Browsing the internet for orienteering events, revealed that the Hutt Valley Orienteers were organising an afterwork 3 hour rogaine in Karori. This appealed for two reasons, first it involved 3 hours of running around and secondly, the event was centred in the town where Richard grew up. This location had the advantage that we could use all of Richard’s local knowledge …. or so I hoped.
Karori is a pretty suburb of Wellington with quite large hills on every side. These hills harbour lots of trails and tracks, providing quite a good setting for the 3 hour score event. The only difference between running this event in NZ compared to the UK is that the vegetation here is rather man-eating and therefore it is more difficult to assess the relative merits of taking shortcuts through the bush.
We were given the event map 30 mins prior to the start of the event; a luxury to which we are not usually accustomed. So we sat around and discussed our options, and decided to go with the first possibility that we noticed.
The route we choose is shown on the map below.
We decided to collect a few urban points, before heading up into the hills to the northwest of the area. The paths were quite straightforward and controls easy to locate, but this wasn’t going to last for long. Our first brush with the bush was at control number 84, which was located in the midst of vegetation described as ‘thick forest (enter at your peril)’ on the map. It was rather man-eating and slow-going, but thankfully we came across the control fairly quickly and then decided to head up a stream to escape. We headed up to the ridge, where the fog was a fairly thick and the wind was blowing a gale, then we made our way in a southwesterly direction down the ridge to the Karori Park Reserve where we searched and searched for number 62, but to no avail… Richard’s local knowledge had failed us… either that, or all the paths were in different places and the map only showed a small number of them! We headed back down to the urban area and then over to the Burrows Avenue Reserve (almost running past Richard’s childhood home!) where we collected more points and travelled through more man-eating vegetation (yuk), before heading back to the events centre with 4 minutes to spare.
We collected 1270 points and came joint 4th out of 19 teams, with the teams ahead of us collecting 1380,1370 and 1310 points… if only we had found number 63 – which was worth 60 points!
Anyway, we had a really great time and enjoyed the nibbles afterwards. Thanks to the Hutt Valley organisers!
Series - New Zealand '12
- We’re in New Zealand…
- Dunedin – Sealife Central
- Tramping the Rees-Dart
- Ascent of Mount Fox
- 45 river crossings before 11.30 am
- Sea kayaking at Abel Tasman National Park
- Abel Tasman coastal track
- Karori 3 hour rogaine
- One day in Bangkok