Recent News and Information

MAD bonus in Culbin is open


Roo has planned some TD3/4 exercises also in culbin. These will be available over the Easter Holidays. The title of each map indicates the technique for practice. SEE MAD page for download link.


March MAD now available in Culbin Forest

Please read the Coaching notes – for safety information if not for coaching tips. 

The exercises are 1.5km from the Welhill Car Park – I’ve included a map to show the Car Park and Start/Finish of MAD exercises. MAD2 and MAD2a are similar – only do one of them. Either will combine with MAD1 as the Finish of MAD1 is the Start of MAD2/2a.


All feedback appreciated.



epfurness ‘at’


Soul on the mean streets of the Bronx - report from Colin

Well perhaps more accurately the Scottish Orienteering Urban League (SOUL) on the mean streets of Broxburn.  Following the voiding of courses at the Big Weekend this was an opportunity for me to go to the top of the Moravian leader board – all that was needed was to turn up and get around without mispunching. Broxburn is a very long and not particularly attractive town in the shadow of pit bings – remnants of an industrial past relating to the oil shale industry.   ESOC put on a Prologue (titter ye not) followed by a Chase. Ongoing injuries meant that getting around was the main goal and I managed what I felt was a fault free run including crossing the Union Canal (by bridge) and the Brox Burn itself.  I fared much better than one of my main rivals (Crawford) – he picked up course 3 instead of course 2 and only realised at download.  A steady and unspectacular result but this was the race that got me my SOUL ranking points.   The Chase moved slightly further west and once again crossed the burn.  Remarkable that three runners on my course still managed to miss controls in error.  It was a lovely day in not such a lovely setting – we are so lucky with the attractive venues we enjoy in Highland and Moray.

Orienteering on Ice - EUOC "Big" Weekend from the McLuckies.


Event 1:         Indoor at JCMB

Much to the chagrin of the academics and scientists working late on a Friday evening, we joined EUOC in their student pranks running around the corridors (and the icy roof) of the James Clerk Maxwell Building at Edinburgh Uni.  Revenge was sweet for one budding Einstein who pocketed Control 114 beside staircase A on Level 4 (our 3rd Control) before returning to his experiment.  However, his evil plan back-fired when it resulted in a dozen confused orienteers congregating outside his door – the 4 McLuckies included.  We thought the major challenges were behind us once we’d eventually found the only door which gave access to the roof on Level 7 (this involved us realising that only staircase M would do.)  However, once outside we discovered it had turned into a terrifying ice-rink – questionable risk assessment for this section of the course!  Having risked our necks on the roof we thought it was all downhill (or rather down staircases) to the Finish.  It wasn’t.  Staircase J and the Finish, turned out to be only accessible from one of the other 7 Levels!!  This final leg turned into our longest leg of the entire course.  Although Morag studied there (in the 1900s!),staircase J was a modern addition, removing any potential advantage.

Results:          Finlay (& Peter) 1               Kate (& Morag)  0

 Event 2:        FWTN (Fight With the Night)

Or more accurately: First fight with the head-torch cables and then head out into the night – for more skating.

More student pranks on this Urban Sprint with controls hidden in dark recesses of the Science Faculty grounds.  Surprisingly we all managed to remain upright with Kate coming out on top after Finlay’s struggle with a large shipping container – behind which lurked Control 3.

Results:          Finlay (& Peter) 1               Kate (& Morag)  1


Event 3:         The City Race (VOID)

It was a new experience for us as we arrived at the impressive Assembly at George Heriot’s School on a crisp Saturday morning to find the event “voided”.  It seemed most people didn’t avoid it and instead did battle round the icy streets (skates optional.)  More student mischief occurred, battling with the residents of the plush new Quartermile – unfortunately EUOC lost and controls were removed at the last minute.  It was the first time we’d been asked to “honesty punch” one or two controls on each of our courses.  Kate & Finlay raced around the Meadows and George Square on their courses.  Morag & Peter did a tour of the Old Town with added Dumbiedykes (double Dumbiedykes for Peter on Course 2.)  Morag covered 10km on Course 3, Peter nearly 15km (we’re not telling you how long the courses were!)  All agreed it was a great experience, with some amazing Control locations, despite the challenges.

