Orienteering!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 9:12 pm Leave a comment

So I just had to update everybody (because I’m happy of course)!

This past Sunday morning/early afternoon, I did my first ever orienteering race. My friend Alison is an amazing orienteer (having just competed at the Junior World Championships…) so I knew I had to get her to show me the ropes! Well, the time came on Sunday, at Valley Forge National Historic Park.

There’s nothing like riding your bike 32 miles to a race. It always brings joy to my spirit, and prepares me for challenges. 🙂  I woke up, hopped on the bike, and literally sprinted all 32 miles there, in fear that I’d end up having Alison wait to do a course with me. Fortunately, I met my deadline, and had fun being told tips from some really nice people helping run the event. Oh, and apparently I may very well be the first person to ride their bike to an orienteering event that has been ran by the Delaware Valley Orienteering Association! That always sets the mood.

Orienteering involves being given a terrain map of a wooded/grassy/urban area (that has no simple navigation features, mainly), and navigating yourself to a number of checkpoints by means of a compass. In doing this, the person who gets to each checkpoint (in order) in the shortest period of time will win the competition. The sport is much more popular in Europe than it is here in the United States, hence all the major events being held in Europe. Sadly, there are VERY few mountain-bike orienteering competitions anywhere near the Delaware Valley. I’d love to give that a try.

Alison ran the ‘yellow’ (3 kilometers) course with me, to help me out and make sure I didn’t get outrageously lost on course. I definitely make good use of her assistance; she was always giving me tips like, ” make sure you’re always looking at the clues which describe where each control is! ” which I definitely needed to be reminded of.

How did we do?

We won!

We won!

We won!  SWEET!  I’ve never won any athletic event, so this is pretty nifty! The o-marathon is in my sights… : ]   Thank you, Alison!

I hope you’re doing great. Talk to you soon!

-Doug

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Heylo Raisin Hope in Philadelphia 2010!

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