An obstetrician would have called this a difficult birth. Scheduled for 2019 during the before pandemic times. In 2022, the event had to wait for another year as the Czech Republic was scheduled to host. The first “window” was 2023. It was then hit by inflation and numbers low as a result and a war in Eastern Europe. A smaller than average number of Kiwis made the trip over to Tahoe and the Northstar Resort. No one stayed there though because $$$$$$. In fact the resort was really in name only. The event centre and camping was sadly in a carpark and overall pre and post events were a bit lacking. The map and course was tough and first class provided by Bill Cusworth.
The model map hinted at very open forest, detailed track mapping and quite accurate LiDAR based vegetation density. Generally pleasant terrain, nothing flat and all between 1900-2500m and high 20s. No grabbing poking plants and seemingly nothing that would kill you although Sam and Sam saw a mountain lion overnight.
Malcolm Mcleod and I planned a NE quadrant followed by a sweep of some higher value controls in the South and had options in the NW to cut short and get home in time. Around 100km and 4-5000m climb planned. All matched recent efforts, model map and general feeling. Ouch, we got bit in the bum. Once back in the main section of the map we were always chasing our tail and always cutting short not to mention me making 3 or 4 180s, mostly caught early. 6th in vet men for us.
Sam Eames and Sam Walton have been quietly achieving on the Rogaine scene in NZ and achieved a fantastic overall result with 5th in Men’s Open. Monty Montgomery and Rob Harrow nabbed a silver in Men’s Super Vets (55+) and always competitive Kathryn Muller (PAPO) grabbed Bronze in Women’s Ultra Vets (65+). The outstanding result went to Viv Prince (PAPO) and her regular World Champs teammate Richard Robinson who bagged the rare double of GOLD in both Mixed Super and Ultra Vets.
New Zealand and ONZ Members had a reasonable input to the event. Phil Wood (Dunedin) had been appointed as course advisor to assist with course layout during COVID, and no one has anything bad to say about the map and course. Post event, due to a number of issues, the IRF took control of finalizing the results and Greig Hamilton (PAPO) was appointed as auditor. He dedicated a significant amount of time under pressure to generate results while I dealt with three time zones delivering information to him and coordinating all the jury appeals.
The next world Rogaine Championship will be in 2027 in Northern Spain. And bids for the 2029 Championships will begin early next year and an NZ bid just maybe be revived !!!!
President – International Rogaining Federation