Suzanne Lynch-McKay

Name and age class

Suzanne Lynch-McKay, W40

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

I started orienteering in 2014 (is it really that long ago?!) in an attempt to find an activity I could do with the kids. I thought it sounded like a great way to get in a sneaky run without disrupting family life too much!

Why do you like it?

I don't like it. I love it! Running around our beautiful forests is always fun. The kids are now confident enough to run on their own (most of the time), I've met some cracking characters out on courses and within the club I've made some lovely friends. It's such an inclusive sport that it doesn't matter how unfit you are or how old you are - you just get out there with your map and do your best!

Your best orienteering memory?

Our first taste of the Scottish 6 Days back in 2015 was amazing. I was really reluctant to enter but Mike Rodgers thankfully twisted my arm. I learnt so much about orienteering that week, ran around forests I'd never set foot in and met club members that I'd never met before, so it was well worth it.

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

The Purple Thistle. 2016. Day 1. We'd arrived in Kyle of Lochalsh the night before and the weather looked like it was going to behave itself. We'd survived our first night on the 'campsite' and the kids and I were all excited - it was our first (and so far only) far-flung orienteering adventure.

I should have known that it wasn't going to be easy after the uphill hike to the start (also crossing a barbed wire fence) but ignorance is bliss I guess. I'll never forget wandering around, totally lost in the mist high above Kyle of Lochalsh looking for control number 2. I began to dream about Kendall Mint Cake and St Bernard's carrying restorative rations of gin. My sense of humour ran off over the bridge to Skye in search of civilisation and I wandered around in circles for about 40 minutes before I gave in and asked a confident junior where the heck I was!

I finished the course second last after pairing up with a lovely lady who was in a similar confused state. I certainly got excellent value for my entry fee that weekend!

Your favourite O area?

They're all my favourite (except for Kyle of Lochalsh - it's in the sin bin)

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

A sense of humour is vital! You can't take yourself too seriously when your left leg is hip deep in a marsh, your not sure if your left trainer is going to make it out alive and there's nothing but cow dung and rabbit droppings for miles around. A good chuckle and the ability to spot a bilberry bush for a quick snack are what get you through such predicaments.