The sport of orienteering can be enjoyed by all ages.

The sport of orienteering can be enjoyed by all ages.

Just you, a map and a compass

Sign up now for orienteering event in Invermere, Kimberley, Cranbrook

For orienteering enthusiasts, the opportunity to experience the sport  on courses and maps designed to a high standard is much sought after.

This area is no stranger to high quality orienteering events having hosted the North American championships in 2010.

Now locals again have an opportunity to take part in a competitive orienteering event, says Jim Webster of the Kootenay Orienteering Club.

“Although this time the  event won’t be as international in scope, the quality will be there and it will feature the 2014 BC Orienteering Championships as part of the series of races,” Webster said.

“On September 6 and 7, the Kootenay Orienteering Club will be host to orienteers from across BC and Alberta along with a few from the US, Europe and Australia in a fun weekend of orienteering.  This is a rare opportunity for local orienteers and members of the club to participate in a series of orienteering events organized to a high standard and thus experience orienteering, with others that enjoy the sport, in both friendly competition or as a recreational participant.”

Websters says locals are encouraged to come out and participate at one or all of the events.  There are age categories and courses designed for ages 12 & under to 85 and over and everything in between.

“Those with limited orienteering experience or wanting just to come out and give it a try can enter one of the Recreational Courses,” he saId. “These may be entered as an individual or as a small group.”

The event will be run in Invermere, Kimberley and Cranbrook over two days.

“The series starts off Saturday morning, at Lillian Lake, near Invermere,” Webster said.  “This is what is called a Middle Distance race with courses varying from 2.5 – 5 km in distance.  The times will be fast but technical, with orienteers needed to stay focussed on their map reading throughout.

“For Kimberley residents, the feature event will be Saturday afternoon, as part of the First Saturday activities.

From 1:30 to 3 p.m., for only a twoonie, you can enter the OMazing Race Part 2, Webster says.

“This is a new course, for those that participated in the OMazing Race during the August 2 First Saturday. No pre-registration is required. Just come to the Gazebo area, in the Platzl. This will be followed at 3:30 by an orienteering sprint event. This is a fast paced, urban navigation event, beginning near Lindsay Park School and finishing in the Platzl.  Courses range from 1.5 km to 2.5 km with runners having to locate 12 to 20 controls points on the way.

“This event is also part of BC Orienteering Championships. Age classes are open to everyone.

“Plus there is a choice of three recreational courses for those not worried about their time but want to give the course a try.  Pre-registration is preferred at http://kootenayofest.com.

The weekend wraps up with the long event, starting near Fraggle Rock, just outside Cranbrook.

This was also the site of the 2010 North American Championships, says Webster.

“The long event tests both an orienteer’s concentration plus stamina with the longest course in the range of 9 kilometres, as the crow flies. Top orienteers can run the course, finding from 15 to 20 control points in times nearing 7 minutes per kilometre. Not fast by road running standards but considering they must navigate, read a map and run cross country, all at the same time they require both physical strength as well as quick thinking and concentration. Luckily for the more recreational participants the pace is more relaxing.”

Recreation courses are only $10 with the age class categories at $25 for adults and $15 for those 19 and under.  All age class entrants are eligible for BC Orienteering Championship awards. A weekend package, including the Saturday night outdoor feast, at Riverside Campground is available.

Saturday, September 6, 9:00 am – Middle distance event -Invermere

Saturday, September 6, 1:30 – 3:00 – OMazing Race, Kimberley

Saturday, September 6, 3:30 pm – Sprint Race – Kimberley

Saturday, September 6, 6:30 pm – Outdoor Feast – Riverside Campground

Sunday, September 7, 10:00 am – Long distance event – Cranbrook