Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

December Social 2016Monday 5 December

Martin Quirke reports on the ESOC December social 

Martin Quirke reports on the ESOC December social

As the regulars to the ESOC monthly social will know, I haven't showed my face at to many socials for a while. However I was glad to have taken the opportunity along to this month's social, which took us outside the bypass to deepest darkest Currie. It took a matter of seconds from walking through the front door of home of the hosts, Fiona and Robert Findlay, to be reminded of what exactly I had been missing out on; the friendly welcome, sharp wit, and light-hearted banter that, straight away, made me consider a return to more regular appearances.

Terry Johnstone had planned a Score course, with a question to be answered at each control valued at 10 points per correct answer. Two 'courses' were available with a choice to pre-select a time limit of either 35mins or 45mins. Penalties for late return were sharp, at 15 points per minute late, rounded up! Before we set off there was much talk overheard on technical tactics, such as how to prevent temporal meteorological conditions from enticing unwilling participants into adopting a ground proximal horizontal position (aka how to avoid slipping on ice). But eventually, once various 'cats' had been herded outside, we dispersed on our collective, yet individual missions, breaths visible in the air, and sounds of many feet pounding on tarmac.

Once I'd set off, it didn't take long for me to realise that my prep for the run was not as robust as I imagined; I had after all even packed spare head-torch batteries into my jacket pocket! What's the one thing you usually need for club socials that you don't need elsewhere? Pens of course! Without e-card timing, or punch cards, writing an answer to the control question is the only way to conform that you visited. It's not that I forgot to bring one, but failed to bring a spare, or at least check the functioning of the one I had - now that surely counts as a rookie error? Anyway, much colourful language ensued at regular occurrence whilst within close proximity of control sites.

Back at base, whilst the usual debate and discussion proceeded, a full table of gastronomic delights was mysteriously eroded at near lighting speed. I'm personally unsure if this was as measure of the calorific effort put into the preceding run, or perhaps related to the exceptional quality of spread laid on by Robert and Fiona. One further theory postulated in overheard conversation towards the end of the night more linked the mystery to certain characters that were noted to rarely venture away from the table side during the timeframe in question (ahem).

And then there were the results:
Janet Clark emerged victorious on the Short course with a clear lead of 20 points; evidence of the benefits of regular parkrun participation right there! Meanwhile Brian Miller had the second highest score, despite a self induced handicap of arriving back ten minutes early... oops!
On the the Long course, the navigational superiority of the ladies was once again evident with Alison Cunningham taking the overall checkered flag (250 points), whilst the first male, Martin Caldwell (240) reaped the benefits of regular speedy antics around the 'back end' of Sighthill. Meanwhile, it was only time penalties that prevented Helena Nolan, as second female (217) from overtaking second-placed male, Mark Rowe (217).

Thanks to Terry for planning. As anyone who follows him on Strava might have seen, he didn't use it as an excuse to miss out on the miles, as he attempts to pull off a double Marcathon this month.
Thanks to the Findlays for hosting, and thanks to Fran Humphrey getting off to such a good start as club Social Secretary by organising, despite being temporarily out of action (we hope she feels better soon).

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