Transmission: BBC 2 Scotland 19th August 7 pm and on FreeSat and Sky Digital
And afterwards on BBC iPlayer
The next broadcast of the Adventure Show series covers the British Orienteering Championships which were held in Scotland this year, at Ballater on Royal Deeside, with the Long Distance event at the Balmoral Estate on Royal Deeside. The castle makes an impressive setting for the race arena.
“It’s a test of physical ability and mental agility,” says co-presenter Dougie Vipond, who covered the event alongside outdoor enthusiasts Cameron McNeish and Deziree Wilson. “This event tests the best of the best in Britain,” says Cameron.” These guys go flat out cross country, they run and navigate at the same time.” But just 10 seconds of not concentrating can blow the whole race.
The terrain was quite rough, with lots of rocky ground and some big crags, as well as deep heather in places. There was plenty of route choice and a network of paths and tracks. For those with time to look, there were good views from the higher parts. It was mostly very dry underfoot. The weather was sunny, and breezy in the arena, but sheltered in the forest – many found it very hot.
It’s not just the elite athletes who competed – thousands of people of all abilities took part, some finding the deep heather really hard to run through.
The Adventure Show series is produced for the BBC by independent production company Adventure Show Productions based in the Cairngorms of Scotland with producer Richard Else. Richard says “Since we began making this series in 2005, the programme has gone from late night watching to prime-time television – the interest in extreme sports for all ages and abilities has grown its appeal in volumes.”
This month’s programme also features a catch up with former award-winning food designer, Paul Bromhead from Edinburgh, as he gets tips from top fell runner Donny Campbell towards his big race, and with Andy Mckenna from the Scottish borders –a mountain bike enthusiast who continues the sport he loves despite a diagnosis of MS. Andy says: “Instead of focussing on what I can’t do, I sometimes do things a bit differently from how I used to. But many times I catch a glimmer of my old self.”
Another hot day greeted the riders for the 3rd day’s racing in a row. There were a number of teams in contention for medals, but the results were not predicted by many.
The terrain was flat and fast, with a good density of tracks allowing for high-speed racing but concentration required to ensure that tracks were not missed when approaching at speed. A long first leg split the field up as the optimum routes for different gaffles split straight away at the start kite. After a regrouping of the gaffles out of the first woodland area, there was a large group of 11 teams at the front of the men’s race which had all the main contenders except the Russian 1st team who were in a 2nd group with France and the Czech 2nd team 20 seconds back. A few more changes on the 1st leg saw Yoann Garde of France come back 1st closely followed by the Czech Republic 1, Austria, Sweden and Russia close behind. During the 2nd leg the Swedish team pulled clear after riding cleanly and had a 1:30 lead through the spectator control, but a slightly longer gaffle in the last part allowed Russia and the Czech Republic 2 to gain time to finish just 30 seconds behind, with a 1:30 gap back to a chasing bunch including Italy, both Finnish teams, Austria and the Czech Republic 1. Grigory Medvedev (Russia) and Vojtech Stransky (Czech Republic 2) were quickly catching Viktor Larsson (Sweden) and there was soon a trio at the front, although Stransky missed at number 3 leaving the Russian’s and Sweden’s to fight out the victory. Coming through the spectator control the Russian’s held a slender lead over Sweden, but a fast riding Krystof Bogar (Czech Republic 1) was quickly making up ground and was only 30 seconds back having overhauled his compatriot. However, all 3 leading times rode cleanly through the last section and the Russian’s took a first victory at the World Champs, with a surprise silver medal for Sweden just 9 seconds behind. Bogar rode the fastest time of the day by a minute and a half to pull the Czech Republic 1 up from 7th to 3rd.
In the women’s race, a strong lead group of 5 formed early consisting of Russia, Finland, Czech Republic, Sweden and Lithuania who were soon joined by Spain and Finland, who stormed through to take the lead after the 1st leg with Mervi Pesu sprinting clear with a 10-second advantage over Russia. These 2 teams raced round together until a mistake by Middle Distance champion Olga Shipilova Vinogrodova allowed Antonia Haga to break free. The Finn’s kept the lead through the spectator control with the Russian’s not far behind but a mistake from Haga allowed Shipilova to catch up and send Svetlana Poverina out for Russia in the lead on the last leg. A fast ride from Czech Republic’s Veronika Kubinova pulled them up into 2nd place having overtaken Finland who lost a lot of time on the penultimate control. The leading 2 teams soon joined up and rode round much of the course together with Martina Tichovska of Czech Republic taking the lead early on but unable to shake the Russian team until the spectator control where she was able to power away to take a convincing victory over the Russian team who kept hold of 2nd place, with the Finnish team keeping their gap over Lithuania and Sweden.
