After an early start from snow-sprinkled Cambrige, 11 CUOC runners made it to Burbage Moor for Day 1 of BUCS, the British Championships for universities, colleges and combined services. (It is not called BUC's. Just saying.). Burbage is a tough, rough open moorland covered either with heather or boulders, some of which are so large that 2m high boulders can be too small to be mapped... they were also quite confusing! CUOC's best result came from Jess Mason who stormed in to 14th place on the Women's A course - and she's only a first year! Carrie Beadle wasn't far behind, coming in 21st and less than 4 minutes down on Jess. Zuzka and Andrea managed a CUOC formation finish in 27th and 28th, separated by a mere 27 seconds.Over on the Men's A, Captain Vokesy placed 16th (of 92) and was only a few minutes off the top ten. Rob Campbell followed in 27th, followed by James Hoad (39th), Ben Windsor (44th), David Maliphant (48th), Tom Dobra (54th) and Dan Safka (56th).
The controls were still being put out as CUOC arrived at Greno Woods for the relay competition, indeed the last few controls were put out just minutes before the leading runners arrived at them! Greno provided a physical challenge, with marshes and brambles making the going tough underfoot in places.
In the Men's race, Ben Windsor surprised everyone, not only by coming in just a few seconds down on the leaders (he would have been first had he managed to correctly follow the tapes from the last control...), but also having punched EVERY control! Rob Campbell & Matthew Vokes both had slower, slightly scrappy runs, but still brought the team into a very respectable 6th position.
The women's team of Carrie Beadle, Andrea Stefkova & Jess Mason were almost as successful finishing in 7th position
Overall, CUOC finished in 4th position, behind Edinburgh & Sheffield who continued their dominance of university orienteering, but most importantly ahead of Oxford, which bodes well for next weekend - bring on Varsity!! We'll just have to try harder to beat Durham next year though.....