CNC site of national qualifier
Thursday, May 31, 2012 06:00 am
Compass and map in hand, the nation’s top orienteering racers navigated their way to Canmore for two days of top competition, last weekend.
The Barebones race was a qualifier for the orienteering world championships in Switzerland, and attracted 140 participants from across the country.
Former Canmore resident Patrick Goeres won the sprint on Saturday (May 26), was second in the long distance race and third in the middle distance race on Sunday (May 27) at Yamnuska. The veteran orienteering enthusiast praised the course designs this year, which used the Canmore Nordic Centre and a course near Yamnuska.
“This was an excellent course. (The sprint) was all downhill, and that’s definitely unique for orienteering. We were definitely flying down the course,” Goeres said.
The 27-year-old who now lives in Calgary has been to the world championships five times, and said knowledge of Canmore was a huge factor in his win.
The full-time athlete said quick decision-making is often the difference in such races.
Will Critchley of Edmonton won the long-distance and middle distance race.
Carol Ross won the women’s sprint and was third in the middle distance event. The 24-year-old is a mathematician for a slot machine company and recently moved to Lake Tahoe, Calif. She plans to race for Canada at the world championships. This was her second shot at the Barebones courses.
“They were excellent, fun courses,” Ross said. “In the sprint, the start was super steep and that was a challenge.”
Ross said orienteering is a great social event as well.
“It’s been a great way to meet people and travel the world,” said Ross.
Tori Owen of Calgary won the women’s long distance race, while Kerstin Burnett of Whitehorse won the middle distance race.
Charlotte MacNaughton was one of the organizers of the event. She wanted to provide competitors with a good mix of Nordic Centre forest, parkland and urban areas.
“The key is to give the elite-level lots of route choices they have to make, and keep the kids’ races on trails so they don’t get lost. It takes a while to plan a course properly. ” MacNaughton said.
Canmore was represented in other categories. Rich Petit was first in the Men’s Expert category long distance race, and Ken Sydney won the men’s sport long distance race. Maya Fish was first in the women’s 10 to 12-year-old long distance race and her sister Nadia was third in the women’s nine and under group.