Recent News and Information

(20th April) Over 4,000 people go orienteering at Brodie - without knowing it!

The Brodie Castle Easter Egg Hunt is always a popular activity at this time of year. Each Easter weekend there is some sort of adventurous challenge set out in the Castle grounds which kids have to complete with ther families to earn their Easter Egg - or chocolate bunny as it was this year.

This year, Moravian (in the form of Paul Furness) teamed up with National Trust for Scotland staff to devise a "Haggis Hunt" orienteering style. Ever since they hosted the event campsite for the Scottish 6 Days Event "Mory 2013" Brodie Castle have been very keen to use orienteering as part of the mix of activities they use to attract families to the property. The club was invited to get involved with the Easter event after we staged our Christmas relays at the Castle in the Christmas holidays.  "Turn orienteer and hunt for haggis. Follow the trail, solve the puzzle and claim a chocolaty reward - your very own chocolate bunny" went the sales pitch.

Two courses were set up using proper orienteering maps incorporated in the map design by event sponsors Cadburys. There was a short, easy 0.9 Km affair for the wee ones using traditional pin punches plus a longer and slightly more challenging 3 Km route with 20 controls. There was a letter at each one that participants had to write down. Not quite orienteering as we know it, but the concept was pretty much the same.

Over the 3 days (Easter Saturday to Monday) Brodie Castle reported 2,024 children taking part, with at least that number of accompanying parents. Not surprisingly there were mixed reviews, with the majority saying that they really enjoyed the challenge of something different from previous years. A few found the maps too hard to understand, and others were confused by the lines joining the "controls" thinking that they had to follow the line rather than navigate their own way.  All things that can hopefully be taken on board for next time.

For those who really enjoyed it, hopefully the details about the club shown on the map will not have gone unnoticed!

 

Big thanks to Paul for all the work he put in to set this up. It's not every day we have over 4,000 people taking part in orienteering round these parts. One wonders how many of these people would have ever taken part in a regular orienteering event. Not many we suspect, so hopefully this event will have given many people a taste of what it involves "by stealth". Who knows, we might see some of them at an event soon.

(18th April) - NOT the JK - The Kenyons' Adventures in Tayside

The Kenyons, who will be our event reporters for the Scottish Champs, have been getting in some journalism practice. Here's what they got up to in Tayside last weekend.

Not The JK

Faith announced at New Year, that in 2017 she wanted to “orienteer all over Scotland and get my 100 badge”.

So, after waking the children up at 06:30, the Kenyon Family (including dogs and puppies) headed off to Balkello Hill, just North of Dundee, for the “Not The JK” event.  This was Faith and Fergus’s 19th run so far, this year, putting them well on the way to 100.  Balkello Hill was last year’s Jamie Stevenson’s venue.  Unfortunately, the weather was not as kind this time when we arrived, grey and damp, but not enough to spoil the views.

Fergus chose to run Orange because he “just does sightseeing on Yellow, coz it’s too boring”.  2km, 120m of climb and 9 controls later he finished in 47 minutes with no mistakes.  5 and 6 were his best controls, “because there were mini-eggs!”.

As there was no light Green, Faith thought she “should do something harder” than her little brother. So, she ran her first Green with Lil, 3.2km, 210m ascent and 9 controls.  The course started steeply into the woods then out onto open hillsides which were covered with heather and dead bracken.  There were a few tricky controls in pits and at the bottom of small crags but Faith was particularly pleased to find she could navigate on Green.  The views were great and the weather was improving all the time.   

Faith later said “It was good running with Mum but she spent a lot of time discussing the map and I just wanted to run.”

Mini eggs were on the Green course too but we had to wait until the 8th control for ours.

After his disappointing first run in his new Inov8s, Phil decided to try out his racing clogs.

The Blue course was a very scenic 4.8km, with 275m of climbing and 13 controls, but not a single Tulip in sight. 

Phil was victorious in the family sprint challenge, despite Prince’s best attempts to sabotage it. Faith and Lil were an equal 2nd, whilst Fergus was hindered by his mini egg consumption at controls 5 and 6.

Overall a great day and a big Thank You to Tayside Orienteers for not only hosting the event, but for making us so welcome.  We can highly recommend the “Not The JK” if you cannot make the original.

