The Route (Midlands)

I was assisting with Sportident timing Walton Chasers contribution to ‘The Route’ on Saturday. The Route is a new idea by British Orienteering to attract newbies to our sport, targeting a different demographic. There are three ‘Routes’ on offer at each of the events all with a 1 hour time limit.

  • Route Runner: is traditional score orienteering (but on an OS map)
  • Route Breaker: is again score orienteering but with the added challenge of having to collect the checkpoints according to snooker rules – ie a red control then a colour.
  • Route Camp: Involves coming back after each checkpoint to the event headquarters to do a gym exercise.

 

The branding and atmosphere at the event was great. Small orienteering events have a lot to learn from other adventure sports: feather flags, a podium, lots of gantry banners etc together with kicking music gave the event a great feel – even though the numbers were low.

The demographic has completely new, attracted mainly through social media adverts, the competitors were mostly new to orienteering with a high percentage were women, who in the most came in groups.

Also great to see were people who were still fairly new to running and were looking for something less daunting than a 10k or an obstacle course to try as an event.

All in all a good event, a little poorly attended for the effort inputted but all seemed to have a great time, however a couple of experienced orienteers who attended and raced route runner felt a little short changed as they finished their courses I under 30 mins! I know the organisers will be looking at this ahead of the next event.

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