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Scottish Sprint Championships 2019

Uphall & Broxburn, 3 February

Uphall and Broxburn lie to the west of Edinburgh, along the A899 road. The event centre was at Uphall Community Centre, and the event consisted of two separate races.

Margaret Dalgleish reports:


“The advance weather forecast for Sunday's Scottish Sprint Champs was for frost up to about 10am. In fact there was a bit of frost and small patches of frozen snow first thing, made more slippery by a light shower of sleet just before the first starts. Most people therefore took greater care and ran a bit less aggressively than usual. Fortunately there were few injuries.

For the first race, the start and finish was in a field adjoining the Event Centre, so the warm up options were limited to this large field. Competitors waiting at the start could watch the outgoing runners for a minute or so, and later starters could also watch the runners coming in to the finish. The competition area of Uphall North was in fast areas of housing, some parts more complex than others, with most people also briefly visiting controls near the main road running through Uphall. Some route choices included steps which required extra care due to the conditions. The last control was an interesting tripod with kite hanging from it over the top of a tree stump. The control description was a tree! The Planner had to improvise on the morning of the event when he found the tree had been chopped down by the local Council immediately before the event. Well done Roger for inspired last minute 'tree' building.

The afternoon race was on Uphall South. The start was 400m away across the main road through the town, on a convenient piece of parkland with a small children’s play area. The finish was again in the field adjoining the event centre. Getting back across the main road meant a timed out crossing towards the end of the courses. Again, there was fast running through mixed housing of varied complexity with most courses edging into a few bits of urban woodland. The weather was much milder and it was much safer underfoot. Most competitors felt comfortable running at their fastest pace. The timed out road crossing was a mixed blessing! With up to 3 minutes to get across the main road at marshalled pedestrian lights there was a potential opportunity to catch your breath before the final push to the finish. However, there was also a risk of losing concentration from paying more attention to the traffic and the lights changing.

The prizegiving for the Scottish Sprint Championships was quite soon after all competitors had finished the afternoon race. Chris Smithard was on hand to present the certificates and mementoes and to do lots of handshaking. Juniors were awarded certificates for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places with a Scottish Sprint Championships ruler as a memento. For the Senior classes, only the winners received a certificate and ruler. A decent crowd remained to give the winners a rousing reception.

Between races, there was lovely warm  accommodation in Uphall Community Centre for rest and relaxation, with pupils from George Heriots School in Edinburgh selling yummy cakes and hot drinks to boost everyone for the second race. They were raising money to help finance their trip to the World Schools Orienteering Championships in Estonia in April 2019.”

The 2019 Scottish Sprint Championships was determined from the results of Race 1. There were 10 ESOC winners:
    Robbie Martin, M10
    Paul Clatworthy, M35
    Martin Caldwell, M65
    Ian Pyrah, M75
    Jim Clark, M80
    Rachel Brown, W16
    Gill Martin, W35
    Helena Nolan, W50
    Margaret Dalgleish, W65
    Eleanor Pyrah, W75

Other ESOC members who were in the top half of the results for SOUL 2 were as follows:
  M Open (17 competitors) – Richard Purkis 8th, Ben Brown 9th
  W Open (21 competitors) – Sarah Jones 2nd, Helen Bridle 5th 
  M Vet (28) – Martin Quirke 9th, Walter Clark 12th, Terry Johnstone 13th, Alistair Hindle 14th
  W Vet (16) – Judy Bell 6th   
  M Supervet (19) – Keith Brown 7th
  M Ultravet (18) – Alastair Lessells 7th, Peter Halling 9th  
  M Junior (11) – Jamie Lawlor 5th
  W Junior (8) – Maja Robertson 3rd
  W Young Junior (5) – Megan Brown 3rd

Full results from both races, plus Routegadget and other analysis, are available in the ESOC Sprint-O news item on this website.

For a list of all this year’s Scottish Orienteering Urban League events, and the latest league tables, see the SOUL page of the Scottish Orienteering Association website.

Photos of the event from Steve Rush, featuring plenty of ESOC runners:
  Race 1 (Scottish Sprint Championships)
  Race 2