Lessons from Orienteering

The Sprint Adventure Race, Chapter 2

Orienteering Hutt Valley, 12 Aug 18

Well done to all participants in Sunday's Mini Adventure Race, which used another stretch of the Hutt river corridor. Again subject to honesty, there were even more surprises. The Godzone AR part-team was beaten by an Onslow College team, but the Hutt Valley intermediate boys were just behind; and these three were well clear of the rest. Remember we weren't counting the bike times in the interests of safety, results were based on the four foot sections.

And congrats to the non-orienteers for coping with the funny map colours. And with the degree of detail. The bike map was 10X the scale of a topographical map, and the foot maps even bigger. Don't expect to have all those patches of trees and every little track in other adventure races.

At the same time, this miniaturisation lets you do more in a short time. A big adventure race can last up to 2 weeks. If you can save 32 seconds out of 2 hours, that's like an hour and a half out of 2 weeks. So think about where you could have saved half a minute. Here are some things that I thought of while collecting the bike controls. They are under two headings:

Attack Point. To find a needle in a haystack, first find the haystack.

Route Choices I would have considered. Seal vs gravel path vs grass which could be very soft. In a big adventure race it could be track vs farmland vs native bush.

Here are my Thoughts from the Bike Course.

The foot courses were much more intense, many of the legs demand continuous contact, (although attack points can often be used to simplify complexity). We don't try to define a single AP but do comment on some of the routes. We won't have thought of all possible routes:-))

Here are some Foot-O Thoughts.

Finally I hope you look after your equipment. By now your bikes should be washed down especially the chain and cluster. And some chain lube put on and distributed by back-pedalling furiously. Your shoes need to be demuded (that's like "nude" except it refers to mud). All your clothes washed, and your compass, Sport Ident chip etc put back into your gear bag. Don't leave it until the day before next time.

And a couple of items you should think about. One, gloves. Norbert had a bit of a scrape, and gloves would have kept the skin on. (Thanks Mike O'C for on-trail first aid!) They don't need to be special biking gloves, if you're doing other outdoor stuff that involves bush or hilltops, a hat, coat and gloves are standard equipment. Two, a way to hold your map. It doesn't need to be high-tech. Look at what other people have and use your ingenuity. An A4-sized piece of plywood or corflute, some cable ties and big rubber bands and your map will sit on your handlebars and leave your hands free for brakes and gears.

Good Luck for Get2Go!!!

In case your maps got all muddy, here are the links again:

This page was written by and updated on 13 Aug 18.
He would be delighted to hear from you, and to discuss the navigation options.