Little stories from our O community, and it is ONZ’s 50 year, We know many come to orienteering to hone their navigation. We have some seriously multi-skilled sports people, who are looking for regular navigation and fitness training
Lisa Ainley (PAPO)- from MTB races and ultra trail runs into orienteering
Lisa loves to find new and interesting challenges in the outdoors. After an adventurous background including bike racing in events like the Melbourne 24hour races and the12 hour Moon ride. Then Lisa moved onto trail running. And when she says she ran ultras, it includes100 miler events like the renown US Western States, the Cascade Crest and doing the more local St James and the Heaphy at least 2 times each. When ultra running lost it’s lustre, Lisa discovered that she loves navigation and orienteering.
Lisa’s first orienteering event was near Butler’s Bush, and she enjoyed it, but it seemed a long time to drive for a short event – especially after all those ultra distance runs she was used to. After a big gap, some years later, Lisa decided to try orienteering again, choosing an event that seemed perfect for her – the ultra long at Castle Hill in 2020. Lisa also ventured onto the famed Acheron forest even though she forgot her compass. She met some great PAPO people, and was starting to get hooked. (read more)
So what were some of the initial challenges taking on orienteering? Besides learning that white is forest on a map, Lisa says it is often at the start of the event. It is in the rush of turning over the map and the time it takes to find the start triangle. That bit of time lapse before you can actually begin the navigation! After doing quite a few rogaines, you get used to having a lot more time to plan, so picking up a map and planning on the run is a skill. But at the same time she does enjoy the point-to-point and not having to plan your course! Previously at rogaines she says she used to go around controls for some time trying to find them. After orienteering, she’s noticed that she is very disappointed if she cannot just go in-and-out bee-lining straight to a control. It is exciting as her navigation is improving! After doing orange courses for a couple of years she has now moved onto red course and is enjoying another challenge.
The reason Lisa started orienteering was to be safer and to learn to navigate whilst out in the mountains and whilst tramping. Lisa joined a local tramping club and was surprised that so many in the club used apps for maps, she prefers the original paper maps and still thinks it is worth laminating maps and taking them on tramps in case of tech failures.. “I have a large collection at home, they are great for planning trips” She always carries a paper maps on trips for safety reasons so they don’t ever get lost, but says with a smile smile that now she orienteers “I guess ‘lost’ much more often”, but she has always makes it to the finish with that smile. She calls herself a ‘twat’ or a ‘doofus’ for her crazy mistakes, but loves the fact that everyone is friendly and makes similar and just as crazy mistakes . She says “the competition is mainly with yourself” and it is not too serious.
The other thing she likes about orienteering, is that it is challenging, without taking weeks to recover from! Unlike the events Lisa used to do which took a lot out of you. And you know that if you are tired you can walk, and there is always someone walking on the course.
We asked Lisa what she thinks would help extend her navigation now she is onto red courses. Lisa mentions training specifically for adults to learn to ‘read’ the terrain and ways to learn from mistakes. “PAPO has great training, but sometimes a mentor would be good at certain times to help with personal training for adults”.
Glen Warner (OHV)- from adventure racing & Godzone to orienteering
Glen says he was a late bloomer into adventure sports. When he was in his 20’s, he used to play cricket on the weekend, which later he found was not very family friendly as it was a long day out – especially when you included the drinks and socialising afterwards!
From there Glen started road running and joined the Hutt Valley Marathon Clinic doing long distance running such as the Rotorua marathon every year. There was a group called the Wellington Ridge runners who would do long runs in the Tararua Mountain range. You really need a navigational sense to make sure you take the right trails in the Tararua’s.
In 2007 Glen did the Coast to Coast and in 2010 he entered the XPD in Australia with Jo Holden and 2 other friends. He has been asked to be a navigator in many teams, and has completed seven Godzones, and got a bit addicted – doing 5 in a row. Around Wellington, there was an active adventure racing scene with the Hutt Valley Multi-sport club being a hub and people like Jill Westernra was very involved. By this stage Glen was getting quite good at rogaines and also navigates as a co-driver in car rallies. But Glen wanted to sharpen-up his nav skills further.
Glen joined the Hutt Valley Orienteers and completed many rogaines and won both Open and Vet mixed grade Rogaine national titles when he partnered up with Debbie Mansfield. He was motivated to improve navigation techniques and refine them, zoning-in on how to maximise the entry and exit of control checkpoints. He is not active in all events but loves to help set rogaines and would like to see MTBo take off again in the Wellington / Hutt Valley area. The famous Ack Attack is planned for a comeback 2024 in the Akatarawa foothills of the Tararua’s.
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