4th December 2017

Border Liners brought the curtain down on another successful season recently with two well-supported club events. The first of them, around Lowry Hill and Kingmoor Woods, was extra special because it was planned and organised by evergreen Border Liner Angela Whitworth to celebrate her 75th birthday. A large turnout of runners enjoyed excellent urban and rural courses around the houses and woods of North Carlisle with presents, cake and several renditions of ‘Happy Birthday’ to follow.

Francis Shillitoe of the Newcastle and Tyneside Orienteers was quickest on the 4km rural course around Kingmoor Woods with a time of 24.35. Jeff Powell Davies of the host club claimed second place in 26.17 with BL clubmate Alan Hartley third with 26.32. Reversing their fortunes on the urban long course around Lowry Hill, Jeff took first place with 27.15 and Francis second in 27.24. Karen Parker took third overall with an excellent 27.44. Border Liners youngsters claimed top places on both the short courses with Ruben Razzetti and Maisy Yates taking the honours around the short rural and short urban courses respectively.

At Hackthorpe New Woods last weekend Gerry Garvey set three varied courses around the recently planted woods on the edge of the Lowther Park. Following her performance at Lowry Hill, Karen Parker showed the rest of the field a clean pair of heels with a class-winning 38.09 run around the 4.7km Green course. West Cumberland runner Colin Valentine claimed second in 40.00, with Andy Lewsley third (47.24) and Jane Yates an excellent fourth place with 53.06. Laura Hazelhurst took first place around the 3.1km Short Green course with a time of 36.02 and Tom Rawle second in 46.24. Maisy Yates and Ruben Razzetti also continued their Lowry Hill form with first and second places around the 2.9km Orange course.

Border Liners traditional end of season social takes place in Low Hesket Village Hall on Monday 11th December with a special charity orienteering event at Binsey near Bassenthwaite on Saturday 30th December.

23rd October 2017

A great turnout of seventy-seven runners took part in Border Liners recent club event at Eycott Hill near Berrier. Event organiser Gerry Garvey set out three excellent courses around the Cumbria Wildlife Trust site with most competitors completing their circuits before the weekend rain set in!

Local athlete Ian Cumpstey took top honours around the 5km Green course, with a time of 38.14, just 46 seconds clear of runner-up Martin Bagness of the South Lakes based Warrior Orienteering Club (WAROC). West Cumberland athlete David Spencer was third in 39.26 with Border Liner Dan Parker fourth in 42.04 and Dan’s wife Karen eighth overall and first lady home with a time of 46.53. Solway orienteer Dave McQuillen was fastest around the 3.3km Short Green course with a time more than three minutes clear of runner-up Isaac Mort of the South Ribble Orienteering Club. Border Liner Charles Weir had a good run to finish in third place. The times of the top three were 38.54, 42.21 and 46.37 respectively.

Competition in the 2.5km Orange course meanwhile was fierce with the top four runners finishing within a single minute. Competing as an Independent, but quickly joining Border Liners after the event, M12 racer Ruben Razzetti held off a three-pronged junior WAROC challenge to come home first in 23.21. Rowan Ashworth, Tom Ashworth and Frankie Exley finished with 23.45, 23.57 and 24.07 respectively. Border Liners Rosalind Weir and Caitlin Hodkinson also had good races to finish in the top ten.

Border Liners next fixture is a special club event on Saturday 18th November. The ‘Cake in the Car Park’ event is being organised by Angela Whitworth who celebrates 75 years young on the day. Five courses, taking in the best urban and rural navigational challenges of Lowry Hill and Kingmoor Woods will be on offer, with something to suit everyone from newcomer to experienced orienteer.

11th September 2017

Elite racer and current President of the Oxford University Orienteering Club, Rowan Capper, was fastest Brown course competitor in the Border Liners promoted regional orienteering event on High Pike near Caldbeck last Sunday. Rowan’s time of 60.19 around the 8.9km (345m climbing) was all the more impressive given the blustery, damp conditions though thankfully, the clouds remained just above the racing terrain all day. Lakeland Orienteering Club runners took second and third places with teenager Harry Scott and M55 runner Graham Patten finishing in 63.52 and 64.17 respectively. Dan Parker was Border Liners top finisher in 76.51

Michael Billinghurst and John Noblett of the West Cumberland Club took top honours on the 6.1km (315m) Blue course with Stella Lewsley first Border Liner in 63.55. Paul Wood of the AIRE club meanwhile was fastest around the 4.8km (210m) Green course with Liners Andy Lewsley and Robin Thomas both making the top ten with 47.08 and 54.18.

