2021 North American Rogaining Championships

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August 14-15, 2021

  • Event Director: Gavin Wyatt-Mair
  • Northstar Resort, Truckee,

2021 North American Rogaining Champions:

  • Mixed Junior – We Stretch
    • Keegan Harkavay M 18 USA
    • Kirsten Mayland F 18 USA
    • Bridget Hall F 19 USA
    • Anthony Riley M 20 USA
  • Women Junior
  • Men Junior
  • Mixed Open – Best Pace Scenario
    • Ashley Blake F 38 USA
    • Nikolay Nachev M 44 USA
  • Women Open – Tango Mike
    • Victoria Campbell F 47 USA
    • Maiya Anderson F 46 USA
  • Men Open – Bones Adventure
    • Roy Malone M 54 USA
    • Jason Quinn M 47 USA
  • Mixed Veteran – NCC-74656
    • John Beard M 57 USA
    • Marcy Beard F 52 USA
  • Women Veteran – Tango Mike (see Women Open)
  • Men Veteran – Bones Adventure (see Men Open)
  • Mixed Super Veteran – Pikes
    • Gelena Siganevich F 57 USA
    • Manfred Kopisch M 57 USA
  • Women Super Veteran – Map Mavericks
    • Ing Uhlin F 61 USA
    • Sue Kuestner F 62 USA
    • Vicki Woolworth F 62 USA
  • Men Super Veteran – phast generation
    • Ken Walker Sr. M 72 USA
    • Charles Leonard M 66 USA
  • Mixed Ultra Veteran – Nightcrawlers
    • Eric Smith M 78 USA
    • Mary Smith F 74 USA
  • Women Ultra Veteran
  • Men Ultra Veteran – phast generation (see Men Super Veteran)

Additional Media:



2021 Junior World Orienteering Championships

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September 5-10, 2021


From Left to Right:

  • Jessica Colleran, COC, JNT
  • Ben Brady, COC, JDT
  • David Runde, MNOC and KristiansandOK (NOR), JNT
  • Anthony Riley, DVOA, JNT
  • Diana Aleksieva, QOC, JNT

Go Team USA!!

Follow TeamUSA through their personal training logs over on AttackPoint!


August 28-Sept 1 (Sat-Wed): Training


Friday, September 3: Arrival & Accreditation


Saturday, September 4: Opening Ceremony


Sunday, September 5: Sprint

Sprint Results

Men – Map71st – Anthony Riley18:21 (+2:42)
Men – Map119th – Benjamin Brady22:09 (+6:30)
Men – Map123rd – David Runde22:31 (+6:52)
Women – Map111th – Jessica Colleran24:16 (+9:19)
Women – Map112th – Diana Aleksieva24:28 (+9:31)

Monday, September 6: Middle Qualification

Middle Qualifier Results

Men A – Map31st – Anthony Riley27:27 (+6:59)
Men B – Map36th – David Runde26:57 (+6:22)
Men C – Map40th – Benjamin Brady32:32 (+12:00)
Women B – Map36th – Jessica Colleran31:11 (+11:39)
Women C – Map36th – Diana Aleksieva36:25 (+17:01)

Tuesday, September 7: Middle Final

Middle Final Results:

Men’s B Final – Map37th – David Runde30:40 (+6:44)
Men’s B Final55th – Benjamin Brady42:11 (+18:15)
Men’s B FinalAnthony RileyMSP
Women’s B Final – Map38th – Jessica Colleran47:51 (+19:56)
Women’s B Final40th – Diana Aleksieva49:03 (+21:08)

Wednesday, September 8: Rest Day


Thursday, September 9: Long Distance

Long Distance Results:

Men Long – Map68th – Anthony Riley1:25:26 (+16:29)
Men Long111th – David Runde1:43:36 (+34:39)
Men Long122nd – Benjamin Brady1:58:22 (+49:25)
Women Long – Map101st – Diana Aleksieva1:30:21 (+37:22)
Women Long104th – Jessica Colleran1:36:23 (+43:24)
https://youtu.be/JR3kGP5tUD4

Friday, September 10: Relay & Closing Ceremony

Relay Results:

Note: Diana & Jessica ran on a mixed team with Kristina Pashchenko from Ukraine. Because this was an ‘unofficial’ team, their results were not published in the official JWOC results.

