St Albans City Race 2015

This is the second running of the St Albans City Race, with an extension to the award-winning map from 2013. It is part of the South East Urban Orienteering League.

Update 18 Oct: In view of the relatively low numbers on junior courses, all courses will now use the same start. Road crossings on courses F&G will be marshalled. Controller and planners think this gives more testing courses for under 16s, feeling more like the open courses.

Update 24 Oct: Online entries have closed but you can still enter on the day, with a good chance of getting on your preferred course.

Terrain Many historical layers of urban terrain: Roman remains, Norman abbey, mediæval alleyways, Victorian terraces and parks, and more modern civic centre and infill development.

St Albans is set on a greensand ridge overlooking the floodplain of the River Ver. There is a climb up from the river to the centre of town, steep enough for enterprising innkeepers to station spare horses at the bottom to help carriages up the hill and into their inn, naturally. Courses, particularly for more senior age groups, have been planned to take that climb gradually or at an angle.

Event centre Sea Cadets centre, Westminster Lodge, St Albans, AL1 2DJ. OS grid ref TL 142 065.
Parking Westminster Lodge car park is adjacent to the event centre. The first 2 hours are free, but do not forget to take a ticket. Wardens patrol on Sundays.

If Westminster Lodge is full, the best option is to park at one of the stores on Griffiths Way, near the route to the start – Sainsbury’s, Matalan, Currys et al – and do a little shopping.

Public Transport St Albans Abbey station (links to Watford Junction main line) is 500m from the event centre. St Albans City station is 1.9km away.

Local buses don’t run on Sundays, but 724 (Heathrow to Harlow) and 321 (Watford to Luton) stop at Abbey station every hour.

Course Classes Length Climb Controls Minimum
A M Senior 7.4km 135m 30 11.1km
B W Senior, M Vets (40+) 6.5km 115m 27 9.9km
C W Vets (40+), M Supervets (55+) 5.7km 65m 24 8.2km
D W Supervets (55+), M Ultravets (65+) 4.0km 70m 23 6.3km
E W Ultravets (65+) 3.4km 45m 20 4.9km
F Junior (M/W 16-) 3.6km 60m 21 4.3km
G Young juniors (M/W 12-) 2.4km 40m 14 2.7km

The ‘minimum distance’ is estimated along the shortest viable route.

If you wish to be competitive in SEUOL, enter the appropriate course for your age class, otherwise choose based on your fitness, experience and preference.

Those under 16 on the day of the race may only enter courses F and G.

Starts Courses start 900m level walk from the event centre and finish adjacent to the event centre. Under 16s should be escorted to the start, any HH member going that way will be happy to help if needed.

Starts from 1000 to 1200 GMT. You will be allocated a start block to reduce queuing, but if you miss your block – or turn up an hour early because you forgot to reset your clocks – we will fit you in.

If you have  pre-entered and have your own dibber, you can go directly to the start. Take safety pins for your race number if you have them.


Entries Online entries have now closed. There will be entry on the day subject to map availability. We have a reasonable number of maps spare, course F has fewest.

Payment date Senior BOF Senior non-BOF Junior
to 18 Oct £9 £11 £4
to 23 Oct £10 £12 £5
EOD £10 £12 £5
Punching Sportident punching will be used.
Dibber hire £1.00. Charge for lost dibbers £30
Map 1:5000 map to ISSOM standards with 5m contours, A3 for all courses. This is an extended and updated version of the 2013 map which won a Silva award for urban orienteering maps.

Control descriptions are printed on the map – text for courses F&G, symbolic for the rest – and loose descriptions are available at the start.

A limited legend is printed on the map. For a full list of ISSOM symbols and control description symbols, see Simon Errington’s site.

Facilities Toilets in event centre. Bags may be left at owners’ risk.

Peter and Helen Errington will be selling tea, coffee and cakes in the event centre, for donations to Children in Need. Please support them.

If you want something more substantial, there are many places to get refreshments nearby, the closest being the café in the leisure centre 200m away.

Dogs No dogs inside the event centre. Courses are in general not suitable for dogs. The event centre is in Verulamium park which is popular with dog walkers. Please clean up after your dog.
Safety Orienteering is an adventure sport. You take part at your own risk and are responsible for your own safety.

All runners must wear a number. These will be issued at the start, so those with their own dibbers may go directly to the start. Please bring your own safety pins if you can.

Under 16s may only enter courses F and G. Both courses cross 2 roads with significant traffic, at marshalled crossing points. The crossing of the busier road is at a pedestrian crossing. Wait for the green man!

When on the way to the start, please give way to runners.

Take care crossing roads. Although the city is less busy on a Sunday morning than at most other times, traffic is significant. Watch out – many of the busier roads often have one lane of near-stationary traffic and the other moving at around 30mph.

Please be considerate to other pedestrians, especially when coming to blind corners, out of narrow alleyways for instance.

Don’t forget to download, even if you do not complete your course. It is the essential safety check that we haven’t lost anybody. Courses close at 1400.

Planners’ Notes Please make yourself aware of the uncrossable features on urban orienteering maps. If you cross one, declare yourself non-competitive when you come to download.

Runners on courses F&G must cross 2 roads at the marshalled crossing points and obey instructions of marshals. Don’t forget to punch the control before you cross.

We hope you enjoy your run, both for the orienteering and for the (mostly) pleasant surroundings,

Officials Planner       Adam and Mike Bennett
Organiser   Helen Errington
Controller  Simon Errington
Acknowledgements Thanks to all the landowners who gave permission to site controls on their property, notably St Albans District Council. Also to the Sea Cadets for the use of their building as event centre.