Canterbury MTBO Weekend 
By Christo Peters - Thu 2 May 2024 6:54pm

On the 13th April around 100 enthusiastic mountain bike orienteers gathered at Bottle Lake forest, north of Christchurch, to compete in PAPO’s first ever MTB ‘enduro’ orienteering event. In a format piloted by Central Otago Orienteers in 2023, the race consisted of a series of shorter MTBO courses linked together with untimed rides between maps. Making use of the varied terrain in Bottle Lake, including a substantial track network through the forest, and the open hills formed by the landscaping of the landfill site, the event also incorporated areas in the ‘Red Zone’ alongside the river Avon, where the removal of houses post-earthquake but the retention of their garden landscaping has created complex maps that allow for cross terrain MTB travel and produce excellent sprint navigational challenges.

The travel between maps was mainly off-road, making use of Christchurch’s extensive cycle lane network where possible, as well as a series of mini parks and reserves in the northern suburbs and various passages that link them. 

It was great to see a number of experienced MTB orienteers travel from out-of-town for the event, as well as newcomers to the sport come and give it a go. The weather also played ball with sunshine setting off the autumn colours nicely. Thanks to all the PAPO members who made the event possible. 

The following day was an OY MTBO event at  McLeans on very uneven but fairly flat terrain, with some mtb tracks and some very indistinct 4-wheel drive tracks to keep riders glued to their maps. it was a very successful weekend of riding in two very different areas of terrain in Canterbury. 
By Katie Symonds

Enduro MTBO long course top placings (Men & women in one category) 
1 Ryan Moore PP 1:08:23
2 Nicholas Dunnet TK 1:09:31 +1:08
3 Aaron Prince PP 1:09:39 +1:16
15 Sara Prince PP 1:24:39 +16:16
17 Selena Metherell PP 1:26:24 +18:01
23 Kyla Moore PP 1:40:10 +31:47

MTBO The willows OY red long top placings
1 Aaron Prince PP 1:19:33
2 Felix Hunt PP 1:28:20 +8:47
3 Conal Boland-Bristow DN 1:32:22 +12:49

1 Sara Prince PP 1:46:01
2 Katie Symons PP 1:47:32 +1:31
3 Kath Copland PP 1:49:06 +3:05

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