April 2021 Newsletter 

Orienteering Ottawa is starting an email newsletter to remind you of upcoming events, let you know what is going on in the club, and hopefully provide some entertaining stories.  

A Message From Our President

Hello Orienteers,

I hope receiving this newsletter puts a smile on your face, as it did for me when the idea and draft were shared. It's been a long time since we've been able to catch up at the local meet site, so here's another chance to stay involved with our orienteering community.

"Club culture" is becoming a more familiar term, especially over the last couple years through our strategic plan development and at committee and board meetings. The last year has proven in many ways that our club culture is as strong as ever. Even without the chance to meet up every week, compete against one another, compare routes (and mistakes!), the sense of community is strong. I'd like to thank each of you who has contributed to the success of our self-directed events, online activities, programming, modified fall season, and Wednesday night running sessions. To all those who keep us moving forward even when the route isn't clear - thank you! ... And your suggestions for better metaphors may be submitted to me directly. ;)

While we wait for events and activities to resume, I encourage you to keep connected to the club. More online activities and self-directed courses are in the works.

I'll also take the chance here to introduce you to our 2021 Team Canada athletes. You've likely cheered for them as they sprinted up the finish chute in seasons past, but if you don't know them yet, have a read through their bios on this Orienteering Canada page.

Congratulations to each of our Ottawa Team Canada members! We look forward to following your achievements this year through your training, and certainly into race season which we hope can start up again as soon as it's safe to do so.
Senior National Team members: Robert Graham, Philipe Turcanu
Junior Development Team members: Evan Raz, Lukas Raz
Junior National Team members: Alec LeHelloco

Lastly, a special shout out to our club-mate Bert Waslander. Bert was the editor of our past Capital-O newsletter. Now, has anyone crossed paths recently with our old pal Bucky Beaver?

See ya' in the (virtual) woods,

Jennie Anderson
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What's on This Spring

Orienteering Ottawa will not be having any meets until such time as regulations and recommendations change, and it is both permitted and safe to run them.  We hope that there might be a partial season of spring orienteering in May or June.

The following programs will not be running this spring:

  • Youth programs: FUNdamentals, Learn to Train, and Adventure Program
  • Basics & Beyond
  • Thursday Orienteering Practices

In place of these programs we are working towards providing instructional information and activities that you can do on your own, via social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram) and our email list. 

Getting Out on Your Own

Clayton DIY Ski-O

For those who wish to get into the woods on their own, we have two options for you:


For those not familiar with MapRun, it is a series of GPS courses in various areas around the city with a twist – no flags, just a paper map and your smart phone to let you know when you have "virtually" punched the control.

Map Walk

We have a permanent course set in the woods in Kanata.  You can print the map and instructions for walking the course.  As well as giving you a walk in some very nice woods, this will give you a chance to experience an orienteering course with a virtual instructor at your side.

For more information see On Your Own.

📸 Send a photo of your DIY April orienteering activity to be included in next month's newsletter by April 29th to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Membership Reminder

Due to COVID-19, all events this year will be limited to members only and will require advance, on-line registration. All members will have to sign the waiver for the 2021 year. 

Renew your membership now and sign the waiver for the 2021 membership year. If you participated in the 2020 Fall Youth Program, or purchased a membership for the first time in the fall of 2020, your membership is valid until March 2022 and you don’t need to renew, but you will still need to sign the waiver. For all other members, your membership expired at the end of March.

Meet the Board

Thank-you to our Ottawa Orienteering Board of Directors.  No easy job in a pandemic.  To see board member photos and bios, scroll down to the bottom of the Contact Us page. 

Jennifer Anderson    President  
Karen Tippett Treasurer  
Jennifer Daubney Secretary   * new for 2021
Anne Teutsch Board member  
Stefan Bergström Board member  
Michael Raz Board member  
Oliver Tabay Board member * new for 2021
Rebecca Scott Board member * new for 2021

Outreach Program Seeking Volunteers

The school Outreach program has been very busy this year providing a safe outdoor activity for many students in the Ottawa area when most extra-curricular activities are on hold due to COVID.

The Outreach program is looking for additional volunteers. Instructors do not need to be experienced orienteers. They do need to be able to organize and set up the course (or help with this), deliver the brief training in a manner to capture and keep the attention of students, and engage the students for the challenge.

For more information, see Outreach Program on the website and this Outreach Coaching Document.

If you have daytime availability during the week and this is of interest to you, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

March Highlands Winter Score-O…a Battle of the Titans

Written by Randy Kemp

MTBO Legend We had exceptional snow conditions this winter and it was the perfect opportunity to try a Fatbike & Foot Score-O at March Highlands. First it was necessary to convert the existing orienteering map into a MTBO map which mostly involves eliminating rock and vegetation symbols and swapping the foot-O trail symbols for MTBO trail symbols. There are four types of trail symbols: Fast, Medium, Slow and Difficult. There are also two categories: Tracks (> 1.5m wide) and Paths (<1.5m wide). MTBO is all about riding as fast as possible between CP’s and quite often a longer route choice on faster trails is a better option.

Fatbiking and mountain biking are not the same riding experience. The MTBO map below only applies to winter riding. All the rocks and roots that create a bone-rattling experience in the summertime are covered with snow in the winter creating riding conditions that are mostly smooth. Fatbikes, with their 5” tires, cruise along as if riding on carpet. Quite heavenly really!

For Fatbike-O 2021 we used the MapRun app which allows participants to start at any time and virtually punch the CP’s with a phone or GPS watch (Special thanks to Mike Raz for setting up the MapRun!). Runners were also invited to give the Score-O a whirl and were permitted to take shortcuts through the forest or across frozen ponds. Riders are not allowed off-trail at any time and must always be with their bike. 


We had six riders and one runner on the first day of the March Highlands Fatbike & Foot Score-O and the lone runner dominated the results with Molly Kemp clearing the course with 450 points in 1:22:25 well within the two hour limit. In second place was fatbiker Luc Frechette who also got maximum points in 1:34:05 and I finished in third place, although with a fast time of 1:15:19 but fewer points because I skipped a control…I blame the devious course setter for my mistake!


Unwilling to accept defeat, two weeks later I gave it a second try to beat Molly’s first place time but for this attempt I ensured that the race conditions were ideal:
• The snow on the trails was smooth and fast: Check.
• March Highlands is really popular during the day with walkers and other riders which creates congestion on the trail network. I decided that it was best to ride at night hence my start time was close to 8 PM. I had the entire woods to myself: Check.
• I tuned-up my fatbike so that it was in perfect running condition; carefully inflating the 5” tires to 8 PSI in the rear for acceleration and speed, and 5 PSI in the front for better grip on corners at high velocity: Check.
• I did a 20 minute meditation before my start time to improve my mental focus (full disclosure – it ended up being a one hour snooze on the couch): Check.


I gave the ride my best effort and the proof is in the stats: average speed almost 12 km/h (about 15% faster than normal), average heart rate 150 bpm (10% higher than normal) and 155+ bpm in the final 1.5km as I “emptied the tank” into the finish. My total race time on my second attempt was 1:22:44 just 19 seconds behind Molly.

Molly retains the title of fastest person on the March Highlands Winter Score-O. Congrats Molly!!! 😅

Battle of the Titans: Molly on Foot (1:22:25 - 10.7 km) versus Randy on bike (1:22:44 - 15.3 km)


Do you remember the printed Capital-O newsletters written by Bert Waslander?  Here is the cover of the last issue!