Event 4:         Arthur’s Seat Classic Race (a.k.a. Fight With The Gorse)

Tired legs (Morag & Peter) as we arrived at an icy Holyrood Park for the final event of the Big Weekend.  Getting to the Start was a challenge in itself, as we slipped our way up a path at the back of Salisbury Crags.  The main challenges on the Courses themselves were:

“too many paths to choose from” – Finlay

“trying to run up all the hills” – Kate

“not knowing my East-side from my West-side of the numerous thickets” – Peter

and “sheet ice on the final descent” – Morag

However, we all survived without disaster.  The EUOC annual event lived up to its name: it was certainly Big and it was a Weekend (to remember)!

The McLuckies


Moravian Honors and Awards

2017 Awards

The awards for 2017 were anounced at the Ceilidh but for those that missed the night out the winners can be found here 2017 awards.


MOR Role of Honor

The winners from this year and previous years can be found here MOR_Honors.  If you know of any additions or errors on this, please let Roo know.



Event Safety Workshop

Event Safety Workshop arranged for Saturday 10 February , 3-6 pm

Nairn Community Centre, Nairn

Please email Ali Wiseman to book on the course. Free of charge and a necessary workshop for all event officials.

Christmas Holiday training

Alan has provided course maps which were used for Culbin training by SEDS recently,and there are mini training kites out in the forest which will be left out over the Christmas holiday. There are 5 loops all starting and finishing at the trig point by Hill 99 tower. There is also an all controls map in case anyone wants to plan their own course/exercise. The various loops are all reached from Wellhill car park.

The maps can be downloaded from the website. The all controls map is here and the training courses here



ESW. Event Safety Workshop

Event Safety Workshop arranged for Saturday 10 February , 3-6 pm

Nairn Community Centre, Nairn

Please email Ali Wiseman to book on the course. Free of charge and a necessary workshop for all event officials.

Once Upon a Time at Lochandinty - Moravians do Northern Night Cup Round 2

As every sane individual knows, there are few things more enjoyable in the depths of winter than floundering around a pitch black forest in the darkest of freezing nights.

And as Mick Curran’s girls keep telling him, every good story should start with “Once upon a time” and should include a hero and villain. Here is the story of Round 2 of the Northern Night Cup, played out on the tundra that is Lochandinty near the barren wastelands of Croy. Thirteen Moravian Cinderellas set off for the party, but who had a ball and who were the ugly sisters?

Lochandinty – its meaning from the ancient Scots tongue loosely translated as “Loch of the polar bear’s fridge” attracted a small gathering of the very hardiest of Moravians.

The baker’s dozen of Moravians among the 50 or so runners did anything but bake in the blackest of sub-zero moonless Highland nights, where all but the most twinkle toed had a big enough challenge to overcome 900 metres of black ice just to get to the start, never mind what came after. But get to the start everyone did, and the race for survival was on.

Just as happened at Mullochard last week, Alan Halliday was left wearing the glass slippers. He got the biggest Moravian points haul after his third place on the medium course. His better half Jane, having obviously upset her fairy godmother somewhere along the way, had rather less celebrating to do. Mrs H is normally to be found well up the results in major events - she’s the 6th highest ranked W55 in Britain don’t you know? But Jane showed her human side, giving mighty encouragement to novices everywhere by taking 17 minutes to find no 2 and retiring in despair!  No such luxury for Mick Curran who enjoyed all one hour and 54 minutes of his adventure, with his 38 minutes for leg 5 just a minor blot on his landscape. “Control after Control was spiked” said Mick afterwards. “Confidence grew then came along control number 5 where my plan of attack did not work, nor did plan B,C or any other letter, and seeing other orienteers suffering the same fate I did feel for them!” OK, so it didn’t quite work for Mick but he wasn’t the only one, by a long way, and at least he got round before the clock struck midnight and his carriage home turned in to a pumpkin. Nobody can take away Mick's glory of being fastest of all 17 runners on the very next leg. Talk about a good recovery! Consistency is a work in progress for our Mick.

Meanwhile, on the Long Course, Mairi Weir was showing how it should be done. Her eventual 6th place wasn’t quite fast enough to get amongst the nocturnal BASOC quintet who occupied the top 5 places. How do they get so unfeasibly good? Practicing every Tuesday night instead of watching East Enders might have something to do with it. It would have been interesting to be a fly on the windscreen on Mairi’s journey home listening to her normally-consisitent dad Dave explaining away his Mick-like disaster at no 5, all 20 minutes and 38 seconds of it.

