Seven Get Lost in Devon

Seven Reivers travelled down to Devon to compete in this year’s Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering held over Easter weekend and in fact pleasingly none of them admitted to being lost for any length of time.

There were roughly 3000 competitors taking part and Roxburgh Reivers members held their own amid the stiff competition. In particular Kristen Maxwell stood out with superb performances in the sprint and in the two longer individual days. Kristen strode up onto the podium after each of the individual races. Her achievement in the sprint event on Good Friday at Becton College, near Exeter was outstanding. Here she showed the competition a clean pair of heels to win the 2.8 km women’s W18 class by 50 seconds.

The next two races on Saturday and Sunday were run over longer distances and offered contrasting terrain and conditions. On both of these days Kristen was again in excellent form to place third overall on W18E.

The first of the two longer races was in Cook worthy Forest, near Okehampton, just north of Dartmoor. The forest was a dense mixture of conifer and deciduous trees, making for tough running which was made even tougher by the wet and miserable weather conditions. The assembly field was a very soggy place indeed and many competitors chose not too spend much time here after their run, opting instead to return to their cars which were parked some distance away. The next day the racing moved to the North Devon coast to Bradenton Burrows, one of the largest areas of sand dunes in Great Britain. This made for complex and tricky orienteering but thankfully the weather was sunny and dry making the day altogether more pleasant. However, a strong breeze powering off the Atlantic may have made the surfing good but prevented the mercury from reaching any great heights.

As well as Kristen Maxwell the other Reivers also performed well. Karen Maxwell, finished 27th in the W16A race while mum Eileen was fifth in W45S. Dad Ian held 36th place in the very competitive M50L class but was unfortunately disqualified for a punching error at Braunton Burrows. Fiona Forrest finished in 14th place on W35, despite a painful foot injury which hampered her progress, while Douglas Henderson moved into fourth place overall in the M55S class after a storming second place on the complex sand dunes of Braunton. Robert Cranston cycled (slowly) across Devon to get to the events and still had some energy to finish twelfth on M45S.

On the final day of the JK the Reivers were represented in the relays by a team of Maxwell Ladies; Karen, Eileen and Kristen finished 14th in the women’s short open class. Full results can be found here