Published on December 2nd, 2019 | by nioa-sec


Best JIRCs results ever

The Northern Ireland Junior Inter-Regional Championships team had their best result ever back in last September when they travelled to Yorkshire. JIRCs is an annual competition comprising both an individual and relay for juniors in the M/W14 to M/W18 classes between the 12 regions in British Orienteering. With Northern Ireland being among the smallest regions this year we punched above our weight. Matthew Vasey reports:

“This year was the third year that I have been at the Junior Inter Regional Championships, which was held in South Yorkshire at newly mapped Comws Rock (individual )and Tankersley wood (relay). Both areas were challenging in their own ways and were enhanced in difficulty by the non-stopping rain throughout the weekend. This years JIRCs started off like every year with an early 6.00 am flight from Belfast International Airport to Manchester Airport, with all of us feeling tired but ready to run. After arriving in Manchester we split up into groups for the hire car in terms of our start times with early starters Ben Cairns, Oliver O’Kane and Daniel Vasey heading off first.

Arriving at the area, I knew it would be tough with rain and light fog falling on the area with every map being destroyed by the end – despite this, I was excited to run. My course was 9.5 km with 250m of climb and 25 controls and was on a double-sided map which was a first for me at the JIRCs. Our team had good runs with Ben Cairns achieving 17th place and Zachary Murphy achieving 19th place in the M14 course, Daniel Earnshaw achieving 11th and Christopher McClure achieving 22nd in the M16 course, Meadow McCauley achieving 12th in the W16 course, Peter Reed achieving 21st and Daniel Vasey achieving 28th in the M18 course, Rachael Collins achieving 24th in the W18 course as some unfortunate mispunches from Dan Murphy, Oliver O’Kane, Rebecca Linton and Andrew Elwood. Unfortunately, my achilles injury caused problems for me and I came in 29th in the M18 course.

Upon arriving at the overnight stay, we were told which room was ours and settled in before getting our dinner. After this, we headed to the results and prize giving in which our team came in 10th place. Following that night’s entertainment, we all got some much needed rest and sleep for next day’s run. Following our early breakfast we headed to the Tankersley wood area.

For the relay, we had 2 boys teams, 1 girls team and Andrew running in adhoc and this year with great performances in this tough wooded area with continued rainfall and slippery conditions, our team managed an impressive 9th place. With everyone tired out, we headed for the airport conscious that we were pressed for time. With bad traffic throughout Manchester, we made it to the airport 15 minutes before the plane was due to take off with our teams at different places due to the traffic. Sprinting through the airport,  we all made it to the terminal just before the gate closed with everyone together. I had a great time this year and experienced some good areas and terrain and I would recommend this weekend to anyone who has the chance to go.”

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About the Author

Stephen Gilmore is the Hon Secretary of NI Orienteering.

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