Keeping it in the family, fellow AIRE racer Shirley Wood was fastest Short Green course competitor with a time of 42.29. Jane Yates and Dick Whitworth of the Border Liners both had good runs to finish fourth and ninth respectively in 52.44 and 64.35. Making the trip across from Cleveland worthwhile, Lily Unsworth was quickest on the 3.2km (150m) Light Green course whilst Dougal Kyle made the podium in third (68.39) and Janice Nichols had a good race to finish fourth in 73.16. Taking the only Border Liners top-spot of the day, Tom Rawle was winner of the 2.4km (110m) Orange course with Maisy Yates having another good run to finish second. Their times were 36.22 and 38.52 respectively.

Border Liners next fixture is one of their popular ‘Come and Try It’ events at Eycott Hill near Berrier on Saturday 14th October. The autumn club training nights are now also underway with the next one planned for Carlisle Parks on Monday 18th September.

4th September 2017

Swept to success by the strong south westerly wind across the summits, Daniel Spencer of the host West Cumberland Orienteering Club was fastest around the elite 8.7km (375m climbing) Brown course in last Sunday’s round of the Cumbrian Galoppen League on the Uldale Fells. Daniel’s time of 58.49 was almost four minutes clear of runner-up and clubmate Alastair Thomas (62.18). David Spencer meanwhile was winner of the 6.3km Blue course by a margin of just two seconds from teenage WCOC hotshot Joe Hudd. Their times were 50.31 and 5.33 respectively.

Paul Gaines came away with a good result for Border Liners on the 5.8km (190m) Green course with a time of 53.45, just a minute-and-a-half behind WCOC runner Peter Hudd. Fellow Liner David Mainwaring was sixth in 59.47. Rapidly improving Border Liner Zoe Graham took another excellent podium placing on the 3km (130m)Short Green course with a bronze medal behind David and Andy Rodger. Their times were 29.28, 31.18 and 32.38 respectively.

Around the 2.1km (130m) Orange course James Kelly of the Warrior Orienteering Club set a blistering time of 16.33 with Tom Rawle taking a great fourth place (21.47) and Maisy Yates having another good result in sixth (25.44).

Border Liners are promoting their major event of the year this Sunday with a level B event on High Pike above Caldbeck. Some entry on the day is available for all categories. The club’s next ‘Come and Try It’ fixture is on the fabulous Eycott Hill terrain at Berrier near Mungrisdale on Saturday 14th October.

24th July 2017

Visiting runner Jonny Malley of the Manchester and District Orienteering Club was quickest around the 5.1km Green course in Border Liners club event at Aughertree near Uldale last Saturday although he might have been even faster if he had been equipped with flippers and snorkel given the intensity of the rain during the competition. Jonny’s time of 30.02 was a little more than two minutes clear of runner-up Steve Birkinshaw of the West Cumberland Orienteering Club (32.21), who in turn was more than four minutes ahead of local athlete Ian Cumpstey (36.54). Border Liners duo Stella and Andy Lewsley could only be separated by seconds in sixth and seventh place respectively (47.53 & 47.55) whilst Raymond Wren had a good run to finish eighth with 50.15.

Around the Short Green course (3.1km), WCOC athlete Roger Thomas was quickest on the day followed by a great second place from Carol Graham of the Solway Club and Border Liner Diana Mitchell picking up an excellent third. Their times were 32.32, 44.42 and 47.30 respectively. Laura Hazelhurst meanwhile was a clear winner of the 2.5km Orange course event with a time of 21.05.

The previous weekend a number of Border Liners ran in much more favourable conditions in the latest round of the Cumbrian Galoppen League promoted by the West Cumberland Club at Threlkeld Knotts near Keswick. Duncan Archer of the Cleveland Orienteering Klub took top honours around the 9.1km (300m climbing) Brown course in a time of 62.57 and there were good results from Border Liners Dan and Karen Parker who finished seventh and ninth with times of 88.15 and 93.38 respectively.

