May/June 2013, Issue 3 - Masters

In This Issue

Controller's Notes

Some of you might have noticed that this newsletter is slightly later than anticipated. I blame orienteering! In Vancouver we are lucky to be able to orienteer all year round but that didn't stop spring from bringing me a huge onslaught of orienteering related tasks to do. I have been running a junior program, putting on events, coaching at training camps, participating at Barebones... It seems like the back of the car is always full of orienteering gear. 

This issue is about masters' orienteering. A huge proportion of our community participates in the M/W 35+ categories. These members do a huge amount of volunteering and organizing for the sport.

I have great admiration for master orienteers and I am looking forward to becoming one of them.
Louise Oram and I have a joke that once we make it to W80, my sprightly 80 years to her 81 will finally give me enough of an upper hand to beat her. I am glad to see that Orienteering Canada has introduced an 85+ category in case she is still too speedy at 81!

Next month, we will be looking at all the fantastic summer orienteering championships and events. Are you going to WOC, JWOC, WMOC or some other exciting event? Write in to  by July 22nd and tell us all about it.

Your Orienteering Canada Newsletter Editor, Meghan Rance (GVOC)

Update from the Orienteering Canada Board of Directors

85+ plus category at the Canadian Champs
The board has approved the addition of the 85+ age category at the Canadian Orienteering Championships starting in Hamilton this year. This category will be on the same course as the M/W 80-84 year old category.

Junior and World Orienteering Championships
The Junior World Orienteering Championships are being held in the Czech Republic June 30 – July 7 ( The Canadians competing at JWOC are Adam Woods, Alex Bergstrom, Jennifer MacKeigan, Kendra Murray, Pia Blake, Robbie Graham and Trevor Bray.

The World Orienteering Championships are in Finland July 6–14  ( Emily Kemp, Eric Kemp, Kerstin Burnett, Louise Oram, Robbie Anderson, Serghei Logvin, and Will Critchley will represent Canada.

Look for updates on the Team Canada blog at Molly Kemp was named to the JWOC team but withdrew because of injury. Jeff Teutsch and Damian Konotopetz were selected as alternates for the WOC team.

Trimtex clothing
 Orienteering Canada has a sponsorship agreement with Trimtex as the supplier of our national team uniforms. You’ll be seeing a brand new, very swanky uniform design this year.
We will also be selling a Trimtex technical t-shirt based on the uniform design to the general orienteering community. The proceeds from these shirts are a fundraiser for Orienteering Canada. Our partners at will be selling the shirt on our behalf in the near future.

Age categories at Canada Cup events
A committee at Orienteering Canada has been thinking about potential changes to the age categories at Canada Cup level and up events. We have one suggestion that we really want to get feedback on.

Traditionally the men's and women's 35-44 age category has been quite small and a number of athletes in that age category choose to run in the men's and women's 21-34 age category instead. Some have suggested that we change the age category to 21-39, then start the next age category at 40-49 and then in 10 year age categories up to age 80 when we start into 5 year age categories.

Please tell us what you think of the idea. We have created a short survey at and would like to hear from as many people as possible.

We also welcome your thoughts in general regarding the current age categories.

National Event Database
You can see the national event database in action at So far all the BC and Alberta clubs, Manitoba, Stars Orienteering in Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa are using the system to list their events. We would love to see all the other Canadian clubs using the system as well. Contact Thomas Nipen ( or Russell Porter ( for information about how to include your club’s events in the database.

Canadian Orienteering Championships
This year’s Canadian championships are in Hamilton, ON over the Thanksgiving long weekend (Oct 11 – 13). 

For environmental reasons there is a strict limit of 300 participants per race. We want to make sure that Canadian orienteers who want to compete at these Canadian Championships register early to ensure their spot. There are around 140 people registered to‎

Donations to the annual silent auction
At the Canadian Champs in Hamilton, we’ll be organizing the annual silent auction that raises funds for Orienteering Canada’s High Performance Program. The event brings in around $5000 each year, but that can’t happen without orienteers graciously donating items to be auctioned as well as participants at the Nationals bidding generously on the items. Do you have something that you can donate to the silent auction? Please bring it to the Canadian Champs or contact us at

Sass Peepre Training Camps
We are having 2 Sass Peepre training camps this summer. One at the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships ( in Manitoba (July 27 – Aug 5) and the other at the Eastern Canadian Orienteering Championships ( in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (Aug 17 – 25).

