Sunday, May 27, 2007


This is a fantastic area. I had a good technical run and stayed close to the line on most of the legs. Unfortunately I started run low on gas around 10 and finished up 6 mins off Martin Dean’s course winning time. More later.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

I had a short run around some of the controls on this month’s Map of the Month. The marked course is 5.5K although I cut it short because I was feeling tired from a fairly intense period of racing over the last week or so.

This is only part of the Loch Vaa area. The forest to the west is currently out of bounds to protect Capercaillie nesting. A bit of an inconvenience I guess but the same restriction is also holding back a housing development on the edge of Boat of Garten, which would impact heavily on this world-class area.

New housing for local residents is a big issue on Speyside . Like most national parks the Cairngorm National Park has a problem with affordability of housing for people living and working in the area and the likely solutions will inevitably have an effect on the natural environment.

Link to an article in the Strathspey & Badenoch Herald about a proposed housing development near Aviemore.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Caw National Event

I wish to lodge an appeal with Graham Walkden (Race Organiser), about the fact that you used my old red (and a bit slow), SI card number for my entry rather than my flashy new (super-fast) SI card number. By my calculations this oversight has cost me at least 3 seconds in punching time and has had a devastating effect on my plan to win by 1 second. Knowing the kind of chap you are Graham I know you will treat this appeal sympathetically and I await your considered judgement on the matter.

M45L (34) 8.0 km 405 m

1 Quentin Harding SROC 1:02:54 0:00
2 Andrew Hyslop WAROC 1:02:56 0:02

But seriously, great area, great courses and a beautiful day. Many thanks to Graham, Marion and LOC

Results Page

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Warrior OC Battleaxe 3 - Esthwaite Intake

What a great event! The map was divided into two sections, the eastern area being the northern end of the Graythwaite map and typical South Lakes complex oak woodland while the western section is the Esthwaite Intake portion of Grizdale Forest which is technical pine plantation interspersed with linear marshes.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Glen Truim

I had a good technical run but tripped on a tussock between 6 and 7 and whacked my knee on the only rock sticking out of the marsh for hundreds of metres. Apologies to anyone in the near vicinity for any colourful expletives that might have reached your ears.

After rolling around for a bit I heroically ;-) ran through the pain and finished the course. I was hoping that I could have fought my way back but it seems that from initial conversations I was down at least 4 mins on the course winner, which was Martin Dean.

The terrain was quite varied with some good technical sections in the birch forest but I did think that Saturday’s event at Dunactonmore was a much better area.


Saturday, May 12, 2007


This is an area behind the Highland Wildlife Park on Speyside. Both Pat and I had pretty good runs and we really enjoyed the area, which was a mixture of open moor, birch forest interspersed with juniper thickets.

Its interesting that all my orienteering mates seem to be suffering from withdrawl symptoms after the British Champs, having been generally unsatisfied with their runs. Here are a few quotes:

Martin Dean - "After a string of poor technical races recently, I decided to concentrate on 'the process rather than the outcome' See O Kansas Blog".

Jonathan Lagoe - " I've decided to be more decisive in my approach to racing rather than worrying about being in constant contact with the map" Gt Mell Fell - come on!

Donald Petrie - "My navigation has completely gone to pot! "

Myself - "I have this dream where I am running effortlessly through undulating pine forest without any thought of making an error and in perfect tune with the terrain. Running through the controls without hesitation, twisting and turning through features, staying on-line - its still a dream"

Many thanks to Norma Atherton for planning excellent courses and to BASOC for organising a really good event.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Pat and I went to an INVOC evening event at Clunas. It was a refreshing change to attend an event with only 20-30 entrants compared to the 100+ that is normal for a Lakes evening event. The area was really excellent, set in an open pine forest with subtle contour detail and plenty of negative features.

Despite the fantastic terrain neither of us had a good run. No more thumb compass for me!

Many thanks to INVOC

Monday, May 07, 2007

Yesterday, Pat and I went to a MAROC event at Sluie on Deeside. It’s an excellent little area with mostly runnable pine forest and plenty of rock and contour detail. I tired using a thumb compass in a race for the second time and apart from a wobble on No. 5 I found that it worked well for that area. More experimentation required.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I got third in the British Champs, which I am really pleased about. The area was very technical in several sections and it seems that most of the favourites made big mistakes. I made at least 3 mins of errors myself and have to admit to a hint of frustration in that I could have won but for that. Interestingly I was way down in 12th at the 2nd road crossing but pulled it back to 3rd in the super technical final stage of the race where others made costly errors.

On the run-in from the last control