Run of the day from Border Liners perspective came from Andy Leswley who finished top of the tree on the 4.1km (250m climbing) Green course with a time of 44.50 just ahead of the promoting club’s Ian Teasdale who also had an excellent finishing time of 45.03. Picking up the first of his Short Green course wins of the week, Roger Thomas’s 30.39 was a little over a minute clear of club mate Andy Rodger (31.46) with Border Liner’s Anita Evans having a great run to finish in the top fifteen with 57.53.

19th June 2017

Border Liners held one of their popular ‘Come on Try It’ events in Brampton recently with three excellent urban courses around the busy market town. The longest course took runners from The Sands up to the statue on the Mote, where the organiser had carefully placed the control close to the toe of the 7th Earl of Carlisle, and back down to St Martin’s Close via the playing fields on Dacre Road. Despite it sounding a long way, the winner Ian Maxwell of the Roxburgh Reivers orienteering club covered the 4.3km course in 35.39. Runner-up Alan Hartley of the host club completed the 17 controls in 39.34 whilst Louise Dunn of the Lakeland Orienteering Club was fastest woman home in 43.18.

The Maxwell family was in the results again around the medium (3.3km) course with Kirstin and Eileen taking first and second places with 24.34 and 34.14 respectively. Douglas Henderson, again of the Roxburgh Reiver Club was third in 35.27. Angela Whitworth and Alex Hunt ensured Border Liners took home top medals on the short (2.4km) course with times of 48.42 and 51.08.

The annual Allerdale Chase took place last Sunday with runners pitting themselves against the hot sun and some classic long course orienteering. The West Cumberland Orienteering Club event around the Ennerdale valley tested competitors over courses from 3.9 to 15.9km. The longest courses usually favour strong fell runners and so it proved on this occasion with Wainwright Record Holder Steve Birkinshaw coming home in 133.56 (2hrs 13 mins 56 secs). Teenager Daniel Spencer wasn’t far behind however in 138.59 with fellow club and GB teammate runner Zac Hudd only a further two minutes behind in 140.36. Jeff Powell Davies was first Border Liner back in 160.55.

Around the 12km medium course Mike Billinghurst came out top in a winning time of 121.27 with Lakeland runner Mark Simmonds second in 124.19. Raymond Wren of the Border Liners was eighth (158.50). Border Liner Debbie Thompson was quickest on the ‘very short’ 3.9km course with a time of 54.57 ahead of a whole clutch of West Cumberland runners.

9th May 2017

Hosting a British Championship in any sport is relatively uncommon for Cumbria but in orienteering our county is one of the ‘go-to’ venues for terrain to test Britain’s best. Last weekend, the Finsthwaite valley near Newby Bridge in the South Lakes tested Britain’s best and provided some worthy champions over two days of competition.

Saturday’s event saw hundreds of competitors assemble for the National Long Course championships with the elite men tackling a near 15km course with over 700m of climbing. Graham Gristwood of the Forth Valley Orienteers came out on top after 98 minutes and fifty seconds of grueling running with Tessa Strain of the Edinburgh University Orienteering Club taking the women’s title in 79.37 over their 9.4km (505m climbing) course.

With some of the biggest orienteering clubs in the country fielding strong squads the North Cumbrian Border Liners more than held their own in several categories. There were top ten finishes for Jeff Powell Davies (10th in M35L Class), Andy Lewsley (6th M60L), Richard Evans (8th M60S), Isabel Gaines (4th W12B), Isabel Berry (8th W35L), Jane Yates (4th W45S), Janice Nichols (9th W55S) Stella Lewsley (5th W60L), Debbie Thompson (6th W60L), Anita Evans (6th W60S) Jenny Wren (5th W65L), Shirley Moss (2nd W70S), Louise Wilson (8th W75), Angela Whitworth (9th W75) and finally Paul Williams who had a well placed 9th on the ‘enter on the day’ Light Green course.

