The sport of orienteering uniquely combines both physical and mental challenges in a race as competitors must navigate a course through various terrains and a number of predetermined control points using only a map and compass.  Course maps are provided to orienteers at the start of a race, and starts are typically staggered.  In order to choose the best/fastest possible route, characteristics of the terrain are considered as the shortest route is not always the quickest.  The winner is determined by the fastest time to complete the course.

Orienteering was first practiced in the military, with the first competitions organized in the late 19th century.  It has since evolved into an adventure sport with four basic disciplines:  foot, mountain bike, ski and trail orienteering, and international, national and local competitions held in a variety of formats ranging from traditional long distance wild terrain (forest) races to the more recently developed city sprints.

 

 

WATCH On2In2™

The New Zealand Orienteering Championships 2017, Hawkes Bay, included 4 days of competition covering varied and challenging terrain in a region renowned for its horticulture, with large orchards and vineyards on the plains, sheep and cattle farming in the hills.  If you missed the live stream broadcast of the event, there’s still time to watch a video recording of the sprint competition.  Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button or the post on the video player below ↓

 

The Australian Orienteering Championships are designed to test the best orienteers in Australia in every age class and four formats: Sprint, Middle distance, Long Distance and Relays.  Event organizers have made the competitions good fun for any orienteer as well as challenging with high quality Sprint, Middle and Long distance events designated as World Ranking Events for elite competitors.  If you missed the live broadcast of the 2017 event, there’s still time to watch video recordings of sprint and middle distance competitions.  Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button or the posts on the video players below ↓

 

The 2017 Australian Middle Distance Orienteering Championship course is located within the New South Wales region at the iconic Hill End Historic Site.

 

Information/Resources:
International Orienteering Federation
Want to give orienteering a go? Find a course, activity, event info →  British Orienteering Federation
Orienteering Australia (get involved and learn about the sport)
Find local orienteering clubs & courses in US → Orienteering USA
Ready to Go:  Irish Orienteering Association
Wikipedia:  List of local orienteering clubs
World Orienteering Day (May 24, 2017)

 

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Feature photo is courtesy of Unsplash/Pexels CC0

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Posted by Zola Zeester

Zola is a vagabond playmaker, the On2In2™ recreation guru and primary source of inspiration for this article. Currently resides at Zeester Media HQ.