• Forvie, credit: ActivNorth


  • Balmoral Castle

    Balmoral Castle

  • Edinburgh Castle map

    Edinburgh Castle map

  • Stirling Castle map

    Stirling Castle map

Balmoral, Sat Oct 18

Bulletin 2 Final Details

World Ranking Event. Classic orienteering in the grounds and forests of Balmoral Castle - the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. After many years of negotiations we finally have use of an area you’ll never forget.
Classic race for standard entrants (50 minute winning time, shorter for juniors, as per Scottish Orienteering League Guidelines)
Long Distance (90/70 minute winning time) World Ranking Event race for elite runners (M/W21E).
Incorporating UK Senior Home Internationals and Scottish Orienteering League 7
After the firt day the SHI scores are SCO-48, ENG-46, CYM-10, IRL-10.


To cope with late edits of the details there is no PDF download. If you do want to print this page it will format correctly and not print unnecessary headers etc.

IOF WRE logo

Quick info

  • Starts 9:45 - 14:00
  • Elite start times Men Women
  • M-E and W-E classes will require to pick up a new bib in the pre-start area at the Red Start
  • Car Park open for competitors at 08:30 and is beside Assembly
  • Distance to Starts: both  <15 minutes walk
  • Crathie Bridge is closed and hence approach must be via Ballater, see direction below for more info

Main Officials

Co-Organisers: Roger Coombs (MAROC) and Fran Getliff (MAROC)
Planner: Dan Gooch(MAROC)
Controller: Donald Grassie (GRAMP/MOR)
IOF Advisor: Rob Hickling (GRAMP)

Section 1: General Information

Jump to Competition Information

Important Notices

  • Please note that the historic bridge across the River Dee at Crathie, near Balmoral, will be CLOSED at the time of the event, due to repairs being carried out. Hence there will be no access to the Balmoral Estates for vehicles from the A93 at Crathie. Please read Travel Directions section for full details.
  • Event traffic should not use the main gates to Balmoral.
  • Please only use the marked off area for club tents and banners. There are cables buried in the vicinity of Assembly and we do not wish to damage them.
  • No water will be provided at the finish, please bring your own supplies. This is to avoid the environmental impact of cups, bottles, transporting water etc. The finish is close to the car park. Refreshment points will be provided on applicable courses.
  • The car parking field is unsuitable for coaches. If you intend bringing a coach or large minibus please contact the Organiser as soon as possible.
  • Leg and body cover is MANDATORY.
  • Please be reminded that the weather in North Scotland in October can be variable at best. Please prepare accordingly.
  • Bibs / Numbers will be provided for all competitors in Race the Castles – please do not forget to collect and use yours. This is the same number as used in the other RTC races so please do not forget to bring yours if you competed on the first weekend. “No Bib no go”.
  • There will be limited rubbish collection facilities (bin bags, etc.). Please take rubbish away with you.
  • M-E and W-E classes will require to pick up a new bib in the pre-start area at the Red Start


The event is being held at Balmoral, which lies some 10km west of Ballater on Royal Deeside, in the North East of Scotland. The car park is in the grounds of the Royal Estate at Balmoral.

 Assembly / Arena is in full view of Balmoral Castle, 400m away.

Travel Directions

  • Cars must approach the event from the east via Ballater, along the South Deeside Road (B976). Please take care along this road, which has many bends, is narrow in places and can be slow. Please allow adequate time. When approaching Balmoral Orienteering signs will direct you left onto a minor road towards Easter Balmoral and The Royal Lochnagar Distillery. After a short hill turn right and follow further directions through Easter Balmoral and into the grounds of Balmoral Castle. Follow signs for approximately 1.5 km.
  • Please note that the historic bridge across the River Dee at Crathie, near Balmoral, will be CLOSED at the time of the event, due to repairs being carried out. Hence there will be no access to Balmoral for vehicles from the A93 at Crathie.
  • Travel to the event is also possible using the number 201 public bus service, running between Aberdeen and Braemar on the A93. Get off the bus at Crathie and take the small minor road immediately east of Crathie Kirk, running south for 800m to the pedestrian suspension bridge crossing the River Dee. Join the South Deeside Road and go west for 100m and follow the O signs. This route will not be signposted until the South Deeside Road is reached.
  • Advance notice of large minibuses or coaches to the Organisers is requested.


Car parking is in a large flat grassy area close to Assembly. Please park tidily and as instructed by marshals. Car parking is included in the entry fee. Please arrive before 12:30 as the entry road is narrow and please no exit before 12:30. Please avoid driving on the grass verges beside the entry/exit road.

Any coaches or large mini-buses and campervans will be parked by the Estate Office which will involve an extra few minutes walk to assembly.


All competitors take part in this event at their own risk.

