The JHI in Pitlochry this year was an amazing experience, both the individual and the relay
were fabulous and both on very good terrain. We stayed in a small Youth Hostel in
Pitlochry with the Scottish competitors on the Friday and Saturday nights and although it
was quite cramped, it was very cosy and had unlimited supplies of hot chocolate! (The
On the Friday morning I made my way from Sheffield to York, with Euan Tryner, Dom Dakin
and Max Mobus to Nev’s house, (thanks to Jacky who took us), and from there we travelled by
minibus, picking up some other team members on the way. Luckily it was my birthday on
the journey so it made it an enjoyable experience, even though it was very long.
When we arrived we settled in and went out to get a takeaway from Pitlochry (most
people went for the classic fish and chips), and then had a team meeting ready for the
race the next day.
After a fairly relaxed wake up at 8am we had breakfast and made our way to the
individual race. The terrain was very rough and it wasn’t the best run I have ever had as
Isobel Howard caught me up after starting eight minutes behind me which wasn’t a good
sign. I struggled on a few controls but apart from that I enjoyed the challenge enormously
and it was a lovely day. In the end I placed 5th overall so not too bad although top three
were all Scottish!
In the afternoon it was showers and getting ready for the social and Ceilidh. The Ceilidh
was absolutely amazing and exceeded my expectations very much as I was very unsure
what to expect, but everyone joined in and danced and it was incredibly fun even though
many people had no idea what to do (including me). It was a great evening, but even
more tiring that the orienteering!
The next day was the Relay and after finding out our relay teams (I was with Rachel (W16)
and Lucy (W18)) we drove a short way to the event. We weren’t so lucky with the weather
today though as it was freezing and drizzly. Apart from that, the relays were off to a flying
start and in the girls relay Rachel came back second, very closely followed by 3rd, 4th,
and 5th place so I went out in a pack and it stayed like that for the whole race pretty
much. We all had a little slip on a control but it was fast terrain and I came back joint 2nd
with Maya Hampshire-Wright (England). Lucy carried on with a great run and we placed
3rd in the end which we were all amazed about!
Thanks go to Nev and Jacky for driving us everywhere over the weekend and thank you to
all the coordinators and people behind the scenes that made this weekend possible!
Finally thank you to SYO and YHOA for financial support. It was a brilliant experience and
I hope to be selected represent England again at some point.
Photo credits: Will Heape