Ocoach

The ramblings of Lynne Walker

Aberdeen, Thurso, Glasgow?

There has been a bit of travelling in the last couple of weeks; most of it has been related to work and has been very varied.

sportscotland have been rolling out a workshop called ‘Supporting Coaches’. In June 2013 I attended to orientation for the workshop before starting to deliver it. The first workshop was postponed due to weather - the first fall of snow for winter 2013 - 2014 was that day and it was not worthwhile asking people to drive in the evening. I delivered the first workshop in Aviemore in mid-January, not a flake of snow in sight.

My next booking was in Aberdeen. I drove over in the early afternoon, taking the scenic route past Dufftown. It was a grey cold day, with a brisk south east wind. I had packed by running kit and persuaded myself to change and get out for a run in Aberdeen. I ran from the Sports Village out to the Beach Boulevard; dropping down to the prom was exposed so I made sure the wind was coming over my right shoulder. The prom had the advantage of a softer surface as so much sand had blown onto it. I enjoyed the run and was glad of the exercise as I met up with a colleague for a catch up session and she also gave me an enjoyable meal in her home. The journey home was OK, 2 hours 30 minutes via the A96 but it was dry and reasonably quiet.

A couple of days later I was in Thurso to deliver the workshop. Again I drove up there early so I had time for some exercise before the workshop. The weather was very grey, some heavy showers and a wind just below a gale! Caithness does not have many trees but just 10 miles east of Thurso there is a small forest, Dunnet Forest. This area has an orienteering map and a permanent course which you can download from the website. I had been unable to get a response from the Dunnet Forest Trust when I enquired about the state of the permanent course so I went there for a look around. It was bliss to be in the wood - very sheltered and reasonably dry underfoot as it is on old sand dunes. The orienteering course is mainly there, the map is a bit ‘iffy’ as the area is constantly being developed with paths, structures and many people walking their dogs. Again, great to have some exercise before the evening session.

As well as delivering the Supporting Coaches workshop, I arranged to deliver a Teaching Orienteering course the following day. Twelve people attended this, coming from as far as Orkney and Tain. It was a good day with lots of participation from everyone and loads of ideas generated. Altogether a very good use of my time as it is about a three hour drive each way.

The travel theme continued with a visit to Glasgow for a day workshop on using PowerPoint followed by an evening meeting of the sportscotland National Trainers. Club55 is back on - travel by train anywhere in Scotland and return within the month for £19; this makes the journey easy. The PowerPoint workshop was good and I learnt a few things; it was interesting watching the other learners on the course as they had several ‘lightbulb’ moments. Unfortunately the National Trainer meeting had to be postponed so I went shopping that evening and caught an earlier train home the following day. Paul met me off the train with a patch over one eye as he had been to the doctor to get a blocked tear duct drilled out; it had been an unpleasant visit which involved him blacking out! However we had a bowl of soup at our favourite Aviemore café, he then had a visit to the hygienist before we both had a run at Loch Vaa so I could check out some control sites for the Saturday event. We came across a new structure at a crossroads in the forest - a lovely wooden capercaillie (the only type of caper I want to see!).

The travelling continues. As mentioned above, I planned and organised the local event at Loch Vaa on Saturday; about 60 people came along to enjoy the courses. On Sunday we headed up to Forres to an orienteering event. Paul had a much better run and I felt OK with my run - just the usual “I wish I had run faster / more” scenario. Tuesday night sees me delivering a Supporting Coaches workshop in Elgin and then we are off to Perth for a weekend of orienteering.

Image Gallery

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A windy Aberdeen beach

A windy Aberdeen beach

Dunnet Forest Totem Poles

Dunnet Forest Totem Poles

Dunnet Forest straw deer in the marsh

Dunnet Forest straw deer in the marsh

Loch Vaa capercaillie

Loch Vaa capercaillie

Loch Vaa control site

Loch Vaa control site