Feb 7, 2024

Big Weekend 2024

This year's Big Weekend was an all-urban extravaganza, in and around Edinburgh. Read on for a report and photos ...

In the run-up to WOC 2024 (Edinburgh, July), the Big Weekend races this year were all urban in nature. There was a training camp in the week leading up to the event, with the first events on Friday 26th January (2x2 mixed-sprint relay and Fight With the Night), followed by a Sprint on Saturday and longer Urban course on Sunday

2x2 MSR (Mixed Sprint Relay) - Liberton, Friday

A new event, aimed at the Elite runners, this took place in Liberton on Friday afternoon. The format was 4 legs, M-W-M-W, around the intricate housing estate layout with plenty of steps, narrow passageways and sharp turns to keep everyone on their toes. Several Interlopers in action:

  • 18th: Colm Moran and Aoife McCvana
  • 20th: Aidan Smith and Anna Murgatroyd

Fight With The Night (FWTN) - The Inch, Friday

Back to more traditional fare, the FWTN race was based just across the road from the 2x2 MSR at the Inch Community Sports Centre. It was a dry night, not too cold, perfect for running around the twists and turns of the Inch estate. Some good results for the club, and for those on the longer courses, a possible chance to claim they raced against somone famous (well, in Orienteering circles at least).


  • 4th: Lucy Ward


  • 7th: Mary Ross
  • 8th: Ann Haley
  • 10th: Tricia Alston
  • 17th: Lorna Eades


  • 6th: Laurence Ward
  • 18th: James Ackland
  • 19th: Colm Moran
  • 47=: William Ivory
  • 52nd: Aoife McCavana
  • 58th: Robin Galloway

Sprint - South Queensferry, Saturday

This year's Saturday was a sprint rather than long urban, with the elite classes being World Ranking Events (WRE). This involved a lot of extra work for EUOC as it was effectively  parallel events, and Fiona Eades and Jim Bailey had their hands full organising it. Many club members helped out, and I had a stint on quarantine, mostly writing signs and taking participants' bags from the quarantine exit along to the finish for collection. Perhaps someone can explain to me why elite orienteers want to warm up in a different pair of shoes to the ones they race in?

Anyway, despite part of South Queensferry being very definitely on a steep slope down to the Forth, the actual courses were almost flat, around the housing estates at the top of the hill. Quite a few artificial barriers added to the challenge of some very good courses. Those in the top half of their course included:

  • W16-: 2nd Lucy Ward
  • W Elite: 17th Mairi Eades, 31st Anna Murgatroyd
  • W40+: 1st Claire Ward, 3rd Mary Ross
  • W55+: 5th Ann Haley, 12th Lorna Eades
  • M Elite: 23rd Peter Hodkinson, 25th= James Ackland, 30th Colm Moran, 34th Laurence Ward, 39th Aidan Smith
  • M40+: 9th William Ivory

Anyone who entered should have recieved a follow up email with links to route choice analysis, and of course you can do this yourself on RouteGadget now with the ruler tool.

Long Urban - Bughtlin, Sunday

Sunday's race was a long urban at Bughtlin in West Edinburgh, in place of the usual trot around Arthur's Seat (if you missed that, check out the WOC tour warmup race being planned by Max Carcas). Artificial barriers again added to the challenge, as did having the straight line route from 5 to 6 on my course pass through 9, especially when you consider that the map was upside down at this point leading to 9 looking more like 6 than 6 did. Oh, did I mention the profusion of artificial barriers around this point too? All good fun anyway, with some interesting longer route choice decisions as well. Interlopers in the top half of their age classes were:

  • WYJ: 1st Laura Kitchin
  • WJ: 4th Lucy Ward
  • WV: 5th Mary Ross, 12th Heather Hartman
  • WSV: 5th Ann Haley, 11th Tricia Alston, 15th Lorna Eades
  • MO: 14th Graeme Ackland, 17th Daniel Murphy
  • MV: 12th William Ivory
  • MSV: 1st Ben Hartman, 9th Robin Galloway





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