British Championships Weekend

Thanks to James for help with this post.

The British Long Distance and the British Relay Championships were held in the North East this year. A small but hardy contingent of SLOW members made the trip up to Whitby and around for a fine weekend of orienteering.

Long Distance Champs

Eleven SLOW runners completed the long distance champs, all agreeing with the coordinator’s interview comments and being exhausted but happy enough crossing the line. The courses were as expected tough, involving extensive use of the terrain across the Mulgrave Woods site to test the runners. Winning times were higher than expected, reflecting the heavy rain of recent months, rough going in parts of plantation and steep slippery banks for river crossings. Particular congratulations to Jason, James and Himmy for completing the 14.4km /550m M21E course.

An outstanding result for the club was Mike Murray’s win of the M80 title, which he adds to his JK win this year. His prize at Mulgrave Woods was a trophy, a medal and a handshake from Steve Cram, British Orienteering’s President giving his time to the event.

Diane Leakey was third on W65.

The elite class winners were Will Gardner from Octavian Droobers and Fiona Bunn from Edinburgh University Orienteering Club with times of 101:14 and 101:16 respectively. (A good bit more than 88-92 expected winning times, EWT)

British Champs Results

Mike is presented his trophy by Steve Cram
Resting after the Long


Ready for the relays

Sunday offered continued good weather, if colder, for the relays. SLOW presented five teams (including a SLOW, HH and DFOK team in the M18 relay utilising a new rule to allow spare juniors from neighbouring clubs to run together). All had a good run around the Hutton Mulgrave Woods and Skelder Plantation nearby to Saturday’s venue. Most enjoyed the more runnable woodland to the East, the challenge of the varying states of the active plantation to the West, and the headlong run in down the side of the arena field. Several competitors had to return to claim shoes lost on the final bend to the mud. SLOW’s club tent was sited in a great place to watch the drama and catch up as a team through the day!

Packing the tent afterwards

The M18 team had the best result – they were 5th. Really well done to the team of Timofey Zorin (SLOW), Rory Nesbit (HH) and Luke Bennett (DFOK). Incidentally Luke was one of the runners who managed a run at all the Park Race Series events last year.

In the Men’s Premier Forth Valley (Chris Smithard, Graham Gristwood, James Hammond) won from last year’s winners Octavian Droobers and one of several Edinburgh University teams. In the Women’s Premier Edinburgh University (Rachel Brown, Isobel Howard, Fiona Bunn) won from South Yorkshire and Interlopers.

British Relay Results

Steve setting off his team. Photo by Wendy Carlyle
Timofey flying to handover. Photo by Wendy Carlyle
The SLOW Men’s Premier team came 17th

Thanks goes to the clubs of the NEOA association and all the volunteers for hosting and managing the events: CLOK, NN, DEE. A shoutout also to Cleveland Mountain Rescue for work with a tow truck to pull cars from Sunday’s parking field, plus providing first aid assistance on Saturday.

On to the middles in two weeks time…