The odds of two brothers dead-heating for first place in a major two-day Orienteering competition are almost incalculable. This, however, is exactly what happened at the weekend in the rough, tough and technically demanding forests of Ganavan and Creag Mhic Chailein, near Oban in the West of Scotland.
In the sport of Orienteering where competitors run as individuals from staggered start times, over rough and varied terrain, with electronic timing to the nearest second and where navigational errors can cost minutes it is unusual to get dead heats. It is even more unlikely when the competition is held over two days.
The event was the Future Champions Cup Final, which is the culmination of a series of races to find the best junior orienteer in the UK. The protagonists were Teviothead brothers and Roxburgh Reivers Orienteering Club members James and Douglas Tullie. In the 4.8km middle distance race it was younger brother Douglas who prevailed by 42s while in the 9.1km long distance race it was James who finished in front by an identical margin resulting in them being crowned joint champions. The weekend also counted as selection races for the Junior World Orienteering Championships, which will be held in Lithuania in early July, and this result virtually guarantees James and Douglas a place in the team.
Sunday’s event at Creag Mhic Chailein was also a Scottish Orienteering League race and several other Roxburgh Reivers made the long trip north. The younger junior members of the club also performed well with Jedburgh’s Karen Maxwell finishing 4th on Junior Women 3 ,while her older sister Kirstin, fresh from competing in the World Schools championships, went one better on JW4 with Sarah Tullie 7th on the same course. Other results, Lindsey Knox 4th W45L, Eileen Maxwell 5th W40S, Caroline Tullie 5th W45S, Ian Maxwell 12th M45L, Bill Bruce 2nd M50S, Jim Knox 4th M55S & Douglas Henderson 6th M55L.