Kathryn Barr

Member Profile: Kathryn Barr
This week it's Kathryn who is put under the spotlight! Read all about her exciting orienteering adventures here:
Name and age class

Kathryn Barr - W18, although weeks away from being W20 which is sad because it makes me feel old - no more being a junior :((

Tell us about when/where/how you started orienteering.

I started via Dyke Primary School in 2010(?) with the Moray Schools competitions and although I'd hate to admit it, I have to thank my brother for really getting the family into the sport.

Why do you like it?

I love the challenge of navigating yourself through the terrain to find the next control. I also like the freedom and independence it's given me (I don't think I'd be where I am today without it) along with the many amazing friends I have made from all around the world

Your best orienteering memory?

Representing GB in the European Youth Championships in Macedonia in 2014 has got to be a highlight, along with the 6 years I spent in the Scottish Junior Squad which incorporated 3 Scandinavian tours. But also my summer 2017 was 2 of the best months of my life - I started at Jukola (the biggest sporting relay in the world, with ~3000 of 7 runners) in Finland, then travelled round Scandinavia training and living in amazing terrain with amazing people, before ending up at O-Ringen (a huge 5-day family event with ~25,000 runners) in Sweden where I camped with all the other British juniors of my age group.

Your worst (and/or funniest?) orienteering memory?

My worst experience is rupturing a ligament in my ankle, which came after years of spraining injuries. Other than that, my most 'interesting'(?) experience must be when I was competing in South Wales on an open moorland hillside when I was 14. It was thunder and lightning and the mist came down, and I had the worrying encounter that my compass started spinning due to the charge in the air. Luckily I managed to trust in my own navigation and finish the course without getting too lost!

Your favourite O area?

I always love coming home and running in Culbin and Darnaway. However if I had to pick something further afield, some Lake District or Stockholm terrains come close.

A top O tip for others/favourite piece of kit?

Don't be afraid to try new experiences, some of my best memories/experiences have come from where I've least expected them. And my favourite piece of kit: got to be my signature jazzy leggings

In your other life... what do you like doing when you're not orienteering?

I currently study at University College Dublin (which means I'm part-time Irish :O ) to become a vet (or "stroke dogs" as I like to say...). Surprisingly, I also compete for my university in trampolining!

What's your orienteering ambition for the next year?

To continue to love it as much as I do, and if that takes me to an international competition for GB I would be over the moon. Other than that I'd like to have a summer like last year and race in more new terrain and Make more memories with my friends from abroad.

Anything else you would like us to know?

I'd like to thank Moravian for getting me into the best sport in the world. I'd also like to let all the juniors know - you guys inspire me. I love to see how much you all enjoy orienteering and the friendships you seem to have made through our sport - it's these things that will give you the best experiences and help you make the most out of orienteering.