There may be estate staff and members of the general public around so please be considerate to them (and other competitors) at all times.

There may also be very limited estate traffic on the minor roads within the estate so please take care.

The White and Yellow courses follow a private road near the finish, so care is required. There will be “Caution Runners” signs deployed.

Please also be reminded that the weather in North Scotland in October can be variable at best. Please prepare accordingly.

Out of Bounds Areas

The grounds are fully open to the general public at this time of year so apart from the wooded competition area, to the immediate south and south west of parking and assembly, very little else is formally out of bounds. Feel free to make the most of the opportunity to wander around, including in the vicinity of the castle. Please be respectful of the estate, its’ property and any estate workers or residents you come across.

There are several security cameras close to areas we will be using. Please give them a wide berth.

First Aid and Injuries

In Emergency Situations call the emergency services contact number: 999

The nearest hospitals with Accident and Emergency departments are:

  • Minor Injuries: Aboyne Hospital, Bellwood Road, Aboyne, AB34 5HQ Tel: 013398 86433.
  • Accident & Emergency: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill Rd, Aberdeen AB25 2ZN 0845 456 6000

There will also be First Aid support available in the finish arena.


Car park open to competitors 08:30 (no exit before 12:30)
Enquiries open 08:45 - 15:00
Starts 09:45 - 14:00 (Black/Brown) 11:30 - 14:00 all other courses (Including Short Brown)
Courses close 16:00
WRE Flower Ceremonies As close to 14:00 (Womens-E) and 15:30 (Mens-E) as possible


The event arena is next to the parking area. The arena contains toilets, traders, first aid, download, results, and a small marquee for competitors use.

An area will be marked off for club tents and banners. Please only use this area as there are cables buried in the vicinity and we do not wish to damage them. Please also keep off the cricket pitch. This will be taped off.


To be on a lead and any mess to be removed.


Visit the Enquiries tent for any general queries, hired SI card and bib collection, Entry on the Day, car key deposit, lost & found children, lost property, and complaints and protests.

Entry on Day

EOD will be available on courses that were available for pre-entry, but only while maps and start slots are available. The cost will be £18 for seniors and £8 for juniors and students.

Hired SI cards

Hired SI cards will be available for collection. The charge for loss of a hired SI card is £35.

Bib Collection

Numbers not previously collected at Edinburgh or Stirling will be available for collection from Enquiries. The charge for replacement bibs will be £2. “No Bib no go”.

M-E and W-E classes will require to pick up a new bib in the pre-start area at the Red Start

Goodie Bags

Goodie bags containing T-shirts, traditional Scottish snacks from Stoats, Walkers and Tunnocks and discount vouchers for Run and Become are available to all "full Package" entrants. T shirt sizes are

S, M, L, and XL with some ladies cut in XS, S and M.

For other entrants T-shirts will be on sale for £10 while stocks last - and we'll throw in some snacks too.


In addition and in preparation for the event at Forvie on the Sunday, the Entries team will be available at Enquiries to help with the following

  • Submission of Relay Declaration forms , the deadline is 2pm on Saturday 18th.
  • Collection of Relay team bags (bibs, pins etc) for teams who have already submitted their forms, any not claimed will be at Information at Forvie.
  • Facilitating putting ad-hoc relay teams together from individual elites (this will start at Edinburgh the previous weekend).
  • Taking requests for course/start times changes for the Race the Castles race at Forvie (assuming enough spare maps/slots).

Spectator Control

There is a spectator control, used by both elite races, on the south side of the arena. A drinks station will also be located here.


Toilets will be in the arena close to the car park. Please do not use the toilets beside the castle. These will probably be closed in any case.

Traders and Caterers

Equipment traders: Compass Point.

Food and drinks traders: Sheridans Specialist Butchers of Ballater, and Mar Orienteering Club Junior Squad.

String Course

  • A string course will be available beside assembly and the car park. The terrain is wooded and contains a shallow lake. Parents are requested to satisfy themselves as to its safety for their own child in advance of the latter’s participation. The course is very scenic and has excellent close-up views of Balmoral Castle.
  • Please help ensure that young children do not play with the security cameras beside the start.
  • The string course will use Emit timing


Shadowing/pairs are not permitted on the Black, Brown and Short Brown courses. Shadowing (or taking part as a pair) is only permitted on the other courses. The person shadowing must complete their own run before shadowing and they must not pick up a map at the start.

Senior Home Internationals

The Senior Home Internationals are being held in conjunction with the two Race the Castles races at Balmoral and Forvie, and the competition is decided by results across the two days. Teams of three men and three women in each of the 4 classes (M/W20E, M/W21E), representing England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have been selected by the National Team managers for the two races.


A race announcer/commentator will be provided for the elite races.