The Sass Peepre training camp is traditionally for juniors, but this year, on a one time basis, adults are welcome to attend the Sass Peepre camp in Manitoba.

New Not-For-Profit Corporations Act 
The Canadian government has created a new Not-For-Profit Corporations Act to replace the existing Canada Corporations Act. Every federally incorporated not-for-profit corporation (such as Orienteering Canada and all the other national sport organizations) is required to comply with the new act by Oct 2014. To comply with the new act, the Orienteering Canada Board of Directors will be proposing some bylaw changes at this year’s Annual general Meeting in Hamilton in October. More information about the new act is available at

We reached our goal of having over 5000 members in 2012. We were just under 6000. We want to continue working with clubs to increase the membership in 2013. Many clubs have changed their membership structure so that all participants at club events become members. Please contact us if you have questions about various membership structures and to discuss ideas to increase your club’s membership.

Best regards from the Orienteering Canada Board of Directors & Staff: Alex Kerr, Dave Graupner, Marion Owen, Ian Sidders, Jeff Teutsch, Bruce Rennie, Charlotte MacNaughton, James Richardson & Tracy Bradley

Ted de St Croix's Fail-Safe Race Plan

For every single leg, no matter how short or simple looking
  1. I will make a conscious route choice
  2. I will check my direction accurately with my compass.
  3. I will not run faster than I know where I am on the map 

Leigh Bailey's Dead Reckoning

Back in 1973, my wife Gillian and I tried a park style orienteering event with our kids and decided that we were ready for the real thing. 

Thinking I knew it all, I signed up for the Red course. My navigation technique was one I’d used flying and sailing – dead reckoning. This is where you know your approximate speed and you follow the appropriate bearing for the estimated time. â€œNo need to worry about tides or crosswinds so it should be a breeze”, I thought in my ignorance as I set off in the rain. Some hours later I finished, soaked to the skin, completely exhausted and totally hooked on the sport. 

My navigation techniques changed over the next few years but, almost 40 years later, I found myself once again relying on the old system. We were at the NAOC in Pennsylvania. It had been pouring rain the whole time I was out, I’d run into a tree and my map and glasses were covered in blood and rain. 

I couldn’t read the map but could just about set a bearing between circles. There I was, dead reckoning again (but at least pace counting this time). I finished in much the same state as 40 years previously (cold, late and knackered).

Community Sport Coaching Program

Lots of questions have come my way about the community sport program - what it is, who should take it, what training is involved. Hopefully this small update will help answer a few of these questions!

What is the NCCP Community Sport Program?

The NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) is Canada’s coaching education system.  Coaches can be trained at a variety of levels depending on the kind of athlete they are coaching.  In the old NCCP system (levels 1, 2 3 etc.), coaches needed to take the next coaching level up to gain more coaching knowledge even if they were coaching athletes at the community or intermediate level. 

The new NCCP structure allows coaches to continue gaining education at the level of the athletes they are coaching. They no longer need to “go up the chain” in order to gain more education.

It is a way of keeping coaches coaching at a level where they are comfortable and allowing them the opportunity to get better and learn more without a requirement to take workshops that are longer, more expensive and involve more time commitment.  The new NCCP allows coaches to become an expert at whatever level they are coaching.

Who is a Community Sport Coach?

Community Sport coaches are parents, teachers, cadet & scout leaders, O-club members, and students in sports education programs. In other words, a community coach is an experienced orienteer with a desire to contribute towards the development of athletes in our sport.

What Level of Athlete Would a Community Coach be Coaching?

The new athletes/orienteers targeted by the community coaching program are typically young (8-15) but we also have many adult beginners in orienteering.

