Derbyshire's Peak District was the venue for the annual orienteering championship between the Royal Air Force and combined UK Police Forces on Sunday 6th March.
Orienteering is a demanding sport that requires robust physical fitness and a high level of navigational skills. Competitors use a map and compass to navigate from point to point in rough and unfamiliar terrain, normally moving at speed.
Gruelling courses reaching seven kilometres in length were set out at the historic National Trust estate in Longshaw. Biting cold and snowy surfaces made the navigating through woodland and over moorland even tougher for the hardy orienteers.
First home in the men’s open event was Squadron Leader Philip Johnston-Davis from RAF Waddington, he crossed the finish line in a very respectable 54 minutes and 8 seconds, more than five minutes ahead of his nearest rival for the top-spot.
Facing stiff competition from the Police in the veteran men’s event, Flight Sergeant Ian Hall was first over the finish line with a time of 52 minutes and 22 seconds.
A stronger performance meant an overall win on points for the combined UK Police team. However, of the five events on the day, the Royal Air Force came first in three; Junior Men, Men’s Open and Veteran Men.
Squadron Leader Philip Johnston-Davis said; “It’s a shame when your team takes most of the first places but somehow doesn’t win the event. That said, I think we got some great results and the Police did put up a really strong team – and there’s always next year…”
If you’re interested in the physical and mental agility of RAF Orienteering, you can find out more on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/RAFOrienteering
Editor: Ed Palmer
© MOD Crown Copyright 2016