O Canada August 2016, Issue 15
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The newsletter of Orienteering Canada
August 2016, Issue 15

I N   T H I S   I S S U E

Controller's Notes
Update from Orienteering Canada
Emily Kemp makes WOC History
WOC Recap
World University Orienteering Championships Recap
WMOC Recap
Icefields Parkway Orienteering Festival Recap
Upcoming Events 
In Memoriam: Brian Graham
From the Archives

Controller's Notes


We are sending this August issue a couple days into Sept as we wrapped up all our August excitement. Thanks to all who submitted content for this newsletter. Send your articles, pictures and ideas to Katie at by the submission deadlines listed below. The newsletter will be published within a few weeks after these dates. Submission deadlines: September 10, October 15

Update from Orienteering Canada


Committee Membership
A number of committees are looking for new members. And Orienteering Canada is always interested in hearing from anyone interested in getting involved on a committee or in other ways. PLEASE contact us if you might be interested in getting involved - it's a great way to get to know more people, to learn about our sport from a different angle, to bring some new knowledge back to your own orienteering or to your club. Contact Anne Teutsch at or Tracy Bradley at to have your arm twisted!

In particular, the Technical Committee and the Officials Committee are currently in need of new members.

1967-2017 Orienteering Canada turns 50
Orienteering Canada celebrates being 50 years old in 2017! We had a great idea generating discussion in Canmore about remembering, honouring, and learning about our history. Some ideas from that session to stimulate your thinking - a history of O-maps and the evolution of the Canadian Championships maps; lifetime honorary memberships; scholarships or bursaries to honour people from our history; Orienteering Canada Hall of Fame.  Other ideas? - please share them with us by sending an e-mail to

Keep your eye out for competitions, flash backs to 1967, and a special re-run of the very first COC championship courses from 1968 - on the original map, no less - in Ottawa at next year's COCs.  Help us make it a special year!

2016 North American Orienteering Championships
Are you planning to attend the 2016 NAOCs in Hanover, New Hampshire Sep 23-25? Enter by Friday, September 2 to avoid late fees. We hope to see lots of Canadians there!

Thankyou Icefields Parkway Orienteering Festival organizers
An enormous thank you to the organizers of the 2016 Icefields Parkway Orienteering Festival. The organizers of the Canadian Orienteering Champs handled big problems (relocating 3 events on short notice because of unusual bear activity) with professionalism and pulled off excellent events.

Emily Kemp Makes Canadian WOC History

North American WOC Record Broken

Emily Kemp made Canada, and in fact all of North America proud this week when she was the first ever North American to place 4th in the middle distance race at the World Orienteering Championships. We couldn't be more proud to have such an amazing ambassador for Canada.

Check out Emily's post race interview here, and see a GPS track of her race here!

Emily Kemp finish

"I'm so happy about my performance and the result. It feels incredible to have been able to perform on the day that it really mattered. It's been an amazing journey into the top 6 and this really just feels like the beginning."  -Emily Kemp

WOC 2016 Recap


The following athletes represented Canada at the 2016 World Orienteering Championships in Strömstad, Sweden:

Middle – Louise Oram, Emily Kemp
Long – Louise Oram, Emily Kemp
Relay – Louise Oram, Emma Waddington, Emily Kemp
Sprint – Emma Waddington

Middle – Eric Kemp
Long – Damian Konotopetz
Relay – Brent Godman, Eric Kemp, Damian Konotopetz
Sprint - Damian Konotopetz, Will Critchley, Robbie Anderson

Sprint Relay – Will Critchley, Damian Konotopetz, Emma Waddington, Emily Kemp

Team Coach: Raphael Ferrand
Team Manager: Meghan Rance

Back row, left to right: Damian Konotopetz, Emily Kemp, Robbie Anderson, Eric Kemp, Louise Oram
Front row: Brent Godman, Emma Waddington, Will Critchley


Emily Kemp earned her historic 4th place in the Middle distance. Louise Oram had a strong run, finishing 34th overall. Eric Kemp came in 61st for the men.

Emily Kemp came top 10 with her 8th place finish. This is the new best result for a North American in a WOC long distance! Louise Oram was 34th, which is very close to her personal best placing of 33rd in a long distance. Damian Konotopetz steadily picked up places throughout his race to come in 57th.


Louise Oram

Damian Konotopetz

Emily Kemp, Damian Konotopetz, Will Critchley, and Emma Waddington had Canada's best ever Sprint relay finish at WOC with a 19th place finish. Go Canada!

Damian Konotopetz, Will Critchley, Emily Kemp, Emma Waddington

Critchely finished was in a fast heat and finished 21st. Robbie Anderson was 26th and Damian Konotopetz was tied for 16th in his heat, just 5 seconds out of qualifying for the final. Emma Waddington finished her heat in 22nd. The top 15 from each heat go into the sprint final so no Canadians in the sprint final this year.

