I hope you are all doing well! Summer approaches with thunderstorms, blazing sunshine and the end of UBOC emails for the academic year. Over the summer there is plenty of opportunity to get your fell running/orienteering fix, British Orienteering keep a comprehensive calendar of events in the UK and the Fell Running association keeps a similar list. This weeks email includes two such events that UBOC will definitely be going to, the Midsummer of the Gower weekend run by SBOC and the Harvester Night Relays in West Sussex.
Scottish Individual Champs and Relays – by Tom Dobra
The Scottish Individual Orienteering Championships were another test of endurance, like the British, only rougher under foot but with a drinks station this time. My 12.7km course started in low visibility forest crossing deep vehicle ruts before heading out across boggy heather, through gorse bushes with amazing yellow flowers, then some lovely runnable pine forest. On exiting, I discovered an unmapped man-eating marsh, ending up chest deep unable to feel the bottom but too muddy to swim either; I only managed to get out by lying on bits of semi-floating grass! After another heather and gorse round, I finished in 15th place with a time of 145:39.
The relay on Sunday at Roseisle was superb! Running for one of BOK’s two teams, I set off first in a mass start of over 100 teams for a high-paced race on forested sand dunes. Except for a leg along the beach, wiggly contours was the order of the day – orienteering at its purest! After my respectable men’s open leg of 51:25, my team was unfortunately last in our handicap class, but a fun day nonetheless.