Milestone in New Zealand Rogaining

Last week, rogaining in New Zealand passed a milestone - as far as we can tell, the 50th rogaine was held near Upper Hutt.

Stop Press!

Ahem, a vigilant reader has discovered an error in our calculations! The 50th rogaine was actually three weeks ago, an afterwork shoestring rogaine starting at Otari Reserve, Wellington. Still, a milestone has been passed, and the (corrected) story continues...

Rogaining in NZ began in 1991, when a couple of Hutt Valley orienteers who had been in "The Most Awesome Rogaine" in Alberta put on a 4-hour event in Belmont Regional Park. They were helped by another member who had rogained in Western Australia.

Peninsula and Plains Orienteers was quick to pick up the idea, and the next year turned its annual one-day "mountain marathon" into a rogaine. But it was Hutt Valley's persistence which laid the foundations for rogaining, running 7 out of the first 10 events. In fact HVOC reached 25 rogaines with last week's Upper Hutt event, NZ's 51st.

In the South Island, Dunedin Orienteering Club ran the country's first 24hr event near Wanaka in 1995, but hasn't been active since. PAPO continued its interest with another 24hr at Craigieburn in 1997, a regular winter 12-hour since 1998, and a World Championship (no less!) near Cheviot in 2000.

In the North Island, events spread from the Wellington area into Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay and Taranaki, with Auckland holding out until 2001! Meanwhile, the pioneers from Hutt Valley were thinking about training for longer events and for night navigation. They invented the "shoestring" afterwork rogaine, in which controls may not be marked and scoring is by honesty. And they began running formal navigation classes.

RogaineNZ has been able to assemble results for most of these 50 events. With age not such a handicap as in shorter events, many of the early participants are still competing, and scoring highly. Take a look back through Memory Lane.

This page written by Michael Wood and installed on 4 Dec 02, and corrected on 6 Feb 03. Please contact Michael if you know of any rogaines missing from the list.