British athletes aim to make a night of it at Muir of Dinnet

Mar junior Amber Graham is pictured competing in the Deeside Night Cup. Picture: Alan Bennett
Mar junior Amber Graham is pictured competing in the Deeside Night Cup. Picture: Alan Bennett

The Mar Orienteering Club is hosting the British Night Orienteering Championships at Muir of Dinnet, near Ballater, this weekend.

This prestigious event has attracted athletes from throughout the UK and as well as many elite athletes, there are more than 300 entrants ranging from 14 to more than 80 years of age.

Jon Musgrave, the former world silver medallist, is organising Saturday night’s event, which has runners setting off from 7pm.

The all-terrain courses, which must be negotiated by head-torch, range from 3km to the elite 11km course, navigating the complex contours around Loch Kinord combined with the heathery rocks and crags on lower slopes of Cnoc Dubh.

This Muir of Dinnet event is not to be missed, offering a true test of technical ability. The terrain varies between very fast open moor and clean forest floors to the more physically demanding, steeper, heathery slopes.

The forest area is fairly sheltered so it is hoped that the weather won’t cause any problems, though competitors will likely have to carry a waterproof (in addition to a compulsory spare torch) for the night race.

The event centre and parking will be around Dinnet Community Hall and the B9119 Burn O’Vat road will have a 20mph speed restriction for the duration of the evening because of orienteers racing back and forwards during their run.

On Sunday, the first Compass Sport Scottish Orienteering League event of 2019 is being held at Birsemore Hill, Aboyne.

Road marshals will be in attendance to assist with competitors crossing the B976 South Deeside Road.

The event centre is within the Deeside Community Centre and some entry on the day is available for anyone wishing to participate.

More information on the event and local orienteering can be found at www.marocscotland.org.uk

Maroc have organised a block of four introductory sessions for newcomers to orienteering, during February and March.

The sessions are particularly targeted at family participation but are also suitable for new adults. Full coaching is provided and there will be an opportunity for both children and adults to have a go.

Sessions will be on February 24 (participation in event at Birsemore) and March 10 (Torphantrick near Cambus o’ May). Full details and an application form are on www.marocscotland.org.uk/introductory-orienteering