Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


ESOC Ultrasprint 2022, Hailes Quarry Park (Edinburgh)

Image of the Hailes Quarry Park map

Sun 14th Aug 2022

Info updated: 15th Aug
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Parkland


Provisional results are here

Combined results are here

General Information

Provisional results are here

Combined results are here

BACKGROUND: The Ultrasprint is a fun event and is much more 'social' than our other events. Hopefully the weather will be kind and it will be an ideal opportunity to bring a picnic and socialise after running. 

EVENT FORMAT: Controls in a Maze combined with some park orienteering. The challenge is to navigate around the controls in the Maze quickly and cleanly. The fastest runner may not be the most accurate. It is entertaining for the spectators and makes a very welcoming, sociable, fun event which everyone can enjoy.

TERRAIN: Hailes Quarry Park is a city park which runs along the banks of the Union Canal and is a great space to play, walk and enjoy some quiet relaxation.  This means there are likely to be plenty of members of the public (and dogs) around the park on a Sunday afternoon. Attractions in the Park include an outdoor gym, a mountain bike 'pump' track, playing fields and play area.

TIMING: Sportident (SI) timing will be used. Please note that SIAC will NOT be enabled on any controls.

History of Hailes Quarry Park: Hailes Quarry was active from 1750 to 1900 and at its peak period of production employed 150 men with 100,000 tons of stone being taken out each year. Stone from the quarry was used for stairs and landings during the building for the New Town. It was abandoned in 1902 when it became flooded with water. In the 1970s the abandoned site was used as a landfill site to dispose of Edinburgh's rubbish before it was finally grassed over. In the 1980s the local community formed the Hailes Park Action Group and raised funds for new facilities for the park, including a play area.

TOILETS: Nearest toilets are at Westside Plaza, Wester Hailes and at Sainsbury's Longstone.

Dogs: Dogs are allowed at the event so long as they are kept under very close control at all times. We cannot however allow dogs in the maze so this means they are not allowed on any of the courses.

COVID:  Please don’t come to the event if you have Covid or symptoms of Covid.

Please also try to:

1. Respect other people's personal space at all times; 

2. Make use of the hand sanitiser wherever it is made available; 

3. Give way to other participants and members of the public especially on narrow paths and slow down on blind corners.

Please read and respect the British Orienteering Participant Code of Conduct.

First Aid: The Organiser will have a very basic first aid kit available, please ask for what you need.  

If you possibly can we encourage you to bring your own first aid kit and administer as necessary.  For further specific advice please call 111 or for a life threatening emergency dial 999.  The Organiser will be happy to advise and support you as required, including use of a mobile phone if you do not have one with you.  

The main hospital for A&E services in Edinburgh is:

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
51 Little France Crescent
Old Dalkeith Road
EH16 4SA
Telephone: 0131 536 1000

MEDICAL CONDITIONS: You have the option of downloading and completing this Medical Form. It could be life saving if the organisers are aware of any existing medical conditions in the event of an incident. You can leave it at registration/enquires in a sealed envelope that will only be opened if required and destroyed or handed back to you after the event.


map location

Nearest town: City of Edinburgh


The event will be signposted from Kingsknowe railway station which is near south east corner of Park across the canal.

By Bus: It should be easy to get to the event by public transport (the Lothian Bus garage is close by). Check Lothian Buses website to plan your journey. Service 44 is closest but 34 and 36 will also get you close to the event.

By Train: Kingsknowe station from which the route to the event will be signed.

By Bike: A variety of quiet cycle route maps throughout the city are available on the Edinburgh City Council Quiet Routes web pages. It should be possible to find a place to lock your bike close by while you run.

By Car: No specific parking for this event. Park in the surrounding streets near Kingsknowe rail station and follow signs to event from the station. Please be considerate to local residents who may not be used to people parking near their homes to go to events in the Park.

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION: Approach the Park from Kingsknowe rail station area and registration will be visible.  Registration will be open from 1-2pm. If you are hoping to enter on the day you should come in time to register and complete your entry by 2pm.

START and DOWNLOAD: These will be very close to Registration.

START TIMES: 1st race:  13.30 – 14.30      2nd race:  up to 15.00      3rd race:  up to 15.30

There are no allocated start times.  First start is from 13.30 as above and the start procedure is described below under 'Course Information'.

DOWNLOAD: You must download immediately after you complete each course. You are then free to clear your SI dibber and start your next course.

Course Information

There will be 4 separate courses. Courses 1, 2 and 3 will each be around 1 - 1.5km in length and all visit the maze at some point.  These courses will not have control codes in the second column of the control descriptions.  It is up to you to make sure, by accurate map reading, that you are at the right control. The winner's time is the combined time for Courses 1, 2 and 3. A penalty of 2 minutes will be added to your time for each control wrongly punched. 

You will be allocated to a course for your 1st run at 'check' then join the other queues when you come back for your 2nd and 3rd runs. In the past maps have been re-used and you only got to keep one copy; this year you will be given a new map each time, plus a maze map, and can keep them all.

The 4th course is a maze only course and this will have control codes in the usual way. 

COURSE MAPS: Each competitor will have their own copy of each map. No map sharing as in the past.

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.

Entry Details

Advance entry via Race-signup is required.  Entries open 9am on 1st August and will remain open until 10am on the morning of the event  (Sunday 14th August) assuming maps are still available. To be guaranteed maps you must enter by 6pm on Tuesday 9th August. After that RaceSignUp will only accept entries as long as maps are available.

There may be a limited amount of entry at the event but this will be subject to maps being available.  You must do this at the latest by 2pm and PLEASE BRING CASH.  It is much riskier in terms of cost to ESOC to order large numbers of extra maps when there are 4 for each competitor so we strongly suggest you pre-enter by the early date given.

ENTRY FEES: Seniors - £7.  Juniors - £4. 
NOTE entry fees cover all four courses and each competitor will retain their own maps (3 are double-sided) to take home - no map sharing now as was the case in the pre-covid past.  
There is a MAZE ONLY OPTION, which will be free, aimed at young children.

A Senior is someone born 2001 or earlier and a Junior is someone born 2002 or later.  Currently matriculated students will normally be eligible to enter as Juniors and pay junior fees.

Free SI card hire, if required, but £30.00 charge will be made if lost. Note that SIAC will NOT be used for any controls. This would not work because of the maze.

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Helena Nolan (ESOC)

Organiser: Martin Caldwell (ESOC)

Advance Contact: EMAIL

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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