Day 1 - Daily Digest
Comments from Colin Matheson
After some recent mixed weather Day 1 of the S6D at Achagour proved warm and pleasant and there was a real festive feeling in the race arena. At the request of the planners who had concerns over forestry operations further north the race was on to find a suitable new site that would still allow access to at least part of the mapped area. The solution was to shift everything south a few kilometres, and with many thanks to Anthony and Christopher Laing we gained permission for a large flat field that then dropped away down to a very convenient location for traders tents and the organisational structure of entries, information, download, first aid and more.
Many of the courses started in Belivat, an area visited at Moray 2013. The “new” area had the advantage of taking competitors into a wider variety of terrain types. After starting through some intricate moraine and vegetation detail courses went out across the marshes to cross a ditch via the choice of two specially constructed bouncy walkways. From Belivat the courses went into Moss-side, before many crossed the road to Achagour Fisheries and into the intricate and confusing field archery range. A cease fire was in operation, but runners would have been surprised by the numerous plastic animals set-out as targets. My own course headed out over a featureless and physically demanding area of bog and moorland, before heading past the fishing lakes (or possibly more correctly lochs in Scotland) and then into an area of forest plantation. Running across the planting lines was much harder than running with them. Courses then went through a final pleasant area of running before a mercifully short run across a grassy field to the finish line. Commentary was provided by well-known Nopesporter “Mad” Mike, sitting in the rather fetching commentary box advertising our next event, Deeside 2017.
As always things were not all perfect, and there is a learning curve for suppliers and sub-contractors who need to provide for orienteers. Double the normal quantity of toilet paper had already been supplied to the Portaloos, but seemingly this is not enough so I have asked for an increase in volume. For the first time we decided to contract out campsite operations, but orienteers must be fastidious in their habits as they have already filled the waste water containers. There is no drainage on site, so everything needs to be collected and pumped into the River Ness (no – that bit was made up). Hopefully conditions will improve, and please accept our apologies. I do understand the fairy lights look nice, and the marquee should be great for social events.