Berkhamsted youngster Alex Fielding and his Happy Herts Orienteering Club team-mates Josh M’Caw and Angus Harrington put on a blistering show of speed, stamina and navigational skill at this year’s British Orienteering Championships to claim gold in the M14 age class relays.
Orienteering is an adventure sport that, at the highest level, combines tough, physical cross country running in difficult terrain with the added mental challenge of navigating to find control points.
Between them, the boys took just under an hour to find 30 controls over a hilly 7.8km course, with over 200m of climb.
“It was fun out there,” said 11-year-old Alex. “Angus put in a brilliant first leg, but the next runner was only 10 seconds behind him.
“I had a really good run on second leg, and didn’t make any mistakes. And when I came in, the second place runner was over three minutes behind me, so I knew we were in with a really good chance of winning.
“Then Josh came in on the final leg. He was still out in front. It was brilliant.”
Beating off stern competition from rivals South Yorkshire Orienteers and Bristol Orienteering Klub, the boys’ HH Fawns relay team led a host of Dacorum successes.
The HH Stags team, which took bronze in the men’s short competition, included Alex’s proud dad and team captain Kevin Fielding, fellow Berkhamsted resident Kevin Harding, and Ian Marsden.
Dacrorum ladies also brought home a clutch of medals from the Forest of Dean this year.
Alison Harding went one better than her husband Kevin to take silver in the individual long-distance W55+ event, while Hemel Hempstead’s Janet Rosen took two bronze medals – one in the individual W60+ long-distance race, and the other with her HH Impalas team-mates Gillian Hansen and Helen Errington in the W40+ relays.
The next local Happy Herts orienteering event will take place at Nomansland, between Sandridge and Wheathamsted, on Saturday.
The event is suitable for complete beginners; all ages, fitness levels and skill levels are welcome. Visit www.happyherts.org.uk for information.