PlaceNameLeg
Time
Leg
Place
Total
Time
Team
Place
Time
Diff
34United States Mens 1 – Map2:34:19+50:05
1. Anthony Riley42:203342:2033
2. Benjamin Brady1:00:24411:42:4438
3. David Runde51:35332:34:1934+50:05

2021 Orienteering USA Nationals

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August 6-9, 2021

  • Event Director: Gavin Wyatt-Mair
  • Friday: Sprint
    • Sierra College, Rocklin, CA
  • Saturday: Middle Distance
    • Little Truckee Summit, Truckee, CA
  • Sunday: Long Distance
    • Sagehen, Truckee, CA
  • Monday: Club Championship Relay
    • Burton Creek, Tahoe City, CA

The following information was posted on the BAOC website on April 24, 2021:

“The difficult decision to move the California Orienteering Festival (CalOFest) to 2023 was made in the interests of safety and fairness due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions. The decision was made jointly with the International Orienteering Federation, International Rogaining Federation, Orienteering Canada, and Orienteering USA​—​along with our partners and landowners. This change affects the North American Orienteering Championships as well as the World Rogaining Championships. The delayed Festival will be held in San Francisco and Tahoe locations during summer 2023, with dates pending IOF and IRF approvals. (The complete announcement of the change is here.)”

Instead of hosting CalOFest this year, the Bay Area Orienteering Club hosted Tahoe 2021:

  • The 2021 U.S. Orienteering Championships including Sprint, Middle, and Long events, and a club Relay event. The events were held the same weekend dates (August 6–9), and at the Tahoe areas, as were originally planned for CalOFest.
  • The 2021 North American Rogaining Championships (separate page) were held on the same dates (August 14–15), and at the same Tahoe area, as the originally planned World Rogaining Championships. In addition to the 24-hour competitive event, there was a 4-hour “recreational” event.

Friday: US Orienteering Sprint Championship

Day 1 of the Orienteering USA Nationals took place on Friday morning on the campus of Sierra College in Rocklin, CA under warm, but thankfully overcast skies. This event was moved to Sierra College to preserve the Northstar Resort sprint venue for CalOFest/NAOC Sprint in 2023.

Photos: Nadim Ahmed, Clinton Morse

2021 US Sprint Champions:

  • M-21+ Gregory Ahlswede – DVOA
  • M-10 Reed Parker
  • M-12 Tucker Rupe – COC
  • M-14 Jackson Rupe – COC
  • M-16 Ben Cooper – COC
  • M-18 Benjamin Brady – COC
  • M-20 Dan Sebo – BAOC
  • M35+ Samuel Kolins – DVOA
  • M40+ Ethan O’Conner – COC
  • M45+ Francois Leonard – BAOC
  • M50+ Jeff Coker – TSN
  • M55+ Sergei Velichko – CTOC
  • M60+ Ken Vomaske – BAOC
  • M65+ Glen Tryson – DVOA
  • M70+ Dennis Wildfogel – BAOC
  • M75+ Chuck Spalding – BAOC
  • M80+ Rich Parker – BAOC
  • M85+ Edwin Gookin – SOAR
  • F-21+ Tori Borish – RMOC
  • F-10
  • F-12
  • F-14 Nicole Aleksieva – QOC
  • F-16
  • F-18 Alison Weber – GCO
  • F-20 Bridget Hall – NEOC
  • F35+ Allison Brown – GrizO
  • F40+ Ioana Fleming – RMOC
  • F45+ Marie-Josee Parayre – BAOC
  • F50+ B. Brooke Mann – RMOC
  • F55+ Clare Durand – LAOC
  • F60+ Ing Uhlin – COC
  • F65+ Debbie Newell – COC
  • F70+ Judith Karpinski – NEOC
  • F75+ Pamela Jill McBee – CROC

Additional Media:


Saturday: US Orienteering Middle Championship

Day 2 was to be contested at Little Truckee Summit (adjacent to the original CalOFest terrain) where the air quality was, well, horrible. Due to the Dixie Fire to the northwest, the entire area was blanketed in a thick smoke plume with an AQI in excess of 500 on Friday afternoon, over 3 times the level considered unhealthy for strenuous activity. Organizers announced that a decision to hold the race would be made at 7am Saturday AM.