 

(16th April) Moravian at the JK - Day 3

Pippa wins W50! More on this and other Moravian performances in Donald's final report from down south.

Greetings… quines and loons from Southern Englandshire; today at Holmbush and Buchan Country Park for Day 3 of the 50th JK. Just 13 Moravian starters for today with 11 finishers – a tough day at the office. …but not as tough as the M21E – Graham Gristwood completing the 17.7km (390m height) in 87’42” – that’s 4.94 minute kms !

 

Pippa Weir once again delivered the goods in style finishing 1st on W50S, ensuring a 2nd place finish for the weekend splitting a Finn, Norwegian and Swede – nae bad Pippa.  Just 8 seconds faster and she would have been 1st  overall – worth brushing up your technique around the control to see if you can shave milliseconds of your punching time ! Mairi gave another solid performance in W16A to come in 12th – consistency  over the weekend to finish 12th  on both days and overall.

 

Improvers from Saturday to Sunday included Liz Campbell (W50L), Carole Champman (W55L), Adrian Chapman (M50L), Daniel Campbell (M16A), Donald Grassie and Alan Halliday (M60L) , and Oonagh Grassie (W60S): who finished 6th overall after a clean run today.

 

A strong performance from Bob Daly (Gramp) (M60L) (an ever present at our Moravian events) meant that for a short period he was the overall leader on M60L, ending up 6th overall. When we were comparing notes and the fact that he had completed the course in 2/3 my time, he said there must have been a part of the course he had missed – DG put in his place.

 

Today’s problem – how would you navigate the 1.5km from 8 to 9 on our M60L course… (see attached map).

 

And the answer to yesterday’s question… yes Steady Eddie’s exertions on Day 1 & 2 were just too much – it was too big a hurdle… and he was left to enjoy the delights of the Assembly Area and catching up with old friends. (ed's comment - Eddie reports on his Facebook page that he can now hardly walk - that foot looks rather painful)

 

Holmbush and Buchan Country Park was an excellent area for this classic  distance race, with some excellently planned courses – my only gripe the 1.5km of open park run at the end, but I thoroughly enjoyed the expereince. A nice variety of vegetation, and nothing too physical with rhoddies, semi open and white forest throughout. Once again a well organized event with ease of parking and access to assembly.

 

With no relays on Monday, I’m off to re-visit my old haunts in Richmond before flying home after a very enjoyable weekend.

 

I won’t be at the Millbuies event on Saturday, but I know Morag has planned some excellent courses for you to enjoy – be there !

 

Donald

 

(15th April) Moravian at the JK - Day 2

From his exile in Surrey, our Outer Space correspondent Donald Grassie continues his JK news updates.

 

Greetings… quines and loons from Southern Englandshire; today at Ambersham Common for Day 2 of the 50th JK.  This year JK have decided to change the format, so today was a middle distance race for ALL competitors. Just 14 Moravian runners today.

 

Top family today – the Weirs with a 4th for Hamish in the M18S, and a 6th for team chaffeusse, Pippa, in W50S. Unfortunately, Mairi couldn’t repeat her prize winning performance from the Day 1 sprint, a few slips round a couple of middle legs cost her a potential 4th place finish – hard luck Mairi.

Link to results

 

Andrew Campbell finished a very creditable 16/115 with a very consistent performance on M50L. But it was a tough day at the office for Daniel struggling with injury. In very dry conditions, but due to a horizontal control in peat bog, they were the only Moravian runners with dirty O shoes.

 

Still suffering from his exertions in the Sprint race, steady Eddie (resplendent in new shoes and O-bottoms) made a brave attempt on M65L – finishing 20/66 in pain – will he make the classic race tomorrow ?  Surely too big a hurdle.  

 

Once again Alan Halliday won the tussle of M60Ls against Donald Grassie, who was left to rue a 3’ 30” 60 degrees error to a parallel feature on the second leg. A big run tomorrow – 8.5km – haven’t done that for a while.

 

However, today’s costly mistake was from Mission Control aka Oonagh Grassie, who spent a third of her course time on a 150m 6th leg – a potential 2nd place finish was turned into a 10th place. The reason, at 5, she took a bearing from 6 to 7, rather than 5 to 6 – it can happen to all of us… Check out her W60S map attached.

