Sage Orienteering and Rogaining Club
Adventures at Barebones - September 2007
On Labour day weekend, the Calgary orienteering group (Foothills Wanderers) put together probably the best orienteering event I've ever been to.
It started on Friday night with an event on Mount Laurie map - near the spectacular Bow Valley Provincial Park. Then we all drove across the highway to the YMCA camp where about a hundred of us were staying and fed great meals.
On Saturday morning there was a long distance event, starting right from the camp, followed by a bunch of afternoon activities, including a super sprint, a 3-legged orienteering race, and some coaching for kids and adults. There were over 40 kids participating in an orienteering training camp for the weekend. I have never seen so many kids enjoy orienteering like they did that weekend!
Then that night there was a night-o, again, right from the camp, but on a different map!
On Sunday we drove to Canmore Nordic Center where we raced in a fast and furious sprint, followed by a middle distance chase start. Some of us went for a few beers (well deserved) in the beautiful town of Canmore after the races.
But it's on Monday that Sage members had the most fun (and glory!). They had a relay, once again, starting right from the camp in this big open field. Clubs had to put together teams of 3 and then recruit a kid from the training camp. Each member of the team is alloted points depending on gender and age. Alan Vyse, Frances Vyse and myself, Marie-Cat, put together our club team of 3 and recruited Andrew Grabb from just outside Calgary. A very young and dynamic little kid!
Given that we were all of very respectable age (!), we were worth over 12 points. There were 3 categories of teams: 4 points, 8 points and 12 points. The lower the number, the faster the team is expected to go.
It was a fast and furious relay where all 3 runners of the team started at once. Sage had Alan, Frances and Andrew go all at once. Their courses were nice and short and they were all back in less than 20 minutes. They gave me the tag and I went off for a longer leg, taking about twice as long as them. When I came back it was hard to judge where we were standing given the chaos of such a big event. Andrew went out again on his own while all 3 of us waited for him. He did a spectacular job (boy that kid can run!) and was back in no time. He handed over to Alan and Frances. They both had great runs, especially Alan that ended up spiking a control that other teams were having a really hard time finding. When Alan emerged out of the forest, we realised we were in 3rd! But he was followed very closely by a Calgary team and we knew their last runner was faster than me. Pressure was on!
They tagged me and off I went. My last leg was very short: 1.5km. I ran like a mad woman but Bill (Calgary team) caught up to me at the 5th control. I thought the race was over, but then he took off in a very strange direction (in my opinion anyway!). I kept on focusing on my own race. The leg took me right across the field where the whole crowd was, and I could hear my team going ballistic! I had no idea where BIll was. I punched my 7th control and he was nowhere to be seen. THe rest of the course was all in the open so the teams could cheer. Bill was not in front of me, and I couldn't see him behind either. Where was he?
In any case, I kept running as hard as I could, and when I got to the finsih chute, my team was there waiting for me and we all ran together the finish. Turned out that we were the first 12point team in, BIll had made a huge mistake! We couldn't believe we had won! Then we realised that the other 2 teams that finished in front of us weren't really official as they didn't have a kid on their teams! So Sage won the event!!!
We were all very proud, that's for sure! It was a very nice surprise as we went in the relay never even thinking we had a chance to podium, let alone win the event!
I was very proud of my teammates, that's for sure!
After the event, everybody drove off with a huge smile on their faces and totally pooped from a very full weekend!!
I've heard a rumour that they may have that event again next year on Labour day weekend. Mark your calendars, you don't want to miss it.