Thursday, June 12, 2014
Budleigh Salterton’s Carol Pearce has been crowned the 2014 British Orienteering Champion in her age group, writes Stephen Birley.
This year’s championships, held in ideal weather conditions, took place near Alnwick in Northumbria.
However, despite the elements being kind the nature of the terrain provided a technical and physical challenge – steep forested slopes, with rocks, fallen trees and thick bilberry cover. This worked in favour of the Budleigh athlete’s technical reliability, selecting routes and navigating to the control points, while slowing down those who might be faster runners.
Pearce is a member of Devon Orienteering Club, as is her husband John who makes maps for the sport (he is also the chairman of the Budleigh Music Festival).
She has won the British Championship before, but this time she went into the contest ‘only looking for a top 10 finish’.
She was one of the earlier finishers; and her time of 71 minutes looked to be a sound one, but it looked better and better as her opponents made mistakes and came back in slower times!
In second place was Joan Noble from Inverness Orienteering Club, and third was last year’s champion, Liz Godfree from Derbyshire.
The event attracted about 1,500 entries from all over the UK, competing for titles in age groups ranging from 10 to 90. For more details of the sport and local events, go to the website of British Orienteering, www.britishorienteering.org.uk or www.devonorienteering.co.uk