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Thousands set to navigate their way around the Lakes this Easter

February 10, 2015

Thousands are set to flock to the stunning scenery of the Lake District for the 49th Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering during this Easter weekend.

The event, hosted by British Orienteering in conjunction with the North West Orienteering Association, aims to attract and welcome not only top International orienteers from around the world to compete for the JK 2015 Champions titles, of which GBR squad members Hector Haines and Claire Ward were proud winners last year. Families and individuals of all fitness levels and abilities from across the country will also be taking part and soaking up the amazing event atmosphere.

The first day of the four-day event kicks off on Good Friday at Lancaster University, Bailrigg campus with the Sprint event. With wonderful views of mountain and sea and only five minutes’ drive from the M6, the Sprint takes place on the University’s urban campus with walkways, winding steps and dead ends, where competitors can expect surprises around every corner!

On the second day, Saturday 4 April, the event heads off to Ulpha Park and Barrow Fell for the Elite Middle Distance and Non-Elite Long Distance Race. Those taking part can enjoy challenging, physical terrain within mixed deciduous and coniferous woodland whilst enjoying excellent views of Duddon Valley, estuary and Morecambe Bay.

The event then moves to Bigland for the Long Distance race on Easter Sunday, before heading off to Graythwaite Estate for the final Relayday on Easter Monday.

Much of the Day 2 competition area will be new to almost all of the competitors; some has never been used for orienteering before. Bigland, the Day 3 area, offers some of the most intricate nature broadleaved woodland terrain in the UK.

Sally Pygott, Major Events Manager at British Orienteering said: "This event generates a real boost to the local economy with people travelling from overseas and across the UK to enjoy top quality orienteering. This year we have the added bonus of the stunning Lake District scenery. We are looking forward to welcoming spectators to watch the excitement of top International athletes compete for the top medal places across the weekend. Anyone can compete in this event and we are looking forward to seeing families and individuals also taking part. As a beginner you need no navigation experience and we have courses to suit all fitness levels."

"Next year the JK2016 will be hosted in Yorkshire by Yorkshire and Humberside Orienteering Association when we will be celebrating its 50th anniversary year!

Thanks to a large number of volunteers from across the regions clubs who are working behind the scenes to make this event happen.

The organising team are expecting international squads who will be coming as part of their preparation for the World Orienteering Championships in Scotland in August. Full squads from Switzerland and the Czech Republic have already confirmed their attendance.

For more details, please visit www.thejk.org.uk/jk2015/