Orienteers battle elements, Wallace terrain

Jamie Heap
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Ashley Harding sprints to the finish during the Museum Mud Run this past Saturday in Wallace. He finished first among male competitors with a time 55:32 and found all 22 controls.

WALLACE – Thirteen orienteers took the road less travelled Saturday during the Museum Madness Muck Run.

All of the thirteen participants opted for the longer, more challenging 5 km route over the shorter 1 km route.

“The issue wasn’t so much the muck but the three-degree temperatures, the howling wind, the rain, and, yes, the odd snow flake,” Alice Power, president of the North Shore Adventure Club, one of five orienteering clubs in the province, said. “Thirteen people, ranging from ages eight and up raced off to locate the 22 controls.”

One of those orienteers was first-place finisher Pam James, who has been involved in orienteering for some forty years, competing in ten world championships in the United States, parts of Europe and in New Zealand.

“This is my first time competing here up on the north shore,” said James, who finished first overall with a time of 43:55 and 22 controls. “It was a great course.”

James has also competed in Canadian and American national championships.

“Recently, I travelled 16-hours to the United States National Orienteering Championships in Glenn Falls, New York,” said James,who has also orienteered in Harriman State National Park situated north of New York City.

According to orienteer Greg Nix, who designed the 5 km course, orienteering is what you make it.

“The issue wasn’t so much the muck but the three-degree temperatures, the howling wind, the rain, and, yes, the odd snow flake.” Alice Power

“It can be as competitive as you want it to be. It can be a fun walk or run,” he said. “At the higher levels, orienteering involves a great deal of decision making and problem solving. A good orienteer can take a map and turn it into a three dimensional structure, knowing where they are at all times.”

The North Shore Adventure Club alternates this run between the Wallace, the Amherst Point Bird Sanctuary, Oxford Regional Educational Centre and Wentworth.

To learn more about the sport of orienteering, visit http://orienteeringns.ca/

 

Official Wallace and Area Museum Madness Muck Run Results:

Female

Pam James 43:55 (22 controls)

Lisa MacLean 84:10 (20 controls)

Betty Hodgson 113:26 (17 controls)

Male

Ashley Harding 55:32 (22 controls)

Michael Price 83:32 (22 controls)

Noah James 83:50 (19 controls)

Jim Blanchard 87:50 (22 controls)

Family

Art and Lily Harding 124:00 (18 controls)

Wayfarer

David Beaton and Shannon Nickerson 111:26 (18 controls)

Margie James and Eleanor Conrad 79:22 (16 controls)

Organizations: North Shore Adventure Club, The North, Area Museum

Geographic location: New York City, United States, Europe New Zealand Harriman Oxford

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