Stu Thompson was having an altogether better experience than last week as this time his head torch steadfastly refused to catch fire. Unfortunately his brain’s fire-retardant protection system wasn't quite so reliable, giving up right at the end. With the glory of a clear round in not much over the hour in his grasp, our Stu, euphoric at reahing the last one, just punched whichever control he happened to be at (ie not the right one) and sped off to the finish. “It didn’t feel quite right” lamented Stu, “I was too busy following other people.” Lesson learned? We shall see.  Colin Matheson, who in his own words “started, finished and wasn’t last” helpfully explained: “The last control on the long could easily be missed and in fact in the nearby hollow was another control with a similar code (one number out). Just as well I checked!”

Dave Ritchie was a contender for the Ugly Sister award. Having arrived at the event via Aviemore, Carrbridge and finally Dunphail, he discovered he’d come without his head torch. Not good. A dash to Inverness to get one left him with the 'loneliness of the last starter' syndrome on the Medium course, so perhaps not the best of preparation. You’ve got to have a bit of sympathy for that 35-minute mistake at no 11, all alone and without a dance partner, let alone a silver slipper. Our Dave also somehow managed to go walkabout on his way to the finish from the last control, but still claimed the all-important clear round to get some points on the board for his efforts.

So all in all, a somewhat mixed night, but one that will live long in a few memories with plenty of “I learned about night orienteering from that” moments to cherish. In orienteering, however well or badly you do, the important thing is to keep your sense of humour and enjoy yourself. It sounds like most people managed to do exactly that.  “Tremendous fun. Loved every minute.” said John Pullen and that, I think, summed up most people's views.

But we have to leave the final word to Mick. You can read more of his uniquely Mick-like reflections in the thread on our Facebook group. “My Hero award would go to the couple for gritting the path on the way back to download. That helped on the way back and the villain - well no doubts it has to be control 5.”

Thanks to INVOC for a terrific event and a fast results service. Next up is Nairn Dunbar next Wednesday. This will be a family-friendly event with somewhat more forgiving terrain. Don't miss it, it will be really good fun. Get your entry in by the 18th - ENTER HERE


Results with split times

Series Points totals

Moravian Mullochards Fight With the Night

After bingeing on carrots for a week, thirteen Moravians put their night vision to the test as they made the most of the last evening of mild weather before Caroline arrived with the next dose of winter storms.

Rejoicing in the name of Mullochard, the area near Carrbridge for round 1 of the Northern Night Cup has rarely been used in recent years. BASOC had subjected it to recent updating by Stirling Surveys, with what their website described as its mix of woodland, mainly birch trees, fast open areas and slower rough open, and a “wee bit” of marsh to provide shocks to the unwary and unobservant. The web site failed to mention dung, and Mick Curran is currently consulting the trade descriptions act – see later!

BASOC, judging by the popularity of their weekly Tuesday-night Dark-O training sessions, seem to prefer orienteering at night to the daytime variant enjoyed by more conventional folk.  They’re good at it! So it was hardly a surprise to see BASOC names occupying the top 5 positions on the Long course. Dave Weir (7th) gamely provided the nearest thing to opposition that Moravian could come up with, although 18 minutes and about 30 years separated him from course winner James Tullie who gained bragging rights over Jess, his GB international other half. The award for tenacity on this course has to go to Stuart Thompson and Fiona Newcombe. Our Nairn man, who is still getting to grips with orienteering in the daylight gamely held on with only two major walkabouts - to finish in a clear round with a time of 72 minutes. Night orienteering is really tough and there’s no shame in a time like that for almost 5Km. (Editor's note - there were a few mitigating circumstances deserving of more explanation that made a story in themselves. See Stuart's story at the end!)

On the 3.6 Km medium course Alan Halliday (Jess Tullie’s dad) showed that finding your way round around in the dark runs in the family. His 4th place, albeit beaten by 2 very good M14s from INVOC got Alan off to a decent start in the league as best senior male. Tenacity award in this course goes to Mick Curran who like Stu came home in around 72 minutes, also with that all-important clear round. Our duo of juniors, Ida Oikkonen and Isobel Howard gave their respective mums a good run out. Under the rules, juniors under 14 have to be accompanied by an adult unless they have proven ability at night orienteering. To her immense credit, Nikki somehow managed to run with both Isobel and Sophie who was the only junior among 5 runners who successfully completed the short course – in 2nd place too. It seems a shame that the NNC rules insist on shadowing yet then make the shadowed runners non-competitive. Both Isobel and Ida are pretty experienced competitors and did it all themselves, yet they don't score NNC points for their runs.

“No mother should run after two children without eating between to ensure their patience is sufficient to last the second run!” said Nikki afterwards. “They both enjoyed it and Isobel discovered why the use of fixed features like fences and pacing are best in the dark. Every run is a learning experience or so I was telling her as she made me walk through a bog for the umpteenth time.”

