This week two of the world’s most renowned orienteering events will be staged alongside each other in the Highlands and Moray.
Together, the 2015 IOF World Orienteering Championships (WOC2015) and the 20th outing of The Scottish 6 Days comprise the largest orienteering event ever held in the UK, and one of the largest to be held in Scotland in 2015.
As many as 5,000 athletes from across Europe will take part in events staged at Inverness, Forres, Nairn, Glen Strathfarrar and Darnaway with the final days events being held in Glen Affric.
Among them is 27-year-old Jess Tullie who is competing in her first senior world championships.
She describes herself as being “born into orienteering” as her parents were both big fans of the sport and ensured the whole family got involved from an early age.
Jobs in Scotland spoke to Jess about her love for the sport:
WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHTS TO DATE?
Domestically winning both British Long and Middle Championships this year. Internationally, 16th place in the World Cup Long race in Tasmania in January 2015.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMPETING AT AN ELITE LEVEL?
I went to the Junior World Championships when I was 17, and I also competed at the World University Championships in 2010.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE SPORT THAT YOU LOVE SO MUCH?
The unique challenge of every race and the many different places it takes you (home and abroad).
WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING ASPECT OF THE SPORT FOR YOU?
I think the most exciting part is that different races have different challenges and that makes it hard to feel in control at all times.
WHERE IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ORIENTEERING TERRAIN YOU HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED AND WHAT WAS THE RACE?
Probably some of the rocky karst terrain in Slovenia. We travelled with Edinburgh University Orienteering Club to the OOCup. It was brilliant, but really tricky! I hope to go back again one year and see if I can do better!
AS AN AMBASSADOR FOR ORIENTEERING, WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THOSE WHO ARE LOOKING TO GIVE THE SPORT A TRY AND TO THOSE AMATEURS WHO ARE STARTING OUT AT A COMPETITIVE LEVEL? ?
If you’re looking to give the sport a try, just head along to your local club activities and make sure you give it time to learn the ropes.
You will soon find what a rewarding sport it can be at any level. To be competitive: most of all, enjoy it; go to as many different terrain types as you can and look for experiences that put you out of your comfort zone.
The two events run until August 8.