this year's events! Thanks to everyone who made the journey!


(The alliterative agonies continue with...)


POW welcomed in the New Year in fine style at Penglais Woods above Aberystwyth. Chairman Dave Brodie designed three courses in the woods that involved a mass start and the solving of three seasonal riddles by collecting letters at controls. An excellent turn out in the bright winter sunshine ensured fun for all. For the record the three winners were:

SHORT1. Callum Carter-Davies 2. Tom+George+Chris 3. Daisy (carrying Paul?)

MEDIUM 1. Megan Carter-Davies 2. Gabriella Walsh 3. Helena Burrows

LONG 1. Stuart Rees 2. Robert Griffiths 3. David Pal

As his Piece de Resistance Dave invited the club back to Taliesin for mince pies, hot drinks and pizzas! WOA Chairman Helena Burrows then chaired a meeting looking at the club's future. Based on this fun event the future looks as bright as the Ceredigion weather!



What a pleasurable day of orienteering. Answering our former Chairman's call to arms, many POWers descended on a bright and frosty Presteigne early in order to support the Wrekin club championship. Though numbers were down on predictions; the quality of the running was way above expectations. A great variety of open and runnable forest, beech woodland and conifer plantation, Nash Woods proved a delight. The three POW winners of the three courses proved to be the overall 2008 league winners - Emma Clarke, Gabriella Walsh and Robert Griffiths. Only one improvement for next time - lets have the start and finish on the (English) sunny side of the woods rather than the permafrost Powys side!


Hafod Score proves success!

With the Ystwyth and its tributaries foaming after a week's heavy rain, the beautiful setting of The Hafod estate proved a stunning venue for POW's first score event of the year. Put on at short notice by Robert Griffiths, the event proved popular as the orienteers had to add time-management to their armoury of navigation and fitness. Indeed it could be said that the event gave some of us the best chance to score for some time(!) Daniel Thomas aged 10, Stuart Rees aged 45, amd Paul McCullough won the novel short, medium and long courses respectively. One of the decisions of the AGM was to increase the number of score events and if this was any measure, then we are likely to see more time-induced stress in future.

Marvellous views from Mathrafal

Nestling amid the rural beauty of Montomeryshire, Ffridd Mathrafal proved to be a testing ground for POW['s intrepid orienteers. Boosted by a Bangor Uni. contigent, runners enjoyed a mixed coniferous challenge with beautiful views of the Berwyn ranges. Zoe Walsh, Gabriella Walsh and Robert Griffiths claimed the 1000 league points respectively though mention must be made of Irishman M20 Fiach O'Rourke, who cruised round the long course in just 50 minutes leaving the POWers puffing in his wake! A fine Sunday lunch was enjoyed by some 18 members of the club which underlines at least that the social life in POW is improving!

Knackered in Nant yr Arian!

A well attended event at the Forest Centre saw planner Richard Morgan test us all with a variety of physically and navigationally challenging courses. Fine weather and a variety of deciduous and coniferous woodland and open land meant there was plenty for all to tackle. Judging by the looks on the faces of those who did get round, it was challenge enough!

Physically Punishing Plynlimon

A fine bright day saw a good number of runners out to brave the long grass and tussocks of Plynlimon. Visibility was good yet with cunningly disguised controls and the heavy underfoot condidtions, most felt that they had certainly earned their reward when they eventually reached the finishing line. Credit must e given to Mike Kay who seemed to fly round the long course, leaving other mortals in his wake. It was good also to see a number of our friends from SBOC supporting the event. Congratulations also to Emma Clarke and Sarah Rees for the fastest times on the short and medium courses.

Orienteering on Plynlimon (thanks to Martyn Saycell)

with permission from Aber A.C.

Anita and I decided to enter the POW orienteering event held at Plynlimon on Sunday 13th July.