At 7am the word came that the race was cancelled due to poor air quality, but that the forecast hinted that things might improve for the afternoon and thus another decision would be made around noon. At noon the notification came that the Middle Distance race would be held, starting at 2:30pm. Air quality was still hazardous, but better than the morning conditions and competitors were urged to make their own decision to compete or not. Mid afternoon starts meant that conditions were also quite a bit warmer than morning races would have been.

Conditions were still smoky, but most competitors chose to race, some with masks, most without. Everyone seemed to roll with it…

Photos: Clinton Morse

2021 US Middle Distance Champions:

  • M-21+ Michael Laraia – MNOC
  • M-10 Alaric Aaronson
  • M-12 Sullivan Rupe – COC
  • M-14 Erik Fey – Espoon Suunta
  • M-16 Colin Casler
  • M-18 Benjamin Brady – COC
  • M-20 Daniel Sebo – BAOC
  • M35+ J-J Cote – LROC
  • M40+ Ethan O’Conner – COC
  • M45+ Wyatt Riley – DVOA
  • M50+ Tom Herrnstein – OK
  • M55+ Sergei Velichko – CTOC
  • M60+ Nadim Ahmed – QOC
  • M65+ Takashi Sugiyama – BAOC
  • M70+ Jeffrey Saeger – NEOC
  • M75+ John Harbuck – EWOC
  • M80+ Rich Parker – BAOC
  • M85+ Edwin Gookin – SOAR
  • F-21+ Tyra Christopherson – COC
  • F-10
  • F-12
  • F-14 Kendal O’Callaghan
  • F-16
  • F-18 Alison Weber – GCO
  • F-20 Bridget Hall – NEOC
  • F35+ Allison Brown – GrizO
  • F40+ Ioana Fleming – RMOC
  • F45+ Victoria Campbell – NEOC
  • F50+ B. Brooke Mann – RMOC
  • F55+ Mary Jones – OK
  • F60+ Peggy Dickison – OK
  • F65+ Debbie Newell – COC
  • F70+ Judith Karpinski – NEOC
  • F75+ Pamela Jill McBee – CROC

Additional Media:


Sunday: US Orienteering Long Championship

Day 3 of the OUSA Nationals was met with another air quality delay, but this one was only 90 minutes so the Long Distance races got started late morning on another warm day. Similarly to Saturday, the competition was held on unused portions of the Sagehen map originally slated for CalOFest. As an “experimental forest”, there was a variety of forest type and undergrowth/debris to deal with. Presumably the best parts of both the Saturday and Sunday venues will be unveiled at the North American Championships in 2023 at CalOFest and that Tahoe 2021 was just a taste of things to come.

Photos: Peter Laraia, Clinton Morse

2021 US Long Distance Champions:

  • M-21+ Anthony Riley – DVOA
  • M-10 Alaric Aaronson
  • M-12 Mark Fey – Espoon Suunta
  • M-14 Jackson Rupe – COC
  • M-16
  • M-18 Benjamin Brady – COC
  • M-20 Daniel Sebo – BAOC
  • M35+ JJ Cote – LROC
  • M40+ Boris Granovskiy – GrizO
  • M45+ Wyatt Riley – DVOA
  • M50+ Jon Torrance – QOC
  • M55+ Sergei Velichko – CTOC
  • M60+ JP Lande – RMOC
  • M65+ Rick Breseman – COC
  • M70+ Jeffrey Saeger – NEOC
  • M75+ John Harbuck – EWOC
  • M80+ Rich Parker – BAOC
  • M85+ Edwin Gookin – SOAR
  • F-21+ Tori Borish – RMOC
  • F-10
  • F-12
  • F-14 Kendal O’Callaghan – RMOC
  • F-16
  • F-18 Alison Weber – GCO
  • F-20 Bridget Hall – NEOC
  • F35+ Alison Brown – GrizO
  • F40+ Ioana Fleming – RMOC
  • F45+ Angelica Riley – DVOA
  • F50+ Stephanie Ross – OCIN
  • F55+ Kris Beecroft – RMOC
  • F60+ Peggy Dickison – OK
  • F65+ Debbie Newell – COC
  • F70+ Nadezhda Popova – HVO
  • F75+ Pamela Jill McBee – CROC

Additional Media:


Monday: Club Championship Relay (non-NRE)

Monday’s Club Championship Relay was held at Burton Creek State Park in Tahoe City, CA and competitors were met with much clearer skies than the previous two days of racing. But the day was not with out it’s own set of complications – a local football team was practicing on the field that was designated as the relay arena and paving contractors decided Monday would be a good day to paint new stripes on the high school parking lots, forcing a last minute relocation of parking to surrounding neighborhood streets.