 

Ambersham Common was an excellent area for a middle distance run. Good visibility and very runnable, although I had about 1.3km of my 4.5km course running through fairly tussocky, but dry grass. A nice day out in the sunshine. A feature of JK this year is that our hosts, South East OA have tried to have parking adjacent to the Assembly – much appreciated.

 

Managed to perfect my siac technique of waving the SI chip at the control without slowing down – maybe something worth having after all…

 

Tomorrow’s going to be sore…

 

Donald

 

(14th April) Moravian at The JK - Day 1

Our South of England correspondent Donald Grassie reporting from somewhere a long long way away....
 

Greetings… quines and loons from Southern Englandshire; specifically, the campus of Brunel University for Day 1 of the 50th JK.

 

JK (JanKjellstrom) is the annual British Orienteering Easter weekend offering consisting of a sprint; middle distance; classic distance; and relay. For  Moravian M60s that’s 2.0km, 4.5km and 8.5km races this year – as there are no Moravian relay teams. There were 16 Moravian’s entered – with some age class tussles.

 

Top Moravian of the day must be Mairi Weir, who finished 4th of 44 runners on W16. But for a wee slip on leg 17 of 36”, Mairi would have finished with a podium finish in 3rd – well done Mairi !

Link to results 

 

Steady Eddie was making his first return to orienteering after his long “big toe” induced winter break. Clearly the break began to take its toll on Eddie as he slowed down to finish (8/61) runners on M65.

 

Alan Halliday (40/85) won the tustle of the M60s against Donald Grassie (56/85). Alan was Mr. consistency on all of his legs, whereas too much focus on reading the Control Description meant Donald overran leg 7 with a 1 minute impact.

 

Pippa Weir (31/102) earned the bragging rights over Elizabeth Barr (45/102) in W55. After many more top 10 legs, Liz must be ruing her 3min 30 sec gaff on leg 4, which would have seen her leapfrog over Pippa.

 

Andrew Campbell was heading for a top 10 finish in M50, but a couple of minor mistakes on 9 and 12 dropped him to (18/121), narrowly ahead of Adrian Chapman (21/121).  Jon Hollingdale was rarely out of the first 3 in every leg, however, a mis-punch on leg 7 meant he finished bottom of the pile – a sore one Jon ? The picture (to follow) shows Jon flying into the final control – at the Brunel statue – still believing he had a chance of victory.

 

Brunel campus was an OK area, but lacked some of the excitement and technical challenge of the Stirling and Edinburgh Castles, St. Andrews or our very own Forres and Lossie. (M60 map attached). It’s a bit flat, and the buildings are a bit regular and well spaced.

 

The sprint event used the SIAC (Sportident touch free) timing. There is definitely an art to this – those who were skilled could sprint past the control, wave their SI chip at the control, and look out for the confirmation from the SI chip 10m further on. However, having spent 20 minutes spectating at the final control, there were several near misses – some older and junior orienteers could have been hurt as incoming runners were fast. Also, several runners had to go back and re-punch because they didn’t swipe properly.

 

The event area was quite open to arriving orienteers, and from a controlling perspective, I would argue that later runners could have had considerable benefit from watching where runners were going.

 

However, a great start to the 50th JK – now for the real stuff tomorrow…

 

Donald

 

(13th April) British Orienteering Incentive Scheme to be Resurrected

This article is mainly for the info of Moravian members who are working at improving their orienteering skills, and ultimately being able to orienteer confidently at Green and above standard (Technical Difficulty level 5). 

Members will have seen the item in TUES NEWS of 11th April about the British Orienteering Incentive Scheme and how the automatic notifications system had stopped working some time ago. Members are supposed to be sent an email whenever they have achieved any of the Navigation or Racing awards for the 5 technical difficulty levels. The email includes a certificate that you can print off and Ali, our Secretary, is supposed to be notified. But the system was broke! None of this has been happening. Many people will be unaware that the scheme even exists and we're been kept in the dark about what awards you've all been achieving!

After an event, clubs upload the results to the British Orienteering data base, and provided your membership number is included, you will get an appropriate credit towards your next certificate. In the case of Level C events and above, M/W16s and above will also get ranking points towards your total in the national rankings list.

