Lochaber 2001 review

After months of uncertainty, the Scottish 6 Day International Orienteering event took place in the Western Highlands last week (Aug 5-11). The foot and mouth outbreak had meant that no decision could be made on access to the competition areas until late May, which meant many months of preparation compressed into a few weeks. Thankfully the quality of competition did not suffer, and some superb Orienteering was enjoyed by over 3000 competitors at locations ranging from Arisaig on the west coast, to Laggan in Speyside, and down to Ardchattan on Loch Etive.

Photo: club group photo

Although Day 1 at Achdalieu near Fort William proved to be the first event in several months for many Reivers, the cobwebs didn’t seem to last for too long and several club members finished well up the rankings overall. Gold stars in particular for Douglas Tullie, who finished an excellent 3rd place overall in M14A, and ended the week by taking second place at Fersit on Day 6. Also doing well were John Tullie (9th overall in M40L) and Robin Sloan (11th in M50L). Finally, former Roxburgh Reiver Donald Wallace, now in Galloway and running for Solway, showed the best consistency in the shorter M50S class with an overall win. Full results, including breakdowns and split times for each day, can be found at the Lochaber 2001 Web site.

Roxburgh Reivers were involved in the organising of Day 2 at Gorstean and Strathmashie, which was also the venue for Day 4, and provided both an organiser (Lyndsey Knox) and a planner (Robin Sloan). In addition to this, club members ran the starts and managed not only to be suitably organisied for most Reivers to have a run, but also for the sun to come out, ensuring enjoyable sun-drenched runs for those that decided to take part. Thanks to all club members who gave up their time to help (and especially to another ex-pat, Fiona Forrest, who roped in her new club BKO).

Photo:Intensive energy restoration on the beach

The sun also made an appearance later in the week at the impromtu club barbecue held on the beach near Day 5 at Arisaig, which proved a great location for those that suffered in one of Scotland’s most technical areas to forget about their ordeals. The photo to the left shows Douglas’s haute cuisine barbecued ‘Marsbanana’ – surely the future in intensive energy restoration for orienteers! However despite a great evening, several club members lived to regret that extra burger when faced with the steep hillsides around Loch Trieg the next day.

The next Six Days will be on the Moray coast in 2003 and promises to be another week to look forward to.