How Long is a Community Coach Workshop?

The workshop is 9 hours long and will cover these topics:
  • Setting the scene
  • Ethical coaching
  • Equipment and rules
  • Participants and their sport needs
  • Practical coaching sessions

Why do we need NCCP trained coaches?

Every child deserves a trained coach and parents are becoming aware of training and  certification especially as children participate in other sports such as swimming and gymnastics.  Having trained or certified coaches in our clubs brings a lot of legitimacy to the programs we offer.  It is also a great marketing tool for clubs to use “our programs are coached by Trained NCCP coaches”

Tracy Bradley - Orienteering Canada Assistant Executive Director 
Contact Tracy at

Gord Hunter: Spreading Orienteering in Florida

“You don’t slow down because you get old. You get old because you slow down”

Longtime Canadian orienteer Gord Hunter of Ottawa is now retired from his teaching and political careers. He and wife Lise spend their winters in Florida soaking up the sun and playing a lot of golf. Somewhere along the line, orienteering also became a part of their Florida winters. Gord spent 2012-13 as the mapper, meet director and course setter for a series of orienteering events held along the gulf coast of Florida. 

It started innocently enough. Bob Putnam, Florida Orienteering’s Technical Director, knew my wife and I would be spending three winter months in the Sarasota/Bradenton area.
“Would you mind looking around for some possible areas for orienteering? We’ve had some requests to put on events in that area,” he asked by e-mail in the fall of 2011.
“No problem,” I replied.
I studied air photos of state and county parks in Florida’s Suncoast. I used county air photos, LiDAR contours where available and USGS topographic maps to create base maps.
During the winter of 2012, Lise and I played golf most mornings and in the afternoon I would head out to do some field work.
Southwest Florida terrain is certainly different from the Canadian Shield terrain around Ottawa. The changes in elevation are small but even a change of a few feet can completely change the amount and type of vegetation. Low areas are dominated by seasonal marshes, oaks and cypress trees. The higher areas have pine plantations, prairies, scrub growth and the famous palmettos. These palmettos can form a large impenetrable block or grow in smaller bunches creating challenging mazes for course setters and competitors.
As I worked on the maps, I thought about starting a series of events in the Suncoast area. Florida Orienteering was supportive of the idea and so were the park officials I approached.
I formed a group, the Suncoast Orienteering and Adventure Racers (SOAR), to host events at two state parks and Sarasota County’s Mabry Carlton Reserve. I was fortunate to find organizational help from several sources including local JROTC groups who took on the registration and timing for the events and a local newcomer to orienteering, James Nici, who agreed to do the map printing at cost on his business colour laser printer.
How hard could a three-race series be? Not too hard but even before the season started the series started to grow. In October, Charlotte High School JROTC put on a training event in Punta Gorda. No problem; a map was easy to produce. Lise and I had a timeshare week we could use so right after the NAOC we were rushing to Florida. Bill Anderson and I had made a map for FLO at Lake Louisa State Park near Orlando. I had the honour and responsibility of putting on the FLO Championships there in early December. To build interest and attract out of state visitors we put on the southern version of the Billygoat, known as the Bubbagoat, the next day on an expanded rogaine style map of the park. We attracted visitors from Brazil, Finland and several parts of the States but not enough to use up all the pre-ordered tee-shirts. The result: I decided to host a ‘Bubba re-run’ at the end of December. It was essentially a one-person relay with three passes through the start/finish area on the beautiful Lake Louisa beach. Thanks to the re-run the events at Lake Louisa were technical and financial successes for FLO.