I wrote to British Orienteering to let them know about the problem, and the good news is that they've acted quickly to get it fixed. An email received from BO today said:

Thank you for looking into this, I have spoken to Craig Anthony, head of development about this and he has informed me that we do intend to do a big push on the incentive schemes when the new website goes live at the end of the month. Craig is also writing an article for Mike’s eNews regarding the scheme and what clubs must do in order for it to operate properly. 

This is a great scheme for our newer members, and particularly juniors. The Scottish Orienteering Badge Scheme that Morag runs rewards participation, but this is a chance for you to track your progress as you get to grips with each technical difficulty level.

You can find out more about the scheme HERE but a summary is given below:

To get a Navigation Award you have to complete 3 courses at the appropriate technical difficulty (TD):

White (TD1) = 1 star

Yellow (TD2) = 2 stars

Orange (TD3) = 3 stars

Light Green (TD4) = 4 stars

Green or above (TD5) = 5 stars

 

To get a Racing Award you have to complete 3 courses at a certain speed (measured in minutes per Km).

There are Bronze, Silver and Gold standards for each star level.

Bronze = 20 mins per Km
Silver = 15 mins per Km

Gold = 12.5 mns per Km

It is relatively easy to get to Gold on White and Yellow, but more challenging at Orange and beyond. The challenge is to get a 5 star Racing Award!

 

If anyone needs to know any more about the scheme please speak to me at an event.

 

Mike Rodgers

(10th April) Moravians on the Road Again

More and more club members have been discovering the joys of taking a day out "over the hill" to experience an event put on by one of our neighbours.

Not only does this bring you points for the Club League, but you will also discover some super parts of the country. Orienteering at a place you've never been to before is just great for bringing on your orienteering ability, and it's always fun running against people you don't know. Plus it's nice to surprize other clubs when they see a mass of Moravian colours in their midst. 

The latest club "away day" was at Crathes Castle on Royal Deeside on Sunday 9th April where 16 Moravians took part in GRAMP's event. The Kenyons, McLuckies, Spencers, McArthurs, Andrew Campbell, Ken Anderson and former Chairman Donald Grassie were our club representatives. Oonagh ran in her GRAMP colours but we'll let her off.  It was nice to see GRAMP saying how pleased they were to see a sizeable MOR contingent at their event.

As you might expect, with some people running on a challenging area for the first time, there was quite a range of times, but everyone achieved that sought-after clear round - guaranteeing them a points haul for the league.

Finlay McLuckie seems to be making a habit of winning Yellow courses by quite a big margin these days. Crathes was no different as he won by over 6 minutes against 16 other runners. Finlay is only 9 this year which means that he has another year running Yellow standard in major competitons,. But it's pretty obvious that he'll soon be ready to move up to Orange standard which is what the M/W12s compete at in the Scottish League and other big competitions. Finlay's sister Kate, who is 10 this year, is already running Orange whenever she isn't running in her age group. Her performance at Crathes was great - she came 2nd from 20 runners!

Another Moravian junior running at a level above the standard required for her age group is Faith Kenyon. Faith is 12 this year which means she's in the W12 category. While she runs Orange in major events, Faith has been testing herself on Light Green whenever she can, and after a few learning experiences is really starting to get a grip of Technical Difficulty 4 (5 being the hardest). She had a great run coming 2nd from 14 runners, beaten only by one of MAROC's W14 starlets. Her younger brother Fergus has decided that Yellow is too boring and has been fearlessly tackling Orange courses this year. Crathes was his best one yet - 7th place! Like Kate and Finlay, Faith and Fergus have been regulars at club training sessions and are already signed up for Darnaway next week. Need I say more?

 

Also getting very much to grips with Light Green is David Spencer who moved in to the M14 category this year. His 5th place will have given him confidence for some of the big events coming up this spring/summer. With a 5K PB of under 19 minutes, David's speed is something he has to try to keep in check so he has a chance of reading the map! One of these days the map reading and the running speed will all come together at once for one of those sensational "runs of a lifetime". He's certainly doing all the right things by gaining experience wherever he can. Our two older juniors at Crathes had a close battle. Jennifer Spencer (W16) and Greg Anderson (M18) were separated by only 17 seconds on the Green course, with Greg taking the honours. Both were safely in the middle of the field of 33 runners which is a good show in anyone's book at that level.

