Race Details

Categories and Courses

There are three types of course / category you can sign up for:

Male / Female age classes
Race against your age group peers on the assigned course over two days of competition.   
Open classes
Choose the course you want to run, no pressure, no competition.
Group classes
If you want to be out on course together with one or more friends or family members, this is for you.  

Note: If this might be your first big meet you may want to read this description of how it differs from a casual non-competitive event.  It will also give you greater detail about your class options.

Course / Class Table

Age classes are assigned to courses based on the following table. Note that if you wish, you may register in classes "above your age class" up to M21 or F21  are under 21 years old, and "below your age class", down to M21 or F21 if you are over 35 years old.  The 16-S, 20-S, and 21S classes allow people to participate in a technically challenging but shorter course than the competitive 16-, 20-, and 21 courses ("S" is for "short") .

Middle and Long
Course Male Classes Female Classes Open Classes Group Classes
1 M10- F10- Open 1 Group 1
2 M12- F12- Open 2 Group 2
3 M14-, M16-S F14-, F16-S Open 3 Group 3
4 M16- F16- Open 4 Group 4
5 M75+, M80+, M85+, M90+

F75+, F80+, F85+, F90+

Open 5 Group 5
6 M20-S, M65+ F18-, F20-S, F21S, F45+, F55+, F65+ Open 6 Group 6
7 M18-, M21S, M45+, M55+ F20-, F21, F35+    
8 M20-, M21, M35+      

 Course Descriptions

If you are planning on signing up for an open class or are considering competing in an older or younger age class the following table contains information about each course to help you decide what class to register in.


Middle Distance - Saturday, October 16


Technical Difficulty
(TD Level - description)

RWT* (min) Length (km) Climb (m) Number of Controls  Number of Controls
with Water 
Map Scale 
1 1 - Beginner 20-25  1.7  50  9   - 1:7,500
2 2 - Easy intermediate 20-25  2.0  70  11   - 1:7,500
3 3 - Hard intermediate 20-25  2.3  90  13   - 1:7,500
4 3- Hard Intermediate 25-30  2.8  115  14   -

1:10,000 for M16-, F16-

1:7,500 for all other classes

5 4 - Advanced, less physical 30-35  1.8  60  11   - 1:7,500
6 5 - Advanced 30-35  2.8  115  14  1

1:10,000 for F18-

1:7,500 for all other classes

7 5 - Advanced 30-35  3.6  155  16  1

1:10,000 for M18-, F20-, F21

1:7,500 for all other classes

8 5 - Advanced 30-35  4.9  225  20  1

1:10,000 for M20-, M21

1:7,500 for M35+

Long Distance - Sunday, October 17


Technical Difficulty
(TD Level - description)

Length (km) Climb (m) Number of Controls

Number of Controls
with Water 

Map Scale
1 1 - Beginner 30-35 2.8 50 12  - 1:7,500
2 2 - Easy Intermediate 30-35 3.1 75  12  - 1:7,500
3 3 - Hard Intermediate 30-35 3.3  90  9  - 1:7,500
4 3 - Hard Intermediate 50-55


175  12 1 1:10,000
5 4 - Advanced, less physical 45-50 2.7  65  9 1:7,500
6 5 - Advanced 50-55 4.9  185  13

1:7,500 for 45+, 55+ and 65+

1:10,000 for all other classes

7 5 - Advanced 60-70 6.8  275  19

1:7,500 for 45+ and 55+

1:10,000 for all other classes

8 5 - Advanced 80-90 9.9  395  25 4 1:10,000

 *RWT = Recommended Winning Times

Course assignment, technical difficulty and recommended winning times are as per Orienteering Canada's Course and Class Guidelines, February 2018.
Courses will be designed so that the fastest person on the course completes in roughly that amount of time. The approximate lengths shown above are what the resulting courses will likely be, based on how navigationally and physically challenging the terrain is.

Course Setter's Notes

O-Fest Middle Distance 2021

It is a fun task to set a middle distance course in the terrain that this area has to offer. The map is full of contour details and rock features. The woods are open. The course will be physically challenging due to the rocky terrain and mentally challenging due to the detailed map reading required.

There are lots of controls out there. Please check your codes.

There is a paved bike path that all courses will cross and run along many times. The cyclists sometimes go quickly. Proper etiquette is to run on the right side of the path and check both ways when you are crossing as if you were on a road. Please remind your children as the kid’s courses will travel on this bike path often.

Courses 7 & 8 cross the Gatineau Parkway which is open to vehicles after noon, but caution must be taken even without vehicle traffic as the cyclists go just as fast!

Courses 1 & 2 have a small section of trail that is marked with flagging tape as it weaves through some boulders and is hard to see.

On the advanced courses, there are many dangerous cliffs that will need to be avoided. These are mapped with either the standard cliff tags or as thick black lines.

Hopefully, the weather will be nice and it will be a beautiful day to be in Gatineau Park!

O-Fest Long Distance 2021

The Long Distance event will reward competitors who are able to read and interpret the excellent new map, make good route choices and navigate precisely, all while overcoming the physical challenges of a longer course in rugged terrain. While the woods are open and visibility is generally very good, running speed may be reduced in places by the broken rocky ground, the steep terrain or the deadfall, or possibly all three of these. You may spot a deer or two if you are lucky, as I have while course setting. The bears tend to hang out in more remote parts of the park and are rarely sighted in these woods. However, in the unlikely event that you do spot a bear; stop, back away slowly, take a different route and consider yourself fortunate!

The start for all courses is located roughly 1.3km north of the arena. The route to the start will be marked by ribbons every ~100m and will follow the paved bike path northward along the west side of rue Cité des Jeunes.

On a nice day you will encounter many walkers, runners and cyclists on the trails in this area. Please watch out for and respect these other park users. Those on courses 6-8 will cross the Gatineau Parkway (a paved road) twice. During October the road is shared by cars and cyclists and either can be travelling at high speed. So please look carefully in both directions before crossing the road to avoid being run over by a speeding cyclist or vehicle!

Competitors on courses 7 and 8 will encounter a set of “butterfly loops” in their course. Half the field will navigate the loops in one sequence (loop A first, then loop B), while the other half will navigate them in the opposite order (loop B first, then loop A). All competitors on courses 7 and 8 must visit the central control of the butterfly three times and must punch/dibble that control on each visit (3 times!).

Final course properties are given in the table below. There will be a large number of controls in the woods, so please be sure to check your control code before punching/dibbling to avoid a careless mis-punch. Safety bearing for all courses is east to rue Cité des Jeunes, then south to the arena at Relais Plein Air. Remember to check for ticks after your run. Please keep safe and have fun!

Start Lists

The start lists are now available in pdf form.