DERICK Mercer battled through the rain at the Didcot Urban Race on Sunday to finish 23rd in his category.

The 50-year-old safety advisor made it round the 6.1 kilometre course at the Ladygrove Estate in 54 minutes 42 seconds and secure a mid-table finish against 50 other competitors.

The race, which was organised by Thames Valley Orienteering Club, challenged competitors to find the quickest route between a series of checkpoints on the estate. Mr Mercer said he enjoyed visiting different places while being an urban orienteer.

He said: “It is a variety of going out and visiting different places, both towns and forests, all over England, South Wales and Scotland.

“I am only a baby, the people who win it are normally very, very fit and have been doing it for a very long time.”

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Organiser Anne Edwards said: “It was fantastic, the turnout was pretty good despite the weather and we had some newcomers, which was really pleasing.

“I saw a lot of happy faces at the finish so I think it went well.”

 

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