Competitors, quite used to delays at this point in the weekend, took it in stride during the roughly 90 minute delay required to iron out the kinks and get everything ready. The time was put to good use however, as teams socialized and an impromptu awards ceremony was held to hand out Sunday’s Long Distance awards. Although the format for assembling relay teams and determining club championships was a bit convoluted, everyone seemed to have a good time with head to head racing and cheering on their teammates in the arena area. Be sure to check out the YouTube video (link after the photos) if you haven’t already.

Photos: Nadim Ahmed, Peter Laraia, Clinton Morse


2021 North American Rogaining Championships

Media is posted in a separate entry.

Call for nominations: 2021 Silva and Golden Service Award

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The Annual General Meeting of Orienteering USA will be held online Thursday night, October 21. One of the highlights of the AGM is the naming of the recipient of the Silva Award.

The Silva Award is given annually to an orienteer who has demonstrated outstanding service to orienteering in the United States over the past five years. The essential quality of every winner has been service to promoting and sustaining orienteering, to making the sport work in this country, and in helping to build the organizations needed to make orienteering successful.

The AGM will also include the announcement of the OUSA Golden Service awards recognizing those individuals who have provided exceptional service to the sport of orienteering that extends beyond the local club level.

Nominations for both awards are being solicited between now and September 26th.  Full eligibility criteria and lists of past award winners can be found in the attached announcements.  Nominations for both awards should be emailed to Susan DeWitt (skdewitt@nullsnet.net) by September 26th.

Full Silva Award Announcement: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-GdPkOS3ceKGSHvzdcgO9mIAG_-dN61D/view?usp=sharing

Full Golden Service Award Announcement: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jcHCxcTeknuD4A7nhzAgNRnpaop6kvc8/view?usp=sharing

Puzzle Friday: NARC 2021

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Just rolled back home after almost 4 weeks on the road – Deschutes Daze in Oregon, OUSA Nationals in Lake Tahoe and the 2021 North American Rogaining Championships, also in Lake Tahoe, CA. It occured to me on the long drive home that it’s been a while since I posted a Puzzle Friday. So here’s a quickie from the rogaine while I sort through thousands of photos and video and make sense of things.

It was great to meet so many of you in my travels these past few weeks. Look forward to catching up with you at future orienteering events. Here is this week’s puzzle.

Virtual AGM – 2021

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The 2021 Orienteering USA Annual General Meeting will take place online on Thursday, October 21 from 8:00 to 10:00 pm (EDT). Information and updates will be posted on this page as they become available.

Your membership in Orienteering USA helps us to bring programs and services to orienteers and clubs throughout the country. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Clare Durand
President, Orienteering USA

2021 Wilson Community Growth Grant(s)

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Congratulations to Grizzly Orienteering and the San Benito High School NJROTC Unit who have been chosen as the recipients of the 2021 Wilson Community Growth Grant. Winners of this year’s grants receive $1,000 to deepen youth participation through purchase of equipment and expanded event programming. While the impact of Covid-19 on the Orienteering community was significant, it only emboldened these organizations to focus on safe and inclusive ways to introduce new participants to the sport.

Photo Credit: Boris Granovskiy & Timothy Wilson

Grizzly Orienteering’s Allison Brown is a native of Missoula, and her husband Boris Granovskiy is a former member of the U.S. Orienteering Team. Their thorough approach to building from the youth upwards promises for a healthy future to their club.

San Benito High School is located near the southeastern-most tip of Texas. The area’s flatness and lack of vegetation offer a creative challenge when it comes to designing courses and hosting events. Chief Timothy Wilson brings his experience with navy ship navigation as a way to highlight the transferability of concrete skills as well as intangible skills like leadership, resilience and perseverance that Orienteering requires.

