Moray is holding a national orienteering race as a Moravian club involved in the Scottish Night Championship and league events
The MORAVIEN orienteering club organized a warmer winter activity weekend, which included two major national competitions.
Events over the weekend included the Scottish Orienteering Championships at Findhorn and the first round of this year’s Scottish Orienteering League competition the following day in Darnaway.
The events drew around 250 visitors of all ages to the region over the weekend, not only from Scotland but also from across England.
The British Orienteering Talent Squad came over for the weekend and used the superb orienteering areas of Moray for further training.
The Scottish Night Championships event at Findhorn saw runners between the ages of 10 and 75.
Competitors started at Findhorn Sands Caravan Park, then had to use their headlamp, map and compass to find controls, first in town where the many choices of passages and lanes were difficult, then in the sand dunes.
Runners really had to focus on knowing exactly where they were on the dunes, in the dark one sand dune looks like another.
Moravian members have achieved fantastic results in a wide range of age categories.
Perhaps the most impressive results were in the 65-year-old men and 16-year-old women, where all the podiums went to Moravians.
The M65 race saw an impressive victory for Alan Halliday, with Paul Furness second and Eddie Harwood third.
The W16 girls’ race also saw three Moravians excel on their course and rise to the podium. It was a great representation of the Forres Academy with their students taking the top three places. Isobel Howard finished first, Faith Kenyon second and Ida Oikkonen third.
Other top three rankings achieved by Moravian members include: M12 Finlay McLuckie 1st; W14 Kate McLuckie 2nd; W35 Kaisa Oikkonen 3rd; W40 Lesley Coutts 3rd; W45 Nikki Howard 1st, Morag McLuckie 2nd; W50 Liz Barr 2nd; M75 Neil McLean 1st.
After some early morning showers, the competitors in the Scottish Orienteering League races at Darnaway were blessed with wintry sunshine and a cool breeze.
This area of Darnaway was last used at the 2015 World and Scottish Championships and is a popular area with orienteers.
Once again, the club enjoyed great local support, this time from Moray Estates, who also authorized the use of the walled garden, which provided the perfect assembly and finishing area.
A wide choice of courses was offered, ranging from a 2K white course for young children, which is the easiest, to a 9.1K black course for experts.
Orienteering runners enjoyed a nice mix of forest, open spaces and views of the spectacular Findhorn Gorge. The club also set up a “follow the string course” for the youngest, which even included a mini obstacle course.
Once again, the Moravians were strong in all age groups, the youngest being Anna Howard of Anderson’s Primary in the W10 race, to the oldest, Douglas Murray in the M80.
The club have won victories over Isobel Howard and Finlay McLuckie, while many others have finished in the top three in their age group.
Roo Hornby, President of Moravian, said: “I am very proud of all the great volunteers at our club who put on a spectacular orienteering weekend in one of the best and most sought after areas of the Kingdom. -United.
Upcoming Moravian Saturday and Schools League events are Brodie Castle on Saturday March 21 and Quarrelwood, Elgin on Saturday April 18. Details on www.moravianorienteeringclub.org or on the facebook page @MoravianOrienteering.