Among the seniors, top honours once again went to Morag McLuckie who was 6th on Green. Morag hasn't been running TD5 courses all that long, but she certainly seems to be getting the hang of it after coming back in to orienteering after a long break once her kids were old enough to take part. We're told she used to be really good when running for Forres Academy as Morag Vass back in the 1980s! Morag was first female on the course. Well done!  Ken Anderson, who broke his 5K parkrun PB at Elgin on Saturday, had an excellent run to come 16th in just over the hour while Shona Spencer, still recovering from her hernia op, showed her legendary stamina by keeping going for 80 minutes.

Meanwhile, the nutcases were fighting amongst themselves on Blue. Andrew Campbell, predictably, was top dog in 9th, but only 5 and a half minutes and 3 places further back was Colin McArthur, still a relative new kid on the block and a man with potential for sure! Donald, Kirsty, Peter and Elizabeth all packed well, taking consecutive 15th to 18th places respectively to all get in under the 100-minute mark.  Phil Kenyon, running his shiny new o shoes after his taped-together affairs finally gave up the ghost, hung on in there for 2 honourble hours and 5 memorable minutes to gallantly bring up the rear. "They weren't stilettos as his time might make you think" said a merciless Mrs Kenyon afterwards. "He was just slightly more rubbish than I was". I beg to disagree; this was a Blue course on Royal Deeside. Those of you who have tried one will understand.

The Club League Table is starting to take shape, with a definite McLuckie bias. But there's still plenty time for all that to change. Eddie has listed all the counting events on the top line of the League table, and with all days of the Scottish 6 Days to count there will be a lot of members with the full 6 counting events by the end of the year. The Saturday League is great for our mass-participation local events, but this League is the one where you can really make your technical skills count.

We'd love to see more members being part of this friendly club rivalry, and enjoying some of the cameraderie that you get at away days. If you're not sure whether it's for you, just speak to anyone in a Moravan top at Millbuies who looks as if they know what they're doing. They'll hopefully convince you to give it a try, and the practice on unfamiliar terrain is bound to improve your orienteering.

The next chance to score points in the Club League is at Tyrebagger Woods (this side of Aberdeen just off the A96) on Sunday 28th May. But the week before that we have the away day to beat all away days - the Scottish Champs near Edinburgh. Team Captains Eddie Harwood (seniors) and Pippa Weir (juniors) will soon be busy recruiting runners for the team.

Results from Crathes

Split Times

Route Gadget

 

(5th April) Good take-up for coaching evening - but more novice members would be nice

There's been a very good initial response to Steve's next training session at Darnaway on the 19th. 20 people coming as at 5th April. Several experienced members have offered to help newer members get to grips with contours.

The only disappointment so far is that it's the same crowd who always come to training sessions. This is exactly the sort of informal, laid-back club session that people have been asking for in the member survey. Newer members should try to get along if you possibly can - it doesn't matter how new or inexperienced you are.

It's a glorious bit of woodland, and the session will give you the opportunity to learn from the experts. You'll be able practice some skills in your own time without any pressure of competition.  There are few better ways of getting to make friends with others in the club!

(3rd Apr) Go on an Away Weekend - MOR does Double Dukes

MORAVIAN FAMILIES HIT DOUBLE DUKES – GET YOURSELVES OUT FOR AN AWAY WEEKEND

Several Moravian families made the trek to the Callander and Trossachs area for the Forth Valley Orienteers ‘Double Dukes’ Weekend, named in honour of the Dukes Pass which splits the two areas that were used.  These weekends are great fun to see what it is like Orienteering elsewhere whilst still having a few familiar faces around.  In the next few months look out for a weekend in Oban on 13/14 May run by www.ecko.org.uk and, most importantly the Scottish Championships Weekend (19-21 May) near North Berwick, which is also a Moray schools long weekend and offers 3 events on Fri, Sat & Sun. The areas are excellent

·         Fri 19 May – Urban Sprint Event at Tranent to East of Edinburgh

·         Sat 20 May – Scottish Individual Champs at Gullane – like our Dune areas (most like Findhorn)

·         Sun 21 May -  great opportunity to run a Relay at Binning Wood, which offers a historic (18th Century) complex former garden that is now forested.  It would be great to get plenty of relay teams entered; the atmosphere is excellent.  Eddie Harwood and Alan Halliday will be looking out for names soon and MOR pays half your entry fee for a relay J

The entry fees for these events are a bit more because of the complexity and costs of putting on much bigger events (like our October Culbin and recent Feb Night and Sprint).

