Welcome to Mark, our new Hobart-based Coach in Residence, and his partner Charlotte. Here is a brief bio from Mark:
Name: Mark Purkis (22), and Charlotte Watson (24)
Where are you from? I grew up in Kent (the bottom right corner of England), and have spent the last 4 years in Edinburgh. I spent 6 months living in Halden, Norway as part of my degree. Charlotte grew up in the Lake District, NW England. She spent 1 year living in Stockholm, 4 years at university in Edinburgh, and spent last summer in Canberra as coach in residence for ACT.
What do you do? I have just completed my Masters in Chemical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, Charlotte completed her Batchelors in Sports Science last year.
Countries orienteered in? 17 countries: UK, Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Canada, and now Australia! (It’s easy to get lots of countries when you live in Europe)
Have you represented GBR? Yes, once as a junior and twice as a senior. Charlotte has represented GB many more times than me, and has raced at WOC in 2015 and 2017.
Why do I keep doing it? I love running, I love the wilderness, I love travelling, and I’m a bit of a geek. Orienteering is the perfect combination of all these things. It’s a frustrating sport at times, but incredibly rewarding when you have that rare race where everything comes together.
Other hobbies: Photography, in Norway I challenged myself to take a photo every day, a sort of photo diary (See here: https://www.blipfoto.com/Purko). Nowadays, Charlotte often despairs as I clamber up a bank, or crouch down low (stopping the run or cycle with little warning), to get a good photo.
Anything involving mountains, we’re there! Running, walking, climbing, cycling. We’re looking forward to the Point to Pinnacle race in November!
What don’t I like: Swimming in the sea: I’ve a totally irrational fear that I’m going to die immediately, I also don’t like the saltiness of the water and sand… Charlotte doesn’t hold this view and likes to remind me of this.
Cows or cow-bells.
Our first impressions of Tassie: We’ve now been here 1 week staying with Jeff and Sally and we’re settling in well. We have ventured out to the Tasman peninsula and are looking forward to exploring more of your wonderful island in the weeks and months to come. We are excited to be running both Point to Pinnacle and the Triple Tops race and can’t wait to get to know more of you soon