Carlisle Urban Race

Saturday 6 February 2010

Saturday blossomed into a beautiful day so there could be no excuses for not getting out for a run, even with the inconvenience of a slight head cold. I travelled down to Carlisle to take part in the second of the Urban Orienteering League races along with six other Reivers on a cross Border raid.

This was my first attempt at an Urban race and I must say I enjoyed the experience. The map style and the crowds took a little getting used to but the race around the centre of Carlisle still featured key elements of orienteering. Route choice and attention to detail were as important as ever, and staying in contact with the map can be tricky when you have just made a lung bursting dash up a flight of stairs (maybe I should have taken the lift).

The start and finish were adjacent to the Tourist Information Centre in the heart of the pedestrianised area in the City centre and the Tourist Information also provided a convenient place for registration, results and changing .

Competitors route’s took them on a tour of a few of the landmarks of the City centre; the Cathedral, the Castle, the Park (including maze), Sands Centre, Tullie House and the Lanes Shopping Centre. In the latter, much swift side-stepping was required to avoid collisions with the large crowds of bemused Saturday afternoon shoppers. Chris Patterson would have enjoyed this, if only French tacklers were as easy to manoeuvre past!

More than 180 runners competed and as ever Roxburgh Reivers were to the fore on the results board. In the M55+class, 2009 League winner, Douglas Henderson continued his fine form, finishing only one second behind the winner Andy Lewsley (BorderLiners). Kirstin Maxwell impressed with third place on the Women’s Open class, ahead of a few notable names, including clubmate Fiona Forrest who was placed eighth. Karen Maxwell also finished third in the 16 and under age class.

The Men’s Open class was won by Scott Fraser (Interlopers) with James Tullie (Forth Valley) in ninth place. Full results can be found here