CUOC go to BUCS 2022: journey to the high mountains

15 intrepid CUOCers journeyed to the land of hills (aka Sheffield and the surrounding Peak District) for a wonderful weekend of racing and socialising, hosted by SHUOC and SYO.

Saturday saw Big Moor (a very fitting name for an area that is, almost entirely, a vast expanse of tussocky moorland!) play host to the Individual race. Some of the team had never orienteered outside of the confines of Cambridge colleges, but everyone coped admirably with their courses, enjoying looking for boulders & ponds rather than street corners, scenic views, and running across (and not around) the grass! Those on the longest courses were even treated to a 60m vertical ascent right at the end of their courses, which was rather effortful after the tussocky marshes we had already endured/heroically powered through.

On Saturday evening, we headed to Sheffield’s SU for a fancy 3 course meal, with an optional side order of clubbing afterwards, for those wishing to fully prepare themselves for the relay… All club members (apart from James cos he doesn’t like fun) scrubbed up very well with our various inflatable mammals strapped to us. Our effort was certainly much better than *xford’s, who were supposed to be pirates, but were in fact just disappointing.

Sunday dawned, and fuelled on pastries (and then more pastry) we headed over to Wharncliffe – a pretty iconic area. Parking in a less iconic location, and arriving at a less iconic part of the area (by walking a more than appealing distance to get there) we were, admittedly, slightly confused, but set about preparing like any Olympic athlete – face paint! Artistic flair met HTML coding as we cooked up the exact shade of Cambridge Blue.

But our Go Faster stripes must have been working, as our men’s relay team were on fire! At the spectator control, 1st leg runner Pete was in 4th place, but stormed round the final loop to hand over to Olly in 1st! (Edit from Pete – there was no storming whatsoever to be honest – the front three just failed to follow a vegetation boundary.) We hand over to Oxford captain Ryan for the remainder of the commentary #collaboration: “Then Oxford caught Olly on second leg but Olly hung on insanely well and was only 35 seconds down at handover, with Edinburgh 3 mins behind Olly. After an anxious wait, all three came through spectator together (within ~30s of each other)”

And the final outcome? Edinburgh pulled away to take gold, but James put in an amazing effort on 3rd leg, widening the gap between us an Oxford, and taking silver comfortably – the podium of which can be seen in the last picture. But this wasn’t the only contest taking place – there was a real buzz about the arena, and lots of opportunities to cheer on our women’s and two other men’s relay teams.

Thank you to SHUOC and SYO for hosting a fab weekend – what a brilliant way to escape Cambridge for a weekend! Special mentions must go to Sarah for sourcing our wonderful outfits and Tom for successfully not getting eaten by a horse who had taken quite the interest in his sandwiches whilst walking back from the relay. However, we all made it home safe and sou- well, that’s not strictly speaking true... #lft

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