A long weekend of local orienteering began with the third Salisbury City Urban O race.  We were fortunate to be able to start the courses within the Cathedral Close on Broadwalk, close to the Harnham Gate. Competitors had the rather novel experience of a walk to the start through the grounds of Bishop Wordsworth’s School and around the North and West sides of the Cathedral at a suitable distance to avoid interfering with a wedding.

It was rather unusual to have wedding guests mingling with (or possibly avoiding) lycra-clad runners queuing for the start. Particularly impressive was one lady wearing a delightful lavender coloured creation in her hair – definitely not a competitor.

We had a good turnout of just over 350 competitors who took on courses set by Dan Gallagher which took runners from the Cathedral Close into the South and South West of the Salisbury City map, taking in the steep rise of Harnham Slope, which came as a surprise to some runners who mistakenly believed that Salisbury was flat, and finishing just outside de Vaux Place.  Junior courses utilised the Cathedral environs and our familiar training area of Churchill Gardens

The top open course (7.3k, 250m climb) was won by Ben Mitchell of SBOC in a time of just 37.23 min. There were some excellent performances from Sarum.  Rob Ashton (see right) was best placed Sarum runner in 10th place with Hugh Holmes in 16th. On course 2 Sarah Robertson gained a splendid 8th place in the Women’s Open class despite having picked up the wrong map – she intended to run course 3. Sarah reckoned that as she lives in Harnham she did have the benefit of knowing the area very well; nevertheless, a great result.

On course 3 Paul lane was 15th in the men’s vet class with Jeff but in 19th place. In the women’s vets race Polly Jacobs came 12th. On course 4 Dave Mullins was 24th in the Men’s Ultra vet class.  Course 5 yielded more good results for our club with Charlotte Thornton coming 3rd in Women’s Hyper vet, Dave Battisson 7th in Men’s Hyper vet and Denise Mullins 12th Women’s Ultra vet.

Our juniors also put in good performances with Dan Robertson in 3rd place and Ben Jacobs 4th in the Men’s junior race. Finally, Joe Robertson completed a good day for the family in 3rd place in the Men’s Young junior race.

Thanks to everyone who travelled to our City to take part: we hope you all enjoyed yourselves. Particular thanks to Pat Hart for organising yet another fantastic City event, to Dan Gallagher for planning the courses and Controller Chris Branford. We are also immensely grateful to Bishop Wordsworth’s school for the use of their grounds and premises for our Assembly Area and to the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral for allowing us to site our start in such stunning surroundings.

A Gallery of photos from the event can be found below.

Click here for full results