Edinburgh 'SSSSS'


Today saw the inaugrual Edinburgh Super Special Saturday Sprint Series take place on 3 city areas and attracting a top class field. In warm conditions competitors faced serveral contrasting terrains such as open parkland, urban jungle, forest and finally open moor.

Race one (map extract above) was a 1.8km blast around a park where running speed was everything and the braveness in takling the burn could make or break your result. Starting at 1 minute intervals the later starters had an advantage of seeing the first 3 controls but it was never going to make a huge amount of difference. The fastest on the course was Ewan McCarthy in a time of 7:58 followed by Matt Speake in 8:19 with Marky 'Boosch' Saunders in 3rd with 8:26.

Next up was a spot of O in the streets with some forest towards the end. Lots of route choice available but it was a misplaced control which cost most people time including the stage 1 victor Ewan. Surprisingly enough no controls went walkabout desoite the number of kids out on the street. Ally Brunton put in some 'interesting' route choices to take 3rd spot behind Mark Saunders in 1st with a time of 16:47 for the 2.8km (straight line) course while Matt Speake took his second 2nd place just 2 seconds behind. Peter Gardner had to rush off after this race for an exam - hopefully he made it there in time!

The 3rd race was a truer orienteering test, a 1.8km course with some short legs through some forest then a mixture of long and short legs over moor and through the gorse. It was a chasing start and only 5 seconds seperated Matt Speake from Mark Saunders and they were together until near the end where Speake opened up a 25 second gap to take victory.

Behind them battle was still continuing for 3rd, 4th & 5th places with Kitchin and Brunton close together at the spectator control. Kitchin came through in 3rd but it was McCarthy who stole 4th place as Brunton took a tumble into some nettles in the sprint for the line.

Behind them a close tussle between Stewart Caithness and Mhairi Mackenzie saw Caithness come from behind as he showed greater strength over the final few controls to catch Mackenzie and beat her into the finish.

Lavish Prizes were distributed to the top 2 - Mark Saunders was well chuffed with Michael Jackson's 'History' while Matt Speake was rewarded for his efforts in becoming the 'Super Special Saturday Sprint Specialist' with a special commemorative t-shirt marking this fine event. Keiran Rocks went home happy with the booby prize of 'A Date with Daniel O'Donnell'.

↓↓ Full Results Way Down There ↓↓
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