First Scottish Middle Distance Champions crowned
The inaugural Scottish Middle Distance Championships were held over Birnam Hill east on Saturday 30th March.
The last event recorded here was 2004 so, for many orienteers, this was the first opportunity to run in a fantastic new area of semi-open woodland, boulders, marshes and a lot of contours.
Middle Distance races give competitors the opportunity for fast decision making in technically complex terrain. Birnam had plenty of this and after a long uphill climb to starts at 280m altitude and a further climb to 400 metres on King’s Seat there was then a series of zig-zags (difficult diagonal orienteering) all the way back to the foot of the hill.
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Birnam Wood plays a central role – the King is told he will only be defeated when Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane. His enemy’s army comes through Birnam Wood and each soldier cuts a large branch to hide himself, so that when the army moves on it looks as if the wood is moving. Many of these branches still appear to litter the ground to this day!
Thanks go to Forth Valley Orienteers for staging this event, with the additional effort of the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) Championships and the SOL on Sunday.