Junior World Orienteering Championships

“An experience of a lifetime” was how Teviothead brothers James and Douglas Tullie described their recent trip to the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Lithuania. They were members of the 6 men and 6 women Great Britain Team competing against the top 300 orienteers from 35 countries. The event was based in and around the picturesque southern spa town of Druskininkai.

Their gruelling schedule of five races in six days started with a sprint race around the streets and parks of the town where although the navigation wasn’t particularly difficult the slightest mistake cost several places. James was 1min 41s behind the winner in 63rd place with Douglas a further 16s back in 76th.

The following day was the toughest of the week with the 13km long distance race which took place in a very technically demanding forest with lots of contour detail and low visibility. Added to this the temperature , as it was throughout the week, was over 30 Centigrade. Despite several mistakes the boys both managed to finish in the top half of the field with Douglas, who lost both contact lenses in the dense undergrowth, in 69th and James 1min 8s back in 74th.

After a well earned rest day the event moved on to another tough forest for the middle distance qualification race. Here the field of 170 men were divided into three heats with only the top 20 from each heat making the A final. After decent runs both Douglas and James squeezed into the A final in 18th an 20th places respectively and although they didn’t run as well in the final they had done well to get there.

The week was rounded off with the relay races in a very fast, flat forest on the outskirts of Druskininkai but with legs of 10km and temperatures soaring to 35 degrees it was no picnic in the park. James and Douglas were part of the GB 2nd team which finished in 35th place. Although James now moves into the senior ranks, Douglas has two more years as a Junior and now has his sights set on qualifying for next years JWOC in Australia.