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May 10, 2019

Irish Orienteering Championships 2019

DonalWickham_crop.jpgFermanagh Orienteers and Lagan Valley Orienteers were the organisers of this years IOC, held over the May holiday weekend. The weather was perfect for racing, not cold and wet, and not so warm that dehydration became a factor.  

The sprint race (day 1) was held on the Florencecourt Estate, Fermanagh.  The terrain used was a mixture of urban detail, parkland and forest.  This was a departure from most sprint events where urban terrain is predominantly used.  It was a fine event, and a good orienteering experience.PaulSmyth_crop.jpg

The middle distance race (day 2) was on the shore of Lough Erne, at Castle Archdale.  The courses were fast and offered plenty of route choice.  The arena was in the impressive castle courtyard where competitors raced up and down flights of steps to reach the finish kite.

Day 3, the classic distance race was held in the Cavan Burren Park, in the area first used for IOC 1994.  The complex mixture of forest and open land provided plenty of technical challenge.  The courses had everything - fine navigation in complex forest with undergrowth and low visibility, fast running on intricate open limestone terrain and myriad route-choice.

AonghusMike_crop.jpgThe relay (day 4), organised by LVO, was held in Parkanaur, a recreational forest park near Dungannon.  The terrain allowed for fast running with interesting vegetation details which influenced route choice.  

Ajax podium finishers

(Roisin and Ruairi Long competed for their university club (UCDO) at the championships, but we are still claiming them as our own!!!)

Sprint (Day 1) – Florencecourt, Fermanagh

First: M20E Ruairi Long

Second: W21E Roisin Long

Middle Distance (Day 2) – Castle Archdale, Fermanagh

First: M20E Ruairi Long, M55 Aonghus O'Cleirigh

Second: M12 Cian Wickham

Third: W21E Roisin Long

Classic Distance (Day 3) – Burren Park, Cavan

First: M20E Ruairi Long, M55 Aonghus O'Cleirigh

Third: W21E Roisin Long

Relay (Day 4) – Parkanaur, Tyrone

First: H12 Aonghus O'Cleirigh, Paul Smyth, Mike Long

Roisin Long finished in the winning Premier Women's Open Class team representing UCDO, a fantastic result! Ruairi Long finished in the third placed Premier Men's Open Class team representing UCDO, again a great result.