One of the advantages of running a one-person show is that one can experiment with different competition ideas. Besides the goat and goat re-run I was able to put on a two-day event at Oscar Scherer State Park in Sarasota County. Saturday was a standard event while rogaines of 3, 2 and 1 hour were held on Sunday. I also dropped the white course in favour of an instructional map hike. Participants were given a map with a list of instructions to be followed at each control and sometimes en route. Not as many people as I would have liked tried the map hike but one couple that did were a pair of park campers from Ottawa.
I undertook two other initiatives, an adventure duathlon, consisting of a score-O on foot followed by a bike-orienteering portion and a team orienteering competition designed for the high school JROTC groups. In the team orienteering competition, groups of three first competed in team score orienteering – divide up and find all the controls in as little time as possible. After lunch, the same teams competed in a relay. Awards went to the top three combined times.
Thanks to the participation of the JROTC units I can say that the Suncoast orienteering series was a modest success. While I was not successful in drawing out many members of the general public, a few promising seeds were planted. I also learned some valuable lessons about marketing. It is not necessarily true that ‘if you map it they will come’. Marketing and a bit of rah-rah certainly help. I’m going to pay more attention to what Ottawa OC is doing to beat the bushes and bring out new orienteers.
In the meantime, I’m working on new maps and an expanded Suncoast series for next year.
Suncoast Orienteering by the numbers:
6 events held in 2012-13
4 new maps finished
7 school/park maps created
2 maps in progress at scout camps
1 municipal park map in progress
1 golf course orienteering map in
progress (with a view to holding night orienteering
2 new venues planned for 2013-14
150 miles between the most northerly and most southerly venue planned for 2013-14.
0 time available to slow down and get old
I started orienteering at age 70.

Before that, for 21 years, I was racing in triathlons. As the years went by, my age group became smaller (towards the end, the same three of us were racing against each other) and my finishing times longer. I was around 64 when my wife Ilona started orienteering and she was over the moon about it. She encouraged me to try it but I was wary of twisting my ankle running in the forest and not being able to compete in triathlons.

At age 70 I finished my last Iron Man in Hungary on a positive note by winning my age group (I was the only one in it; actually I was the oldest competitor in the whole field).

Two months later I relented and followed my wife through a regional race (with my own map and compass) as a non-registered participant. I was hooked. I was still worried about my ankle but after buying a pair of Jalas ankle-supporting orienteering boots I had no worries. Now Ilona and I train and race together and we are really lucky to live in the middle of orienteering country in Southern-Ontario where we have be-weekly races through fall , winter and spring. Here is a sport where regardless of my age I can get better with time as my navigation improves.

Peter Dobos (Waterloo Stars)

Seniors' Orienteering Group

I can’t use a compass
I’m afraid of bears
What if I get lost?
My friend wants to come too
No worries
If you are over 55 and live in Yukon

In 2004, the Elderactive Recreational Association hosted the Canadian nationwide 55+ Games in Whitehorse.
We thought that it would be great to introduce Orienteering into the mix of about 20 other sports and activities. ERA sponsored the YOA to develop an orienteering map of downtown Whitehorse.
At our AGM in early May, ERA always provides various activities such as bowling, curling, and yes even board and card games for the members, many of whom come from out of town. When orienteering was introduced a few years ago, using the ERA’s map, it was tried by several members.
Since then a core group of about 14 members meet every Thursday afternoon in May and June, to go “Orienteering”. A novice course is prepared on a different map every week and  members usually go out in pairs or groups. There is no timing and no punch or electronic device. We use one of YOA’s extensive library of maps . We originally started with just flagging, but the ERA bought proper controls last year.
The activity is run under the auspices of the ERA so they provide the insurance, photocoping of maps, and advertising. The cost is free for participants, only equipment needed is suitable shoes and a whistle.
The popularity of this activity is increasing every year. People really enjoy getting out into different areas around Whitehorse, using good maps (which they get to keep), and being active and social. As they improve and want to use a compass and go off trails, they encouraged to join the YOA and to attend the annual Learn to O .
You may ask, why only 2 months? Because the organiser and the participants like to travel and garden in the summertime

Nesta Leduc (YOA)

International Orienteering Vacations

For those of you who think Orienteering in Europe is only for the elites now is the time to start planning your European Orienteering vacation. Orienteering in Europe is a wonderful experience. Imagine an event with 200+ people in your age category. Imagine a long course through the Swiss Alps or in one of the historic forests of Germany. Imagine a sprint over the cobblestone streets of just about any town in Europe.
Bruce Rennie (GVOC) finishing the Sprint final at Goslar town  hall

Any one of these is a possibility for anyone of any age or ability. There are high quality events in just about every country – check out the World of O calendar for an incredible list of events in each month. 