Race the Castles, WRE & SHI Prize Giving / Flower Ceremony

There will not be a prize giving at Balmoral. This will be held on the Sunday at Forvie. There will however be a flower ceremony for each of the elite classes (14:00 for W-E and 15:30 for M-E).


These will be

  • Displayed in the Event Arena
  • Available by WiFi in the vicinity of download
    SSID: soa_results
    URL (no password needed)
  • Live results will be pushed to the outside world
  • Linked from the Race the Castles and MAROC web sites as soon as possible after the event (including Routegadget, Winsplits, Splitsbrowser etc.).

GPS tracking

There will be the opportunity to view GPS tracking of later starting M-E competitors and selected others, including some SHI competitors. Unfortunately direct viewing will not be possible until after the last starter.

Cancellation Procedure and Refund Policy

Mar Orienteering Club reserves the right to retain a portion of the entry fees in the event that the event is cancelled through influences outwith their control (e.g. weather, withdrawal of permissions).


In accordance with British Orienteering Child Welfare Policy and Procedures, we request that any person wishing to engage in any video, zoom or close range photography should make themselves aware of British Orienteering policy. Organisers reserve the right to challenge anyone who is giving cause for concern. If anyone has concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography they should raise them with the Day Organiser.

Chris Spencer (freelance photographer and Moravian orienteer) will be at all Balmoral taking photos in the assembly area, run in to finish, start and more importantly in the competition areas in and around the controls. The photos will be uploaded to his website www.activnorth.com and would be available for viewing by the general public and for purchasing. Visit the website www.activnorth.com (which gets referrals and views from orienteers in and outside the U.K) to see his photos from previous Scottish 6 days events eg OBAN2011 & MORAY2013. Photos maybe used for marketing and publicity.

Complaints, Protests and Appeals:

In the first case the competitor should discuss any concerns with the Planner, Controller or Organiser (via Enquiries), dependent on the problem. If this does not resolve the issue then a Complaint should be made to the Day Organiser (via Enquiries). A Complaint should be made as soon as possible after the problem is identified and no more than 15 minutes after the last result being displayed.

Main Event Officials

Organisers: Roger Coombs (MAROC) and Fran Getliff (MAROC)

Planner: Dan Gooch (MAROC) with assistance from Jon Musgrave(MAROC)

Controller: Donald Grassie (MOR)

IOF Event Advisor: Rob Hickling (GRAMP)

Jury and IOF Jury

Ted Finch (FVO) IOF EA
Philip Gristwood (MV) IOF EA
Allan Williams (WCH)
IOF Event Advisor: Rob Hickling (GRAMP)

Thanks to them for agreeing to be on the jury. If the jury needs to be convened for an aspect affecting the WRE courses, the IOF Event Advisor Rob Hickling (GRAMP) will join the jury as a non-voting chairman.


Thanks to Her Majesty the Queen and Balmoral Estates for allowing us to use the area and in particular to Garry Marsden, Estate Visitor Enterprise Manager for his great co-operation in all we have asked of him.

Thanks to St Andrews Ambulance for supplying the First Aid

This event would not be happening without the support and enthusiasm shown by the many volunteers from Mar Orienteering Club and others from within the Scottish Orienteering Association. Thank you to all of them.

Particular mention should go to Graeme Ackland for his enthusiasm and tireless work as coordinator of the overall Race the Castles festival; to Elizabeth Furness as entry co-ordinator across all five events; to Graham Gristwood for putting together the elite fields; to the support of the WOC 2015 technology team including Jon Marsden, Robin Strain, Dave Coustick and Ted Finch, Duncan Grassie for the piping and to the commentators Mark Nixon & Chris Poole.





· Balmoral Castle Grounds www.balmoralcastle.com

· Royal Lochnagar Distillery www.discovering-distilleries.com/royallochnagar/

· Crathie Church braemarandcrathieparish.org.uk

· Ballater www.visitballater.com www.ballatercommunity.com

· Braemar braemarscotland.co.uk

· Loch Kinord and Burn o' Vat www.visitscotland.com ›

· Morven www.walkhighlands.co.uk ›

· Glen Muick & Lochnagar www.glenmuick.com www.walkhighlands.co.uk ›

Section 2: Competition Information


Balmoral is a new map of an extensive area on the Royal Estate. This is the first occasion that Her Majesty the Queen has allowed us to use the forest for orienteering. The underlying terrain is typical of the Scottish Highlands, but has been managed by the estate for recreational rather than commercial purposes. Consequently, it is very runnable, though hilly, with a sparse path network and plentiful contour and rock detail.

The competition area does include some estate roads and you may encounter a very small amount of traffic during the competition.

Please be considerate of the general public, estate staff and other competitors in all areas.


