This year’s JK festival of orienteering was held in the Lake District. As usual it took place over the four days of the Easter weekend and attracted thousands of entries including a particularly high number of elite runners from overseas preparing for this summer’s world championships.
After Friday’s sprint race at Lancaster Uni there were two days of long courses in the south west Lakes on Saturday and Sunday – near Broughton and Bigland respectively. Both days included a great variety of terrain but perhaps most typical was the inclusion of steep wooded hillsides with complex crags. The weather over the weekend was fine but the recent wet spring meant that footing was treacherous on even gentle slopes and the few paths were turned into muddy quagmires by the passing hordes.
ELO was represented by just five runners – although several former members were present (Kirsten Strain finished a strong 40th on the Women’s Elite overall – Murray Strain retained his relay title as part of Interlopers’ winning team – and Vanessa McMillan ran in her old ELO colours). Of the current members Sheila Strain achieved the highest position on combined scores – finishing 9th out of 60 in her age category. The rest of us all avoided major errors and will be pleased to have finished around the midpoint of our respective results tables.
At Monday’s relay competition ELO managed the rare feat (for us) of fielding a team which avoided mispunching and also had the satisfaction of pipping a couple of local rivals.
Next year’s JK will again be fairly accessible as it will be in Yorkshire.