On the Horizon

The 2012 orienteering session has kicked off hard with 3 days of sprint racing at Hawkes Bay’s Sprint the Bay 4 weeks ago. The Elite field has stepped up a notch since last year and is making for exciting racing. Next up is Taupo’s Katoa Po All Night Relay on the 10th of March with companion events on the 10th and 11th. North West will be looking to take the title off Auckland with Tom Reynolds and Matt Ogden both on good form. There is no doubt that it will be a hot contest with Auckland, Wellington and Bay of Plenty clubs all boasting a strong array of runners. Unfortunately my own race in uncertain as I am still recovering from an ITB problem sustained at Sprint the Bay but I’m optimistic I will be back on track in time to run for my club. If not, I will still make the trip to support North West!

An aggressive elite field starting at Sprint the Bay

Further afield, I have my sights set on the NZ Orienteering Champs in early April held by my very own North West Orienteering Club in Woodhill Forest. With this weekend doubling as the trial races for the New Zealand WUOC and WOC (World University Orienteering Champs and World Orienteering Champs) teams there is even more at stake. This year’s NZ Champs is shaping up to be very intense, and with an increasingly strong NZ Elite field looking to put some extremely technical terrain to the test I will have to be at the top of my game to feature.

Teaser of the stunning Waioneke Forest being used for the NZ Champs Long Distance

Another big event I have highlighted as a goal race is Queens Birthday 3 Day based at Waitarere Beach starting on the 2nd of June and run by Wellington OC. This event will feature some typically fast sand dune terrain with technical areas and should be a great opportunity for me to achieve some top results as I did at Queens Birthday in 2011. This race weekend will also be my last chance to hone my technical skills before I travel to compete in Europe later that month.

Yes, I have booked my flights and will be giving a rundown of my plans shortly. For now all I have to say is that the trip will be epic!