Over the extended Jubilee holiday weekend Mar Orienteering Club hosted a major multi-day orienteering event on Deeside, involving five different races spread over four days.
On the Saturday at Glen Fearder, near Braemar, the Scottish individual championships attracted a field of over 750 competitors.
Conditions on the day were perfect for running – dry and bright but cool - and the setting for the finish and assembly area was more than worthy of a national championships.
The courses, planned by Andy Tivendale, were long and physically testing, but with some excellent underfoot conditions making running a pleasure in much of the area. Views of the Cairngorms rewarded those that had to climb the big hills and a new extension to the map around early control points provided added interest seemingly catching out many people into making mistakes.
Class winners from Maroc included Ewan Musgrave M10B, Luke Graham M12B, Kirsty Campbell W12B, Jenny Ricketts W16A, Calum Coombs, M21S, Frode Nebell M35L, Esther Gooch W35S, Sarah Dunn W40L and Caz Dudley M50S.
Sunday’s action moved to Creag Choinnich by Braemar for the Scottish relay championships. Maroc had an excellent representation in the junior classes with eight teams in the mini relay. The majority of these juniors had never participated in an orienteering relay before, so the final team positions including 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th teams were truly amazing.
Special congratulations go to the winning team of Matthew Gooch, Cian McBeath and Jake Chapman. In the other relay classes there were also excellent results from club teams including 4th place in the older junior relay for Abi Mason, Ewan McMillan and Ross McMurtrie and 3rd place in the 14+ handicap for the junior team of Callum Roberts, Evelyn Mason and Jenny Ricketts.
Not so many competitors took up the challenge of the Mountain Bike Orienteering at Scolty on Monday morning but there were great performances from Josh Dudley on the short technical course and John Getliff on the short less technical course.
The sprint race in Banchory on Monday evening provided an excellent spectacle with an arena overlooking the start and finish controls which put competitors under extra pressure. In between, the racing around the streets of Banchory was fast and furious with small hesitations in navigation proving costly in terms of positions. The elite competitors showed what it takes to get to the top in this discipline with a number finding the pressure too much and visiting the wrong control sites. Top Maroc results once again came in the junior classes with 1st places for Jenny Ricketts in the under 16s and Jake Chapman in the under 12s.
The final middle distance races on Tuesday were at Inchmarnoch on the south side of the Dee by Cambus o’ May. Inchmarnoch provides an excellent technical challenge with complex moraine features of hills and depressions in low visibility forest. The courses planned by Andy Oliver lived up to expectations. 100% concentration was required to stay in touch with the map and terrain and to pick good lines of running through the rough forest. Class winners on the day included Joseph Wright in M12 and Evelyn Mason in W16.
The whole event involved a vast amount of work from club members but was much appreciated by everyone that participated.