WOC 2016 wrapped up with the traditional forest relays. The men's relay (Brent Godman, Eric Kemp, and Damian Konotopetz) came in 25th, an improvement over last year's 30th placing. The women (Louise Oram, Emma Waddington, and Emily Kemp) came in 20th. This was Emma's first forest WOC race and Brent's first WOC race.

Brent Godman

Emma Waddington
Photos courtesy of Team Canada, Ken Walker Jr and

World University Orienteering Championships

Miskolc, Hungary, July 30-August 4.

WUOC has come to an end, and our Canadian runners did a great job in Miskolc, Hungary.

Pia came 61st and Emma in 67th. For the men, Adam came 68th, just behind Robbie A who placed 67th and trailed closely behind Damian who finished in 65th

In the middle, Damian finished in 30th place despite challenging conditions. 91st place went to Robbie A, while 92nd went to Robbie G.Sadly, Eric was disqualified for a mis-punch. For the girls, Pia placed 64th, and Emma 82nd.

For the long, Pia placed 64th while Emma placed 69th. Damian placed 60th, Robbie A 67th, Eric 69th, and Adam finished in 85th.

In the Relay, as Canada's only official relay team, Damian, Eric and Robbie A came in 22nd. Adam and Robbie G ran on a mixed team with an athlete from Moldova, while Pia and Emma W ran on a mixed team with US athlete Evalin Brautigam.

Read more about it on the Team Canada Blog! 

You can find the full WUOC results here!

Icefields Parkway Orienteering Festival Recap

2016 COCs and WCOCs

10 days in Alberta - 7 races, 3 days of Sass Peepre Camp, a coaching workshop, a Pecha Kucha Session, something like 350 orienteers, an amazing number of volunteers, some very last minute - and very successful - shuffling of events.  What a fantastic event Edmonton Overlanders and Foothills Wanderers put on for us.  Thank you!

A very special acknowledgement also goes out to the efforts of so many people when it was announced on Thursday that the trails and forests at Canmore Nordic Centre were closed due to excessive bear activity resulting from a crazy big crop of their favourite Buffalo berries in the immediate area.  For both the Long and the Sprint/Sprint Relay events, new permissions were obtained, maps were updated, new arenas were created, new courses were set, new maps were printed all in a mere 3 days, even as Registration Day and the Middle Event were in full swing.  Congratulations to an amazing team for overcoming such a challenge!

At the banquet, $5700 was raised for Orienteering Canada's High Performance Program. This money helps to develop Canada's elite orienteering. Thanks to all who donated items!

Check out the article posted by the Crag and Canyon Newspaper about the COCs. Also check out this article published by the International Orienteering Federation about the bear situation.

Check out the race results at

Mark July 29 to August 7, 2017 on your calendar for next year's COCs and accompanying O-Fest, hosted by Orienteering Ottawa in partnership with Montreal Ramblers.

Participant Survey from 2016 National Champs in Canmore

By Adrian Zissos
This article highlights a few of the most interesting responses to questions from the 2016 COC participant survey. All participants were invited to answer a short online survey about the races, banquets, venues, social activities, and so on. Fifty-two people responded. Keep in mind that some of them didn’t take part in all the events.



Common themes from the race feedback were:
  • nice terrain for long / middle
  • good course planning and controlling
  • some logistical mistakes due mainly to last minute changes of venue for Long & Sprint & Sprint Relay
  • the Sprint Relay was massively popular!!
Question: How much did you enjoy:
  Not much Quite a lot Tons & tons
Middle 2 18 29
Long 0 22 25
Sprint 1 16 24
Sprint Relay 1 9 17

Selected comments:

  • “Great terrain made for very challenging, technical courses! Well done....Just wish I could get that one bad leg back to do over!!!!!”
  • “Loved the terrain...a good mix of complex terrain and fast, running long legs! Just the way I like them! While not able to qualify for a WRE, I truly think the terrain was better and may be more interesting than it would have been at the originally planned location:) Thanks organizers for designing some challenging fun courses at the last minute!”
  • “I am not a fan of running on pavement. Was looking forward to Canmore”
  • “Definitely better than if it had been at the Nordic Centre [in Canmore]!”
  • “I really liked the venue. It offered fast paced orienteering and the finish area was great for everyone to hang around! Well done organizers for pulling this off at the last minute!”
Sprint Relay:
  • “That was a blast!”
  • “Great way to finish”
  • “This was so, so fun!!!! I know it was a challenge to get it organized at the last moment, but kudos to Brent and the crew for pulling this together! It was great to see orienteers of all ages involved in the teams and the venue was great for cheering your team on! I am so glad it was apart of the Canadian's this year! Thanks so much for all the efforts put in!”
  • “The atmosphere was exceptional, and the race very interesting.”
  • “More relays! The format of club championships was the highlight.”
  • “Nice to do an event that was just for fun!”
  • “Fantastic race in a brilliant format. Why is this not a normal format for every large competition!?”
  • “We need a relay every year! Great that everyone can participate!!”
  • “More relays! I absolutely love relays and know that many others also do. A lot of the appeal of orienteering is the community, and there's no better way to build it than scrambling around getting your best teams together, then running (and hopefully dominating). The structure for the HPP relay was great, with both "elite" and "handicap" classes running together. I highly encourage you to have relays next year too. Preferably there would be both a forest relay and an urban sprint relay. Did I mention I love relays? I love relays. More relays please.”
  • You get the point ;-)