You can try huge events, like the Swedish O’ringen in July, or lesser known events,such as the Portugal ‘O’ meeting in February. Start collecting countries and compare to see who has orienteered in the most places – we have a few BC people with impressive statistics.

While the World Orienteering Championships and the Junior World Championships are reserved for the fastest orienteers, the World Masters Championships is for anyone over the age of 35.
Ilona Dobos (Stars) checking her start time before heading to the start of the long final
There is no limit to the number of participants and no pre-races to see if you qualify. The age categories span 5 year intervals and, interestingly, the heavily attended categories tend to be the over 55 and up categories. The youngsters apparently aren’t ready to admit that they are Masters or are too busy raising families and paying off the mortgage. So for those of us who are nearing the empty nest stage of our lives the thrill of competing at the World level is there for the taking.

Still, some of the names competing are recognizable – former champions at the national or international level now running in their senior age categories. 
The 2012 World Masters were in Germany. There were 5 days of races with 2 rest days, over 4000 competitors and races in forests and villages – photos

This year, the World Masters will be in Torino, Italy â€“ in the Italian Alps

Then start planning for 2014 when the World Masters will be in Brazil â€“ the first time they will be held in South America.

So ignore the nasty weather outside and start planning a trip to some exotic location for an awesome orienteering experience – why should the elites have all the fun?  And remember to take a flag!

Robyn Rennie (GVOC)

World Masters Orienteering Championships 2013 Deadline

A quick reminder that June 30th is the deadline to register for the World Masters Orienteering Championships in Sestrière, Italy August 2 - 11 Eleven Canadians are registered so far.

Club Profile
 Edmonton Overlanders Orienteering Club (EOOC) 

Number of Members?  

When is your orienteering season and what type of events do you run?
The season runs from end of April to early September, and consists of a Wednesday night event every week, with a short, medium, and long course.

What are some advantages to orienteering in Edmonton?
A 48 km long river valley of almost continuous parkland. The vast majority of it is mapped. There is a lot of terrain to be discovered!

What are some disadvantages to orienteering in Edmonton?
Short Season due to snow, landowner issues

What is the best thing about EOOC?
Great organizers who do a lot of work to keep our club active and to bring in new people

What is one Edmonton map that everyone must try?
Terwillegar Park. Full of great features, lots of relief, a challenge to run, lots of fun

Notable Members?
Will Critchley

EOOC Events to look forward to?
Any event. The COC's and WCOC's are over, but the ongoing park and forest events are worth making part of a vacation

Orienteering in Edmonton

I’ll admit it. I complain a lot about Edmonton. We’re in the middle of nowhere, there are very few runners my age in the club, the green is full of thorns (this is Wild Rose Country, after all) and it seems to be winter about 8 months of the year, which, at least this year, has a certain grain of truth to it.

These complaints all take place while I enjoy what is the most expansive urban parkland in North America, and the source of the Edmonton Overlanders Orienteering Club’s successes over the past 34 years.

The Edmonton River Valley spans 7400 hectares of land, and also includes two major ravines that have creeks feeding into the river. Thanks to this huge amount of parkland, EOOC’s collection has, in effect, a single continuous map that spans from the southwest of the city to Hermitage Park in the northeast, which is a short 35 kilometers away. As the map snakes its way through the city, it encounters the vast open areas of Terwilligar and Laurier Parks, the steep and complex hill sides of Whitemud Ravine and Belgravia, the complex network of buildings and trails of the University of Alberta, Kinsmen Sports Centre, and Queen Elizabeth park, and the varied challenges of Mill Creek, Dawson Park, and the Goldbar ski trails. The central part of the city alone would span 4 continuous 1:10000 maps!

