Recent News and Information

13th January - A BIG DAY OUT!

DON'T  MISS THE INAUGURAL Sat and Schools league  EVENT AT MAYNE WOOD 

Registration at Elgin High School

 

Followed by Moravian Annual Awards and Ceilidh

 Rafford Village Hall, 5.30

Bound to be a Howling  Good Time with the Dunphail Ceilidh Band.

See event page for all information on the above.

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

Alan

 

ESW. Event Safety Workshop

2018 is a short sprint away. We have a full calendar of events to look forward to, locally and within driving distance. In order for MOR to keep running our events we need event officials - organisers, planners and controllers who have completed the ESW. It's a fantastic training, very helpful, enriching and very concise. After 2 hours you'll be motivated, prepared and ready to jump in and get things happening.

Our neighbouring clubs would like to join forces and run a workshop together. We are considering offering one in January.

Please contact me if you are interested. Thank you, Denise

 Dmartin007@hotmail.com

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!
 
Cheers,
 
Stuart
 
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

Minutes from the Nov 2017 Committee meeting

The minutes from the full committee meeting held on the 15 Nov are available here to all who are interested in finding out what was talked about or what actions they agreed to take on.

Good Turnout, Icy Tunnels and Parallel Errors at Culloden

It was 1746 when the last big battle took place on Culloden's blasted heath. So perhaps it was appopriate that it was 46 Moravian battlers who made the trip over to ensure that the Highlanders once again came off second best. Thanks to Liz Campbell for sending in this week's "away day" story.....

 

A big crowd of 46 travelling Moravians made up just under half of the field of exactly 100 on an unusually mild December day at Culloden. The venue for registration and assembly, at Culloden Free Church, was great and very sociable. Jenny Blackwood, an INVOC junior whose mum Susan is an Active Schools Co-Ordinator who does a lot of the junior stuff for INVOC, did a fine job providing tea, coffee and cake, raising money for a trip to Africa next year. Lots of people stayed around after their runs to chat and to watch the Fraser and Taylor girls play at buses with a row of play chairs in the middle of the hall! They were so funny to watch, getting on with their own little world, oblivious to the outside world! Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. More of that later.

As you might expect (because we are so good) we supplied the winners for 3 of the 5 courses. With this event counting for the Moravian Saturday League, where Andrew Campbell has now made it to the top of the tree, there was every incentive to go for it.

Even so, the icy stream flowing along the tunnel under the railway, which was the best route between 9 and 10 on the Green course, failed to tempt Mr Campbell. Although it was control 17 that ultimately cost him the race, would the few seconds he could have saved to help get closer to Jon Hollingdale really have been worth the ice bath? Despite being in denial about needing to wear specs, he claims he failed to spot the route option, but as Liz has kindly revealed, our Andrew is simply a “wuss”. We will leave them to argue about the merits of that observation over the dinner table or the washing up.

It’s not just at the major events where you come away saying “I learned about orienteering from that”. Smaller local events are ideal for developing your skills and learning (hopefully) from your mistakes. Liz Campbell was one such learner after spending 10 minutes, just like the wee girls, in a little world of her own. There she was, running up and down a path trying to find her no 8 on the Short Green course. She even went far enough along the path to be able to actually see her no 6 before carrying on running headlessly up and down the same path. Eventually the penny dropped that she should have been on the next path south from there. “It wasn’t like I lost count of paths” said an exasperated Liz. “I only had to count to 1”.  Folks, this is what’s called a parallel error. Following an identical feature to the one you should be following that runs in the same direction. Always be aware of similar features near to your route, and if it all goes pear shaped think whether you might have made a parallel error. 

 

(editor's note - you can put Liz's mistake in to context by checking out the courses on INVOC's Routegadget)

At the end of the day, some of us basked in glory while others headed homewards to think again. But for everyone it was another fine day out in the fresh air and great outdoors which, at the end of the day, is surely what it's all about. That's all for now, until we meet again.............at the Northern Night Cup or Cluny Hill for those who are afraid of the dark........ 

