Welcome to Mark Stodgell
In conversation with one of our newest members...
- How long have you been orienteering? 39 Years!
- When did you join Quantock Orienteers? Joined in 2021 ( I am also a member of Walton Chasers where I live in the Midlands)
- Any previous clubs? I've been a member (in order) - Devon, Cardiff Uni, BOK, SPLOT (ex Cardiff Uni), PAPO (Christchurch NZ), & Offas Dyke Raiders.
- How did you get into the sport? Roger and Judy Craddock's fault - they introduced me to orienteering at school when I was 10 and Ive been hooked ever since. I got in to Mountain Bike Orienteering through a SW Orienteering friend Alan Hartley.
- Hobbies or other sports? Mountain Biking, Hill walking, Fell Running, DIY, Classic Cars
- Do you train? Yes when my body allows me too, both on the Bike and Running - I don't do gyms though I do go to Pilates from time to time.
- Best & worst orienteering moments or runs? Worst: at an MTBO World Cup Relay finding, after riding a loop of 8 controls really well, I had done them backwards and had to turn the bike around and do them all again..... Best: So many but probably being in the mass start at Jukola (1800 team relay in Finland)
- Best & worst things about orienteering? Worst: some of the attitudes to change and bad behaviour to volunteers from grumpy (normally older men, sorry) orienteers - Best: The sport takes you to amazing views out over such varied countryside.
- Favourite area? UK - Merthyr Mawr, QO - Quantock Forest North as it was known - to the north of Dead Womans Ditch
- Favourite places abroad to orienteer: Slovenia, Sweden, Venice.
- Are you more of a runner or a navigator? Navigator
- Any pre / post event routine? Just make sure I am hydrated.
- Your helper role at our events? Hopefully will be able to help out soon. Elsewhere I am a planner and sportident resultsly person. I am also involved in International events - as an MTBO Senior Event Advisor for IOF and have taken on IT Director for Scotland 2024 WOC!
- Who do you most appreciate (or admire) in our club or sport? Those coaches and members who give so much of their time - a few names who have made massive impact to me are: Roger and Judy Craddock, Mark Saunders and Alice Bedwell, Brian Johnson, John Searle, Ann Donnell and Stuart Bondi.
- Favourite O clothing? Footwear? Compass type (thumb or bassplate)? I am a gaiters and O trousers person now (long story), Thumb compass (now with magnifier) VJ shoes
- Top tips - For those whose eyesight is changing in their 40s and 50s - different presecriptions for contact lens in each eye - takes some getting used to but amazing and enables you to see distance and the map.
- Orienteering ambitions? A medal at a World Masters MTBO, and to be still orienteering when I am in my later years
- Occupation - IT Consultant for Construction and Property Management.