Now back to the Double Dukes…..The Orienteering was interspersed with a Scottish Orienteering Junior Development Conference, where we were really well represented by John Bonsall and Pippa Weir.  John did the Juniors really proud and reminded everyone that it is not all about developing ‘elites’ among the juniors.  All results and Routegadget from the weekend are available here.

We were blessed with beautiful Spring weather in a region that is not well known to many of us and 2 very different areas.  Saturday offered a Middle Distance Event (course lengths similar to Sat League) on the edge of Aberfoyle.  The area was a mixture of deciduous woodland, marshland and streams; an excellent area for the event; check out the video on the Moravian Public Facebook page (you don’t have to be on Facebook to see it) to get a feel; also, spot the Moravians, which isn’t easy because not many are wearing MOR O tops!  The McLuckies took in the Saturday event on their way on holiday.  All of them had good runs and on the Blue Course, Roo Hornby enjoyed a head-to-head battle with Peter, who is improving really rapidly. Others taking part included Colin Matheson, the Kenyons, Grassies, Hornbys, Weirs, Hannah Kingham, ably supported by her mum and sister Siobhan who is a Scottish Junior Athletics International formerly coached by our own Scott Hamliton.  There were plenty of family dogs on show as well, but not the Kenyon puppies. Hannah Kingham was delighted to have finished ahead of all her peer group and everyone else ran close to their best.  A special mention goes to Fergus Kenyon who completed his first Orange Course.  

The villages of both Aberfoyle and Callander were looking at their very best in the sunshine and hosted everyone in a variety of campsites, camper vans, and local hostelries overnight.

Sunday moved to The Trossachs for a Scottish Orienteering League (SOL) fixture.  This is THE toughest area in the UK both technically and physically.  Courses are shorter than normal, but times are longer!  It was great to see that the Curran Family (all 6 of them) made the journey down and the girls very definitely came out on top with Mum Karen on Orange and girls Hayley and Gemma doing well on White; although Dad Mick, wisely decided not to venture out on a course by himself (he needed his daughters’ guidance).  Many of us came down to earth with a bump, each with a story to tell of what might have been.  Have a peak at Routegadget to see Roo Hornby’s walkabout on Short Brown leg 13-14 and Colin Matheson on Blue leg 1-2.  The trick here is to identify the marshes, streams and wet ditches and use them as line feature (along with a few very distinctive crags); often it is quicker taking 3 sides of a square via the low routes than trying to plough ‘over the top’ in a straight line; Roo and Colin just didn’t quite execute right!  Whilst there were some disappointments, everyone was incredibly proud to have given it their best and the venue was looking at it’s best.  Furthermore, the drive home on Sunday afternoon had the highlands looking absolutely amazing.

(2nd April) Moravians Tough It Out in the Trossachs

17 Moravians made the long trip down to Aberfoyle and the Trossachs for Forth Valley O Club's "Double Dukes" weekend. On Saturday, Pippa Weir and John Bonsall represented the club at the SOA Conference to map out the future of junior and schools orienteering in Scotland. Big thanks to them both for giving up their time and energy to contribute to this important debate on behalf of our club - and especially to John who sought the opinons of other club juniors before taking his place on the 6-person junior project team. John had to rush back on the train straight after the conference to get a flight to Germany at 6am on Sunday!

If you can't remember what the conference was about, here's a reminder

Saturday's race was a middle-distance event where there were some quite impressive Moravian performances, wkth Hannah Kingham 2nd on Light Green among the best. Sunday's Scottish O League race was at the man-eating Trossachs where many an elite orienteer has come to grief in the past.  This is probably the toughest, most technical orienteering area in the UK. Character-building stuff indeed!

Times for most people were predictably on the long side - except for young Hayley Curran who was 2nd on the White Course. Well done to Hayley, and to everyone else who toughed it out.

Results from South Achray Middle-Distance Race 1st Apr

Ranking Points from Achray

Results from SOL2 - The Trossachs 2nd Apr

Ranking Points from The Trossachs