Orienteers from across globe come to Lancaster University

Competitors race for the line at Lancaster Univeristy.
Competitors race for the line at Lancaster Univeristy.

Lancaster University hosted the UK’s most prestigious orienteering event on Good Friday.

The annual Jan Kjellstrom had been two years in the planning by Lancaster club Red Rose Orienteers.

More than 2,000 competitors from all over the country and overseas came to test themselves in the sprint discipline which translated into a winning time of about 15 minutes and flat out running all the way.

There were national teams competing from the likes of Switzerland, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Poland with around 20 age-appropriate courses fully utilising the campus, challenging runners to navigate their way at speed through twisting passageways and the intricate building layout.

Despite so many international stars attending there was plenty of success for local club members.

Quentin Harding from Caton, a former World Masters Champion, won the Men 50 category from an exceptionally strong field on a good day for the whole family as wife Sue was fifth in Women 50.

Elsewhere, Helen Ockenden, a pupil at Lancaster Girls Grammar School, won bronze in the very competitive Women 18 Elite.

Friday’s event was the first of three more over the weekend, all which took place in the forests of the southern Lake District.

Assistant organiser Martyn Roome said: “The whole day was a great success and really showcased what the club can do.”