Much to Shout About at SOL6

Twenty three Moravians made it across to Forvie Dunes for the penultimate round of the 2017 Scottish Orienteering League season.

The 7 SOL races are, with the exception of the Scottish Champs, the premier races in the Scottish orienteering calendar.  They tend to use the best quality areas and have top-quality course planning by experienced course planners. The series provides the opportunity for the best orienteers in the country to test themselves against their peers in their own age category, while at the same time offering an opportunity for novices to compete on the easier courses in a big exciting event.

The results from the SOLs are looked at by selectors when considering candidates for representative teams, and for juniors they are also a good barometer of who might be a candidate for the Scottish Junior Squad.

As is becoming customary these days, Moravian names could be found near to the top of the junior results. SOL6 followed a very definite trend!. Finlay, Kate and Fergus made it a Moravian 1-2-3 on the Yellow course while Isobel and Faith took 2nd and 3rd on Orange. They were the fastest 2 girls so these results will have done them no harm at all in the overall SOL standings where the best 4 races count towards the overall medals. Both girls will be in the top 3 in W12 when the tables are updated later this month. Kate and Finlay look likely to top the respective M/W10 standings while Fergus’s excellent run should keep him firmly in 4th. (Thanks to Lil Kenyon for the photos)

At this point I'd like to acknowledge and point out a selfless act by young Faith. Despite having a great run which she no doubt realized at the time, she stopped to help out young Connie Nicolson of INVOC who was a bit lost. Faith you should be really proud of yourself!

You had to have sympathy for Mairi who had a great run on Green in the W16 class, only to get DQ’d for missing no 13. (update 20/10 - Mairi has been reinstated after GRAMP inspected the "pin pricks" on her backup card). A similar fate befell Jon who posted the fastest time of Short Brown only to find he’d missed no 2. Morag McLuckie must be having nightmares about her no 3 which lost her about 15 minutes, without which she might have finished 3rd on Short Blue. It can be a cruel and unforgiving sport sometimes!

An ever bigger vote of sympathy goes to Kaisa and Ida. They missed their start time due to being held up en route by a road closure. With no map in the car they had to phone Ida's dad (in Finland!) for directions but they got there in the end. "I knew he would be close to a computer and he knew we were going to Forvie and he is good with road maps" said Kaisa. "I could trust his ability in getting us there. But even with all that we took some time!"

Kaisa's perseverance continued when she finally got out on her course. She threatened to record her first ever DNF but no, she got round intact in a time that even our much-esteemed secretary Ali Wiseman would have been proud to call her own. But as the only W35 running she'll have climbed to overall 2nd as a reward. You can only beat what's put in front of you after all. Ida had a testing time on Light Green but just like her mum she displayed that admirable Moravian tenacity in bucket loads to achieve a clear round and still finish above 9 other runners. The most tenacious and courageous orienteers never give up - no matter how bad a run they're having.

But no sympathy was needed for Denise Main who had a superb run in W50 on the Short Blue course, finishing overall 5th and fastest W50. Unfortunately Denise has only been able to make 2 of the SOLs so won’t manage to get the 4 results needed for a leading final position. Still, she had the satisfaction of beating the current 2nd and 3rd placed women. There were other good runs from Dave Weir (10th on Blue in M55 - and 3rd M55) and Andrew Campbell (8th on Short Brown in M50). It was great to see Eddie Harwood continuing to bounce back from his injury, finishing 5th on Green.

So well done to everyone who competed, and we now look forward to the final round in 2 weeks’ time at Aberfeldy when our juniors will also be running for North Area in the Junior Inter-Area competition.

You can see the full results, splits and routegadget on GRAMP’s web site and there's a report on the SOA web site too - and we should finally commend GRAMP for putting on an exceptional event with published results up on the web by tea time!

Below you can see a section from the amazing blue course map