Monday, 2 January 2012

Big 5 O - five days of orienteering

Wooohooo! Getting so excited! I leave tomorrow morning for the Belfast/Dullstroom area - I can smell those pine trees already.

The Big 5 O -  a five-day international orienteering event - starts on Wednesday and we've got around 100 foreigners attending. There's probably about 70 locals so the turnout is decent. At last call there were around 12 countries represented. What fun this is going to be ;)

This is the first time that we've had an event like this in SA. The Scottish 5-day and others are well known. How wonderful to have something like this here and with such good foreign attendance. SA is a good spot for foreigners to come and for many years we've had top Brits, Finns, Swedes and others coming to train on our maps in these forested areas during their winter. With the 2010 orienteering World Champ (male) in attendance and some other hot shots, we're sure to see our asses; but, for me, it just makes me realise just what really good navigation and running speed can produce. I'm gonna do my best but I'm not under any illusions about coming close to the top foreign women - they run faster in the forests than I can sprint on tar!

How this event works is that we start off with a forest event at Lakenvlei, which is a lodge between Belfast and Dullstroom. The course is 4.8km (as the crow flies) with 19 controls. Yay! Then, the next day (Thursday) we're in the town of Dullstroom - another 4.8km course but with 12 controls.

I'm really looking forward to the long courses on Friday (also Lakenvlei area) and Saturday (Sabie) which are 10.4km (24 controls) and 8.7km (21 controls) respectively. The final day is a 2.3km sprint course in Nelspruit.

It's going to be a good week!

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