Back in the woods

After an absence of more than 30 years, orienteering returned to Lanton Woods near Jedburgh last weekend when Roxburgh Reivers held a round of the South of Scotland Orienteering Championships.

The event was a great success with almost 120 competitors taking part, and Russia, Germany, Czech Republic and Malaysia all represented.

The latest technology gave competitors a printout of their split times at each control as soon as they got back to assembly and live results could be viewed on computer screens.

The winner of the long course was Russian internationalist Jergor Kostyev, who completed the technical 10km course across rough terrain in just over one hour.

Second was veteran internationalist Martin Dean from Dunblane and soldier Chris Huthwaite from Redford Barracks took third.

Top women, running the middle-distance course, was Edinburgh University student Alice Leake, with Czech student Jana Jurakova second and Edinburgh’s British Orienteering talent squad member Rona Lindsey third.

The event catered for runners of all abilities and included competitors aged from seven to 78 years of age, and ex-hill running champion Bill Gauld, finished just outside the top 10 on the shorter technical course.

Even with the majority of the Reivers club involved in organising the event there were still some good performances from locals with Barry Veitch finishing in a very impressive eighth place on the long course, Sarah Tullie second on the short technical course and Katie and Robin Lothian second and third respectively on one of the children’s courses.

Triathlete Doug Small showed great promise by finishing mid-field on his first event at this level and first time out on a technical course, while local forester Alistair Maxwell used his comprehensive local knowledge to complete the runners’ course of 6.3km around the tracks and paths.

The next event in Lanton for Roxburgh Reivers is a Come and Try, planned for April 30, where newcomers can have a go at the sport and get some basic tuition in map reading.