Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some thoughts about Orienteering in the US

I started looking at trips to Belgium, to check on my aging parents and visit my brother and other family and friends. Like on previous occasions I thought it would be neat to participate in an orienteering event.

There are seven clubs in the Flanders, organized under the VVO and 14 clubs in the Walloon region of Belgium, organized under FRSO. The odd and typically Belgian thing is that the FRSO does not even refer to the Flemish organization on its website.

So Belgium has 21 clubs organizing 2-3 events each per year in an area 1/8 the size of Minnesota (or roughly the size of Massachusetts). That means that there is an O-meet somewhere in Belgium almost every weekend and also that the maximum travel time to any meet is below two hours. Here is a link to the meets organized by members of FRSO (OLVE was my club prior to moving to the US).

I was contemplating participating in the Possum Trot race near Kansas City, MO as I had traveling to the US O Championships held bractically in our back yard near Greenbush, WI. However, both involve a road trip of about 8 hrs each way, more than I can handle right now ... Pretty sad.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Orienteering Katherine Abbott Park, Mahtomedi

Night orienteering, took Bryan from work along. We made a good team. Bryan has some ability in this area, definitely worth developing. When we got to Katherine Abbott Park, nobody was there. Except for a couple of cars. Bryan thought have they started already but I said nobody is here yet, they are probably still setting up. I even went to the orienteering sign and took a cursory look. I seemed to just say "Orienteering Event." I guess the fine print spelled out that the event was to start at Ian's house. Finally, helped along by another wayward orienteerer, we were put on the right path and headed for the start.

A beautiful night. I heard later that this was the mildest Veteran's Day in many years.

View Orienteering Katherine Abbott Night O in a larger map
A nice little sprint course with a micro-O at the end. For me, this was the first night O since 1983 or so, and my first micro-o ever. The sprint portion was fun, but the micro-o was frustrating. It felt like the treasure hunt from hell circling Ian's house, with decoy control flags galore. Ended up with a DNF because of 3 dropped controls and one bad punch. Should I attribute this to the car accident earlier this week, the time pressure I felt because I needed to get James to a hockey game (he scored, yeah!). Probably more due to my ineptitude and to the fact I was not listening to Bryan. Nevertheless, it was great fun!