Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Scottish Score Championships

Dalkeith Country Park

Sun 21st Nov 2021

Type of event: Regional, Score
Near: Dalkeith

Provisional results are here

ORGANISER'S COMMENTS - Tyler Morrison writes:  It was third time lucky for the Scottish Score Championships and we were treated to a day of fine November weather. The courses were well enjoyed by all and there was little evidence of the very recent new out of bounds area having had any impact on competitors’ enjoyment of the day and few would have realised the 'excitement' in organizing and planning over the last fortnight.
Thank you to the whole ESOC team of volunteers who made the day run so smoothly.  And finally, it was all well worth it to see such a great turnout - thank you to everybody who came along and well done to the new Scottish Score Champions.

CONTROLLER'S COMMENTS from Peter Halling: I hope you all enjoyed the event – at least the weather should have helped!  We did suffer a bit from the late added restrictions imposed by the park. A large SSSI of oak woodland in the NE had always been out of bounds, but we had permission to cross it via one path, connecting in the N with a second bridge over the River North Esk. This made it possible to choose loops using both bridges to connect controls. We also lost a few controls in areas to the S of the SSSI, which meant we calculated it might just be possible to collect all the controls – in fact one person managed this on each of the 60 min and 70 min courses.

There was a mix of opinions about the choice to have all controls with equal point value. I had first suggested this possibility to Martin, based on experience at a Score Champs at Dollar many years ago which used the same policy. As a competitor there, I found it particularly hard to select which controls to take – many different loops looked equally good. This is in contrast with many score courses, where “head for the high point values first, then see what time is left” seems to pay off. Certainly my impression on the day at Dalkeith was that the system produced a large number of different choices of control order, which is what gives score events their special nature.

For the 70 min course we needed controls in the urban section to get the required minimum length. Because of the different map scales for the park and the urban, it would be hard to make correctly a close call decision on whether to prioritise controls in the park or the urban. So to prevent one bad early decision ruining someone’s race, I ruled that it needed to be obvious what was the right strategy if you studied the map for a few seconds. There were clearly more points to be scored by doing a loop in the town, and I think most people did this.

Thanks to Martin Caldwell for all his planning work, including finding some nice control sites, and making the necessary last minute changes up to the map printing deadline. And thanks to Tyler Morrison for a calm and smooth job as Organiser, even coping with an enforced change to the Start location at less than a week’s notice.


South Park Wood & Hay Lodge Park, Peebles

Colour Coded Event

Sun 03rd Oct 2021

Type of event: Local
Near: Peebles

Results are here

Winsplits are here

Routegadget white and yellow here

Routegadget orange to brown here

ORGANISER’S COMMENTS: Janet Clark writes: Peebles was the place to be today!    Bright and sunny beside the sparkling River Tweed, autumn leaves beginning to fall; cool but not freezing.  Interesting courses with lots of compliments to the Planner Peter o'Hara.  Fun to be holding an event almost as normal, with everyone enjoying meeting friends from other clubs. 
PLANNER'S COMMENTS: Peter O'Hara writes: South Park with its steep terrain, in parts limited features and few river crossings I found offered a fun challenge to plan for, although it did result in some repetition with the Sprintelope in June. With the shorter courses to avoid serious climb I had to have them hugging the river which did limit route choice. For longer courses once you get them up the steep slopes to the hill tops you have the luxury to stay up there on more runnable terrain and even visit Spoon Wood, the enjoyable little patch of wood to the south of the map. The mid length courses especially the Green, I found trickier, getting away from the riverside but without the luxury to stay up on top for long, therefore a large proportion of the course was up and down the steep slope. One option was to have the course divert round to use the part of the wood with the less steep incline to go up and literally go under some climb by using the tunnel on the way back, but this would have increased length and proportion on tracks. I know some Green runners were disappointed to miss out on the tunnel, although maybe others were glad, it can be really spooky on your own in there.

Some newcomers came from Peebles to the event, although not as many as I wished. I got a text from a family today who enjoyed it very much and asked when the next event will be. I did get other feedback that for newcomers it all looked a bit technical.  Something to think about.

Finally thanks to…Crawford Lindsay for dealing with my steady dribble of map correction scribbles so patiently and efficiently, to the thoroughness of controller Robin Sloan from RR going beyond the call of duty in keeping a novice planner like me on track (and off it), to Roger Garnett for stepping in to support controlling prior to the event and to Hanne and David Robertson for helping collect controls. That was something I was very glad of after suffering with ‘South Park’ legs. I suspect I am not the only one suffering with ‘South Park’ legs today…

Range of courses from White through to Brown. Something suitable for everyone. Pre-entries closed on 30th September.


Mary Erskine School & Ravelston Woods

ESOC Local Event

Sun 12th Sep 2021

Type of event: Local
Near: City of Edinburgh

Results are here

Winsplits are here

ORGANISER'S COMMENTS from Janet Clark: There were lots of things about this afternoon to really enjoy and appreciate:
The lovely grounds of the Mary Erskine School; with the adjacent slightly more complex Ravelston Woods.
The willing co-operation of the Sports Centre, providing access to the grounds and mains electricity 
The cool dry weather, ideal for running.
Forty members of the school orienteering club enthusiastically competing with each other.  
A good number of non-members finding their way through the obligatory pre-entry system.  
The extra bonus for young children of the Short White Course that they could do by themselves; very exciting! 
The hardworking small team of club volunteers who made everything run smoothly.
Lots to love about orienteering!

