Flying dogs, dragons, dinosaurs, Coos, friendships renewed and new ones forged, competition, fun, sunshine, thunderstorms, teamwork, volunteers, fantastic scenery and finally amazing orienteering are just a few of the words that come to mind to summarise the latest Scottish 6 Days Orienteering week at Strathearn.
A week has now passed and life has returned to relative normal after a great week in Strathearn, a biennial holiday extravaganza of orienteering held in different areas of Scotland. This year the Scottish 6 Days kicked off at Auchingarrich near Comrie, visited Edinchip at Lochearnhead, moved to Dundurn & Cnoc a Mhadaidh, St Fillans before moving further East to Culteuchar & Dron, Bridge of Earn with the penultimate event being held at Craig a Barns near Dunkeld and finishing at Grandtully near Aberfeldy on Saturday.
This event appears to just happen, running like a well oiled machine. Each day an event arena magically materialises, flags and banners flutter in the wind, team tents are erected, marquees built, cars, camper vans and motor homes are parked efficiently and safely, competitors are transported by bus and shelter is provided, around fifty different courses are planned after maps have been drawn, hundreds of flags, stakes and controls are accurately placed, risk assessments and rescue plans are formulated, permissions and access established, start lists are prepared, races are run. At the end of the day, everything is cleared away and the whole process starts again in a different area. This phenomenal event is only successful due to an enormous number of volunteers and by each club taking responsibility for organising, planning or controlling one of the six days.
A huge thank you goes to all the EckO volunteers (some came down just to help) who descended on Edinchip, Lochearnhead along with three other clubs MOR, SOLWAY & STAG to successfully execute what was potentially a very complicated day. Even the weather was kind to us. Carol Burnapp was our Day Organiser putting in a massive amount of work beforehand to ensure the smooth running of what was a fabulous day. Unfortunately, due to injuring herself on Sunday night Carol was chair bound for most of the day and was unable to compete for the rest of the week. We hope that your knee recovers quickly Carol and that you are back orienteering soon.
Almost thirty EckO members and their families and friends attended part or all of the week and enjoyed socialising in the sunshine at the EckO tent each day or at the event campsite at Comrie Crofts. The highlight for many was the evening the mobile gin wagon turned up at the campsite and being lulled to sleep by Louis Macmillan playing his pipes!
EckO had a very successful week but a couple of athletes had a phenomenal week of competition.
Iris Macmillan came 2nd in W14. All that hard graft in the summer camp paid off.
Louis Macmillan came 1st in M18L in what was a nail biting finish at Grandtully. It wasn't clear until the very last second as to whether Louis had won or not.
Ellis Hunter M16A 30th
Louis Macmillan M18L 1st
Alasdair Lilley M18L 39th
Logan Mailer M18S 6th
Andy Dale M50L 34th
Ross Lilley M50L 54th
Iris Macmillan W14A 2nd
Roanne Lilley W20L 6th
Diane Mailer W50L 40th
Julie Watson W50S 17th
Gill Berrow W60L 13th
Jan Kersel W60L 34th
Colour coded courses:-
John Coon - Green (who enjoyed hot competition with his daughter Emily)
David Owens - Green
Andrea Lines - Green
Dave Bleazard - Green
Suse Coon - Light Green
Alison Stewart - Light Green
Ruari Owens Light Green, Orange
Ailsa Owens - White
Elliot and Rona Dale - String Course
Congratulations to all EckO athletes and watch out for further information for the next Scottish 6Days at Lochaber in 2021.