Adventure racing using map and compass to navigate around a course finding controls

16 messages
30/05/2013 at 15:57

Hi All

Any orienteers out there in the Runner's World community? Would like to connect with others about their love (and sometimes frustrations) with orienteering. I blog about my orienteering events at rachel4848.wordpress.com 

Look forward to chatting,


30/05/2013 at 20:59

Ultra runners have a curious relationship with the art of orienteering.  It is a skill that they need to master, but many try to put off. 

Personally, I was a hill walker and a scout leader before I became an ultra runner, so I have always had the core skills.

30/05/2013 at 21:10

I can never seem to find my way to the start of an orienteering event......

30/05/2013 at 23:02

Like Ben I come from a hill walking background and learnt my first navigational skills as a venture scout - night hikes around the North Downs Way, Ranmore Common, Holmbury Hill etc, going on to do Summer ML and leading groups as a Scout and Explorer Scout leader, BUT that said, orienteering is a new thing for me and I'm finding skills for orienteering are a little different. I can run, I can read a map but put to the two together and I go flying past all the controls, or just miss the flipping obvious on the map! Love it though, is a fantastic family-friendly sport to be involved in.

Living up here on the Moray Firth we are surrounded by amazing orienteering terrain - in fact the World Championships are up here in 2015 and we have the Scottish Six Days being held down the road at beginning of August.

So yes, I am an enthusiastic orienteer, but often a frustrated one!!! But I am also loving getting my two kids (6 and 8) into it as well.

31/05/2013 at 10:18

I'm another from a hill walking (and Forces) background and I love getting a bit of orienteering in over the winter. As CragC says they are fantastically family friendly (even though at 2 and 10 months my two are a bit little for participation yet!). And it is the only sort of running event that my husband really participates willingly in!

Tommygun2    pirate
31/05/2013 at 10:28

Orienteering, brings back memeories of the late 70's early 80's for me.

I was southern  champion for my age group M17 came 4th in the national championships and made it to the Junior GB national team for a couple of years.

Travelled all over the country and europe with my family competing in events.

I have not thought about Orienteering for years, hmm maybe I should give it another go.

31/05/2013 at 10:41

Glad to see that there are some orienteers out there! I think for some fast runners the stop/start nature of orienteering can be a challenge but you are right in saying that orienteering is family friendly. I shall be up in Scotland for the Scottish 6 Days this year. The areas around Moray are technically challenging and I can't wait. In the meantime got two events this weekend, one on Cleeve Hill in the Cotswolds and another down on the Mendips. Can't get enough!

Tommygun2    pirate
31/05/2013 at 10:46

One of the reason I stopped was because to compete at the top meant alot of travelling, which was fine when my parents were involved but as soon as they stopped I basically had no choice as I didn't have a car then.

Plus late teens early 20's I found sex, drugs and rock&roll more apealing

31/05/2013 at 13:58

I can see how the travelling is a bind, there are some rising stars in our club (two kids in same family for starters) and their weekends are horrendous logistically as lots of the qualifying events are anywhere other than Scotland!  And yes, things change in late teens  - but then no reason not to return when older and perhaps wiser

Will also be a six days - would be rude not too seeing as it's our regular areas and with the event centre being just three miles down the road!

My husband won't participate because he is uber competitive, he reckons that because he's not a runner he'll get really frustrated at not being able to zoom around, he won't have it that sometimes that's a benefit (looking at some of my performances!!).

03/06/2013 at 13:46

Sometimes being slow and steady wins the race particularly with orienteering. I'm not a fast runner by any means but if my navigation is good I can cover the ground and post a fairly reasonable time 

04/06/2013 at 22:10

Will be at the Scotish 6 Days as well. 

 As an ultra runner who is also hooked on navigation I use the pleasure i get from solving navigation issues to motivate me during ultras. I seek out ultras that require navigation. If you love to run distances in the wild then navigation opens up the whole world of Mountain Marathons.

One thing I will say is that fast or medium paced runners can find taking up orienteering very frustrating. (many give up on there first attempt) .

I know of several runners who started orienteering when injured .( one who started on crutches!) They all accepted that they could not run  at the time and so put their effort into the navigation and got on well with the sport. Starting orienteering requires ditching your racing mentality  for the first few events.

Edited: 04/06/2013 at 22:12
05/06/2013 at 09:46

I think faster runners forget that they have to slow down when approaching control sites therefore overshooting and having to double back. That's why, for someone like me who is not a particularly fast runner, if my navigation is good I can finish in a good position. 

16/06/2013 at 15:51

I agree wholeheartedly with Ian and orienteeringgirl. ( Hi Ian - L here)

Orienteering is running and thinking at the same time. If you're running faster than you can think / follow the map, then you'll get lost.

Good runners have to slow down when orienteering ( so I'm told). There is a great sense of achievement though when you plan a route and execute it well!

I'll also be at the 6 days.

16/06/2013 at 18:11

I need to get organised and get some entries in for me and the kids and book a couple of nights camping at least. Only planning to do some colour-coded stuff (Light greens) as need to work it round the kids on the whites and yellows but all looking forward to it. Hoping we get the weather that we have at the moment as it's been fantastic - perfect temperatures for legging it around in and just enough wind to keep the biting creatures at bay!!

Agree re the running and thinking - that's my problem, my brain doesn't keep up with my legs so I definitely need to slow down the legs

We'll have to see if we can all track each other down then.

Edited: 16/06/2013 at 18:11
22/06/2013 at 23:43

Considered "adventure racing" ?

Basically speaking they are generally time based races (score) in which you visit as many controls as you like / can / feel like, and return to base within the given time. So fairly sociable with people finishing close together regardless of ability.

The clinchers for runners / hillwalkers is that firstly they tend to use the OS maps you are familiar with, and secondly the navigation on shorter races is often less technical than on the longer orienteering races you'll be tempted to enter ("to make it worthwhile turning up").

However they are multi discipline - so you're pretty much guaranteed a mountain bike section. Longer events add different disciplines - basic kayaking being fairly common.




are good sources.

Good luck with whatever rocks your boat & gets you out there.


23/06/2013 at 21:27

Have done numerous mountain marathons and love them, got my first ever triathlon this summer down at Loch Morlich. For the time being, while kids are still young, I'll mainly stick with single-discipline events, just don't have the time to train properly for more than one discipline! 

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