Over 450 competitors will take part in the ‘Moray Mix’ event organised by the Moravian Orienteers.
Staged over two days in Dufftown and at the Lossie Forest, the event is part of this year’s BTO Solicitors Scottish Orienteering ‘Urban League’ series.
Moray’s regional development officer for Scottish Orienteering, Mike Rodgers, said: “This is the biggest event Moravian Orienteers has organised on their own in the 40 years we have existed.
“We already have over 450 entries for the event – only 40 of these are from people living in Moray so it is great to see that we are bringing in so many people from outside the area.
“Most of those taking part will be here for at least one overnight stay so it is certainly good news for local guest houses and hotels – in fact I was speaking to a competitor who said that he had found accommodation hard to find, although he did eventually locate a bed and breakfast room in Keith.”
The event has been linked with the 2014 Moray Walking Festival, with Mr Rodgers explaining: “We are an inclusive sport that caters for walkers as well as runners, so it is very appropriate that the Moray Mix was tied in with the Moray Walking Festival.
“The Festival runs from June 19 for five days and includes events and activities for all ages and abilities.
“For anyone who is new to orienteering the urban form of the sport at Dufftown is a much easier technical standard than the traditional orienteering on the second day at Lossie Forest.
“That said we will be offering easier courses in Lossie for beginners. The trick is to spot the best routes between the checkpoints and navigate them as efficiently as possible – trying to avoid losing time by standing still thinking about it too much.”
The streets of Dufftown and local woodland will form the course for the urban event on Saturday, with Mortlach Primary School the gathering point. On Sunday competitors will gather 800 metres from the parking area at Lossie Forest.
Full details on the weekend events can be found on the Moravian Orienteers website.