Surveyed by Deeside Orienteering and Leisure Maps based on Lidar data and photogrammetric plot over spring / summer 2014 to ISOM 2000 standard. The maps will be A3/A4 in size and printed on waterproof paper. Map scale 1:15,000 for Black and Brown. 1:10,000 scale for Short Brown to White.

Rock features have been marked if they are prominent - this means approximately 1m in height minimum.

Out of Bounds is marked on maps with purple overprint. Areas are Out of Bounds either to avoid sensitive areas or to avoid clashes between competitors on different courses. Please observe these area requirements.

A green dot has been used to show prominent old Scots Pine trees - in the western part of area.

Start Lists

Start lists will be available via the Fabian website by Wednesday October 14th. A two minute start interval will be in operation on WRE courses.

World Ranking Event (WRE) competitors (Black and Brown courses) will have seeded starts. WRE event rules will take precedent over Home International Rules (by agreement with the Home nations).

Bibs / Numbers

Bibs / Numbers will be provided for all competitors in Race the Castles – please do not forget to collect and use yours. This is the same number as used in the other RTC races. They can be collected from Enquiries if you did not participate on the first weekend. You will not be permitted to start without one.

M-E and W-E classes will require to pick up a new bib in the pre-start area at the Red Start

Control descriptions

Descriptions will be printed on the map, with loose descriptions being available in the start lanes.


Normal SOL course ratios have been corrected in light of the planned winning times for Black course (90-100 minutes). Please be reminded that Black and Brown courses will use a 1:15000 scale map, with all others using a 1:10000 scale.

Cse No. Course Tech Diff Start Course length / climb Ctls Junior Age Classes Adult Age Classes
        Length Climb   Men Women Men Women
1 Black 5 Red 14.1 675 29     M-E  
2 Brown 5 Red 9.5 450 22 M18
M40 M20E
3 Short Brown 5 Red 6.9 285 15     M45
W21 W20E
4 Blue 5 Green 5.9 215 16 M16 W18
5 Short Blue 5 Green 4.1 170 14 M18S
6 Green 5 Green 3.7 160 16   W16 M70
7 Short Green 5 Green 3.2 115 13   W18S
8 Light Green 4 Green 2.7 130 13 M14
9 Long Orange 3 Green TBD TBD TBD        
10 Orange 3 Green 2.7 100 11 M12
11 Yellow 2 Green 1.8 65 9 M10
12 White 1 Green 1.7 35 11 M10B W10B    

Start Locations

There will be two starts, Red and Green, the route to which will be marked by the appropriate colour of tape.


Maximum of 15 minutes slow walk. The route is largely flat, partly road and partly track. Please take care as the route goes against car traffic flow for a short section. This route passes by estate houses – please be respectful of the residents.


Maximum of 10 minutes slow walk. The route is partly narrow path, partly rough ground with the last section being uphill.

Warm Up area

There will be a taped warm up area at the Red Start. Anything outside of this area should be regarded as the competition area and is out of bounds.

There will be no toilets at the Starts.

Clothing transfer: There will not be a clothing transfer.

Punching system

SPORTident will be used as the punching system.

Start procedure

The starts will be operated with a 4-minute call up. A clock at the start will display call up times. Competitors will be called into the -4 box according to their start time. Please clear your SI card before call-up.

-4 minute: Call up, Check SI number, Check race number, SI check

-3 minute:

-2 minute: Pick up Control Descriptions

-1 minute: Second SI Check

0 minute: Pick up map and start.

It is a timed start, not a punching or start gate start.

Competitors who are late for their start will only be allowed to start after the last start or in a gap, at the discretion of the start official. If the lateness is the fault of the competitor, they will be timed as if they had started at their allocated start time. Competitors who are late through the fault of the organiser will be timed with their real start time.


A selection of athletes will be asked to carry GPS during their run. Units will be issued close to the Red Start warm-up area. Athletes’ names will appear in advance on the Race the Castles web site.

Elite Athletes are reminded that personal GPS devices with a display or audible feedback are not permitted at World Ranking Events.


The finish and download will be in the Assembly area and in full view of the castle.

Map Collection

Black and Brown competition maps will be collected in at the finish up until the last start time has passed. They will be available for collection later in the day and at Forvie the next day.


Examples of the control formats in use will be on display on the way to the start.

Fields with Ponies or Cattle

Please do not enter any fields with ponies­ or cattle, and use only authorised gates / crossing points in fences as indicated. Please also report any unintentional damage so that we can remediate it after the event.

Drinks Points

Drinks points will be marked on the maps but should not be used for navigation. Water only will be supplied at these points.

Flower ceremony

There will be a flower ceremony for W-E at 14:00 and also M-E at 15:30, or as soon after as is practical in each case, for the top placed competitors on the men’s and women’s elite races.

Last edited: 18th Oct 14