Mar Orienteering Club (MAROC) and Scottish Orienteering welcomed competitors to the 2019 British Night Championships on Saturday 23rd February 2019 at Muir of Dinnet, Ballater.
Organiser and member of MAROC Jon Musgrave comments:
“This event was several years in the making. Initial thoughts after the Muir of Dinnet map was made in 2014 were that Mar Orienteering Club (MAROC) had to use it for a Major Event because it was so good. However, access restrictions, both competitor numbers and times of year meant that many events would not be possible. However, the British Night Championships, though a top-level event, only attracts relatively few competitors and was at a less sensitive time of year and so the event was proposed.
In addition to the British Night Champs, it was felt that holding a Scottish National level event race on the Sunday 24 February would help attract people for the weekend. The attractiveness was further bolstered when Grampian Orienteers offered to host a Sprint on Saturday afternoon.
Initial plans were to use the steading at Clarack (west of Dinnet) for the Event Centre. However, the parking was too limited and there were possible problems with electricity supply and so we settled on Dinnet Hall. The footpath from here meant that the walk to the start/finish were a bit longer than hoped for but the going is flat and smooth. Unfortunately, as Organiser, I mis-measured the distance accurately and so the 2km advertised was actually 2.3-2.4km. This led to a number of competitors missing their start times and a decision was made to reinstate all late starters after various discussions between officials and some competitors. I hope this didn’t affect the competitor’s enjoyment of the race.
The start/finish was chosen as the nearest location to the Event Centre that had immediate access to the detailed terrain and easy track access from the A93. Lighting was thought to be essential – both for competitors preparing for their runs and picking up bags/clothes afterwards and also for the officials.
We initially hoped to offer free soup to all competitors but when we realised there were no cups, bowls or cutlery in the hall, which we then decided it was too much of a challenge. I hope the hot drinks offered as a replacement was appreciated. Trying to locate a food provider led to contact from the Pizza company and they proved a great success – selling about 90 pizzas and eventually running out of supplies!
We were blessed with the weather and had a warm, dry and relatively still evening. However, this was not entirely unexpected as January and February are the driest months of the year in Deeside and in over 20 years of the Deeside Night Cup we have seldom lost an event to poor weather."
Drew Tivendale for his courses and being very easy to organise for.
Richard Oxlade for controlling smoothly, efficiently and spotting pitfalls.
Dinnet Estate and Scottish Natural Heritage for use of this superb area.
Dinnet Hall for allowing us to use it for such a top-class event centre.
Police Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council for approving a speed limit on the B9119 and agreeing to parking on the B9158.
Deeside Runners for use of their reflective canes for the walk to start/finish.
F1 Training Services for the first aid cover.
Lilysdough for the pizza wagon.
Alex Brodie (of Maroc and Blue Flash Electrics) who provided and set up the floodlights at the start/finish area.
Alan Bennett who provided the video cameras for the finish – the necessary second, independent timing system.
Pat & Bruce Graham who provided the finish lighting, the road crossing lighting and also collected and placed the speed restriction signposts.
Stuart Garrett who provided the hi-vis jackets and the “light-sabre” parking wands.
Nick Hale for putting out the reflective canes from the hall to the start.
Bob Sheridan for leading the start/finish team and staying till the last competitor was checked in.
Scott Reynolds & Keith Roberts for leading the computing team and dealing with OE2010.
Fran Getliff and Pat Graham for sorting the back-up card issue so efficiently.
Sheila Reynolds for overseeing the drinks on the evening.
Finally, thanks to all Maroc members who, as usual, cheerfully volunteered to help and made the organiser’s role much easier than it could be.
Link to results, splits, route Gadget: https://www.marocscotland.org.uk/events/british-night-championships-2019-23-feb-2019
British Orienteering would like to thank Organiser Jon Musgrave, Planner Drew Tivendale, Controller Richard Oxlade and the MAROC team for all their hard work putting on such a fantastic event.