Having successfully navigated our way using a map and GPS to the start grid reference we were both in high spirits about the challenge ahead, after all we had managed to navigate ourselves around the Lake District last year so how hard could it be. (this thought came back to haunt me later) The event was split into 3 levels, easy, medium and hard. Being optimistic and ignoring the advice of the organizer and the man parked next to us we opted for the medium challenge. This was to be over 4km with 8 check points to negotiate and a height gain of some 400m.

So off we set, with map, compass and notes in hand. After 15minutes and only 200m into the event we had already given up trying to find checkpoint 1! By the time we had found check point 2 we were already well behind the rest of the field (note: we started well ahead of the field!) My spirits were lifted when young Daniel O’Sullivan (Kate’s son) came breezing past with a huge smile on his face. If a 9 year old can enjoy this, then so can we!

We did manage to find checkpoint 3, with substantial help from one of the competitors and I fell into checkpoint 4 whilst Anita was walking off in the wrong direction. After over an hour of running through waist high grass, uneven surfaces my knee finally gave in and after some persuasion I managed to get Anita to agree to call it a day and we trudged our way back to the start.

I enjoyed it, Anita loved it. I will swallow my pride and enter the easy option next time and work on my map reading skills.


Bounding around Beautiful Blaenmelindwr

Around 40 orienteers appeared at the forest lake of Blean Melindwr to tackle Mike's courses set on open hilland with stunning views of the Ceredigion hills and coast. Going was generally fast and while windy the bright weather was a nice chnage from much of our recent meteorogical depressions. Congratulations to Zoe Walsh, Stuart Rees and SBOC's Dave Seward.

Gorse and hard Grit on Gilwern....

On a windy and somewhat cold day, forty or so brave souls arrived on the hill top of Gilwern ready to undergo Stuart and Sarah's first attempt at course planning. The courses were long and strenuous (as the planner doesn't have to run them!) but seemed to be well received apart from a little control numbering difficulty. Two innovations - a drink stop for the 7km long course and a funsize choco at the finish for most competitors! Well done to Bev Smith on the short, and the SBOC duo of Bridgit Stein and Dave Seward on the medium and long courses respectively.

Dynamic Duo’s Debut at JK
This year the annual JK Easter Festival of International Orienteering took place in the South East of England, comprising in excess of 4500 competitors. Several intrepid POW Members ventured across the border for this Easter week-end event.
On Saturday the logistics of getting from the car park  (long walk + carrying your gear etc) to Assembly and then off to your Start were horrendous at Leith Hill, Surrey. Leith Hill was a mixed forested area, with some open bits and some very technical bits. In addition to this the weather was dreadful, a constant biting cold wind, intermittent snow/rain showers – I think you get the picture!! Consequently, with these conditions and the fact that they were competing in a big, big competition for the first time, Andrea and I were hugely impressed with the performances of Fay and Zoe Walsh.
Fay finished in a fantastic 3rd place on the W12B course, just over a minute and a half behind the winner with Zoe finishing 5th. Both of them did brilliantly and I’m sure that Steve and Gabriella are extremely proud of them – well done girls. I hope they will think about doing both days next year!
Steve Walsh finished 43rd in M45S at Leith Hill, whilst Malcolm Reynolds retired on the Leith Hill day but came 35th in a highly competitive Age Class the next day at Ashdown Forest, Sussex. Ashdown Forest was a mixture of deciduous woodland, open moorland with tussock grass and very energy-sapping under-foot. Andrea finished 7th and 8th respectively, finishing 6th overall for the combined two day competition – in her words, an OK set of runs as she was consistent on both days. As a first year M60S I finished 2nd and 2nd respectively, but 2nd to a different person each day, which meant that I managed to win overall (your combined times for the two runs are added together).

Rather modestly Bill has hidden away at the end of his article that he actually WON the M60 event at this year's JK. Congratulations to him for this fantastic achievement - Ed.


Heaven or Hell in Hafren?