Thanks to such an extensive map system, EOOC has been able to consistently draw large crowds to its Wednesday night meets. The yearly Edmonton Corporate Challenge, a relay style event with around 300 competitors, attracts many adults and masters to our Wednesday night meets.  
The Wednesday night meets offer a short, medium, and long course. In the 22-week season, only one or two of our best parks are repeated.The Edmonton club members actively step up and take their turn organizing these events.
Although Edmonton is not frequently viewed as one of the centres for producing national team runners, quite a few elite runners have come through here. Most notably, 2012 long distance junior world champion Kirsi Nurmi, multi-time Junior Canadian team member Matt Hyrciuk, Norweigan Geir Moholdt who regularly slaughtered the competition throughout Western Canada, and the countless masters who have dominated in Canada throughout the years.

This year, our Wednesday night events have already started, despite the unusually long winter. Thanks to the junior running program, Kids Run Wild, the club is already seeing new faces coming out, and there are plans in the works for a larger scale adventure-running race in the fall that will see the huge size of the river valley used for a long racing experience.

In fact, you should come. It will be great.

Will Critchley (EOOC)

Masters Training For Orienteering

There are many ways to train for good performances in sport. Different methods may work for different people. Our approach has worked well for us, with Angela getting gold & silvers in North Americans & top-10 at World Masters, and Robert (in spite of - or because of? - new knees), getting silvers at North Americans.  For  those of you who like some structure in your training, or who need direction to improve, you may want to consider some of the features from our methods.
We can't cover a whole training program in a brief article, but below outlines the key principles we apply to planning our training.  Pick our brains for more, if you're interested, when you see us at an event.

Heart Rate Monitors

Heart rate monitors are essential for formal training for most aerobic sports.  They
  •  allow you to quantify your effort;
  •  ensure that you're training the correct energy systems;
  •  prevent overtraining/fatigue (most people train too much at too high a heart rate);
  • ensure that your hard training is hard enough (and your volume training is easy enough!)
A monitor with memory is almost essential. The Polar RS300x records 5 zones and provides good value for money.
The program is not initially user-friendly -- call us for help.
See our book recommendations below for help in determining heart rate zones.  Don't try following anything that uses "220 minus age" -- way too inaccurate to be useful.


Periodisation is simply your work-rest patterns. Gains in fitness only occur with sufficient rest. The key is where, when and how long to fit rests into your weekly, monthly, and yearly cycles.
Peaking is important -- i.e. carefully planned bigger rests to lead to "supercompensation".

Focus Your Efforts

Orienteering is almost exclusively an aerobic sport. Training for it requires plenty of volume -- more in winter, less in summer.
Orienteers should do some intensity training with a variety of intervals.  Our main intervals are threshold ones (increase lactate threshold, increase VO2 max).
Intensity should be increased during the competition season. For Masters athletes, Intervals are particularly important. It is very easy to lose the top end, and very difficult to get the top end back.

Train on Maps

'Specificity of training' is a key concept in many aspects of training.  An orienteer needs to run in the type of conditions he/she will compete in (i.e., through the forest). 
  • We work on reading while we run, including during intervals.
  • Angela's a big proponent of Line-Os for a good part of her running training. 
Knowing what you should do in an O event is one thing -- making those things part of what happens during an event takes practice.  Technique needs to be routine/second nature.  This happens way faster if you can orienteer more than once/week and a few weekends each year.o  

Line-Os force you to use the basic skills over and over again:
  • thumbing
  • orienting
  • reading / planning ahead.
Modified Line-Os can be used for interval training.  These line-Os use simpler lines, but still require reading while running really hard.

You don't need a 'great' map for line-Os, for them to be challenging. 

City park or even street sprint training is an additional useful tool -- it can still be challenging when running all-out.
We usually run with a map, even if when we're not 'on' a map.

Off-Season Training

X-C skiing, cycling, skating.

We keep some intensity over the winter (e.g., once-twice/week threshold intervals).  Once/week is probably lots for most people, following recovery from the O season.

We keep up some running throughout the winter to reduce re-adaptation in the spring.

Weight training and plyometrics will benefit some people.  May help a lot with running economy.  May help with injury-prevention.