Oh, and for the record books, the leading Moravian performances were:
Green

1. Jon Hollingdale
2. Andrew Campbell
Short Green

2. Steve Smirthwaite

3. Fran Britain

Light Green

1. Scott Perry

2. Faith Kenyon

Orange
1. Finlay McLuckie

White

3. Matilda Taylor

 

Split time results re on INVOC's web site via this link

 

PS – INVOC have put a list of lost property on their Facebook page:

one pair of red Inov-8 running shoes size 9

one pair of black waterproof socks

one pair of black gaiters

a set of grey earphones

a child’s glove – black with 4 navy blue stripes

if any of this is yours please contact the event organiser:
Carolyn Cload (carolyncload@gmail.com)

13 Moravian Age Class Winners at the Scottish Score Champs

A Moravian name will be on 12 of the Scottish Score Championships trophies for 2017 after a great turnout form the club secured almost half of the 28 age-category trophies handed out at a well-attended awards ceremony in the Eight Acres Hotel.

We had incredible good fortune with the weather after a horrible week came to an end with a Sunday of sparkling blue skies to delight the crowd of over 150 runners who turned out.

Our event team of Ken Anderson (organiser), Fiona Newcombe (planner), Steve Smirthwaite (planner's assistant) and Marsela McLeod (controller) did an excellent job, helped no end by Rob Hickling from Grampian Orienteers who came to our assistance by loaning, setting up and helping to operate GRAMP's Score event software, as well as bringing along some of their IT equipment including the wireless live results kit. We hope you liked the luxury of getting your results stright to your phone.

The large turnout of juniors was remarked upon by several visiting runners from other clubs, and it was excellent to see so many juniors invoved with the various helping-out jobs from officiating at the start to sorting used brikkes - it gave people a great impression of what we're about as a club. Isobel, with her flying fingers, seems to have become Rosie and Ian's right-hand woman on the computers! They make a great team.

It wasn't a day for over-running your time. Harsh penalties of 20 points per minute late back meant that quite a few decent scores were completely wiped out , but this was compensated for by some really nice running conditions. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves and weren't too bothered about your net score, particularly some of our very recently-joined members who will have been doing a score event for the very first time.

Our Chairman Roo did a very fine job with the prize ceremony, where trophies were awarded to the following. Congratulations to all Moravian winners!

Course 1: 70-minute Score

M20-35, W21

Name

Class

Club

Score

Jack Gomersall

M21

GRAMP

430

Katrina McLeod

W21

LUUOC

420

Rupert Hornby

M35

MOR

320

Course 2: 60-minute Score

M16-18, W16-20, W35+, M40+

Daniel Gooch

M45

MAROC

350

Jon Hollingdale

M50

MOR

350

Sam Gomersall

M55

GRAMP

340

Robert Daly

M60

GRAMP

340

Megan Keith

W16

INVOC

330

Eddie Harwood

M65

MOR

310

Pete Lawrence

M40

GRAMP

310

Joel Gooch (M14)

M16

MAROC

280

Carolyn McLeod

W50

GRAMP

270

Gilly Kirkwood

W55

INVOC

260

Neil McLean

M70

GRAMP

250

Kaisa Oikkonen

W35

MOR

248

Nikki Howard

W40

MOR

230

Pauline McAdam

W60

RR

230

Sheila Strain

W65

ELO

220

Morag McLuckie

W45

MOR

200

Joan Noble

W70

INVOC

166

Douglas Murray

M80

MOR

160

Roger Robb

M75

IND

80

Course 3: 40-minute Score

M/W14-

Hannah Kingham

W14

MOR

250

Finlay Raynor

M14

INVOC

230

Kate McLuckie

W10

MOR

190

Finlay McLuckie

M10

MOR

190

Lewis McWilliam

M12

MOR

170

Isobel Howard

W12

MOR

160

 

Moray Sporting Recognition Awards - A Remarkable Night

It was a memorable night for the club at Elgin Town Hall when two of the 13 awards went to Moravian members, and one to an ex member.