On a blustery cold day POW memebers assembled in a number of locations around Hafren Forest near Llanidloes in March! Most eventually met up and tackled some challenging technical courses in the conifers. Our area was much reduced on previous years due to the on-going felling in the forest. The routes proved a good test of both navigation and patience due to difficult under-foot conditions. However the funniest incident of the year so far most go to Terry Smith , who after a rather trying run, roared off in his car down the wrong forest track only to return 5 minutes later clutching his Landranger map. Perhaps car rallying could be a new direction for the club?

POW Welsh Champs Wizardry!

A record eighteen members of POW entered the annual Welsh Championships, held this year on Sunday 2nd March at Cefn Bryn, Gower. It was a glorious day, a little windy, suuny at times. Cefn Bryn is an elongated hillside, similar to the hillside at Gilwern, but more extensive. POW competitors ranged in age from under 10 to 65+, with a good mix of males and females; sadly the new “O” tops weren’t available for this event!
The POW series of events provides an excellent mixture of good competition and terrain. However, in order to improve further you do need to compete at a higher level against stronger competition. It is undoubtedly a steep learning curve, but providing you learn from each new experience you will begin to improve (some more quickly than others). Don’t be afraid to ask more experienced Club members what routes they took and why.

Here are the more successful results from Sunday:-
JM2 (M10s) 1st Callum Carter-Davies; JW3 (W12) 1st Megan Carter-Davies, 2nd Zoe Walsh, 3rd Fay Walsh; W35S 2nd Lynfa Davies; W40S 4th Eunice Carter-Davies; M40S 3rd Rob Davies; M45S 4th Stephen Walsh; W55S 2nd Andrea Marlow; M55L 3rd Dave Brodie; W60L 3rd Diane Reynolds; M60S 1st Bill Marlow; M60L 3rd Robert Griffiths; M65L 4th Malcolm Reynolds.

Congratulations to the above and to all those that entered (some for the first time). Let’s hope more of you will take part next year.
Bill Marlow

CLICK HERE for pictures of the Welsh Champs 1 Pic 2 Pic 3 Pic 4 Pic 5 Pic6 Pic 7


Trials &Travails at Talybont

February gales welcomed us to the second of the Club's league events. The three runs covered a wide variety of terrain - easy running deciduous woods, brambly forests and open fields. There's no doubt that the views over the Dyfi estuary and a tempestuous Cardigan Bay proved a distraction for all but the most focused of competitors. 8 POWers also retreated to Y Llew Gwyn for post-run drinks, food and chat. Thanks to Dave for planning such an interesting and varied sets of courses.

Carneddau Capers!

Our first event of the year got off to a wet and misty start on the hills near Builth Wells. Expertly planned by Bill Marlow, there was fast running to be had among the short grass and small crags of this attractive common land. Conditions Scots may describe as "dreich" prevailed with low hill "clag" throughout. Nominclature confusion may have led to rumours that POWers were seen haring up Carnedd Llewellyn in Snowdonia, in search of orange kites, however, have been discounted. Mention must be made of Richard Morgan with a 42 minute run on the long run while concern was rising when the new "results secretary" Sarah Rees was feared lost on the hill. Eventually all returned safely and the new season had begun in earnest. Only two weeks before out next event - at Talybont in Ceredigion.

Siaradwch Cymraeg?

I'd like to have a Welsh version of this site up soon but lack the lingusitic skills necessary. If you are able to help with translation could you drop me an email on swnygwy@tiscali.co.uk



Fancy a drink and some food after the event?

Just a suggestion for discussion, but how about nominating a pub near to each event which we can "retire" to after the event and the clearing up has been done? I'm sure most people are hungry and thirsty after a good run (even more so after a bad one) and if we got together for a chat and some lunch, wouldn't it make the whole day more socialable? Just athought! S

News of O-shirts returning to POW

Hi everyone

POW first had an "O" Top in the early 90s (dare I admit that I still have mine!!). Several new designs never came to fruition in the late 90s.