Men – 33km, 480m
Women – 29.1km, 390m
The hottest day of the week combined with the toughest course of the week due to the number of steep slopes demanding a lot from the riders after the previous day’s exertions in the Mass Start race.
The courses were as expected with lots of route choice on the short legs, with the shorter options usually being on the slower tracks and involving more intense navigation but rewarding those who were able to navigate these without error. The early part of the men’s course caught out a number of contenders (including Great Britain’s Ian Nixon who was in 71st at the 1st control) with few riders picking the optimum route on successive legs, but it was last year’s Sprint World Champion Grigory Medvedev (Russia) who took the early lead, ahead by 40 seconds at #4 from Baptiste Fuchs (France) and Anton Foliforov (Russia). The hills came in quick succession after crossing the river, the 2nd of which caused some controversy as the GPS tracks showed a number of riders cutting through the forest and gaining time but being reinstated after initially being disqualified, but Swiss rider Simon Braendli got through this section without a problem and moved into the lead. Nixon was gradually moving up the field and had pulled up to 63rd by this point. The hills kept coming as the heat relented and the planner had used a few carefully placed controls to try and catch out those who weren’t attentive, and Nixon was navigating well and had pulled up to 56th. The longest leg towards the end of the course didn’t prove critical as most riders chose the fastest route, but the next leg proved decisive as the overprint of #18 was not very clear on the map and a number of riders missed this control out. A fast ride down a ski slope to the penultimate control caused a few issues due to the high-speed entry into the woodland area and the contrasting dark forest from the glaring sunshine, but the overall result was never in doubt as Branedli had built up an unassailable lead which he extended to win by more than a minute from Fuchs. Nixon made good ground over the last part of the course having been caught by a small group and ended in 44th, the highest placing by a British male in the middle race for 8 years.
In the women’s race, a similar starting loop caught a number of riders out and large gaps appearing. Olga Shipilova (Russia) took an early lead aiming to make amends for yesterday’s disqualification, but only 8 other riders within 2 minutes. As the rider’s hit the big hills there was a pair of Russian’s, Czech’s and Finn’s leading the race, with Great Britain’s Clare Dallimore up into 7th. The long leg to number 8 threw up a couple of route choices, where Martina Tichovska (Czech Republic) moved into the lead, but the short leg to 9 caused problems for a lot of riders and allowed Veronika Kubinova to move into a 20-second lead. The lead changed hands a couple more times with Shipilova regaining the lead after choosing the optimum route to number 12. Dallimore got the best route here and moved up into 4th place. The women had a similar end to men’s course but avoided the issues of disqualifications, and as such the positions stayed as they were for the podium places to the finish despite a bit of time loss on the last few controls for some of the faster riders. This gave Clare her best ever result at a World Championships and her first trip to the podium.
Men 18.4km, 630m
44. Ian Nixon, Great Britain 1.27.14
Women 15.4km, 520m
4. Clare Dallimore, Great Britain 1.14.10
Winter Training and Motivation: Athlete Focus
The temperature is cold, and the days are shorter. Struggling to maintain the motivation for training or orienteering regularly? You're not alone. Getting yourself out on cold dark mornings and evenings takes a lot more motivation than it might do in July.
Pick up some tips and see what makes up a typical training week for some of our top elite athletes this winter with our elite athlete focus feature series.
Athletes club: Airienteers
Athletes age: 27
Some World Orienteering Championships top 30's and 6th at TioMila.
Try to run each day for an hour. Try to run in terrain. Try to do two intense things each week and try to do one long more than 2 hours run each week.
A few night league races and the odd technical training weekend. I start more technical training after February.
Thank you, Alasdair. British Orienteering and members would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best with your training throughout the rest of the year.
Elite Athlete Winter Training Series of Interviews
More information - here.
Interview #1: with Charlotte Ward - here
Humberside and Lincolnshire Orienteers, Sheffield University Orienteering Club
Interview #2: with Kris Jones - here
Forth Valley Orienteers, Swansea Bay Orienteering Club, Lillomarka OL, Swansea Harriers, Dundee Hawkhill Harriers
Interview #3: with Alice Leake - here