One of the Fell Running and Orienteering Club's newest recruits showed her new team-mates how it should be done by storming to a victory in their opening event of the year. With a time just eight seconds over 37 minutes, Elen Norris was the fastest woman in the race, over two minutes ahead of her nearest rival.
The first year student also beat all of the other members of the Fell Running and Orienteering Club, who were taking part in the Autumn/Winter LOP Event 1 at the Havannah Nature Reserve near Hazlerigg on 21 October. The students were up against members of other orienteering clubs, with the Newcastle and Tyneside Orienteers a particularly strong showing.
Both the fastest and second-fastest women at the race were students, however, with Norris followed over the finish line by team-mate Eilidh Brown. The highest-placed man from NUFOC was Mark Kostadinov, who came in sixth overall with a time of 38:20.
Orienteering courses are ranked into eight different colours, and the orange course that all NUFOC members took part in is the third-easiest. This allowed beginners to get the hang of things, not that Norris seemed to need it, and also provided an opportunity for more experienced club members to get back into the swing of orienteering after the summer.
To make things a little more challenging, all NUFOC members opted for the 'long orange' course, which required a much longer run than the standard course and was therefore more physically demanding.
Of the 19 runners taking part in the long orange course, seven were members of NUFOC. After Norris, Kostadinov and Brown crossed the finishing line, they were soon joined by Peter Walmsley (40:42) and Chloe Watson (41:04). Just behind them came Henry Ling with a time of 42:43, while Emma Peters brought up the NUFOC rear in 48 minutes and 12 seconds to find herself in 16th place overall.
NUFOC will participate in the second event of the series at Nuns Moor on 11 November.