However, in an attempt to give you and the Club some identity I'm pleased to say that a new design will soon be available. Inspection samples will be on view at Carneddau on Sunday 20th January - see Andrea at Registration.

The new top will be in POW (and Wales) colours of Red, White & Green and made of "wick away", easy-to-wash material supplied by Ultrasport. The Chairman and Treasurer have agreed with me that we offer the tops at £24.95 (regardless of Size and whether you want Short or Long-sleeved) instead of the going rate of £29.95 for a limited period only.

Orders will be taken at Carneddau, so bring your Cheque books (cheques payable to Mid Wales Orienteers) or Cash - we need a minimum order of 10 to make an order. They will also be on show at Allt Y Crib, Penybont on Sunday 3rd February, where further orders will be taken. Alternatively, you can post your order to me by Saturday 9th February AT THE LATEST.

After 9th February the tops will cost you £29.95 + you will have to wait until a further minimum is order is reached.

So for that impending Birthday present or an early Christmas 2008 present, get your order in quickly!


Annual Dinner 2007

Sunday December 2nd saw the club's annual dinner held at Caesar's Cafe, Aberyswyth. A good turn out enjoyed some warming food, followed by the awards ceremony hosted by our chairman, Malcom Reynolds. Special mention must be made of Bill & Andrea Marlow who travelled back from New Zealand, especially to attend the dinner, though somewhat disappointingly they failed to run the fun relay beforehand!

The category winners for 2007 were:

Yellow - Harri Gethin

Orange - Megan Carter-Davies

Light Green - Eunice Carter

Green - Andrea Marlow

Blue / Brown - Anne Wilson

Congratulations to them all and a further spur to the men of the club, perhaps!

Photos of the winners and runners-up to be uploaded soon!

Farewell to the Wilsons!

Following the departure of the iconic orienteering pair, Anne & Richard Wilson, who have been the backbone of the club for many years, POW presented a picture of Cader Idris to them in recognition of their service to the club.

This is the text of a letter sent from Anne & Richard Wilson on receipt of their gift from POW:

Dear all:
> We were delighted, and very touched, to receive the wonderful framed
> photo of Cadair Idris that Dave presented to us on behalf of POW on
> Tuesday night. Though not at the heart of POW territory, as most of
> you know, Cader - and particularly the heathery fridd in the
> middle-ground of the photo - means a lot to Anne and me, having been
> the scene of the 1998 JK debacle (weather-inflicted) and the 2003
> Senior home international debacle, which was self-inflicted and from
> which we recovered only with a fantastic effort by many club members,
> to whom Richard will always be indebted! We reckon that we must have
> spent in the region of 100 person-days on Tan-y-Gader/Tir Stent in
> the last ten years, and have seen it in every mood from raging storm
> through snow (of course!) to balmy summer days when we'd rather have
> swum in Llyn y Gadair, or collapsed amongst the heather to admire the
> fantastic array of tiny wild flowers.
> I think that sums up what POW has given us over our many years of
> involvement with the club: there are some not-so-good times, when
> things go wrong or we'd rather there was somebody else who could do
> it, or we wish we could be at home, warm and dry. But they are
> more-than offset by all the good times, and occasionally by the
> satisfaction of feeling that we've achieved something worthwhile.
> Enough of our ramblings! Thanks again for our present, and for being
> such a great club. Long may you prosper!  Hope to see some of you at
> Croeso, if not before.  If any of you are up this way, or want a bed
> en-route to Scotland any time, we'd love to see you.  >
> Richard and Anne

Presentation to Anne & Richard

Cader Idris picture


19th November 2006 - club league final event, club dinner, and prizegiving

The final event in the 2006 club league was held at Hafod in the Ystwyth valley, the second visit to the club's newest area in as many months. Fortunately the area is large enough to accommodate as many as 3 small events without using the same bits! The sun shone, and it didn't rain till everyone was back and we were all comfortably warm in the nearby Hafod Hotel in Devil's Bridge, enjoying a very good club dinner.

