Lakes 5 Days - results and write ups

19 QOs travelled to the Lake District to participate in the four-yearly Lakes 5 Days orienteering event.

An article will be written for the website shortly, but in the meantime here is a summary of the results and a topic for others to post their write-ups / thoughts about the event.

For all the results see: Lakes 5 day - 07 Aug 2022, you can also find links to RouteGadget (with course maps) at

Overall results across the five days (best 4 events count):


17th Hamish Braine-Clarke 2102


11th Adam Fieldhouse 4760
27th Robin Fieldhouse 3795


21st Philip Sorrell 3544 @daylightgambler
27th Peter Shirvington 2632 (3 events) @Pete


22nd Jeff Pakes 3324 @Jeff.Pakes


30th Andy Rimes 3871 @andyr


14th Brian Pearson 3922 @BrianJP


36th Steve Robertson 3201


11th Roger Craddock 3762 @craddocktaunton


12th Sheila Braine 4095
42nd Joanna Evans 1457 (3 events)


13th Karen Lewis 3221 @KarenLewis
25th Adele Appleby 1002 (1 event)


13th Rosie Wych 3458


15th Julia Robertson 161 (1 event)

I had a blast over the week!

I arrived on the Saturday after an amazingly clear run-up from Somerset and settled into my campsite on the edge of Ullswater Lake.

Day 1 (Sunday) was Swindale South, an open fell with many contours, rock detail and mostly dry marsh. I had the advantage of starting 4 minutes behind @Pete on the same course which meant I had a visible target after he lost a few minutes on control 3. Navigation was quite easy, but I struggled with hill fitness but kept chipping down the gap until I lost a few minutes at control 6. I pushed for the next few legs making back some of the lost time until I under-shoot control 9, got disorientated and lost almost 14 minutes. Back to the campsite for a swim in the lake and an early night!

Day 2 (Monday) was Threlkeld Knotts (and Common) an open fell with contour detail, loose rocks and boulder fields. It was a fairly epic 1.5km 200m climb up to the start to enjoy the sunshine and light breeze. It was @Jeff.Pakes turn to be just ahead at the start. Unfortunately, I failed to execute my plan to control 1, so I was out of place when I turned into the control. The error was re-inforced by seeing Jeff, who happened to be too high looking like he had just punched control 1 - 5 minutes lost.

The rest of the course went ok - a few minor errors but nothing significant. I met Jeff again at control 9, looking for a boulder hidden in waist-high grass, and the rest of the course went to plan. Across a 77-minute course, there were just 10 seconds between myself and Pete.

After day 2, most QOs headed to Andy and Rosie’s campsite to share a (Cornish) cream team, and it was lovely to spend some time together before heading to my pub for the evening.

After an early morning swim in Lake Windermere and a cooked breakfast, I headed to Dale Park for Day 3 - an area of largely runnable steep oak woodland with lots of intricate rock and contour detail and an adjacent conifer plantation of lower visibility. I absolutely loved the detailed and intricate mapping.

I had a few minor wobbles but ultimately came unstuck towards the end, losing 9 minutes on a control - it was so frustrating as I knew where I was just outside the circle but could not come into the control at the right height. Overall a better result than the previous days.

For the rest day, I relaxed and headed out on Lake Windermere for a few hours to do some stand-up body boarding in the sunshine.

Day 4, Raven Crag, was on the other side of the valley from the same assembly as day 3. It is a varied forest with a wealth of contour and rock detail (with low visibility conifer plantations and very steep cliffs). Again I really enjoyed the terrain, made a few small and one large 10-minute errors, and had a similar result to the day before.

QO were late starters, and a group of us were nearly the last to leave the parking area as we chatted all things orienteering and mourned the destruction of Rosie’s O shoes.

The final day was Helsington Barrows, a highly runnable open fell with areas of loose rock and some contour detail. The temperature was unbearable, and I really struggled on the terrain - I just could not make the terrain match the map, and I kept getting pulled offline, putting me out of position. I was done halfway round and just wanted it to end. My actual vs planned route from the compulsory wall crossing after control 2 to control 3 highlights how things went:

Overall I really enjoyed my first Lakes 5 Days - the weather really helped, but it was worth the journey for some interesting terrain that I am not used to. Overall I came 21st, so there is definitely some room for improvement!


It is difficult to sum up a brilliant week of such diverse orienteering in a few words so I used my Garmin stats and Routegadget to help.

Day 1 Swindale South. My recent running more used to urban orienteering and park runs, meant I was in for a shock when I hit the climb to the first control. This wasn’t helped by my new shoes with metal studs as they dragged through the grass, running only 35 minutes out of the 87. The area was interesting remote open moorland and reminded me of mountain marathon days. Nav was generally ok but it was easy to make parallel errors with the similar contour features:


Day 2 Threlkeld Knotts. Switched back to rubber studded shoes for this open area with magnificent views of Blencathra and Skiddaw. This helped a lot and actually ran for more than half of the 64 minutes despite the climbs and marshy areas. Nav went well with only one relocation needed after straying off the bearing:


Day 3 Graythwaite. So glad I wore the new metal studded shoes for this rough, steep forest. My slowest pace by far for this middle distance style race, worringly spent 18 minutes ‘idle’ out of 68. My biggest losses were at the beginning having to adjust to dense low visibility conifers but settled into the map and tried to stay in contact- slow but safe:

Day 4 Raven Crag. The other side of the say 3 car park but harder and longer with lots of low vis conifers. Of the 97 minutes I recorded 30 running, 40 walking and 27 idle- something to think about there! It did mean generally safe navigation detouring to line features, with the exception of a parallel error mixing up the black path and wall symbols, a new one for me:

Day 5 Helsington Barrows. The open moor was exposed to the full heat of the sun so despite taking a Camelbak and hat, it felt extremely hard to keep running. I managed more than the other events running for 64 out of 99 minutes but I let go of the navigation much more as it didn’t seem intricate compared to the other days. More toiling and less concentrating meant more relocating with the subtle features and I never felt at one with the map. Was glad to finish this one.


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Excellent write-ups
The map extracts look amazing - quite different to anything round here.
Great to see that a large slice of QO travelled up to this…I have never been to the Lakes 5 or any of the other multi-day orienteering series in far-off places. I have often wondered what people do with the rest of their time - now I know, swimming and paddling sounds like a great way to fill the day.

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