Denny, 21 July
Sprint Scotland weekend - 19-22 July - Central Scotland. Judy Bell reports on the whole weekend, which included SOUL 6 on Saturday 21 July:
The weekend started with 2 days of sprint coaching followed by 2 days of racing. A few ESOC members attended the coaching. The 1st day was held in Grangemouth and included exercises on visualisation, practising starts and on using long legs to plan ahead. The 2nd day was at Hallglen, just outside Falkirk. This is a very complex area of housing (which all seems to look the same) with lots of stairs and grassy slopes between. The 1st exercise was on route choice and making the best choices. The 2nd was a follow the line exercise where the exact line you were to take was shown on the map – this highlighted how much you needed to concentrate to stay in contact with the map and at what speed you could do this without falling down the stairs! The final exercise was map memory, which many dreaded but which proved to many that they could actually manage this.
The Saturday saw the 1st day of racing with 2 World Ranking Sprint events at Denny. This had attracted many from abroad including the Danish team with some of the top sprint orienteers. The venue initially appeared less than salubrious as orienteers gathered at the Denny Football Centre. This had been part of the old Denny High School and initially looked derelict from the outside but actually had a state of the art astro pitch inside.
The 1st race was also the 6th event in the Scottish Orienteering Urban League (SOUL) series therefore attracted lots of Scottish orienteers, including a good turnout from ESOC. The courses all started a short walk away but then immediately entered into an intricate area of housing. With lots of alleyways between houses and short legs, it was fast and furious racing. With lots of controls in a small area there were also quite a few miss-punches. The last few controls on each course were within the rough grassland surrounding the Football Centre. The switch of terrain threw many as they struggled to find the correct trees and thickets in the long grass.
There was then a break of several hours and a chance to recover and attempt the Maze course. There was some serious competition on this between many of the juniors. Although many opted to just picnic in the sunshine and watch the action in the maze. The afternoon then finished with the 2nd race. This time the start was adjacent to the Football Centre, meaning that the first few controls were in the rough open land before entering the urban streets. This race was different to the morning race with longer legs and what initially appeared less complex areas. However, mistakes within this were much more costly, as a longer detour was required to correct for such errors. There was one area in particular with lots of fences between the blocks of flats where many fell into the trap of thinking there must be way through.
The final race of the weekend was at Grangemouth, with the assembly area providing quite a contrast to the day before, as it was located within the well maintained new Grangemouth High School. The start and finish were both adjacent to the school with the courses looping through the surrounding streets, including a range of different areas of housing. Again the elite races took place first with everyone else running after. Unfortunately towards the end of the morning a control was removed which affected courses 3, 4 and 5. This appeared to be a source of great amusement to the “alleged” culprits who then proceeded to jeer at competitors as they searched for it. This resulted in the leg to and from this control being removed from the results. However this did not detract from a fun morning’s racing for those who still had some energy left from the previous 3 days.
There were some good results from ESOC members in each of the individual races. There were prizes from Sprint Scotland for those who competed over all 3 races in their class. ESOC class winners over all 3 races were Calum Robertson, Young Junior Men (MYJ), Maja Robertson in WYJ and Martin Caldwell in MUV.
In SOUL 6 (Race 1 at Denny) ESOC members in the top half of the results for their SOUL class were as shown below. It should be noted that the Elite classes (Men's and Women's Open) were dominated by international elite orienteers so typical club athletes were much less likely to figure in the top half of the results. Ben Brown however came a very creditable 23rd in the Men's Open (Elite) class of 38 competitors.
W Open (Elite) (33 competitors) - Laura Robertson 11th=
W Vet (13) - Judy Bell 3rd, Jeni Rowe 6th
M Ultravet (15) - Les Dalgleish 5th, Roger Scrutton 7th
W Utravet (6) - Mary Williams 2nd, Janice Nisbet 3rd
W Junior (8) - Rachel Brown 2nd
M Young Junior (3) - Calum Robertson 2nd
W Young Junior (6) - Maja Robertson 1st, Megan Brown 3rd
The full results for all 3 individual races over the weekend plus the overall results can be found here, and further information about Sprint Scotland, including event bulletins, is available on the Sprint Scotland website.
Details of all the SOUL 2018 events, including league tables, are on the Scottish Orienteering Urban League page of the Scottish Orienteering Association website.
There are photographs from some of the Sprint Scotland events on the ESOC Facebook page.
Click the image for a larger version.