Winner of the black course in Sunday's long race at Auchingarrich, Ali McLeod provides a short report, with pictures courtesy of Wendy Carlyle.
Short Report by Ali McLeod.
The weekend incorporated the first races in the UK Elite Orienteering League for 2018. The three individual days at the JK next weekend all count, and that's five of the seven days for the senior league prior to the final one, the British Long Champs
Early season races are always an interesting prospect, you have been doing your own training over winter and you don’t know how you or your rivals will be performing come the races. It was an unknown and exciting racing atmosphere. Of course the marker for early season racing is next weekend's JK. The races there have the largest fields, and typically there are international places up for grabs. Athletes can come in feeling slightly underprepared compared to races later on in the year, having spent a winter working through training programmes, but with few opportunities to race. This makes the JK a prime stage for racing with big pressure and big rewards on offer for athletes. So for many this was a great chance to get some welcome practice racing before the big show.
With some preferring to minimise travel so close to a main competition, not everyone who's expected to be towards the top of the JK finishing list was in attendance, but there were certainly enough for competitive racing.
Kirstin Maxwell just ahead of Laura Robertson approaching the uphill finish in the sprint race.
In the women’s Jess and Kirstin packed in the medal positions at the Saturday sprint, coming second and third respectively, with the Edinburgh-based New Zealander Laura Robertson taking the top spot. While in the men’s it was a GB squad clean sweep of the medals with Chris Smithard, Alasdair McLeod and Jonny Crickmore taking 1,2,3. An honourable mention to Kris Jones who collided with another runner and although he was fine he helped the other runner, and then finished non-competitively.
The Sunday long distance event saw the GB squad once again placing in the top spots, with Jess winning the women’s race, Alasdair winning the men’s and Kris coming third.
So it was a very enjoyable but tiring weekend, and a sound start to the 2018 racing season for the squad, and so a big thank you must go out to all those that organised and attended the events. The races put on were top quality. Now let's see what happens at the JK.
The pictures are thanks to Wendy Carlyle -
And notes from On The Red Line editorial:
In the Scottish Orienteering League Race at Auchingarrich, fastest on the Black course was Alasdair McLeod who took a little over an hour for 9.8km, and fastest woman on the Brown was Jessica Tullie, taking 68 minutes for 8.1km. We understand the forest was a pleasant surprise to many who knew it from when it was less mature, and it is a venue for the Scottish 6-days next year.
If you would like to read a little of what all the squad athletes thought about it, click on the name to get to their profile on this site, and then click on "Attackpoint". Chris, Alasdair and Jessica all maintain Attackpoint logs. And so does Laura.