Regal setting for orienteering championships

Balmoral Castle provided a dramatic backdrop to the orienteering championships.
Balmoral Castle provided a dramatic backdrop to the orienteering championships.

*The next edition of BBC Scotland’s Adventure Show will feature coverage of a national competition which this year was held around Ballater.

The British Orienteering Championships’ long distance event was held on the Balmoral Estate with the castle providing an impressive setting for the race arena.

Commentary will be provided by co-presenters Dougie Vipond, Cameron McNeish and Deziree Wilson who were impressed by both the competition and the setting.

Dougie said: “It’s a test of physical ability and mental agility.”

Cameron added: “This event tests the best of the best in Britain. These guys go flat out cross country, they run and navigate at the same time but just 10 seconds of not concentrating can blow the whole race.”

The terrain was on the rough side, with lots of rocky ground and some big crags, as well as deep heather in places. There was, however, plenty of route choice, and a network of paths and tracks.

For those with time to look, there were also good views from the higher parts. It was mostly very dry underfoot with sunny and, although breezy in the arena, sheltered in the forest section.

The competition was open to competitors of all abilities and thousands took part, some finding the deep heather difficult to run through.

Producer Richard Else said: “Since we began making this series in 2005, the programme has gone from late night watching to prime time television – the interest in extreme sports for all ages and abilities has grown its appeal in volumes.”

This month’s programme also features a catch up with former award winning food designer, Paul Bromhead from Edinburgh, as he gets tips from top fell runner Donny Campbell towards his big race, and with Andy Mckenna from the Scottish borders –a mountain bike enthusiast who continues the sport he loves despite a diagnosis of MS.

The programme will be broadcast this Sunday, August 19, at 7pm on BBC2 Scotland.