On Sunday morning, with grey skies over Carlisle, the Liners travelled back down to a sun-soaked Finsthwaite for the British Relay Championships. And what a fantastic day it was. With orienteers all running a taped-off course back through the Assembly field to tag their team mates and to finish, an almost party-like atmosphere ensued despite the competitive cauldron of the big event. Once again, Border Liners flew the flag for North Cumbria with ten teams in action – a record according to the club captain. For several athletes, this was their first experience of a major relay competition but for the seasoned BL2 Team of Raymond Wren, Karen Blackburn and Chris Lates, a polished performance saw them take second step on the podium with a well-deserved silver medal in the M/W 70 Class. Well done to everyone who took part.

24th April 2017

Local orienteers were spoiled for choice this weekend with events in Cumbria, South West Scotland and Tyneside. Saturday’s event was one of Border Liners popular ‘Come and Try It’ fixtures on the spectacular terrain around Hallin Fell and Martindale Hause above Ullswater. With three excellent courses to choose from there was plenty for beginners and experienced orienteers alike and the bright sunshine and cool temperatures made for perfect running conditions.

Jeff Powell Davies was top orienteer on the 3.6km Green course with a time more than five minutes clear of West Cumberland athlete Peter Hudd. Their times were 31.10 and 36.48 respectively. Proving that his recovery from last year’s knee injury is almost complete, Gerry Garvey was quickest around the Short Green course in a time of 39.03. Louise Wilson then led home a quartet of Border Liners in sixth to ninth place. Louise’s 62.35 was followed by Dougal Kyle 66.43, Angela Whitworth 71.35 and Anita Laird 74.05. Finally landing the result his running speed has promised, Tom Rawle took top honours on the 2.5km Orange course with a time of 33.26. Tom’s schoolmate Laura Hazelhurst was second in 38.14 with Maisy Yates having a good run to finish third with 48.24.

On Sunday a number of Border Liners headed North of the Border to compete in the third round of the Scottish Orienteering League at Drumlanrig Castle. The gardens and woodland around the castle look fabulous at this time of year and the Solway Club always make the most of the venue. Notable results from the Liners included Zoe Graham’s tenth place around the Blue course, Karen Blackburn’s 57.17 class win on the Green course and Angela Whitworth’s similar class winning performance of 70.57 on the Short Green course.

Finally, across in the North East, Maria Gaines just pipped her older sister Isabel to third place in the Northumberland and Tyneside Orienteers ‘Morpeth Gathering’ on Sunday. Their times were 21.55 and 22.30 respectively - excellent results from two promising young stars.

6th March 2017

Border Liners kicked off the 2017 Cumbrian Galoppen League in style on Sunday with a cracking event on the fells above Caldbeck. The Faulds Brow fixture ran without a hitch in bright late-winter sunshine with snow on the far hills and a brisk breeze to keep competitors cool.

Steve Birkinshaw of the West Cumberland Orienteering Club was the man to beat around the 9.8km (180m climbing) Brown course, with a time of 56.37which was approaching eight minutes clear of runner-up and clubmate Simon Hunter. David Spencer continued the WCOC run of results with first place on the Blue course in a time of 44.17 with Border Liners star runners Emily Brown and Debbie Thompson flying the home-team flag with excellent results around the 6.9km (150m climbing) course. Their times of 54.52 and 58.32 respectively were good enough for 9th and 15th overall and put them in the top three lady finishers on the Blue course.

Young Lakeland Orienteering Club runner Ellie Simonds was top finisher on the 4.7km (115m) Green course with Border Liner Simon Hunt breaking in to the top twenty just twelve minutes shy of her time. Jane Yates had a good run to finish in 8th place around the 3.4km (80m) Short Green course with Kate Kilpatrick finishing fourth on the 3.2km (60m) Light Green. Laura Hazelhurst continued where she finished last season with an excellent run to finish 8th on the 2.6km (75m) Orange course and would almost certainly have placed in the top three had it not been for difficulty finding control 10. The Hunt brothers meanwhile made two podium finishes with Sam taking third place on the Yellow course and Alexander finishing top of the tree with a win on White. Well done to both of them!

Border Liners next events are a club night at Armathwaite School on Monday 13th March and a ‘Come and Try It’ fixture at Talkin Tarn on Saturday 1st April. A number of the club’s regular competitors are in action in the regional heats of the Compass Sport Trophy near Newby Bridge this Sunday where good results will see the club qualifying for the finals in October.

David Rawle