Read the full Press Release for more information. Applications for the 2022 Wilson Community Growth Grant as well as the 2022 Wilson Character Through Competition Award will be available later in the fall of 2021.

WOC ’21 Recap

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2021 was an odd year for international orienteering competition. With no World Championships in 2020 due to the pandemic, the organizers for 2021 scrambled to incorporate additional sprint disciplines into what was originally scheduled to be a ‘Forest’ program. With the pandemic still raging around the globe, many countries outside Europe elected not to send teams to WOC at all this year.

Due to issues related to family and coronavirus concerns, many of the standing US Team members elected to sit this year out as well. Veteran member Eric Bone (COC) is no stranger to WOC, making his 19th WOC appearance this year but teammates Sydney Fisher (WPOC) and Will Enger (COC) have each been to WOC once before this year. Three of the six WOC novices on this years team are currently members of the Orienteering USA Junior National Team as well (AJ, Diana & Alexis with Thomas Laraia from MNOC having recently aged out). So this year was looking to be a great experience building year and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Leading up to WOC2021, team member AJ Riley (DVOA) got a head start by competing at the WOC Selection races and training in Europe beginning in early June. Joe Barrett (QOC) arrived in the Czech Republic a few weeks later and put in some solid training time well in advance of WOC. Diana Aleksieva (QOC) and Alexis Merka (QOC) did some training at Kost and the mother/son duo of Angelica Riley (DVOA) and AJ did a final tuneup race at Bukovel in Ukraine.

TeamUSA officially came together July 1st for their official COVID tests, registration and check-in followed by some easy explorations of the surrounding areas and sprint venue. AJ was selected by the IOF to take over their Instagram feed for the day – detailing some of his training, taking questions and more. You can catch most of the 40+ posts over on our Facebook page – Part A & Part B.

More Media: Official Site | Diana & Alex Training at Kost | Team Riley at Bukovel


July 3rd – Sprint at Terezín

First up in the competition schedule was the individual sprint at Terezín, a former military fortress composed of citadel and adjacent walled garrison town. Organized as a series of 6 qualification heats in the morning and a final in the afternoon, the racing was fast and furious. Unfortunately none of our TeamUSA athletes qualified for the finals, but AJ did give a nice post-race interview for the IOF.

Men A26th – Will Enger17:19 (+4:15)
Men B26th – Thomas Laraia15:35 (+2:41)
Men C25th – AJ Riley15:46 (+2:48)
Women A24th – Diana Aleksieva22:31 (+10:01)
Women B– Angelica Rileymsp
Women C22nd – Alexis Merka25:01 (+11:11)
Sprint Qualifier Results

Alexis – “Everyone seemed so fast I felt like I had to push that fast too, slightly forgetting that I’m nowhere near being in such good shape as them… But running down the finish chute was an amazing feeling..

Thomas – “Annoyed about losing focus to 9 and missing where I was exiting the track and generally not taking enough time to look at all the options. Too many legs where that hurt.”

More Media: Official Site | Sprint Q Photos | Will Enger – Sprint Q Video | Thomas Laraia – Sprint Q Video | More Sprint Q Photos


July 4th – Sprint Relay at Doksy

Day 2 took us to the town centre of Doksy with its irregular street network. The terrain consisted of urban areas with paved streets and parkland with grass surfaces. Artificial barriers added navigational challenges to the course. The US Team for the sprint relay was composed entirely of WOC novices with Angelica taking the leadoff leg.

She started into town on the heels of some of the fastest women in the orienteering world including the likes of Tove Alexandersson(SWE) and Simona Aebersold (SUI). A clean run, but well behind the leaders, she handed off to son AJ for the second leg. Though largely running a solo race at this point, AJ ran strong and clean and was caught up by some of the 3rd leg leaders, being pulled through the spectator control hot on the heels of race leader Gustav Bergman from Sweden. AJ handed off to Joe Barrett who admitted sprints weren’t his strong suit, but he had a clean run nonetheless handing off to anchor leg Alexis Merka to round out the race. Unfortunately the team was over the official time limit, but all indicated that they enjoyed the racing regardless.

AJ – “Apparently I was on TV with my homie Gustav so that’s cool.”

