Top Orienteers pursue Canadian championship in weekend finale


Thanksgiving is looking to be an exciting weekend for the Canadian orienteering community, as Golden Horseshoe Orienteering hosts over 300 orienteers from North America and overseas from Oct. 11-13 for the 2013 Canadian Orienteering Championships. This weekend also includes the final three races in the 2013 Canada Cup Elite Series, the Orienteering Canada Expo, and the Orienteering Canada AGM.

This year marks the fifth time in the past 40 years that GHO has been host for the Canadian Orienteering Championships, and the second time they’ve hosted the races in Hamilton. The championships will consist of three races, which are titled by distance, and governed by estimated winning times for the elite classes: the sprint (12-15 minutes), the middle distance (30-35 minutes), and the long distance (75-80 minutes).

The short and fast sprint will be held at McMaster University campus on Friday evening. Saturday is the technical middle distance race at Dundas Valley. On Saturday afternoon, participants can attend the Orienteering Canada Expo and Adventure Running Kids® Fun-Zone. The Expo will include workshops, presentations, and a silent auction fundraiser for the National Team. The weekend wraps up with a test of physical, mental, and technical endurance – the long distance race. Once again, participants will get to race in the Dundas Valley.

The sprint, middle, and long events are also the final three races in the 2013 Canada Cup Elite Series. After 11 races across Canada this season, the title is wide open for both the men and women. On the line is not only the honour and glory of being crowned Canada’s Elite Series Champion, but a cash prize of $300 for first place, $150 for second, and $50 for third.

Damian Konotopetz and Louise Oram, the athletes who currently lead the standings, will both have their work cut out for them in a competitive field.

“The mix of gothic architecture and modern buildings on the McMaster University campus will create a picturesque navigational sprint challenge”, said event course planner, Mike Waddington. “The forest races include both a challenging physical and technical mix that will leave participants understanding why Hamiltonians affectionately refer to the Niagara Escarpment as ‘The Mountain’.”

“The Canadian Championships are an opportunity for orienteers from all across Canada to come together to celebrate and enjoy orienteering”, said Charlotte McNaughton, executive director of Orienteering Canada. “With the great races, the Orienteering Canada Expo, the AGM, and Canada Cup Elite Series final races it’s going to be a packed, but incredibly fun, weekend.”

You can follow the results on the Orienteering Canada Facebook page or on Twitter @OrienteeringCAN.