It's a Family Affair

by Steven Scott — 26th May 2024.

The ladies of the Hensman-Inman family The ladies of the Hensman-Inman family

A unique multi-generational hat trick was the highlight of the day for Forth Valley Orienteers at the Scottish Championship in Inverness, as they returned home with ten national titles in the bag.

The last time Janine Inman lined up in the event and didn't come away with the trophy was 2012, as a W21, although she did have a year off to have a family and another out injuired. There was no change to the pattern this time, as she was the first eligible competitor in W45 (65.47) trailing only an ineligible English athlete.

Her daughter Hannah has clearly inherited the winning genes, as won W12 by a massive 20 minutes (48.03), to end the season undefeated in major competitions, but there was a surprise result in W75, as her mother, Lindsey Hensman topped the class in 55.18 for a first-ever title.

Graham Gristwood is normally involved in international competition at this time of year, and his last Scottish victory came in 2014, as he was warming up for the following year's WOC. However, he was back in the groove, and headed the field in M21E (80.35) to take both the individual title and the trophy for Best Performance by a Scottish athlete.

Dave Godfree wasn't able to defend the M45 title he's won for the last three years, having changed age class,, but he added a fourth straight title, this time in M50, in 62.07, with Roger Goddard on yet another podium, with bronze in 69.41.

Beccy Osborn's love affair with the championship is evident, with four prior wins, and she added a 5th title in W50 (77.04) keeping clubmate Natasha Conway (79.08) in 2nd place. James Hammond won M18E in style (62.22) to all but seal his place for the GB trip to Gothenberg, and Steve Feltbower stepped up in M40 with the win (73.30), having been 2nd last year. Meanwhile, Vicky Thornton came away with the spoils in W60 (55.02) ahead of Heather Fellbaum (64.11)

Scarlett Kelly was 2nd in W16 (45.29) in a packed field, while the junior development programme bore fruit, with Finlay Gallagher (M12 - 54.56) and Fraser Cheyne (M14 - 67.25) both making their championship debut and both coming away with silver medals.

Sean Truswell (M12 - 62.00) took the bronze in the class, and was joined on 3rd step by Neil Conway (M55 - 77.03), Esme Finch (W12 - 70.56) and Cathy Tilbrook (W55 - 68.24), a first championship podium for Cathy.

The good form extended down to the B courses, where there were wins for Hanna Brindley (W16) and Martin Dean (M65), 2nd places for Isla Cheyne (W16), Jack Cheyne (M45), Liz Owen (W45), Jamie Connor (M18) and Kate Kilpatrick (W50) and a 3rd for John Owen (M65).

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