Scottish 6 Days fourth day report

The Scottish 6 Days promised a variety of terrain types and a few surprises.  Culteuchar & Dron was very different from the previous few days and offered fast running over closely cropped grassland before descending into the woods.  And what a finish – who would believe 2,500 orienteers would end up in someone’s back garden?

Views were lovely from the start of the course
Views from the start of the course were lovely

The River Earn winds it way down towards the Silvery Tay and Culteuchar & Dron was probably the last area which could be truly connected with Strathearn itself.  Unlike some other days there was a plethora of land owners and land managers across the area – add several farmers, sheep, bulls, partridges, pheasants, electric fences, potholed tracks and many other factors and it is remarkable we were able to stage such a great event at all. 

The run-in led straight from the woods into a lovely couple’s back garden

Massive thanks go to John and Yvonne Hay who gamely agreed to the races finishing on their beautifully manicured back garden.  They had no previous connection with orienteering and I am not sure they fully appreciated what they were letting themselves in for when they agreed access.

A back garden converted into an orienteering finish for the day

Logistically the day was challenging, including the high up starts (and stiles) which involved some skilful driving and lugging of equipment.  Having less climb on your actual course was of course a huge bonus and as many noted the view was lovely.  After speeding across the open terrain many were caught out on the descent into the forest – this was thinned and felled earlier in the year and runnability was greatly improved.

The TV crew got into the Scottish spirit with a "two-man kilt"
The TV crew got into the Scottish spirit with a “two-man kilt”

Rachel Wilson of CLYDE deserves our thanks for pulling together the many diverse elements of the day.  The Controller was former IOF President and their third Honorary Life President Brian Porteous, showing that he can keep in touch with more grassroots orienteering – one of the aims and objectives of the Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event Co Ltd is to work collaboratively with the Scottish Orienteering Association in the development and advancement of the sport of orienteering in Scotland.

Even the injured still enjoyed smiles all round. 🙂
There's a great spirit among all the many volunteers!
There’s a great spirit among all the many volunteers!