Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

British Sprint & Middle Distance Championships 2016Olympic Park/Leith Hill, 11/12 June

Another long journey south for these British Championship events, with some great results despite appalling weather. 

British Sprint Championships
These championships were held on Saturday 11 June, in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding area, which is a relatively flat area of reclaimed industrial land, landscaped for the 2012 Olympic Games. All but the longest courses for the qualifying runs in the morning were mostly in the residential area across a road from the main Olympic Park, but finished in the bowl of a reclaimed wetland area which is actually part of the Park. The Olympic Rings structure was the second last control and this provided a photo opportunity for many competitors after their run.

The courses for the finals in the afternoon were all fully within the Olympic Park. The start for all courses was close to the Aquatics Centre, and the early controls were close to the Olympic Stadium and nearby landscaped gardens. The latter stages of the finals’ courses were in the reclaimed wetlands, where there were numerous bridges, underpasses, overpasses and a river and canal to add a bit more interest.

The weather for the whole event was a challenge. In the morning it was hot and humid, with everyone trying to rehydrate after their run in time for the finals later. During the break between runs, we were entertained by the flypast of aeroplanes making their way to the Mall and Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s birthday celebration, but the thunder clouds were gathering overhead. The weather broke in plenty of time to ensure everyone was soaking wet well before their run, and also for the actual races. This was rain of mammoth proportions; the maps were sitting in boxes with a couple of inches of water in them.

To qualify to compete for a medal, and become a British Champion, everyone had to compete in a qualifying round. The times from these qualifying rounds determined whether you were to run in the A, B or C finals. Only those who qualified for the A final of their class were actually competing for a medal. The following ESOC members made the A final for their class:
M50: Terry Johnstone (14th)
M70: Ian Pyrah (mp)
W21: Laura Robertson (7th) and Rona Lindsay (10th)
W50: Helena Nolan (7th)
W60: Sally Lindsay (8th), Margaret Dalgleish (14th) and Janice Nisbet (mp)
W70: Eleanor Pyrah (1st)

The star of the ESOC contingent was without doubt Eleanor Pyrah who won the W70 class. Congratulations to Eleanor from everyone in ESOC, a magnificent performance.

Andrew Lindsay (M21), Craig Nolan (M21), Ronnie Nolan (M45), Crawford Lindsay (M60), Les Dalgleish (M65) Fiona Findlay (W65) and Brian Yates (M70) all made the B final of their class. Robert Findlay ran in the C final of M65.

Full results are available:

British Middle Distance Championships
These championships were held on Sunday 12 June, at Leith Hill, near Dorking, Surrey. Leith Hill is within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The majority of the competition area was described in the advance information as a gentle north-facing slope, with a steeper east slope that some courses visited. There were numerous paths and tracks and some unmapped mountain bike routes. Some parts of the area were very runnable, but other parts had significant vegetation due to the time of year.

Navigation was described by those who competed as being quite a challenge with many steep banks, holes in the ground and confusing paths! The very wet weather added to the challenges presented by the courses, the terrain and the vegetation. The courses were described as enjoyable, though the weather was no fun at all.

A smaller contingent of ESOC members made the extra journey to Surrey for the Middle Distance Championships which seems, from results, to have been a smaller event than the Sprint Championships the previous day. Perhaps the attraction was the visit to the Olympic Park or maybe everyone else was still drying out from Saturday.

Despite the smaller numbers, ESOC had some well-placed competitors at these championships, though no winners this time round, perhaps because Eleanor didn’t compete!

The following ESOC members competed:
M21: Andrew Lindsay (18th), Craig Nolan (40th) – (59 competitors)
M40: Ron Nolan (45th) – (59 competitors)
M50: Terry Johnstone (52nd) – (62 competitors)
M60: Crawford Lindsay (23rd) – (61 competitors)
M65: Robert Findlay (retired on his course)
M70: Brian Yates (29th) – (35 competitors)
W21: Rona Lindsay (14th), Laura Robertson (19th) – (40 competitors)
W50: Helena Nolan (16th) – (40 competitors)
W60: Sally Lindsay (8th), Janice Nisbet (10th) – (29 competitors)
W65: Fiona Findlay (9th) – (24 competitors)

Full results are available here.

These events were the 10th and 11th in the 2016 UK Orienteering League. League tables and other details about this league are on the UK Orienteering League website.

Other entries categorised under: Event Reports