Page 70 - The Chapka 2016
P. 70

The Royal Lancers’ Orienteering and Cross Country team has once again had a strong start to the season, with increased participation and some excellent team results. Under the en- thusiastic lead of Staff Sergeant Lucas the team has grown this year. Eleven soldiers took part in the basic orienteering skills course in Aldershot which helped to improve the navigation of the entire team and introduced orienteering as a sport to a new cohort of Royal Lancers. As such, The Royal Lancers have sent a full team to each of the Military League North events this season and are currently third in the Major Unit competition. This is a great improvement on last year. This increase in skill and performance will set the team up well for their next chal- lenge. This summer they are heading to Italy to take part in a multi-day event, where the terrain will be more complex than anything they have experienced in Northern England. Exercise SIOF LANCER has been approved by the Commanding Officer and with help from the Trustees we’ll be reporting next year with photos from Italy’s premier orienteering event.
With the orienteerers charging on, cross country has also not held back. One cloudy Friday morning Commanding Officer’s PT started with a short bus ride south to Camp Hill, the location of Sir Brigg’s Bash, a 10km mud run. After reluctantly stripping all their warm layers off, the Regiment lined up on the start line awaiting the air horn that would signal the start of the race and (hopefully) a chance to get warm again.
The mud run did not disappoint. The course wound its way through the woods on the local Camp Hill estate and seemed to link every puddle and patch of mud in the area. Just in case the mud and puddles weren’t enough, the organisers added in sev- eral other obstacles including two ice cold, waste deep, muddy ponds. The ponds seemed to sap all of the energy from the legs and made the final 3km much harder
After more than 40 minutes of hard racing the first finisher came in: Lieutenant Gardner took the winning spot narrowly in front of Lance Corporal Churchill and Corporal Isherwood in second and third respectively. Despite the hard work and cold condi- tions the race made a nice change from carrying logs and bur- dens around the Catterick back area and set the cross country team up for the season ahead.
Next stop was Hodson’s Horse where, without our star runner in Mr Gardner, the team put in a solid performance and finished second.
Pre-season training has worked well and both male and female
 teams are well positioned in the northern league.
Not all could be persuaded to smile...
  B Squadron Orienteerers
Hodson's Horse Cross Country team

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