LuxNUL3 - lots of route choices in Helmsange

 January 30th        LuxOC organisation       

Who knew?! Helmsange turned out to be a great area for night urban orienteering. On Wednesday 29 January, Helmsange and Walferdange hosted the third run in the 2019-20 Luxembourg Night Urban League (“LuxNUL”) series. Luxembourg OC were also once again blessed by the weather gods, with earlier sleet showers petering out just as the planner put out the last couple of controls. 

With a lower turnout than in Limpertsberg (only 15 starters – illness and injuries seem to be proliferating), Sasha Rybakov again took the honours on the long (“Deer”) course. This time, with no home advantage. That instead went to Ondra Kotecky – who said that the best route to the first control (which he didn’t take) was “probably through his garden and house”. 

Ondra did manage second place, only two minutes and one second behind Sasha. Indeed, he claims a moral victory – sadly, he was the main victim of the theft of control 12, which he got to before the replacement flag could be put out. He later provided a very impressive GPS trace of this part of his run, which showed him making a futile search of several nearby trash bins! He also reckoned that this all took him exactly two minutes and three seconds. 

So, there’s all to play for between Sasha and Ondra in Bonnevoie on 12 February. 

On the medium (“Rabbit”) course, newcomer Caroline Germeaux was home more than seven minutes ahead of Maggie Roach, closely followed by young Elvire Pierlot, visiting from CO Liege. An impressive result for Caroline, who has only just joined the Club, and was having her first competitive run.  

As usual, the full results for the run have been compiled by Michael Hock, and are on the Helga website – see

Cumulative placings to date for the overall LuxNUL rankings are also attached. The outcome is beginning to look clearer now that some people have their three scoring runs, and can begin to drop their least good runs. Remember – the best three results will count, out of the series of six runs.

A copy of the Deer course is also attached – if you weren’t running, which was the best route? The planner thought that using the subway at Walferdange station was the best way to the second control (it was the shortest alternative by about 40 metres), but most runners seemed to prefer a less technical route heading out into the fields further north. To make it fairer, the planner had announced in advance that times would be adjusted downwards for anyone who (honestly and accurately!) timed how long they had to wait at any of the level crossings on the infamously busy railway line. Michael Hock ended up with the longest “rest”, of just on two minutes.

Thanks – firstly and mainly to recently re-elected Club President Jonas, for hosting us in his garage and opening his beer fridge, handily located five metres from the finish line, to us all. And also to Staffan, Jonas, and Rob for collecting in controls. (Apologies to Damien and Judith, because the collectors got to the last couple of controls before you did!)

And lastly to André Pierlot, for spotting that control 12 on the “Deer” course had been removed during the 90 minutes or so after the planner had put it out. But, no thanks at all to the thief of rue Pierre Conrardy, who now presumably is the proud possessor of an ageing 15cm O-flag plus one of the Club’s newer pin punches. Why do people do this? It seems to happen in Luxembourg much more often than in other countries. Don’t they realise that it is, purely and simply, theft?

Luxembourg OC looks forward to welcoming all members and friends to LuxNUL 4, on Wednesday 12 February, in Bonnevoie. Further details on this website a few days before the run.

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