Transition carefully into more and harder running as O season approaches -- running is harder on the body than most other activities.
  • Build up distance very gradually
  • Build up intensity cautiously -- don't run when sore; warm up well
  • In general, don't increase volume and intensity at the same time

 In-Season Training

More high intensity, but still quite a bit of aerobic volume (cut back slightly).
When not racing or doing intervals, keep heart rates low.
Consider using some cross-training (e.g., cycling) for injury-prevention.

Most training with/on a map:
  • Events
  • Weekend training sessions
  • City park / street / simple schoolyard map sprint training (Peter MacKenzie introduced us to this)
  •  Line-Os.

Books to Guide You

Chris Carmichael's books -- probably the Time-Crunched Triathlete (which has tests, and heart rate range calculations for runners).  Also lots of advice in his books on peaking.

Off-Road Running series from the UK:  e.g., Terrain Running for Off-Road Runners (Stuart Ferguson); Uphill Techniques for Off-Road Runners (Keven Shevels).  There's also one for Downhill Running.

Technique -- really good value for money is Orienteering Techniques (from the Scottish Orienteering Association), by Gareth Bryan-Jones.

Angela Pearson and Robert Gilchrist (EOOC)

From the Archives

Orienteering Canada June 1985

Orienteering Canada has recently posted PDFs of all its old newsletters dating back all the way to the 1960s. Check them out to see young faces, vintage orienteering ads, and much more!

Here is the map for the first Canadian Orienteering Championships in 1968!

Quiz Time

Match the map sample to the correct picture.
HINT-The black arrow indicates the direction that the photograph is looking.

The answers are at the bottom of the newsletter

Orienteering and the Aging Eye

Orienteering is a sport that requires better near vision than most. 

Our ability to focus on near objects slowly decreases over our lifetime, with most people becoming symptomatic between 40-45 years of age. 

In orienteering, the challenge strikes when our ability to focus becomes worse than the distance that we hold the map away from us. Longer armed individuals usually have a couple more problem free years than those who hold the map closer.

The most common solution to this dilemma is reading glasses or bifocals.  These work great and are often already on hand but they do have some disadvantages.  Glasses do not fare well on rainy days and when you look through the part of your lens dedicated to near work, you can no longer see the ground clearly causing a blur in detail for the roots and rocks you are running over.

Monovision is another option for addressing an orienteerer's decreased focusing ability.  It is the approach that my sister, Pam James who is now over the 45 year mark, is experimenting with.  

Monovision is when one eye is corrected to see at distance and the other eye is corrected to see at near. Since Pam wears contact lenses, this set up is easy to achieve.  We have set her dominant eye to see distance and her non-dominant eye to read the map.

As Pam is just starting to have trouble with focusing on her map, we only need to help her ‘near’ eye a small amount.  As she gets older we will have to increase the strength of magnification for her ‘near’ eye.  It is easier to adjust to monovision when the difference between the near and distance eyes is at a minimum.

The disadvantage of monovision is that by having the eyes focus at different distances we may lose a little bit of depth perception, however most people adjust to monovision over time.

For those of you who do not wear glasses or contacts it is possible to get wear one contact lens set for near vision.  It is best to get the weakest strength that works and then gradually increase the strength of the near contact lens as you age and your focusing ability decreases further.

For more information or if you have questions relating to your particular prescription please contact

Edward James OC(C), Orthoptist

Short Arms, Fuzzy Maps

Are your arms getting too short to read the o-map? Do you have trouble distinguishing a boulder from a cliff?  Do fences look like trails?  Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to admit you need some assistance reading the map?

Two great options that we can offer you are bifocal orienteering safety glasses and a nifty magnifying glass for your thumb compass.   Either will make the map an easier beast to conquer!