Mick clearly enjoyed himself. “I under estimated how much mud there would be and on the way to the start found out how much there was! At least the rest of the course was marsh and my shoes got cleaned. There are always a few things I try to take back from orienteering but that amount of cow poop isn't among them.”

“It was very muddy indeed,” confirmed Kaisa “Very boggy and very wet but fun. Ida didn't need any help on the medium course and I didn’t do myself any favours by running around with a very dimly lit torch. The parsnip soup was excellent!”

Commiserations go to David Ritchie who, having pre-entered, failed to find the start, missed out on his parsnip soup and ended up in Aberdeen instead.

Immense credit to BASOC for staging this event based out of an old cow shed, and getting result up on line within 30 minutes of the last finisher downloading. Organiser Lynne walker wrote on their web site “There was a positive vibe around which was due to the food village & computing being in a small sheltered area and this encouraged competitors to stay around discussing their course (and where they would have won if they had not done X, Y Z)."

And so it’s on to round 2 at Croy next week. It’s INVOC’s turn and they’re asking everyone to enter on-line by 9th Dec (Saturday night). And of course the one you really don’t want to miss is our Golf Course special, at Nairn Dunbar on 20th Dec. More on that next week. But before then, here is Stuart's story......

Guilty as (Fully) Charged

My Night by Stuart Thompson

When I signed up for the 1st event (and decided I should try and do the whole series) it was a slight worry that the first event coincided with the eve of my wife's birthday - when was I going to get chance to wrap her present and make her a fabulous cake? What about picking up the kids from their afternoon/evening activities (I would need to escape with the car leaving Mary-Ann stranded). Managed to arrange with the mother-in-law to pick Callum up from his guitar lesson and I was good to go.
In my usual manner, I arrived at the car park and registration a wee bit later than planned, but still in reasonably good time, so quickly changed into my shoes, checked head torch (plus spare), picked up map and headed to start. As described the track to the start deteriorated into a smelly churned up quagmire, so I had mud (and coo poo) over my ankles before even starting. Luckily there was no queue so I didn't have to linger. 
Checkpoints 1 & 2 were found promptly, which lulled me into a false sense of confidence - at which point I completely over shot CP3 ending up close to CP5. Retracing my steps I found CP3 then 4 and back to CP5 easily (as I had already been there, and even in the dark I managed to find it again). On the way to CP6 I caught up with another competitor. On the way to CP7 we took slightly different routes, so crossed the fence about 40m apart. On crossing the fence I heard a shout somewhere to my left, so went to investigate. The poor guy had got in lace caught on some barbed wire and was stuck on the fence unable to free his foot! Quickly I managed to free him and set back off to CP7.
I think it was somewhere between CP8 & 9 that my torch suddenly went out. Perturbed, I switched on my 2nd torch (which was also on my head and continued on). Unfortunately my 2nd torch is a Petzl Tikkina which is a great wee torch for camping and the likes, but not so good for running round a forest. However I did have a spare set of batteries for my main torch so I decided to change them to see if that would help. After a few minutes of fumbling around (the last battery was a bit stuck) I put the new batteries in - but this was to no avail. Oh well, I'd now got the last 5 or 6 CPs to do with the Tikkina. Surprisingly I managed round the rest of the course without too much trouble (ok, there was the missing CP17 and going straight to CP18!!). 
On the way back to the car I decided to work out why my Silva head torch had given up on my half way round. I noticed a bit of play in the wire connected to the battery pack (on a waistbelt) so gave it a waggle to see if this was causing a loose connection. Next thing I know the wire had broken and sparks were flying everywhere from a short circuited battery pack (with fully charged batteries!!) and all I could smell was burning. I managed to eventually fling the battery pack to the ground but not before getting burned - including a big hole in my top (glad I haven't got around around to buying one of those expensive Moravian top yet ;-) ) Luckily as it was dark (and no-one else was around) nobody saw my strange dance/flap in the middle of the road!
I'm not really sure I can blame any of that on my time, although if I'd left that guy hanging from the fence, maybe I might have beaten somebody! 
All in all a great event - can't wait for the next one - need to order a new torch though!
PS On returning home I was told that my mother-in-law had forgotten to pick up Callum from guitar, and another Moravian (Ali W) found a distraught child in Nairn Academy and kindly brought him home!
PPS The Death by Chocolate birthday is in the so hopefully the birthday party is saved!


Event report and results from Mullochard

Route Gadget - have a look at that delectable map and great courses