Day 3 - Daily Digest
Comments from Colin Matheson
The first of the really big days – a combined race arena encompassing both WOC and the Scottish 6 days. From an early stage we set out an event programme with a few key elements:
a. Minimise arena moves
b. Let S6D competitors have the chance to run on all WOC terrain
c. Provide locations that best met EventScotland’s The Perfect Stage ideals
The support received from Lord Moray and his staff at Moray Estates has been fantastic – the upgraded road, trees cleared, fences dropped, grass grown and cut, routes through the barley, routes through the oilseed rape and of course the superb backdrop of the castle now complete with flag. There’s now another tick in the I-Spy Scottish Castles book.
Today’s main race (the Scottish 6 Days of course) used yesterday’s Middle Race area. A decision was taken some time ago to stage a Middle race – though there is excellent forest further south this is also one of the few remaining refuges of Tetrao urogallus, loved by many orienteers and better known as capercaillie. This restricted the area in which we could freely range, but for many of us weary from other activities I think running a few kilometres less was a great relief. The map (at 1:7500 scale) was derived from LiDAR survey and many of the issues from the original map of 1976 (such as the river flowing uphill) were finally resolved and the occasional hill moved around. I found the clarity of the map superb, but like everyone else found myself constantly ducking under the vegetation and trying to stop sticks poking me in the eye. It is interesting to compare our maps with WOC – look at how green screen comes and goes. Horses for courses. I really enjoyed the area, and it was delightful in some parts of the forest. The planners would like to point out that the enforced run across the oilseed rape was not their preferred option, but it was an inevitable consequence of trying to squeeze the two races together with athletes walking from quarantine to their start line through the best finish area. The run-in from control 100 was mercifully short, and we did decide to move the full S6D infrastructure into this part of the field.
How we fitted in 2000 + cars into the area was a minor miracle and we still allowed space for a rather fine traders’ village with a great selection of food vendors and equipment traders. I hope nobody is still trying to get out with the long queues over the trackway. Getting in was an even bigger issue – there was a serious accident (fortunately nobody injured) on the right turn off the A96 near Brodie. Foreign drivers please take care! There were incorrect travel reports put out on the radio, and many tried to beat the system coming down the back roads only to discover the route was clear and running smoothly. Please stick to the approved route – I don’t care what the lady on your SatNav thinks but you must not approach via Redstone or the small road by Earlsmill. She doesn’t know better than us.
We look forward to seeing you back tomorrow.