The magnifying glass sits on your thumb Moscompass, raised by about 3 cm, and swivels to be over the compass or over the map, as you wish.  It’s great for reading fine details on the map that just doesn’t jump out at you any more.
The bifocal glasses not only offer improved eyesight but they protect your eyes from those nasty twigs that try to attack as you whiz by.  The magnifying portion is centred quite low so that when you look forward you don’t see fuzzy ground, but when you look down at your map, you DO see un-fuzzy map features!  The strength of the glasses ranges from 1.0 to 3.0 diopters in 0.5 diopter increments.  Experience tells me it helps to have a slightly stronger lens than what you use for regular reading glasses at home.

My take on the bifocal glasses versus the magnifying lens is that if you are just starting to notice that you can’t make out some of the detail on the map, the magnifying glass is ideal.  When you find the entire map is out of focus, it’s time to progress to the glasses.  That was my experience, but it really is about personal choice.  Drop by when you see our tent set up at a race and try out both options.  If you’re like me it will make a world of difference to your orienteering!

Around the Refreshment Table

William Mattias Green Lane was born at home in Vernon, BC on April 19, 2013 at 12:45pm. 7 lbs 1 oz, 52 cms.

Older sister Emily and parents Alex Lane and Marta Green (Sage Orienteering) were very excited to meet him! Everyone is healthy and happy. 

Matti has already tried on his Sovereign Lake Nordic Club racing suit and is training for the 2038 Olympics with his kicks and punches at diaper change time.
Little Aven Sheepway arrived on April 29,2013.
Mom, former Canadian JWOC team member Katherine Sheepway nee Scheck , and baby are doing well.

A one month old Aven, her six month old cousin Emmie Scheck and their moms, took part in their first orienteering meet on May 29. It was an inauspicious start to their careers - but it can only get better- as they DNF on the novice course. The junior fundraising BBQ was much enjoyed by all after Emmie's dad Adam and Grandmother Barbara finished their runs.
Margo Mactaggart and Chris Oram (GVOC), parents of Canadian team member Louise Oram, are off on another of their many cycling adventures.
In 2009, Margo and Chris cycled 17,000 km from Bangkok to Paris. 

Their next trip is a 5 to 6 month ride of 8-10,000 km, through northern Europe with a stop at the 2013 World Orienteering Championships (WOC) in Vuokatti, Finland to cheer on Louise and participate in the spectator races.

The trip plan :
- Fly to Hamburg,  cycle northeast to Lübeck , then east along Baltic Coast to Gdansk and   Malbork in Poland.
- Meet friends in Pisz, in Poland’s “Lake District.”
- Pisz to Tallinn with friends (1050 km, 3 weeks)
- Tallinn  to Vuokatti (950 km, 3 weeks)
- 1 week at WOC: 6-15 July
- Vuokatti to Nord Kapp to see the midnight sun (1050 km, 3 weeks)
- Nord Kapp to Hamburg partly cycling, partly by boat, partly by train  (3800km, 7 weeks)
- Hamburg  to Paris by some variation of Holland, Belgium and Rhine Valley.

Follow their progress on their excellent blog
Jim and Sue Waddington’s book about their search for the sites that inspired the Group of Seven Painters will be “on the shelves” in October. Many of the 300 painting sites that they have found will be illustrated alongside the corresponding artwork. They think of it as Painting-O. Take a painting and try to find where it was done.

The publisher, Goose Lane Editions, has posted a description of the book at

The Waddingtons have also begun to describe their search for these special places on a Facebook page. You might “like’ it at

and they are on Twitter @FootstepsGroup7 .

Proceeds from the book sales will be donated to the fund for the new Franklin Carmichael Art Gallery in Sudbury.
Correction -
Last month we posted some incorrect information about the Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League. Thank you to Eileen Bresman for the original article and Harvey Friedman for the correction.

"Active orienteer Dan Waugh was a tenured professor of history at Uni Wash when he started WIOL in the 1982-1983 season with about 30 kids from about 6 schools.  Initially, boys and girls ran the same course.

He was able to convince several influential track/cross-country coaches (Roosevelt, Blanchet, Hale) that O' was a good way for the coaches to keep their kids out running
during the off-season.  Since for the first few years, the state x-country champ did O', it was the goal of other kids to beat him at O'.  Some did!"
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