We had 6 nominees shortlisted for the ceremony which was attended by dignitaries from all over Moray and compered by Laurence Findlay, Head of Schools at Moray Council.  Isobel Howard and Hannah Kingham were up for the Junior Sports Athlete of the Year, Scott Hamilton was nominated for the Coach Award, Mick Curran and Lil Kenyon for the School Sport Award and Mairi Weir for the Intermediate Sportswoman of the Year.

Former Moravian members Jenny Bichan, Kyle Cartmell and Bruce Evans had also been nominated for Local Service to Sport, Intermediate Sportsman of the Year and Junior Sports Athlete. Kyle was the winner in his category, reward for some fantastic peformances on two wheels.To cap it all, Forres Academy's orienteering Team were up for Intermediate Team of the Year.

Speyside High School AwardsLil and Mairi were the current Moravians to leave with awards. Mairi had been nominated by Speyside High School for her performance and leadership, which was an accolade in itself, while Lil had been nominated by Active Schools for all her work putting on schools festivals and after school sessions, as well as instructing for Bikeability.
 

We are very proud of everyone involved. To have such a strong representation at this high-profile event says everything about the club and its members

Moravian Half Century at Anagach

There was an excellent turnout of Morvians at Angach for INVOC's magnificent Regional ranking event at Grantown, attended by over 200 people. The event was enhanced by a superb new map, created by our own Steve Smirthwaite (Trailmaps) thanks to funding from the Berry Burn Community Fund.

50 members ran, as well as a few unattached people who we've seen at our events recently.  There was a distinctly high-quality feel to the field, thanks partly to the event being used by MAROC's elite junior training camp, and the presence of a World Champs runner at the sharp end. 

Our sole class winner was one of our longest-standing members, David Ritchie. David is the fine chap who prints the maps for our events at his printing firm A4 Print and Moravian Digital Press. He has a splendid orienteering pedigree, having been around the club way back in 1976 when GB first hosted the World Champs. He's also a rugby union referee, so now you know not to mess with him. The start of the Long-Distance race in Darnaway was within a stone's throw of David's front door so now you know that as well.

On his Anagach experience, David said "It was great to see a 1976 map of Anagach along with the results at the registration. My result back then was a mediocre 22nd on the 'A' course so nothing changes. But a lot of folk orienteered that day on a map we were probably laughing at if we saw it last Sunday. Oh the good old days!"

Morag's dad (D Vass) and also the evergreen Neil McLean, who was also running on Sunday, featured in the results that were on display for the 1976 event. Morag says her kids were very pleased to see their grandad's name up there in lights!

 

But we digress. It was fine to see some of our juniors tackling courses at a harder level than they're used to, most notably W12 Faith Kenyon who ran, and successfully completed, the Green course, earning herself a British Orienteering Bronze award in the process. Look at her GPS trace on Routegdget - you should be impressed!

Small map, click to enlarge

M/W10 brother and sister Finlay and Kate McLuckie, who have had a fantastic season, tackled Orange and Light Green respectively, both courses at a harder level than they would be expected to run in championship events. Finlay made a couple of errors early on, which is what it's all about when you move up a level, but he ran a great second half of his race having learned from his mistakes. Kate was 10th out of 35 with no really serious errors. Splendid stuff but don't forget to put your routes on Routegadget guys. It will help you improve and learn from your experience.

Warwick Taylor, Hannah Kingham and Kirsty McArthur, who have all been progressing well this year, had an entertaining battle on Green, finishing within 3 minutes of each other in 5th, 6th and 7th. Meanwhile Ade Champan and our new fixtures co-ordinator Denise Main were showing up very well on Blue in 7th and 8th.

One of our newest members, Fraser Macmillan, came 3rd on Yellow, gaining his British Orienteering Gold Award in the process. His sisters Isla and Una also took part in what was probably their first event, and hopefully we'll be welcoming them as members soon.

INVOC did a great job of publishing the results the same evening, and the times have already been uploaded to British Orienteering. Everyone aged 16 and over has had their ranking points added to the National Rankings when the table was updated last Thursday morning.

 

Results

Ranking Points

Routegadget