Joe“Mostly running solo, just a few of the leg 4 women at the very end of the course. No major misses. Just hesitant in some circles, and felt I was reading really slow around all the fake fences at 9 and 10… It was a good low pressure way to start.”

Alexis – “It was a super fun race, I enjoyed the course and I’m definitely satisfied with it… So we got pretty much completely lapped, but that’s okay. I think that definitely helped me focus a lot more on my own race and on pacing myself better than I did yesterday. It was really fun.”

More Media: Official Site | Alternate Sprint Relay Movie | Sprint Relay Photos | Sprint Relay Map (pdf)


July 6th – Middle Distance at Smržovka

After a Rest Day, the action moved on to the Middle Distance races which took place in some challenging mountain terrain. Physically demanding steep slopes with granite boulders, cliffs with broken ground and some marshy areas were prominent features on this map. Morning qualification heats – top 15 in each heat plus additional spots for under-represented countries advancing to the final.

Men’s A29 – Eric Bone43:31 (+12:45)
Men’s B21 – Thomas Laraia38:26 (+10:14)
Men’s C29 – Joe Barrett44:06 (+15:22)
Women’s A26 – Diana Aleksieva1:15:38 (+45:43)
Women’s B– Angelica Rileymsp
Women’s C27 – Sydney Fisher44:11 (+13:39)
Middle Distance Qualification Race Results

Thomas started out with a great run in his heat, pretty much matching pace with the eventual heat winners through the first 4 controls, then hit a patch of green which slowed him down more than the stronger Euro runners who moved right through it. He finished only 10 minutes back which earned him a spot in the final. Team mate Eric Bone filmed a nice interview with Thomas after his run. Sydney was also happy with her race, losing a little time to small bobbles, but otherwise running cleanly to secure her spot in the women’s final.

Thomas: “Felt a bit of pressure and heart racing but it calmed down a lot through warming up and didn’t feel it anymore on the start, so good to see.Strength lacking, will prioritize being faster and stronger next time. Goals for future are qualifying for the final on merit alone”

Sydney: “Pretty satisfied with this race. Small bobble on 1. A lot of hesitation to 5. Overall pretty clean though. Legs didn’t feel too energetic, but no one (around me anyway) was moving that quickly up the hills.”

Moving on to the afternoon’s Middle Final:

Sydney: “Disappointed in this race. I had no flow – lots of time lost in the circle and a couple of big mistakes. I started too fast and was tired from running earlier. Good experience though! So many cameramen/drones out in the woods.

Thomas: “Mostly a pretty good race. Things I remember, fat mistake to 22 being too high and seeing some random crags…. Big pack going to 15, absolutely running on fumes there, wish I could’ve passed and kept attempting to catch people but I was pretty ruined. Nice to work as a group on 15-18 with Paul and somewhat Tomas.”

Men’s Final49 – Thomas Laraia1:02:54 (+23:23)
Women’s Final52 – Sydney Fisher1:18:21 (+40:09)
Middle Distance Final Results

More Media: Official Site | Middle Q Photos | Extra Middle Q Photos | Women’s Final Map (pdf) | Men’s Final Map (pdf)


July 8th – Forest Relay at Kokořínsko

After another rest day that saw much of the team getting more training done, the competition then moved to the continental sandstone terrain of Kokořínsko with its intricate morphology consisting of valleys and reentrants crowned by massive sandstone rock formations. This venue would host both the relay and Friday’s long competition. Running the women’s race were Sydney > Angelica > Alexis. Sydney got in a clean run before the rains began, but the day would only get darker and damper as it progressed.

Sydney – “In a normal year I would not run first, but I was excited for the experience. Goal was to stay with the pack through the arena, plan a route to 1, and then run my own race.The terrain was amazing and I felt good physically…Hopefully next time I’ll have the speed to stay with a pack.”

Alexis – “…worst race of my life. Not because of the rain or the dark, i liked that. Just the hills were seriously way over my ability and I was completely dying. The cameras gave me a few anxiety attacks, which really didn’t help… I’m still glad I have this experience. Everyone has to have their worst race someday, and frankly I’m kind of honored mine is a WOC race.”

