Stacy Boone, Pagosa.com’s outdoor specialist, has posted a new series of her observations and information on The Adventure Guide. Check it now and read this article on last week’s Rogaine Orienteering Race.
With map and compass in hand our first bearing had been set. With the appropriate starting cue everyone scattered in differing directions, some walking, some running but each with a smile and the hint of confidence in a skill that makes it okay to go running into the woods away from trails.
Three strong, we were off with a jogging pace to the first control point of a six hour endurance competition that would test strategy and skill. Goal one would be control point numbered 24.
Eight minutes into the race and we found the first boxed flag with its special hole punch that would note our achievement of finding the circle with a dot in the center of a map with 26 like markers each with their own designated point value, degree of difficulty – ranging from distance, elevation and knee high gamble oak.
This was the first annual Rogaine Orienteering Race and was hosted by the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue. Rogaine stands for Rugged Outdoor Group Adventure Involving Navigation and Endurance. A big name that means run and laugh and have LOTS OF FUN! The sport is long distance cross country navigation and Pagosa’s offering was perfect for people of all ages and levels of fitness; from elite athletes to families with young children who want an opportunity to spend time outside.
As a team of three we had a spotter (Cynthia G) and two navigators (Brandy R and myself). Alternating between a fast walk and run we teetered over rocky plateaus, jostled between ponderosa pine, weaved through aspen groves, meandered through dry creek beds, darted on dirt roads and were humbled by actual trail tread. As the day grew longer, we got better. We aimed, followed our directional arrow and timed our passage.
At the end we had to give up the search for a five pointer and rushed as quick as our heavy, scratched, bruised and dirty legs would take us to the finish line where we were deducted one point for lateness. We laughed, we cursed, we sang, we stood out in our brightly colored shirts.
Next year, cameo shorts and a running tee … stealth like we will prevail.
Find more of Sacey’s articles here