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Champion runner Fiona ahead of the pack
THE Bunn family don’t need a sat nav – thanks to their teenage orienteering champion.
Abingdon schoolgirl Fiona Bunn beat 26 other runners in the under-14 category at the British Orienteering Championships this month.
The St Helen and St Katharine School pupil was one of 1,700 runners who took part in the contest on the rocky fells above Dalegarth in the Lake District, on May 5.
A rising star of Thames Valley Orienteering Club, the 13-year-old was one of the youngest runners in her category.
Yet she won the 3.2km course in just 26 minutes, 25 seconds, more than three minutes ahead of her nearest rival.
She said: “It was a great day and I was really thrilled to win. It was an exciting race – very hilly and a little marshy in places – but I have been doing athletics training twice a week and I think that speed, combined with good navigation, really paid off.”
The young runner can add her latest win to a growing list of accolades having won a series of other orienteering events already this year. Just a day after her Dalegarth victory, Fiona came third in the British Relay Championships, across the Lake District at Kendal.
The aim of orienteering is to navigate your way round a series of control points marked on a map, deciding the best route to complete the course in the quickest time.
Fiona has been orienteering since a very early age – navigating around beginners’ ‘string’ courses as a toddler.
She was shadowed by her parents Alison and Nigel, both of whom are 47 and keen orienteers themselves, before running on her own from the age of eight.
Her younger brother David, 11, is also an orienteer.
She joked: “We don’t have a sat nav as a family – we don’t need one.
“I love the whole experience, not just the race itself, but travelling to new places and meeting new people.”
The chairman of Thames Valley Orienteering Club, Alun Jones, said: “This is another great achievement from Fiona. She is one of the top UK orienteers in her age group.”
- To find out more about the sport, click on the link to the club's website or call 01869 331368.