By the time the Men’s Relay started the rain was coming down pretty good, but AJ navigated well and hung with the pack for quite a while, making an appearance on the first couple TV controls. Eric, concerned about increasingly dark conditions, switched places with Will and ran second wearing a headlamp in order to read the map in the dark woods with the intention of handing it off to Will at the exchange. Things didn’t exactly go to plan though…. The photo of Eric below isn’t a poorly exposed shot – it was just that dark out there…

AJ – “I love relays and honestly had a great time. Good to see that I can be competitive with the top guys if I was a bit more fit.”

Will – “This was enjoyable and the terrain was awesome – but the experience was clouded somewhat by me not being able to orienteer normally due to the impending darkness. … [Eric] ran the second leg with a headlamp, and was going to pass it to me, but then they made us mass start just after Eric passed through the arena, so I never got itStill a fun experience, but would’ve been a lot better under reasonable circumstances.

More Media: Official Site | Forest Relay Photos | Maps (pdf)


July 9th – Long Distance at Kokořínsko

Back at Kokořínsko on Friday for the Long Distance race utilizing the same arena as Thursday’s relay, and used a larger version of the long narrow relay map with the latter portion of each course coming back through the terrain used on Thursday. Long legs frequently offered up long trail runs to avoid the steep, intricate cliff areas and many runners took full advantage of them but some options were clearly better than others.

Men’s Long56 – Joe Barrett2:17:32 (+41:37)
Women’s Long54 – Sydney Fisher2:15:24 (+58:13)
Women’s Long55 – Diana Aleksieva3:07:10 (+1:49:59)
Long Distance Results

Joe – “Definitely the best race of the week for me. Read the cliffs in the circle pretty well. Only going down the wrong gap to #4, and then left #5 in the wrong direction without map aligned, and got blocked by an unexpected cliff... the cliffs did create route options to gain/lose time

Sydney“Time wasn’t great, but the course was a lot of fun. I just didn’t have the speed on the trails around, or the endurance… the course used a lot of rock passages, which was really neat… I like longs”

More Media: Official Site | Long Distance Photos | Women’s Map (pdf) | Men’s Map (pdf)

Summary of WOC ’21

Sydney – “It was a great experience and I am glad I got to race. The sandstone terrain was fantastic. I haven’t (yet) traveled many places to orienteer, but it was definitely one of my favorites… I had a couple of good races and a couple not so good. I was a lot closer (% time wise) to the leaders than I was in Norway so I’m moving in the right direction… Goals for next time are to be more fit (I have 2 years to get faster…seems like plenty of time) and to hopefully spend some time in relevant terrain more than a few days in advance.

Will – “I never thought I’d get a second opportunity to finally run a forest race at WOC, and it took a funky, unique year with a lot of our best guys injured or declining, so I’m thankful for the memorable experience in any case.

Joe – “Super fun time for my first WOC… Sprint Relay was alright, not a whole lot of expectations going in, clean race, no major misses… Long definitely my best race of the week, felt strong, good pace (for me) through most of it… could have looked ahead more on short legs, not just the long ones

Kevin Fisher (TeamUSA Official) – “I think things went pretty well considering my complete lack of training or expertise in this area. Everyone got to their races on time and to and from the airport, which was honestly my main goal… it was inspiring to spend time with all of these athletes, and really fun to watch them compete, hear their experiences in the woods, and talk about routes… I would highly recommend the WOC experience to anyone (wait for a normal year though!)”

So that wraps it up for this year. 2022 will feature a Sprint WOC on June 26-30 in Denmark and sprinting will also feature prominently when the world’s best come to Alabama two weeks later on July 7-17 for The World Games 2022. Mark your calendars and plan to come to Birmingham to be a part of the action as the US hosts the world’s best orienteers for what is sure to be some great competition!

Photos courtesy: Kevin Fisher, Dasa Merkova, Angelica Riley, Tomáš Bubela, Lukáš Budínský, Jiří Čech, Petr Kadeřávek & Petr Háp plus screenshots from official IOF & WOC2021 video feeds.

OUSA Updates Policy for SARS-CoV-2 mitigation

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At its regular board meeting on June 21st, the Orienteering USA Board of Directors voted to update the SARS-CoV-2 policy to reflect changing conditions and what we know about how the virus is transmitted. Many of the previous ‘requirements’ are now reduced to ‘recommendations’ and others are eliminated entirely in the new streamlined version. There are, however, still some items that remain requirements for NRE events and are strongly suggested for organizers holding local events as well.

