Stirling Observer

Club off on the right foot


Forth Valley Orienteers (FVO) got their 2023 season off to the best of starts, with success right across the board at the EUOC Big Weekend in Edinburgh.

First on the card was a night race around Dean Village, which had more than 300 entrants, and Scarlett Kelly forewent her place in the junior race, to claim a famous victory, topping the 156 runners on the short course in 22.40.

Alison Cunningham, fifth on her FVO debut in 24.50, and Laura Hendrie 10th in 27.24 made it a club trio in the top 10 of the class.

James Hammond looked set to join Scarlett in the winner’s enclosure, as he held off all-comers on the long course, with an early-logged time of 21.33, and it took the world number four Yannick Michiels to eject him from the big chair.

Chris Smithard (4th in 23.10) and Will Hensman (5th in 23.59) meant three in the first ten here as well.

The Edinburgh City Race saw six FVO athletes on class podiums, amongst a host of fine course performanc­es, at the first Scottish Urban League race of 2023. Alison Cunningham may have changed the colour of her uniform this year, but that was not a hindrance as she won the Supervet Womens class in 32.27, prior to picking up the 2022 champions trophy.

The FVO veterans are acclaimed as the strongest squad in Scotland, and they were prominent once again, with silver medals for Paul Hammond (Veteran men - 43.23) Rachel Kirkland (Veteran women – 42.45) and Cathy Tilbrook (Supervet women – 35.53).

The juniors got in on the act too, with James Hammond taking bronze in the Open Mens race (41.35) and Scarlett Kelly matching this in the Junior Womens class she won last year (14.08).

There were some stunning performanc­es in the Classic race on Arthur’s Seat which closed out the weekend, and pride of place went to Esme Kelly, who won the Light Green course in 51.32.

Lucy Finch also collected a win, on the White course (21.59) with Arthur Emslie-godfree 2nd (26.59). James Hammond went off in the mass start on the Brown course, and was just edged into 2nd place in a sprint finish (67.04), while Scarlett Kelly’s excellent weekend continued with 3rd on the Green course (55.02).

 ?? ?? Success James Hammond in action
Success James Hammond in action

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