After a suspense-filled flurry of activity with bits of paper and calculators, it was time for the prizegiving, and, as the photo shows, it was another successful year for the Gethin family, with Rebecca and Stewart 1st and 2nd on the Light Green, and Hannah and Harri equal first on the Orange. The appropriately attired Andra Marlow was winner on the Green, and Robert Griffiths (right) pipped Dave Ormerod at the post to win the Blue. Robert also received the Nev Roberts Achievement Award bowl in recognition of his two wins in the 2005 and 2006 Welsh Championships, and of his many contributions to the club's activities, through mapping, planning and adminstration.


4th December 2005 - club league final event, club dinner, and prizegiving

Despite the cool, damp conditions, POW members turned out in force for the final event of the year at Allt y Crib woods above Talybont. It was expertly organised and planned by Robert Griffiths, who also surveyed and mapped the area, as well as organising the club dinner. No wonder he looked so tired, but so did everyone else by the time they finished their courses, up a killer of a final climb!

Then it was all down to the nearby White Lion, who made us very much at home, and must have been impressed by our enormous appetites - I but they don't often sell so many chocolate puddings on a Sunday lunchtime!

The annual prizegiving followed, performed by club chairman Malcolm Reynolds. The club league had been well-contested, and some of the prizewinners weren't known until after this last event - and some quick calculations over the dinner table. The annual award "for achievement" - a turned wooden bowl made by the club's senior member Nev Roberts, went this year to Rob Davies, in recognition of the hard work he put into organising and planning his first solo club event at Ty'n-y-bedw in October.

You can click the images to get larger versions

Megan Carter-Davies

Joss Jones

Trefor Owen

Lynfa Davies

Gareth Jones
Rob Davies
apologies to
Paul and Dave:
too much

Welsh Championships 2005

Mynydd Llangynidr is part of the high limestone country that marks the boundary between the teeming industrial valleys of South Wales, and the wide open spaces of rural Mid Wales. It is also one of the most challenging open orienteering areas in Wales, consisting of a huge expanse of undulating rough moorland, pitted with hundreds of depressions, and studded with crags and boulders. There are no distinct paths, and hardly any other line features. Intimidating enough in clear conditions; in mist, a nightmare!

Fortunately for competitors, and for organising club South Wales OC, Sunday 9th October was a bright and breezy day, and the views from Mynydd Llangynidr, of the Usk valley, Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains, were enough to spoil the concentration of even the most dedicated orienteer. Which might explain why so many competitors made big mistakes.

Amongst those who managed to escape with only little errors were a number of successful Mid Wales Orienteers, including four Welsh Champions::

M50L 1st Richard Wilson
M55L 1st Robert Griffiths
M55S 1st Bill Marlow
M60L 2nd Malcolm Reynolds
W50L 2nd Anne Wilson
W50S 1st Andrea Marlow

As recently appointed Chairman of the Welsh Orienteering Association, Anne had the privilege of presenting the prizes - and the problem of how to present her own! Click here for full results.

Major event successes - Spring 2005

The annual spring glut of major UK events has started well for Mid Wales Orienteers, with excellent results for Bill and Andrea Marlow at Britain's most prestigious regular fixture - the Jan Kjellström Festival, held over Easter weekend. This year the JK was handy for Mid Wales, with the West Midlands hosting the four days of events. On the two individual days - at Brown Clee in Shropshire, and Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, Bill came 2nd and 6th respectively in M55S, and second overall; whilst Andrea came 4th overall in W50S, after 6th and 7th placings on the two days. Richard Wilson also scraped a top 10% result in M50L, finishing 14th overall - 12th on day 1 and 20th on day 2.