The executive summary reads:

  • Participants must stay home when sick.
  • Event-related activities should take place outside to the maximum extent possible.
  • Participants and event volunteers should practice social distancing: participants should maintain at least 2m distance from volunteers who are at stations (i.e. registration, start, finish, download etc.)
  • Organizers should structure the event and schedule to spread participants out in time and space.

The full text of the revised policy can be found in the OUSA Library under Library>Administrative>Policies or directly at this link.

Accommodating Youth Orienteers at National Ranking Events

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A note from OUSA’s VP for Youth Initiatives:

As we return to holding National Ranking Events (NRE), I encourage everyone to think about kids who may have moved up a course – or two – during our hiatus from NREs. 12-year-olds who last competed on White in the fall of 2019 are now in their last six months of eligibility to run Yellow. Ditto for 14-year-olds moving from Yellow to Orange. These are big jumps in normal years, but made even bigger as most kids have not recently orienteered in major events with heightened attention to rules.

As we return to orienteering, we should be sure we are providing an experience for our youth aligned with the principles of the Orienteering Development Model, which emphasizes fun and play over a strict focus on competition for our youngest orienteers.

Fortunately, our Rules of Competition provide opportunities for us to support young orienteers in being able to focus on their races, be successful, and build confidence.  About five years ago, OUSA adopted several key rule changes that are even more important during this time of transition.  The rules are shown below in bold text.

A.28.5 Except at Orienteering USA Junior Nationals, White and Yellow courses may have open start times to allow parents to coordinate schedules with their children’s starts.*

Board rationale: This is a change from pre-scheduled start times intended to make events more family-friendly by allowing parents who are at events with their children to both compete, and still shadow their children. Clubs are encouraged to have the White/Yellow start as close to the parents’ start as possible, to accept parental requests for start times for their children, or to allow children to start at any time during the start window,  and to simplify the start procedures as much as possible. 

A.28.6 The competitors take their competition maps at the starting time at the start location or after the starting time at the map issue point. Except at Orienteering USA Junior Nationals, competitors on the White and Yellow courses may be given the map prior to their starting time, provided that the conditions are consistent for all such competitors.*

Board rationale: Allowing some time with the map before the clock starts allows them some time to plan a course.  Event organizers may also allow parents/coaches to review the course with their children during this brief window to help them to plan for legs and review where problems may occur. This will help to ensure that children are successful on their courses, having fun, and progressing in their orienteering skills. If white and yellow competitors will be allowed to review their maps with a more experienced orienteer prior to their start time, this should be communicated to all competitors in advance to allow for proper planning by the competitor and their parents/coaches/experienced orienteer.

*The open start time and map preview does not apply to Junior Nationals, because Junior Nationals does not offer age-class awards.

Because kids are behind on their NRE experiences, we encourage organizers to be more liberal with their implementation of these rules for 2021 and into 2022

Putting my club volunteer hat on, here’s how we are planning to implement these ideas at NEOC’s New England Championship NRE to be held in Massachusetts this fall. Other clubs may choose different approaches.

  1. Open starts for kids 14 and under and their parents. Start/Finish close to parking.
  2. Single start, with an opportunity for kids on White / Yellow to review the map with a parent or volunteer before starting when they are ready. It’s also an opportunity to talk about punching, checking control codes, staying inside the bounded areas on the map, and what to do if you’re feeling mis-oriented.
  3. Being vigilant about course difficulty. We should design White, Yellow and Orange courses on the easier side within the competitive rules.
  4. Making sure White courses have handrails for every leg. We often assume that if a control is visible from the previous control, then it is “easy enough.” However, the part of the brain that processes spatial arrangement of multiple point features isn’t fully-developed until age 14. Where streamers are necessary, we plan to string them on the ground as a linear feature.

Want to learn more about the Orienteering Development Model and our approach to introducing kids to the sport? Try the Orienteering Development Model for OUSA Members on the Education Portal, with a focus on stages 1, 2 and 3. Each lesson has a short video and the text of the relevant ODM stage. The course is free for OUSA members.

Do you have more ideas? Email vpyouth@nullorienteeringusa.org.  See you in the woods!

Tori Campbell
OUSA VP for Youth Initiatives

Photo credit: Dave Yee Photography