PLANNERS’ COMMENTS from Katherine Kirk & Thea Thomas: For an area which is not “out in the wilds” Mary Erskine School and Ravelston Woods has some surprisingly hazardous parts – the high crags and quarries. There is also a danger of moving traffic at several points on the site which needed to be taken account of on White and Yellow courses. These factors dominated the planning, along with the single crossing point between the School and the Woods, and the “pinch points” to get around the sports pitches. 

Planning originally started in January 2020 and resumed in August 2021 when we got a date for the event. It was good to have the 2021 map version which incorporated new buildings and paths close to the school. Thea drafted White and Yellow and repeated her innovation of Toddle Course (Short White) designed as a chance for young novice competitors to try something very short and safe on their own or with a little help. We recommend it to anyone planning on a suitable area!

It was interesting to use the multi-level school buildings, and the woodland area has some tiny lovely areas with pine trees which I wanted people to visit. Since there were many paths I tried to maximise the number of decisions needed on the Green course. The other key aim was to get the Yellow participants safely out of the woods. Thea said it was fun to plan but hard to get enough distance for White and Yellow. 

On the day we had two issues, two controls swapped numbers between the penultimate and final version of the courses, so we had to renumber with sticky labels. An incorrect control placement on Green was rescued out in the forest by an experienced early starter. Apologies to competitors, and thanks very much to the computing and download team for dealing with this complication and fixing it in the results.


ESOC Ultrasprint 2021, Inch Park

Maze combined with Park orienteering

Sun 22nd Aug 2021

Type of event: Local
Near: City of Edinburgh

Provisional results can be found here and the cumulative results here.

Organiser, Janet Clark writes:  The Ultrasprint is a fun event for the competitors, but it also has several unique complexities in execution. These were tackled with aplomb by the Maze-setting Team, the Control-placing Team and the Computer Team (ie Gordon), all skilfully  overseen by Sabine, who acted as both Planner and Controller on the day. 

This particular event was originally planned for two years ago by Callum Tyler who has since moved to France, and was carefully updated and amended by Sabine and Simon Gregersen, together with the original Controller Roger Scrutton.

The action started slowly and gathered pace as people started their second and third runs, got the hang of the Maze, and warmed up enough to put in good efforts on the uphill run-in to the Finish, cheered on by the onlookers.  Then at the end the competition for the fastest time for the Maze-only got pretty fierce.  How could anyone possibly do it in under two minutes? 

Grateful thanks to the very well-oiled team of helpers who set up and dismantled everything so smoothly, and to the Inch park Community Centre for letting us add orienteering to the wide range of other activities happening at the same time.

A fun event that will be our first post Covid restrictions proper event. 


Penicuik, Ladywood Sprintelope

Wed 11th Aug 2021

Type of event: Local
Near: Penicuik

Provisional results are Here. Thank-you to all the honest people who confessed they had missed part of the course: I have marked then as disqualified. A few name changes may not have been recorded correctly: please email corrections to  

Planner Alison writes: Thanks to those who came to the Penicuik Sprintelope. The 3.1km Short and 4.6km Long courses were planned to have a number of terrain transitions to switch up the style/speed of orienteering between runnable parkland, wooded valley and fast intricate urban estate. In the end, it poured down with rain for the duration of the event, meaning that bums came in useful alongside hands, knees and feet to navigate the slippery muddy slopes!

It was great to see a number of juniors coming along, shadowed by their parents. 

Apologies for the couple of places where map updates would have been useful (will brush up my OCAD skills for next time).

Congratulations to Ben Brown / Rona Lindsay and James Ackland / Helen Bridle who came in first male/female on the Short and Long respectively. Thank you to Janet, Alistair, my sister Sarah and the Robertson family for help in organising and collecting tapes.

Very informal urban sprint event


Viewforth Sprintelope

Wed 21st Jul 2021

Type of event: Local
Near: City of Edinburgh

Results are here.

How about entering ESOC's next Sprintelope at Penicuik Ladywood on 11th August?  Full details here.

Viewforth Planner Jim Murdoch writes: First all I'd like to say thanks to everybody for coming and it was great to see lots of smiling faces in the sun at the start of the event. A special thanks to Janet and Robert for providing the technical assistance in getting the event running smoothly.
On a blisteringly hot Edinburgh evening the Sprintelopers gathered in a quiet corner of West End Edinburgh for a tour of the local streets. First of all taking in the big hill up Viewforth before a merciful dash downhill towards the Lochrin Basin and the flatter roads and paths along the canal. I hope everyone gave homage to the birthplace of Sir Sean Connery as they passed the plaque between control 12 and 13.
Mercifully no reports of people on the long course forgetting to turn the map over or those on the short course missing their cut-off.
The chat at the end of the event seemed to centre on the route choice between 22 and 23, with all choices deemed bad and too long on such a hot night! Especially when you're so near the end and ready for some strawberries and a nice cool drink. So I'd just like to apologise for planning such a vindictive route choice on such a hot night, but that is after all what a good orienteering planner should do.
I'm looking forward to seeing what the next planner has in store for us at Penicuik, Ladywood Sprintelope on 11th August. Hopefully something equally vindictive.

Informal urban sprint event


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