Skip to Content

Success in the North for QO

FInley on the podium!

FInley on the podium!
Credit: Mark Goddard

Published: Wed 15 May 2024

Following on from successes at the JK and British Orienteering Championships, QO continued to be present in the leader board of the British Middle and Northern Championships.

A slightly smaller, father and son team of Mark and Finley Goddard trekked back to west Yorkshire for a great weekend put on by Airienteers and Claro. The British middles took place on Saturday 27th April with both Mark and Finley running their respective age classes at Danefield, a relatively small, hilly but intricate area north of Otley. This provided some superb runnable forest with great contour features and complex boulder areas.

The weather was kind with little wind, cloud cover but no rain making ideal running conditions. A short walk from the arena through some very picturesque countryside took the competitors to the start, Finley went out first with Mark on a later time. Unfortunately Mark elected to make control 14 ‘optional’ on his course rendering his efforts a little futile, Finley on the other hand put in a solid run with carefully considered route choice and navigation through the more complex boulders.

Competition was tough with Finley securing 3rd place, 2:49 behind 1st place and putting QO on the podium. Alongside Finley both Lyra Medlock (WSX) and Ben Perry (DEVON) secured 2nd and 3rd place respectively in their classes, providing well deserved recognition for the South West Junior Squad.

Having rested and re-fuelled overnight, day 2 saw the Northern championships take place in Kilnsey south on Sunday 28th April. Mark now resigned to support crew, Finley was to fly the flag for QO. An excellent open moorland area with complex contours awaited at the top of a 2k hike through a disused quarry to the start. Those on an early start embarked on a bleak, windy and wet run but the weather lifted through the morning leaving a cold strong wind to contend with for Finley.

Again the field comprised some stiff competition with the added jeopardy of it being the final England, Junior Home International selection race. Finley launched from the start with the aim of closing the 3 minute gap between him and his competitor ahead, he achieved this by control 5 with the pair punching the control together.

From then the two jostled for position running alongside each other through to control 16 from which the finish was in-sight across the valley. Coming down over the hill to control 17 Finley broke a small lead into control 18, then a sprint through control 19 and a cruel up hill to the finish with his companion hot on his heals. Legs tired and heart pounding, the effort provided just reward posting a time of 37:47 taking 1st place with a lead of just over 3 minutes. Although not eligible for the podium in the Northern champs the long journey home saw smiles all the way with QO proudly represented in the heartland of some of the UK’s best orienteers!