The results from today’s event at Elibank are HERE
Planner/Organisers report from James Purves:
As an orienteer every time I have competed at Elibank I have found it very challenging both on navigation and fitness which is why it has been the venue for the Scottish Score Championships in 2018 and a Scottish Orienteering League 2016 event among others. Rough, steep, cold north-facing, hillside terrain, covered in mature coniferous and beech forest, with tiring deep, dead bracken hiding lots of fallen trees, branches and debris, plus the time of year, February, when the weather might be horrible played a large part in planning courses.
My task was to plan a small local event with three levels of difficulty: Yellow (easy, fun level to attract children and families); Orange (medium difficulty) and a Green course (hard navigation, physically difficult, to attract experienced orienteers). As there was a date clash with an ELO event at Butterdean Wood we didn’t expect huge numbers – in the end we ran out of maps!
Organising and planning an orienteering event needs assistance from several willing and enthusiastic helpers: Sam is a dab hand with the Condes maps and recced the courses beforehand with me, Judith helping put out higher up controls on the Friday and Saturday morning and mentor Ian Maxwell who checked and advised on the maps before printing and also ran the courses in the morning to “wake” the controls. Ian then did a well-attended coaching session on contours. Robin Sloan communicated with the different owners of Elibank forestry, private and Forestry and Land Scotland re permissions and access / risk whilst Lindsey Knox helped with registration and downloads, etc – the event couldn’t have happened so easily without everyone working together as a team. Thanks again to Rob, Robin and Ian for collecting controls at the end.
On the day we were lucky with the weather which deteriorated only after the event was finished. The Green course attracted a good turnout of 20 competitors from a range of clubs, with lots of positive feedback at the end and plenty mention of the 160 metre finish and gradient !
However it was very encouraging to see the large turnout of families with children who entered the Yellow and Orange courses – we should have had more maps as we ran out. Colin Williams had played a part in spreading the word about the event and it just shows the benefit of promotion. Orienteering must be the ultimate family sport where parents and children of all ages can take part together, in a sort of treasure hunt adventure, finding controls, climbing over fallen trees and scrambling up and down slippery grassy banks. Some enjoyed it so much they went back out and did another course! There were plenty happy faces at the finish and most of them, parents and children, said they would be keen to do it again.