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Orienteering's Scottish championship heading for Badenoch

By Tom Ramage

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Newtonmore's Creag Dubh will be hosting two days of this year's Lochaber Scottish Six-Day Orienteering championship.

The event is set to reach Badenoch on Thursday next week.

And a local runner is set to compete as the oldest: Adrian Hope, at 90 will be running in the Badenoch and Strathspey Orienteering Club colours.

At the club, Jo Cumming told the Strathy: "Our club is helping to organise part of the event so we'll all be supporting him as much as we can, given the Covid social distancing regulations."

The 23rd Scottish event will begin in Lochaber on Sunday.

The last time it was staged there was 2001, but 2021 will present a very different orienteering experience, the organisers promise.

The event starts on the shores of Loch Etive at Ardchattan before moving up to Inverlochy and views of the north face of Ben Nevis above Fort William.

Jo Cumming briefs members about being part of the organising team for Day 5 at Creag Dubh.
Jo Cumming briefs members about being part of the organising team for Day 5 at Creag Dubh.

Orienteering then moves west to Arisaig on the Road to the Isles, passing popular Glenfinnan en route.

The final days are at Creag Dhubh and then the National Nature Reserve at Creag Meagaidh, an awesome setting for the climax.

"There is a huge variation and variety of terrain types in some stunningly beautiful scenery," said Jo.

Strings courses are being laid out for the little ones, with pictures of the Newtonmore cats for them to find.

"It's been a nail-biting time. We should see six days of orienteering with more than 2000 competitors each day. Because of Covid we have ended up having two three-day events with 1000 competitors each day.

"It was too uncertain if the rules would allow 1000 or 2000 each day so the central organising team decided to play safe and keep to 1000 a day with each runner being able to do three days instead of six.

"The central organising group teams up small and large clubs to deliver each day. It's remarkable how well it all runs."

"While individuals often know each other, these clubs may never have worked together. Everyone just gets on with it with the help of its members.

"For Creag Dhu, Grampian is the large club teamed with Roxburgh Reivers. BASOC is the local club helping by organising the parking and the strings courses for orienteers under age 10.

"We would like to thank Angus Macpherson for giving permission to use his land at Creag Dhu for Days 4 & 5 and Rory Richardson for hosting Day 6 on the Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve."

More info on the big event can be found here

More Strathy headlines here

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