Margaret Dearman

Name and age class
Margaret Dearman W65
Tell us about when/where/how you started orienteering.

I started orienteering around 1978 (and yes I really am that old) and my first few events were done when I was very pregnant and with a toddler and another in a push chair. I went because my husband had been introduced to orienteering by Richard Arman through his posting to Blandford Joint Services Unit in Dorset. Richard has continued to orienteer at World Masters level very recently.


Why do you like it?

I hate running, well the long winded variety but enjoy the challenge of navigation and it gets me out to interesting places. I always preferred the 100m sprint and high jump, so longer than 100m is definitely a struggle.

Your best orienteering memory?
My best orienteering memory by far is when I was the first starter in the A class of the World Masters Final in Northern Canada - bear country!! I was the last qualifier and therefore the first starter. I romped round the course in double quick time because I knew that no one else would have frightened the bears away before I got there! Having started in 36th position I finished in 18th place, an absolute miracle for me.


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

My worst orienteering memory was at a forest in Devon whose name I have erased from my memory. The whole forest was literally knee deep in mud, not just the paths but everywhere. The "run in" had been turned into something much worse than a tough mudder event and if anyone attempted to do anything other than crawl into the finish they were in big trouble........ But never mind, we could at least get clean and dry in the assembly area couldn't we........? That was even worse. There was nowhere to put anything down without it sinking into deep cloying mud and the tents were just about unrecognisable as they sank into the ground. My shoes were never to be used again. It wasn't 'clean' Moray mud which at least can be washed off. This was slimy clay which was there for evermore. Never again.

Your favourite O area?

My favourite orienteering areas are not in forests. I like open moorland areas like the area above Arisaig which has been used for the Purple Thistle. Short open hilly grass with knobbly rocks is perfect.

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

If I had a top tip to give you I would be much higher up the leader board than I am now. All I know is that if I lost/smashed my compass in an event you would never see me again, so from that point of view my compass has to be my favourite piece of kit.


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

I have had many other interests in my life so far; tennis, athletics, lacrosse, windsurfing, sailing, skiing, singing, watching whales, but the one that is my all time favourite has to be figure skating. Although my level just now is teetering around doing a little ice dancing I love to travel to international competitions and marvel at the physical skill, musical interpretation, drama and competition there. Plus skating audiences are so supportive of all the skaters - no booing or rude comments etc, just appreciation. Ah wonderful.


What's your orienteering ambition for the next year?

To get above the mid table in a few events and try to get higher up the ranking list than some of my close local rivals.

Anything else you would like us to know?

I have really appreciated being part of Moravian and seeing it go from being on the brink of folding, to rising like a Phoenix to the vibrant, lively, friendly club it is now.