Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Peebles, Sprintelope

Image of the South Park Wood map

Hay Lodge Park & South Park Wood

Wed 09th Jun 2021

Info updated: 13th Nov
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Parkland, Woodland


Here are the results.

Planner, Peter O’Hara’s comments on the Evening:  First of all, congratulations to the winners, Yotam Bertrand from MAROC on the long and Ben Brown from ESOC on the short, and to everyone else that made it around the physically and technically challenging courses on a clammy night in Peebles. The only respite was the cold darkness of the 500-metre long Neidpath tunnel. Although a runner did appear suspiciously wet at the finish so may have cooled down by opting for a ‘route 1’ across the River Tweed.

The red tapes were quite a challenge to find, especially as they were at times hidden behind or deep in the feature, moreso for the colour-blind competitor (noted for next time!). The nettles were a problem at a few controls, and just when legs were starting to recover from Gosford. Quite a few brave souls did the course in shorts too. 

Thanks to Margaret and Janet for keeping me on track in planning the event, with spot on advice and guidance. I was a little worried that this event would be too much of an odd one out from the normal urban Sprintelope, but we were very pleased with both the turnout in Peebles and the positive feedback on the ‘challenging’ courses and especially the tunnel experience. 

General Information

Sprintelopes are very informal events mainly featuring Urban style races around the streets of towns in Edinburgh and the surrounding area on Wednesday evenings throughout the Spring and Summer. 

HOWEVER, the Peebles Sprintelope is a bit different.  It will feature parkland and woodland on the edge of Peebles in a recently remapped South Park Wood. The terrain varies from open parkland to woodland on steep riverside slopes and undulating hill tops.  Then there is the Neidpath railway tunnel!! A key route choice on both courses is the spectacular 500 metre long, unlit tunnel so bring a headtorch/torch!

There are also some stunning views of the Tweed valley, Neidpath castle and the Neidpath viaduct to enjoy while out on your run. 

MAP SCALE: Confirm on the night but likely to be 1:7500.

Because they are informal, there are SI units only at the start and finish – the rest of the controls at the Peebles Sprintelope will be pieces of red and white tape tied to the feature or a tree nearby. There are no control kites or numbers.   The events are for members of orienteering clubs who generally know what they are doing.  Everything is taken on trust in terms of going to the correct controls.

COVID 19: You should not attend the event if you are showing any symptoms of Covid 19 even though you have pre-entered.  Social distancing will be necessary at all times, even out on your course, and the start will be managed appropriately to comply with all relevant Government and Scottish Orienteering Guidelines. 

A separate Covid risk assessment will be prepared.

IMPORTANT SAFETY ISSUES: Do not attempt to take short cuts by crossing the River Tweed, only use the bridges.  The slopes in South Park woods can be slippery in parts especially after heavy rain so unlike other Sprintelope events in urban areas, footwear with good grip is recommended.  There are also areas with undergrowth on both courses and some gorse on route choices on the Long Course, so full leg cover is required.

The disused Neidpath railway tunnel is pitch black in the middle, so requires a headtorch/torch for saferty. The tunnel will be labelled and marked on the map with dashed red lines.

The Long course crosses a minor road so under 16s should be accompanied by an adult.

OTHER USERS: Haylodge Park and South Park wood are popular with dog walkers and joggers, please show courtesy to all and provide space when you pass particularly in view of COVID 19.  Note that the finish will be on the south side of the River Tweed and to return to the car park you have to cross a footbridge that operates a one-way crossing system because of COVID precautions. Please wait your turn to cross.

LIVESTOCK: There are sheep with lambs in fields around the woods. Please keep dogs on leads at all times outside Haylodge Park.

PRIVATE PROPERTY ON MAP: Please do not enter the courtyard of Neidpath castle under the arch, this is private property and is marked out of bounds on the map, rather use the gate and path to the right-hand side of the courtyard.


map location

Nearest town: Peebles


On the A72 Glasgow road that heads west out of Peebles, park in the Neidpath car park beside Haylodge park at Staddlestones, Neidpath Rd, Peebles EH45 8NN. From here the start is around 200 metres or so inside Haylodge park beside the main entrance. Cross over the Neidpath road into the park through one of the gates.  MAP SHOWING PARKING AND START

Registration & Start Times

No Registration or Enquiries on the night. Start times are between 6.30pm and 7.30pm (note the shorter time than usual) and you can choose a time slot on the entry form (see below).  We want to keep things moving so there will be a reasonable amount of flexibility on the night in terms of getting started. 

SI timing at start and finish only.  You'll be asked to punch clear and start units then either the 'short' or 'long' SI Units at the start.

Please bring a map bag or poly pocket in the event of bad weather.  You'll have time to put the paper map into your map bag before punching the start unit.

At the finish punch the Finish SI Unit and remember to head straight to Download to get your time. You will be directed to where this is.

If you don't have your own SI dibber you can borrow one free of charge from ESOC but you must mention this on the online entry form and arrangements will be made for you collect your hired SI dibber near the start.

Course Information

There will be a long course (around 5.5 km – 270m climb) and a short course (around 3.8km – 180 m climb). Both courses have some steep sections on physical terrain and offer moderate technical difficulty.

The Long course crosses is a minor road so under 16s should be accompanied by an adult.

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

ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED and maps have been printed. 

Current Start List - you can double-check your start time here. There will be flexibility on the night in order to get everyone started without any gaps.


Senior orienteering club members: £3

Students who are orienteering club members: £2

Junior orienteering club members: £1

SI hire: free but £30 charge if you lose it

You will be advised by email how to pay for your entries. No cash will be accepted on the night.

Contacts / Officials

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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