Bill and Andrea maintained their consistent form three weeks later at the British Championships, held on the complex sand dunes of Penhale in Cornwall, where Bill once again came 2nd in M55L, and Andrea 5th in W50S. Next day, in appalling conditions of rain and gales, the club fielded a team in the M50 class of the relay championship, with Bill Marlow on 1st lap, Mike Kay on second, and Richard Wilson on the final lap. Mike had a storming run, recording the 2nd fastest time for his leg; sadly Bill and Richard couldn't emulate him, and the team finished a disappointing - albeit respectable - 5th out of 25 teams.

Mid Wales Orienteers - UK orienteering club of the year!

Bill Marlow and Anne Wilson receiving the BOF Club of the Year award
on behalf of Mid Wales Orienteers

The British Orienteering Federation award for Club of the Year was presented to the club in mid April at the British Orienteering Championship weekend in Cornwall, where a small bunch of keen members was flying the POW flag in both the individual event and the relays. The club received an attractive trophy, and a cheque for £300.

The award isn't based on sporting results: the club's entry was made by filling in a detailed questionnaire, asking about such things as membership statistics, training opportunities for new members, non-sporting club activities, and our plans for the future.

Informing the club of its success, BOF Development Manager, Peter Bylett, wrote: "Thank you to all the clubs that applied. It made it a really excellent competition. The Development Committee thought that the standard was very high and that all clubs should be commended on the work that they are doing."

Welsh Orienteering Association Chairman, Phil Jenkins, commented: "...... excellent news; it is so good to hear. Not too many years ago POW were very close to collapsing because of low membership, but since then they have worked hard at grass roots and family orientated activities and they have gone from strength to strength."

Messages have also been sent from several members of the WOA committee:

"Congratulations! From the buzz I could sense in the POW tent at Weston Heath, well deserved!" Brian Hughes, Fixtures Secretary

"Congratulations on winning BOF Club of the Year. What a metamorphosis! It's good to see that all your hard work has been recognised. And I've now got something for the next issue of Y Ddraig! Keep up the good work." Peter Seward, Editor, Y Ddraig

"Congratulations on being named BOF club of the year!" Judith Powell, Membership Secretary

27th February 2005 - CompassSport Trophy, Weston Heath, Shropshire

The annual competition for the CompassSport Cup (large clubs) and Trophy (small clubs) consists of regional heats followed by a final. Ever-optimistic, POW entered the 2005 Trophy, determined to better last year's wooden spoon, and once more a coach was booked from Aberystwyth - with pick-ups along the route - to take most of us to the nearest regional heat at Weston Heath, a few miles north of Shrewsbury. Most of the journey was through a mild blizzard, and we wondered whether we'd make it to the event, let alone round our courses! A few far-flung members also travelled independently, giving us 28 runners - a very impressive turn-out for such a small club. Dave Brodie brought the club tent, which was put up in record time, and made a welcome shelter from the keen north-east wind and sleet.

Weston Heath - despite its name - is an attractive wood planted on a steep sandstone escarpment, with huge red crags and hundreds of small hills and dry valleys - a very complex and challenging area. The event was staged jointly by Wrekin Orienteers (WRE) and Potteries Orienteering Club (POTOC), who were also two of our five rival clubs in the Trophy competition, the others being Eryri Orienteers, City of Birmingham OC (COBOC), and SPLOT - a club for former students of Cardiff colleges. POW members had starts between 10.49 and 11.49, by which time the sleet had abated, to give way to a fine, sunny afternoon.

The club had some excellent results, and POW came a very respectable fourth, comfortably beating both COBOC and SPLOT. It was a doubly good day for Wales, and we congratulate our North Wales rivals ERYRI on coming first - ahead of WRE and POTOC. We wish them success in the final, to be held in Lancashire on October 16th.
Click here for full results

14th November 2004 - 2004 club league final event, club dinner, and prizegiving

The club's last event of 2004 brought a record attendance (for Mid Wales Orienteers local events) to Coed Allt Goch, just outside Llanidloes, with many regulars determined to add points to their tally for the club league, in the hope of returning home with a trophy - plus a welcome contingent from neighbouring club Wrekin Orienteers. We also hosted a birthday party - possibly a first for POW! The weather was dry and cool - ideal for running - and the courses made excellent use of the small wood, which was still colourful with autumn leaves.

