By Michael Adams
Leading up to Lagganlia were a series of selection races. These were all the major events like the British Champs, JK, Northern, Midland and Southern Champs. After all of these results were taken into account each region got to pick two of their 2nd year M/W14’s to go to Lagganlia. The only condition was as long as they had achieved a championship time (25% of the winner’s time added on to the winner’s time). Some of the regions were unable to send some juniors so the spare spaces were given to some juniors who hadn’t already been picked. This meant that 12 boys and 12 girls were chosen to spend a week in Lagganlia.
Most people travelled up on a train on the Saturday to arrive in Lagganlia in the evening. Those living closer may have been dropped off by their parents. As I had been to O-ringen and didn’t come back until the Saturday I had to go up on the Sunday. When we arrived, we were each given a room that was shared with 3 other people so 4 in a room.
During the day we did a variety of different training exercises. Each day was specified a different skill that we practiced. On the Monday we went to Moor of Alvie and did some catching and collecting features practice. Catching features are something big that if you run past the control you will see it and realize what you have done. Collecting features is something big before the control to show that you are nearly there and should slow down. In the afternoon we went to Inshriach to do some timed runs. These showed us how fast we went along a track for 1km and how fast we went across terrain for 1km. Then the coaches worked out a ratio to see if we were quicker in the terrain or on the path so if you had a small ratio you should go straight but if you had a big ratio then you should go round.
On Tuesday we went to Culbin and spent the whole day there. We were concentrating on contours and how to read them. We did several exercises in the forested sand dunes. There was a simplify course where you had to concentrate on the big features. There was an attack points course where the map was all contours and nothing else and you had to use contour features as attack points. Then we went into the green bit that had lots of intricate contours and low visibility. After a small course and lots of lost people we did an odds and evens relay.
On the Wednesday there was a sprint race. The qualifier was round Alvielochan. A small forested area with lots of contour detail. I won the 2km course in 17:51, 3 seconds ahead of Joe Woodley and Katrina Hemingway won the girls. In the afternoon the final took place round Lagganlia. Joe won the boys course with Sarah Jones winning the girls. Later on we went to where the Badaguish tour was. Here there was a pond with a series of ring stretching over it. All you had to do was swing from one to the other and get to the other side. Simple? No. Lots of people got wet but there were a few who made it.
On Thursday we went to Anagach and did a map memory exercise where we went round as a pair whilst one person ran to the control with no map the other was remembering their route for the next leg. Then there was a talk o where one person talked the other to the control, explaining what they should see and where they needed to go. After this there was a peg relay where you had to go around a course and pick up pegs at certain controls. If there wasn’t a peg there you carried on but if there was you had to go and do an extra loop. The person with the most pegs won. Then there was an example of different types of training you can do in terrain.
Finally on the Friday there was a classic race around Insriach. The boys had 5.8km with 280 metres of climb while the girls had about 4.5km with 140 metres of climb. The boys winner was Joe Woodley again in just over an hour and the girls was won by Julie Emerson. The course took us through a checkerboard like bit of wood with rides separating off different bits of wood and the very intricate bit at the bottom that messed up the runs of lots of people. We were all quite tired after that but some of us (the not injured/exhausted ones) did a fun relay at the end in Insriach.
One person had to set off on Friday evening to go on holiday (lucky girl) but the rest of us went off on the Saturday. Mostly we were on an 8:29 train at Aviemore but some of us left later on in the day. Eventually we all got home and Lagganlia was over. For another year (hopefully).
I’d Just like to say a thank you to all the excellent coaches at Lagganlia who made our experience a great one. Also i’d like to say thank you to Wendy Carlyle for providing me with all the photos. And thank you to SYO and the Jack Bloor Fund who provided me with some money so I could go on this excellent trip.