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Manchester & District
Orienteering Club

John o’ Goats Charity Event at Lyme

This is our annual version of the Billy Goat head to head race held in the USA. Mass start, miss out some controls of your choice (how many you miss out depends on your age class).

Sat 04th Jan 2020

Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Moorland, Parkland, Woodland
Info updated: 07th Jan


Event Report

Organiser's Comments

The event raised nearly £1000 for the 2 charities. Thanks to everyone for their generosity.

Sue Birkinshaw

Planner's Comments

Thank you all for coming to our annual charity event and for donating generously. I hope you all enjoyed the unique challenge, despite the rough terrain and cold wind.

The nature of John O' Goats changes every year as each planner wants to put their own spin on the race. Personally I wanted everyone to get a good long run out by extending the winning times towards an hour rather than 30 minutes - although some may say I went a little too far with this!

I also decided that missing 1 or 2 controls was boring, so everyone would miss at least 3. From there gaps of 2 controls were needed to keep an adequate split between the classes, which left some people missing 7 controls. I was worried this might be too much mental arithmetic for January 4th but you all seemed to cope very well and several people commented on the fun and unpredictable race that this produced.

The main complaint seemed to be from overplanning, especially the shorter courses. In terms of distance they fitted into the upper boundary of BOF regulations. But unfortunately to get enough technical controls into an anti-clockwise loop of Lyme, some very rough terrain has to be crossed and this significantly slowed a lot of people, so my apologies if you didn't make it all the way around.

Also apologies to the two runners who couldn't find their last control after it was collected in. This was after course closing times and the final details did say to retire after 2 hours, but given how well you did to keep going for so long and how close you were, the race jury has decided to reinstate you - well done! You can't say people don't get their money's worth at our events...

Finally thanks to all of the helpers on the day, particularly Cecilia for setting up the start, my control placers: Jim, James, Anna and especially John (who went back up the moor a second time after I forgot two of my control boxes!) and control collectors: Hazel, Trevor, Carolyn, Laura and Chris. You're all stars!

Thanks for coming and good luck to everyone for a great year of Orienteering in 2020!

Sam Drinkwater

Pre Event Info

Registration slips and Gift Aid forms will be available at Registration, but if you would like to complete your form(s) in advance, you can download a copy here:


There will be a tent beside Registration where you can make a donation to this year's Charity, ClientEarth. It is an interesting charity which is using the law to protect the planet. Full details at the tent (and on Gift Aid forms available.

There is no entry fee.

All event expenses are donated by MDOC and its members but we have to pay BOF levy for all runners. Please bear this in mind when considering a donation.


Please support our raffle. Proceeds will go to an MS Therapy Centre.

Prizes are only given to tickets produced at the prize-giving, so stay around or give your tickets to someone who is staying.


There will be prizes for the leading runners on each course. They will be presented at about 13.00 followed by the raffle.


Nearest town: Disley

Directions / Parking

The entrance to Lyme is on the A6, between Disley and High Lane (see brown tourist signs). 1 mile from gate to Car Park. 

Normal entry fees to the Park will apply – free for NT members, £8 per car for others.

Registration & Start Times

Registration: 10.30 to 11.15 at cars in the car park. Take your completed entry slip to the correct registration car and collect a sealed map for your course which must not be opened until the start whistle blows.

Please do not arrive before 10.00 as there is a Park Run.

SI cards: SI cards can be borrowed (£30 charge for lost cards) from Registration cars. Clear and Check boxes will be sited near Registration, NOT at the Start. Touch free punching NOT enabled.

Start: The Start is about 200m up the road west of the Car Park.  Allow 5 to 10 minutes.

Very Short, Short, Medium and Long – Mass start at 11:30 (timed, not punching). Please get into the correct lane for your course. Each course has a compulsory first control.

Yellow – assemble with everyone else, but stay to one side for your own mass start 5 minutes later.

Finish: It is about 150m from the Finish to the Download tent in the Car Park.  Take care as all cars coming to the Park use this area.

Prizegiving and raffle draw at 1.00 in the car park.

Course Information

The Race: ‘John o’ Goats’ is MDOC’s version of the head-to-head ‘Billygoat’ races held in the US. In our version, the course you run, and the number of controls you can miss, depends on your age class. See the table below (or separate 'JOG Age Classes' document) to find which course you should compete in and how many controls you should miss. Optimum routes are all within BOF guidelines for the age category, but should you wish to run down please mark you entry form with n/c.

Course Long Medium Short Very Short
Miss 3 M21, M35

W20, W40,

M16, M55

W16, W55,


W70, M80
Miss 5 M20, M40, M45

W18, W45,


W14, W60,


W75, M85
Miss 7

W21, W35,

M18, M50

W50, M14,


W12, W65,


W80+, M90

The first control for Long, Medium, Short and Very Short courses is mandatory. Other than that, you should visit the correct number of controls in any order, and choose which ones to omit.

Yellow Course: The novice course is much shorter and easier (approximately white/yellow standard) and is open to anyone of any age, though children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. The controls must be visited in the given order. There will be a mass start for this course, about 5 minutes after the main mass start, and from the same location.

Courses close at 13.30. Control collection may start earlier on the moor.

Explanation of colour courses

  • White are very easy with all controls on paths. They are mainly used by 6-10 year olds and family groups.
  • Yellow use simple linear features like paths, walls and streams. They are mainly used by under 12’s and family groups.
  • Orange progress to basic use of the compass and route choice. They are ideal for novice adults or experienced youngsters.
  • Light Green are ideal for improvers as the navigational difficulty begins to increase and uses simple contours and point features.
  • Green are used mostly by experienced under 18’s and adults wanting a short but challenging course with a very hard navigational difficulty.
  • Blue are a longer, more physically demanding course in comparison to the green. The distances are more varied between controls and the course attracts experienced orienteers.
  • Brown & Black are very physically demanding and have a very hard navigational difficulty. They are for experienced orienteers only.
  • Score means visiting as many controls as possible in any order in a specific time, like 45mins.

Terrain Description

Map: 1:10,000 scale, 5m contours, ISOM symbols

Crossing Points: Do not cross any wall or fence except at mapped crossing points

Out of Bounds: Do not enter out of bounds areas marked with red hatching.

Safety: Lyme is a large area with rugged moorland terrain. Off-road running is essential for all courses (except Yellow) and as such suitable grippy footwear is compulsory.

It is January! Please dress appropriately and be prepared for adverse weather as even in good weather it can get very cold higher up the hillside. Cagoules may be compulsory.

There are docile livestock (including Highland Cattle) in the park. They will not be interested in you, but please avoid them and if you need to get past run/walk wide and slowly around them.

If you can not finish the course within 2 hours please stop and report to download promptly.

Take care crossing the park roads and in the car parking area, and please be considerate of other park users, especially at gates and stiles.

First Aid will be available at Download.


The toilet block is beside the millpond (3 minutes from car park). No muddy shoes in the toilet block please.

The coffee shop in the Courtyard should be open from 12 noon for refreshments.

Dogs allowed?

Under close supervision in the car park only.

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Sam Drinkwater

Organiser: Sue Birkinshaw

Enquiries to

Safety and Risk

A comprehensive risk assessment will have been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event.

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