One of the biggest new-things for this COCs was the requirement to carry bear spray. The organizers were concerned that people would not be happy with the requirement, but the survey results showed that people were neutral about it. From the organizers point of view it was great to know that so many bear spray canisters were in the forest in case of a bad large animal encounter.
Question: What did you think of being required to carry bear spray?
Pain in the *** Non big deal Great idea
7 34 7

Selected comments:

  • Being from England, it was the first time carrying it. It provided reassurance, just in case. You did not notice it when competing.
  • Didn't like the idea of it initially but the actually carrying of it wasn't a big deal. Also gave me a better way carry my snacks for the long
  • Happy to do so - I was quite worried and it was quite a security blanket - as were the bear-dogs and handlers, and the marshals. Thank you to you all!
  • It was actually interesting to be given all the information because we have carried bear spray for years without actually seeing it be sprayed.
  • Apart from the additional cost to rent a can it was no big deal (although i swear the metal can pulled my compass to the right!) If it’s a requirement to access this area then I’d happily support the idea and pay the rental fee, or if I lived near here I’d get my own can of bear spray.
  • I was not bothered by it, and now that I have carried it, I would be inclined to include it as part of my orienteering gear!
  • It was slightly annoying, but quite tolerable.
  • Dumb idea. Clearly folks don't know how loud we are in the woods.
  • With the scat belt I didn't notice it at all once I started.
  • Felt safe. Considered using it when getting passed by a faster runner on my course. 


Getting together with friends from across the orienteering world is one of the big attractions of the COCs and the banquet and silent auction night are usually one of the more looked-forward-to events.
Question: How much did you enjoy the dinner & Silent Auction?
Not much Quite a lot Tons and tons
3 14 18

Selected comments:

  • Impressive fund-raiser and a way to allow kids to get some cheap gear. Well done.
  • Excellent food, good fun program and great to talk with everyone.
  • Both were fantastic - the food and venue were very good, the competition for table precedence was great fun, and the opportunity to socialize and mingle was great. Oddly, the silent auction both gave some context for walking about and interacting with people, as well as showcasing some interesting products.
  • Great food (best ever actually). Happy to pay a bit more and get such good food. Enjoyed the auction and happily participated. Opportunity for socializing increased by having the auction in the same space.
  • Great food... Nice selection of products in the silent auction
  • Great to not just be served pasta! The quiz to decide table ordering for food was a great touch.

World Masters Orienteering Championships 2016

Tallinn, Estonia August 5-8th, 2016

Brian Ellis and Maragret Ellis of Vancouver Orienteering, along with Irene Jensen of Loup Garou represented Canada in Estonia at the World Masters Orienteering Championships. The top results from the Canadian contingent was 13th place for Marg Ellis in the sprint final. Check out the results of the WMOCs here.

Upcoming Events

September 23rd-25th: North American Orienteering Championships

October 1st and 2nd: Quebec Orienteering Championships (Canada Cup)

And be sure to check out the National Event Database for many orienteering events happening across the country!

In Memoriam


Brian Graham, a long-time orienteer, died on August 25th, 2016 at the age of 52 while surrounded by his loving family, including his wife Marketa and his sons Robbie and Tommy (all orienteers too). We at Orienteering Canada were deeply saddened to hear of his passing. Orienteering was a part of Brian's life for many years. He was a national team member when he was younger. He also helped to coach the JWOC team in 2013.

Friends gathered at the Canal Ritz in Ottawa on Thursday, Sep 1 to celebrate Brian’s life. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Lung Cancer Canada in memory of Brian Graham.

Brian's family have set up an online memorial book where people can read the obituary, send condolences, stories, and pictures here.

The 1993 WOC team. Back row, left to right: Ross Burnett, Chris Seligny, Brian Graham, Francis Falardeau, Marton Pardoe, Wil Smith, Brian May, Oivind Naess. Front row: Katherine Hagen, Pam James

From The Archives


With the 2016 COC's and WCOC's now just a memory, we're throwing it back to the early 2000s (2003?) with this photo of Sass Peepre junior camp attendees at McQueen Lake, BC. Look closely, and you'll find some of our current and past JWOC and WOC runners. Who knows what will come of the 2016 Sass Peepre campers? Great things, we're sure! Thanks to Tori Owen for the photo!


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