British Orienteering Long Distance and Relay Championships – Forest of Dean

Major successes this weekend for the club at the British Long Distance and Relay Championships. Both events were in the Forest of Dean and no long walks to the assembly areas or starts – a change from the JK 2015. New Beechenhurst forest was runnable for the most part but some major ups and downs to negotiate. James Crawford is the M60 British Champion and won by 3.5 minutes from second place. Fantastic run. Adam Conway was runner up in the M12A class and received a medal and buff. Mark Smith won M60S class – his first run after recovery from surgery, and George Simmons won the M20L class. Fantastic acheivements. Congratulations.

Other results – Sarah Darley was 4th in W10A, and Aimee Darley 15th in W12A. Nick Green and Phil Conway were 30th and 31st in M50L (Nick won by 3 seconds!) and Keith Tonkin was 22nd in M55L. Alastair Doyle was 29th in M60L and Geoff Wright 27th in M70L. I was 16th on W60L mainly due to a lost contact lense between control 2 & 3 which meant I couldn’t read the map. Tricky!!

A new venture for Linda Pakuls was to have a go at the British Trail O (now called Pre-O). She was unable to run in the other championships following some serious knee problems. She did very well and came a creditable 15th only 3 points behind the winner and beating the JK Pre-O champion.

The Relays took place on Cannop Pond, a less runnable forest on the side of a hill. We only had 4 teams running but again major successes. The M60 team of Peter Nicholls, Alastair Doyle and James Crawford looked to be on paper capable of winning. Peter was on 1st leg, and came back in 2nd place, but close to TVOC who came in 1st. Alastair had a cracking run and came back 4.5 minutes in the lead. I think Jamers was worried about being caught by a good runner on the TVOC 3rd leg (TVOC cam iin 4th anyway) as he did the fastest leg of the day for the whole class. No one got under 40 minutes but James ran his leg in just under 37 minutes. Needless to say the GOlden Boys team were winner by a staggering 13 minutes. Awesome!!

The junior GO Bananas team of Adam Conway, Sarah Darley and Aimee Darley ran in the Mini relay. They came 5th – a great result considering the first team was 3 boys, and all the teams above them had at least 2 boys. Adam was on lead leg and came back in 3rd. Sarah came back in 6th and Aimee pulled up one place to 5th. Great effort.

The M50 team of Nick Green, Keith Tonkin and Phil Conway had a difficult task in a very competitive class, but did really well. Nick came back in 5th place, and Keith maintained that position. Phil was rather tired from his run the previous day, but only lost 1 place so the GOing faster team came 6th.

So a fantastic weekend for the club. Many congratulations to all that ran, and in particular to James, British Champion, and the M60 relay team – also British Champions.

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