Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

February Social 2024Pollock Halls, Tuesday 20th February

Sabine leaving presentation
Sabine leaving presentation
Credit: Mark Rowe

Alison Harding reports:

“It was a chilly evening when ESOC members gathered outside the Commonwealth Pool, looking enviously at the warm interior. However Sabine soon made us forget that as she explained the event we were about to do - it seemed complicated! Everyone gathered in teams of two or three and we had an hour to collect up to 28 controls.

Each control map was on a piece of paper about the size of a postage stamp and each team member could carry only one piece of map at a time. There were blank maps for us to check out a route to each control and remember it. Windy conditions complicated things as bits of map and blank maps had a tendency to blow away as you looked at them! Then we ran/walked to the control, read a notice and inserted the missing word(s) onto the answer sheet and returned to base for the next control. Some teams ran separately although good communication was required to not duplicate visits to the same control. I was soon very warm. Controls were scattered throughout the grounds of the pool and Pollock Halls, I managed to run over 6km.

Thanks to Sabine for a fun event. We retired to the Salisbury Arms for well deserved drinks and the winners were announced. The mixed team winners were Calum and David R and the senior team winners were Lucie and Heidi. Sabine had just told us she was leaving to take up a new job in Amsterdam so themed prizes included caramel waffles (Stroopwafels) and Gouda cheese.”

We said a fond farewell to Sabine and goes with our very best wishes for her new job and many thanks for all the volunteering that she has done for ESOC (including notably being a planner at the Scottish 6 Days 2023) in her time - always done with a smile on her face!


In the usual ESOC social style a Turf event was held concurrently using roughly the same area, Turfer granitemike explains:

After a relay style handover of childcare responsibilities at home it was straight in the car for a drive over to participate in my first ESOC Turf event. Cutting it fine, it was a case of abandoning the car on a random street (making sure it wasn’t permit holders only… and that I wasn’t parked on the kerb…) and eagerly await the countdown to reveal where the zones were. I must make my first name drop an apology to Turfer RedDoor for running faster than they walked to the first zone!

Suilven had set a great series of zones, taking great care to find every cul-de-sac and dead-end between Pollock Halls and Cameron Toll, and Westwards over towards Mayfield. Many Turfers who started in the North were soon fighting it out for zones in amongst the Students at Pollock, many of whom were probably wondering why so many people were running/walking around their patch. (Some might even have briefly wondered if they’d missed a ‘snap-insta-whats-a-text about free drinks!!).

Meanwhile in the South, JammyDogNut was climbing through fence holes and others were desperately sticking their arm over cemetery walls to no avail. After many zones in cul-de-sacs, helpfully recently relinquished by Elpth, I braved the Prestonfield Golf Course in pitch black. Running past MarkkuEsoc and current elite league member FeTaTo - although I only know that because they were on the screen, it was dark. Note to self - next time bring a head torch… and at least I’ll look like an orienteer.

Luckily I have experience in the rough, and have a 6th sense for bunkers - this time using my experience I managed to miss them. Turfers are a friendly bunch and as Cruachan whizzed past on the adjacent cycle path [not taking part] it was nice to hear a friendly shout of good luck from over the wall. At the time I thought it was very motivating but ten minutes later I realised that what I really needed was luck to find my way out of the golf course!

With the last 10 minutes upon us and after a brief venture to the zone dense Pollock halls which were busy with Turfers HedwigOwls & FeTaTo looking for the same last minute zone near the Pub, I took a decision to run down Minto Street… off I went like a Student who’d missed the no. 3 bus to Kings… to try and catch my last zones of the event.

After recovering the car, the next challenge was walking into a room full of people you only know by their Turf alias.. Are you ZulaTheAlien:)? Ah you are the illusive Furryback. OMG is that really féarglas - in the presence of Turf royalty. Luckily the ESOC naming convention makes for slightly easier introductions, it was nice to meet everyone and I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re back at a similar event. For now, its back to the challenge of winning promotion against pesky Swedes.

Congratulations to everyone (inc. bythesea, Tandem, GMturf, ajmtheperfect who I missed on my way round) who took part and thanks again Suilven for setting out a fun course. You might want to avoid the Prestonfield greenkeepers for a while. The results were analysed after the event and the top 3 in reverse order was Furryback, elpth and topped by granitemike, though it was close at the top and elpth was closing in rapidly on top spot over the closing few minutes. Prizes of chocolate were awarded to the winners.

Full results and details of the Turf event can be seen at ESOC FTT #14 event page of the Turf website.

See this document for a description of how a Turf event works: Participating in a Turf Event

Other entries categorised under: Social - Turf