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British Sprint & Middle Distance Championships weekend

Drumkeeragh Woods 7th May W55 / W60

Drumkeeragh Woods 7th May W55 / W60

Published: Sun 14 May 2023

The Lewis family took to Northern Ireland last weekend to take part in the British sprint and middle distance championships.

We were blessed with two fine and sunny days and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Martin and Oliver took part in the sprints which were held in the city of Armagh. Both Martin and Oliver enjoyed the race and it was intricate and proved challenging. This was Oliver’s second go at a sprint and he felt that he did it the best he could. He made a mistake going to his number 1, he ended up the wrong side of a wall and this unfortunately cost him valuable time. However, he came back with a smile and was looking forward to the finals.

Oliver qualified to take part in the ‘A’ finals and Martin in the ‘B’ finals. There was a four hour wait for the finals which was okay as the weather was fine and we could sit around on the grass.

Unfortunately, Oliver was not told the map was two sided and he missed the last few controls and just ran to the finish which he could see once he had dibbed the last control on side 1. This marred the experience for him and he was quite annoyed.

Annabelle and I enjoyed the delights of Armagh and spent the day at leisure.

The Middle Distance Championships were held at Drumkeeragh Wood. Drumkeeragh Wood made Dale Park (in the Lake District) look like a walk in the park. It was extremely challenging and quite tough going.

Oliver did well. Another fail marred his experience, his bib said go to the pink starts and he should have gone to the yellow starts. This meant that he had to run from one start to the other and was late starting. The officials agreed to take his actual start time and not his scheduled start time in the end and this meant he came in 7th.

Annabelle came in 2nd in the orange course.

Me and Martin didn’t fair so well. Martin had a fall going to his number one and was out of sorts for the rest of the course. I struggled with the terrain. It was technical and you had to maintain contact with the map, which should have suited my orienteering – however, it was a fight most of the way around. I felt a few of the controls were not where I expected them to be - further away, this knocked my confidence a bit. I had difficulty finding number 1 – I should have gone down the small path by the start kite. I chose the to go along the path and in from the bend – the vegetation, brushings, fallen trees etc. made this a poor route choice. I settled down after number 1 and found the controls all in reasonable times for me. Number 5 wasn’t where I wanted it to be – I followed the stream in from the path but it was further along. All I can say, I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I would do it again but I definitely did more than 110m rise and it was a long 2.4 kms!

Our flight home was delayed 90 minutes and we spent several hours at Belfast International Airport. We just had to order chips to have the robot deliver them to us – great fun.

Congratulations to Karen, Martin, Oliver and Annabelle, and thank you Karen for writing up your experiences.

Tony Hext also took part - coming 4th in the M75 'A' sprints final and 5th in the M75 middle distance.

All the results and maps are available at

Robot food delivery in Belfast airport

Robot food delivery in Belfast airport