After the clear frosty evening of 7th Nov, when the northern lights coud be seen all over northern Scotland as far south as Edinburgh, we had a cloudy damp evening for Dave Kirk’s courses at Hazlehead – but nevertheless a large entry. It was a bit of a middle distance style race, with many controls dictated by the shape of the area, and some people clearly had a bit of bother sorting out the fancy control loops and crossovers, and the right order for running the controls. Here are the results for your enjoyment:-
Courses: Long Night: 4.8km , Medium Night: 3.8km
Planner/organiser: David Kirk
Access by car to the Gramp Equipment Shed in Macaulay Drive is going to be severely limited in late September.
Countesswells Road is being re-surfaced, and will be completely closed to traffic between Airyhall traffic lights and the junction with Airyhall Avenue whilst this work is taking place. Macaulay Drive residents will have no vehicle access for a week!
The road closure will commence at 05:30 on Monday 25th September, and will last until 22:00 on Saturday 30th September … or possibly longer if bad weather delays completion of the roadworks.
During that period, the closest vehicle approach to the Equipment Shed will be from Craigiebuckler Drive.
Equipment will have to be carried about 200 metres between the shed and the car.
Please take note, and plan your equipment pick-ups and drop-offs appropriately!
At the 202nd Braemar Gathering last Saturday, the long distance races had great showings from orienteers:
– Hill Race (Ladies) – 1st Naomi Lang (GRAMP), 2nd Tessa Hill (EUOC)
– Hill Race (Open) – 1st Peter Hodkinson (NOC), 2nd Graham Gristwood (FVO), 3rd Sasha Chepelin (EUOC), 5th Alex Carcas (EUOC)
– Hill Race (Ladies Veterans) – 3rd Marianne Lang (GRAMP)
– Two Mile Handicap (Open) – 1st Alex Carcas (EUOC)
Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were present, along with the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal.
Congratulations to the race winners … who are clear evidence that orienteers are just as fit as the specialist hillrunners!
Our pre-Six Days tune-up event took place at Bennachie on Weds 26th July. After a wet day (which the planner can vouch for, as he was setting out the controls in the rain!) the sun came out and the evening finished with immaculate blue skies and a terrific sunset.
The circular maps were a novel training exercise for more experienced orienteers. The maps had no magnetic north lines, and no indication of which way is north! Ideally you should do the courses without using a compass, by simply reading the map, identifying the features, using good attack points, and staying in close map contact. If you have any thoughts on this format, maybe you could let us know, or add a comment to this post.
As a special treat, the Bennachie Centre kindly agreed to extend it’s opening hours and was open for the event. So we benefited from all the facilities there:
The registration desk was in a dry and midge-free zone inside the centre! And there are very good toilet facilities there too. What more could we ask for.
Our grateful thanks to Forestry Commission Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council, the Bennachie Centre Trust and to the manager and staff at the Bennachie Centre, for letting us use the forest for this event, and for providing the excellent facilities at the Centre.
Planner/Organiser: Rob Hickling
We were taken by surprise a bit by a last-minute Saturday rush to pre-enter this event using the Early Email Entry system. We’d printed 85 maps based on early indications of the number of EEE’s. In the end, there were 97 runners. So well done everyone for getting up off the couch and coming along to run.
Extra maps were photocopied on Sunday morning, but they weren’t on waterproof paper and the quality was slightly reduced. So we apologise to anyone who used a map of lesser quality than our normal standards.
There was some vandalism of controls on the Yellow course – controls had been picked up and thrown onto the ground a little way away. They were found and replaced quite quickly by competitors (for which many thanks), but some people will have lost some time – sorry for that. We’ve had controls stolen at Balmedie before (boo….) – so this is not a particular surprise; fortunately none were taken away for good this time.
Routegadget has been loaded – sorry for the delay – it’s been a bit tricky this time, I need to edit the punches because of the cluster controls!
The results for Green and Blue have been adjusted to include any penalties incurred at the ‘joker’ control clusters. Many of you got it 100% right – well done. The Blue was won by Calum McLeod, who won by 3 seconds despite a 3 minute penalty. Hazel and Martin were very close in 2nd and 3rd place, with no time penalties. Dave and Sonia Armitage maded it an impressive family 1-2 on Green, also with no time penalties.
The correct controls in the clusters were:
Blue: A 242, B 248, C 236
Green: X 240, Y 245
Time penalties have been applied by adding them to your run-in split time (i.e. between control 96 and the Finish). If you have any queries, please email the planner!
The planner would very much like to thank Adrian Will and Bob Daly for the great job they did with control collecting after the event. All controls were collected in by 3:05pm. (The planner managed to avoid the very heavy rainshower than swept through Balmedie about 3:10pm!). And a special mention of thanks to Duncan Will for his organisational help all the way through the event.
Our thanks to Anne Hickling for running an excellent soup and cakes stall. Over £120 was raised for Water Aid. Thank you for your generosity. Anne’s objective this year is to raise funds for projects in Madagascar, leading up to a visit to Madagascar in November where she’ll be joining a trek, hopefully seeing some lemurs, and visiting a WaterAid project to see what a difference clean water can make. Only half of Madagascar’s population has access to safe water and only 10% access to decent sanitation, so your support is much appreciated.
On the Blue and Green courses, two or three of the controls will have a special twist:- no control code will be provided, so you’ll have to find the correct control unit purely from the map and control description. There will be several false controls placed nearby to try to confuse you! … and each time you punch a wrong control, a 3 minute time penalty will be applied.
Organiser: Adrian Will
Planner: Rob Hickling
Starry, starry night! Perfect for star-gazing and not so bad for orinteering, either! Although cold (+1 deg) there was almost no wind, and conditions were excellent for fast running. The ground frost actually hardened up the open sandy areas, and made them faster than ever before.
The EMIT equipment worked well despite the cold. All the brikkes functioned perfectly. I think that doing the brikke check at registration is something we should always do. The control units worked fine, although two units (103, and 106) gave numerous low battery warnings – “99 codes”. However, with one exception, they still registered punches on the brikkes of everyone who visited them. The exception affected Matthew Gooch, who logged a “99 code” from control 106, but no punch registered there. As the 99 code is clear evidence that he visited the control, we have happily reinstated Matthew. Controls 103 and 106 are now going to be retired from active duty (after over 10 years service).
There was very close competition at the top of both courses, though you’ll see from the splits that even the speed merchants still had far from perfect runs and some lost considerable time at certain controls. Here are the links to:
Planner/Organiser – Rob Hickling
Enter your routes at our Routegadget2 website.
I’m afraid it was all rather “mizzly” – misty and drizzly … orienteering in the clouds! But fortunately it didn’t really rain and the complete lack of wind meant that it didn’t feel quite as cold as it might have. Anyway you seemed to have enjoyable runs.
My very grateful thanks to all my helpers: Anne, Paul, Jeremy, Chris, Margaret and Carolyn.
Special thanks to control collectors: Bill, Paul, Bob and Helen.
And our thanks to our neighbouring club, MAROC, for kindly loaning us Shooting Greens to use for this event, after the original venue (Raemoir) could not be used due to forestry work.
Yellow: 1.9km, 75m climb; an easy course with controls on (or very close to) paths.
Light Green: 2.7km, 125m climb; a medium-to-hard difficulty course, using the better runnability forest.
Short Blue: 4.6km, 175m climb; a hard course, with more climb and in parts tougher underfoot.
Organiser / Controller – Rob Hickling
Planner – Helen Rowlands