This week Little Runner and I tried orienteering for the very first time. It was freezing and snowing and blowing outside, but we’re experienced Calgarian cross-country runners – a little weather didn’t stop us. Sure, it’s late April; sure, it was nasty weather. Have fun anyway.
Once I signed our waiver, LR was given a timing chip which we fastened to her mittened thumb with a loop of elastic. A volunteer at the starting point helped LR orient her map, gave us some basic instructions, and off we went.
We didn’t have a compass, but this simple course didn’t need one. The trampled down paths in the snow comforted us that the next control (that’s what they call the flag) would be just up ahead.
LR had a great time checking her map, keeping it oriented with the river (to the north) and the railroad (to the south). She especially enjoyed checking the control’s i.d. with the map and then “punching” her timing chip into the mechanism to make it beep. We were chilly for the first few controls, but warmed up as we hiked along. We ran a bit between the last three, as she got more and more excited.
Of course, when she realized we only had one left (#13), she ran all the way to it. We are runners. We RUN to finish lines, eh? Volunteers cheered and then welcomed us into the shelter to warm up with cookies by the wood fire.
A few more photos are in my flickr photostream.