Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

Hair of the Dog social - 2024Tuesday 2nd January

Matching the words to groups
Matching the words to groups
Credit: Walter Clark

The annual Hair of the Dog event saw an excellent turnout of ESOC members; more being in attendance than any year in recent memory. It was cool and dry overhead, but very muddy/wet underfoot particularly on the grassy areas. Once underway however it was very pleasant indeed!

The orienteering element involved a 60 minute event, amusingly titled as ‘Headless Chicken’ that was planned by Katy, and designed to appeal to children, adults, runners and walkers alike. All members were given a blank map at the start and told there were 32 controls placed within the grounds of Mary Erskine School and Ravelston Woods to find. Each control had a word written on it, which we wrote down on the back of our maps, these then formed 8 groups of 4 words which we had to correctly group together. As one runner remarked, it was an interesting exercise in herd (Headless Chicken) mentality, it being amusing to realise how strong the urge is to follow any other group of people searching even if you were pretty sure there was no control there! Some friendly helping of each other ensued at the conclusion with the team of Hanne and Maja correctly compiling all the groups, but they were beaten by Richard who also got all the answers correct and found each control but did so in a quicker time. They received a large chocolate bar each by way of prizes in order to slow them down in future!

We then retired to the comfort of the Blackhall Bowling Club where a fabulous buffet was had, thanks to the contributions of everybody, along with much banter and catching-up amongst friends. We were even treated to a bowl of warm delicious soup. A huge thank you to those working tirelessly in the kitchen to ensure we all enjoyed warm food to replace the calories we had burnt off earlier.

There were also various tabletop orienteering-themed quizzes which were completed with gusto, and the ‘Newspaper game’ this time saw three teams pit their wits against each other, finding quotes (some more obscure than others and some that you would definitely not expect to find in an orienteering magazine!) from an old issue of CompassSport. The winning team was expertly captained by David R.

Then came the main event of the day, the Teddy Bear races. Amongst the children's knock-out competition there was much hilarity, encouragement, rivalry and great skills once Mr Starter had called the infamous words, ‘Ready, Teddy, Go’! Alexis took the victory this year from Bronwyn and in the adults' competition, president Walter came out the victor over Dave G. In the Grand Final over a best-of-3 format, Walter was found to have peaked too early and struggled to maintain the pace as Alexis beat him 2 races to 1, along with 1 dead heat and so she took home the very fine, (no expense spared!!) silver trophy and winner's plate.

Sincere thanks to all who contributed in whatever way to make this a fun and successful start to the 2024 ESOC Orienteering Year!

Other entries categorised under: Social