Orienteering Ottawa World Orienteering Day May 24 2017 Summary

 I think it’s an understatement to say that this year’s event was a success. At the time I write this the registered participation for the event is greater than 160 000 at over 2100 sites world-wide for the day. While the Canadian Contribution is small the Ottawa contribution was definitely significant: 157 of the 402 Canadian participants came from the 3 sites of the Orienteering Ottawa program.  We even had a visitor from Montreal come out just for the event...Tremendous! Although the final tally is not in it's safe to say another great day for orienteering again this year.

A big thank you to everyone who came out and followed a course throughout the day...

An event like this can only be undertaken by a strong support team of volunteers and sponsors. I’d like to start by thanking the following who were at the core of Ottawa’s success. Jennie Anderson,  Stefan Bergstrom, Anita Brattand, Lorna Guttormson, Rob Haddow, Rorry Harding, Michael Raz, Eric and Jeff Teutsch  and the Orienteering Ottawa Board were the steering team from the club that under took and approved a budget for the project. From the school board Tegan Bradshaw, Bob Rae (Woodroffe HS) and Eva Moons (Nepean HS) were instrumental having over 65 students (mostly young women) join the effort.  Without the community support of the businesses on Woodward Ave ...primarily the Ottawa Real Estate Board (Lisa ), Astro Design Centre (Jimmy), Boone Plumbing (Sebastian), District Realty (Carol) and Black Law on Courtwood (Marty) we would not have had adequate parking to have a start location for the evening program. Thank you all very much.

The program started out with a SI sprint session at Woodroffe HS. A short 800 m, 7 control course was contested by 44 students, 2 teachers and myself. Students ran in groups or individually some even wanted to contest the course twice to get a better time. Times ranged from 5 min to 17 min on the course. The best individually recorded time by a student was 6 min while a group managed to navigate the course in 5:14. ...not bad since it took me 5 minutes to go over the course...and I set it up!

The program continued with Nepean High School at Carlington Park on a 12 control 2.3 km course (with SI timing) over some pretty challenging climb. The emphasis of this program was instruction and experimentation. Students received an Intro to Orienteering lesson and were then shadowed on the course. Unfortunately most were not able to finish the course due to time constraints but one group did get 11 controls. Pretty awesome! Thanks to Eva Moons for bringing the group out and to our core instructors (Stefan Bergstrom,  Rorry Harding and  Michael Raz) for making the time to help out.

The apex of the day’s event was the evening program at Carlington Woods. Thanks to Elisabeth Fink for control and site set up, Colleen Bruski and Lorna Guttormson for  administering everything (and I do mean everything!) related to the Intro to Orineteering Clinic, general registration, SI dibbler distribution and printing), the evening instructors (Anita Brattand, Michael Raz and a co-opted-on-the-spot  Lynda Scrivens), the string-o crew (Jennie Anderson, Tomas Graham, Evan and Lukas Raz, Errol Thomson) and our roving instagram-er Robbie Graham for live publicity of the event.

As for the evening event itself, what a diversity of orienteering...a great display of our sport.  The 350 m, 9 control SI string-o course (over semi-open land and run-able woods in between the bike path and Trinity United Church) was contested by 32 participants of all ages. Special thanks to Natasha Kawam for illustrating the special colourable string-o map. The classic novice-intermediate,  12 control - 2.8 km course was contested by 55 participants, 20 of which were registered for the Intro to Orienteering Clinic. Finally 24 participants contested the challenging 3.6 km line-o...one of the biggest challenges being spotting the controls in the terrain along the course to take the complete set along the line...(I apologize for the visibility of these along the direction of the line...my error).  A total of 24 participants contested this event. It's hard say who really came out on top here but to give you some perspective Eric Kemp traversed the course in just over 17 minutes but he didn’t punch any controls, Alex Bergstrom raced over the course in just over 19 minutes punching controls getting most but not the “ideal” complete set, while Stefan Bergstrom covered the course in about 30 minutes. The running of the line-o also served as a testing ground for the annual spring time trial of the training group. (still a few kinks to work out)

In total there were 89 participants in the evening session. About a third pre-registered and we had some walk-ins from the neighbouring communities. Several people passed by and took down information about the club since they were not able to attend the event. With people doing multiple courses we had at least 110 starts.

No orienteering event is complete without an army of people helping with the take down.  Thanks to Cathy Bakker, Anita Brattland, Andrew Cornet, Mark Gibbard and Eric Kemp for control take down, Jennie Anderson,  Colleen Bruski, Lorna Guttormson, Richard Guttormson (especially for doing car checks) Evan Raz, Lukas Raz, Michael Raz and Anton for site take down....

As I said it takes many hands to run an orienteering event and I hope I haven’t missed any....please let me know if I have and I’ll rectify the situation.

Thanks for being such a great group to work with...see you in the woods.


Francis Kawam