Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

British Sprint & Middle Distance Champs 2023Northern Ireland, 6/7 May

Just four ESOC members travelled to the British Sprint and Middle Distance Championships this year, and enjoyed three contrasting races in varied terrain.

The British Sprint Championships event on Saturday was in Armagh City, which is spread over several small hills, with many historical sites, narrow winding streets and Georgian buildings overlooking the green Mall in the middle of the town.
The event centre was at the City of Armagh High School, a short way north of the town centre. There were qualifying heats and finals. In the heats, the start was to the south, in a courtyard on the east side of the Mall, and courses immediately led in various directions amongst complex buildings, with some grassed areas, steps and pathways. A timed-out road crossing was followed by more controls in the grounds of the planetarium on top of a hill, before a few straightforward legs taking competitors back to the finish in the arena.
There was a long wait before the finals, and as the whole town was embargoed, this meant there was unfortunately no opportunity to go and look round. The start for the finals was reached by a walk northwards around some rather muddy fields, and it turned out that the courses were in the grounds of St Luke’s Hospital, well north of the town centre, which featured plenty of route choice among complex buildings set in parkland. Courses looped round different parts of the area, with a spectator control. The weather was fine and sunny.

The total entries in the classes with ESOC competitors were as follows:
M65 - 32; M75 - 16; W65 - 24; W70 - 15.
In these classes, the faster half of the entrants in the heat qualified for the A final, starting in reverse order.
ESOC’s best result came from Janice Nisbet, who won W70. Crawford Lindsay came 2nd in M65B, Brian Yates came 6th in M75B and Sally Lindsay unfortunately missed out a control in W65A.

The British Middle Distance Championships took place at Drumkeeragh Forest, on the eastern side of Slieve Croob (534m), south of Belfast. The assembly area was in a sloping grassy field, with a walk up to the start, which was near the top of a hill, among confusing paths. This is a tough area, with many rock features, steep slopes and ditches giving challenging navigation. The forest is conifer plantation, and there had been recent thinning in the east of the area, making for rough going. Further west, the forest was denser but easier underfoot. The weather was fine, much better than forecast, and many competitors walked up Slieve Croob afterwards to enjoy panoramic views.

ESOC results:
M65 (33 competitors) - Crawford Lindsay 13th
M75 (17) - Brian Yates 13th
W65 (22) - Sally Lindsay 8th
W70 (14) - Janice Nisbet 2nd

Further details about both events are currently available in the event programme. Full results including Routegadget are on the Northern Ireland Orienteering 2023 results page. There are also links to the results in this news item on the British Orienteering website.

These events were the 10th and 11th in the 2023 UK Orienteering League. There are more details about the UKOL, including the league tables, on the UK Orienteering League page of the British Orienteering website. ESOC is now lying 42nd in the club league. The score for each club is calculated automatically from the 15 best club members' scores (across various age class groups) - so the club members whose scores are included may change as the year goes on and more events are included.

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