By 1 o'clock all the controls had been collected in (a bit too soon for some later starters - our apologies to them) and two dozen club members had gathered in the Travellers' Rest café in Llanidloes for the serious business of replacing spent calories, followed by the prizegiving, which was performed by the club's senior member, M75 Neville Roberts. Some of the league prizewinners are pictured below (apologies to those who aren't - incompetent photographer!). The final prize was the annual award "for achievement" - a turned wooden bowl made by Nev himself, which went this year to Anne Wilson, in appreciation of all she's done as Mid Wales Orienteering Development Officer - a three-year appointment which ends next month. The busy annual programme of low-key events, the club league, and the much-increased membership owe much to Anne's hard work - as did today's event, which she planned and organised!

14th March 2004 - CompassSport Trophy, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire

The CompassSport Cup (for large clubs) and Trophy (for small clubs) is awarded each year, and the competition consists of regional heats followed by a final. Despite being one of the smallest clubs in Britain, POW put in an entry this year, and booked a coach from Aberystwyth to take us to the nearest regional heat at Cannock Chase.

There was a nearly 100% club attendance, with most taking advantage of the luxury of coach travel. The wet and windy Welsh weather was left behind, for a cold but dry car park on the edge of Rugeley. Members set off on their runs at intervals between 10.30 and 12.30; for many this was a first experience of electronic punching. The area was a delightful and runnable mixture of forest and open heathland.

At 1.30, the Welsh rain caught us up, soaking the unfortunate few POW runners who were still out - though they were spared the fun of pushing the coach off the car park field, which was rapidly turning onto a quagmire. And by 2.15 we were homeward bound in bright sunshine! Sadly we didn't quite make it to the CS Trophy finals; but there were some excellent results, and we all gained some valuable experience of competing in foreign terrain.
Click here for full results

18/19th October 2003 - Senior Home International, Dolgellau

The SHI rotates round the four home countries, and this year it was the turn of Wales to host this prestigious event, and to welcome the top senior orienteers of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Mid Wales Orienteers and Eryri Orienteers staged the two events, held near Dolgellau, on behalf of the Welsh Orienteering Association: an individual event on the Saturday, and a relay on Sunday.
Click here for results and reports

5th April 2003 - Club goes for Gold!

Mid Wales Orienteers spearheaded "The Rest" at the Swansea Bay OC v. The Rest of Wales challenge event on April 5th.

The event was staged by Swansea Bay to mark the opening of a new permanent orienteering course on the National Trust Dolaucothi Estate, near Lampeter. Swansea Bay had been working with the Trust for the previous 18 months to map the estate and set up the course, and the permanent course control sites were used for this inaugural colour-coded event, with the addition of pin punches.

Punching the final control

Checking the results

Anne Wilson, Robert Griffiths and Richard Wilson of Mid Wales Orienteers scored for The Rest, but their efforts weren't enough to defeat the numerically superior Swansea club, who won by 30 points to 16.

Members overcame their disappointment in the traditional way by treating themselves to tea and cakes in the warm sunshine outside the nearby Gold Mine tea rooms; some even had enough spare energy to go on the underground mine tour.

2nd March 2003 - Welsh Championships

Congratulations to all Mid Wales Orienteers who won prizes at the Welsh Championships, staged on March 2nd by Swansea Bay OC at Pembrey, near Llanelli. They are pictured below with their trophies.

From left to right: Brian Hains (2nd M70L), Anne Wilson (3rd W50L), Richard Wilson (Winner M50L), Nick Davis (Winner M21S), Bill Marlow (Winner M55S), Andrea Marlow (Winner W50S). Also successful was David Pal (Winner M35S).
Full results are on the Swansea Bay website.