Orienteers’ Mid North fun

ORIENTEERS:  Adrian Watson at Mattum Creek in 2016.
ORIENTEERS: Adrian Watson at Mattum Creek in 2016.

An adventurous orienteering event is coming to the Mid North next weekend, providing avid adventurers and wanderers the opportunity to scale some of our best kept landscape secrets.

The South Australian long orienteering championships is being held on a private property at Mulga Valley, east of Terowie on Sunday August 19.

There will be a range of courses available for all levels of fitness, from novices to elite marathon runners.

Over the course of 75 minutes, the top runners will complete approximately 15 kilometres and find 20 control points.

They will experience mallee scrub with complicated spurs and gullies, which requires one to be able to read the map to determine which way they will go.

John Lyon, the representative for Port Lincoln on the South Australian Council of orienteering says that although the sport is not a spectator sport, it is one that allows all levels of participation.

“Orienteering is sometimes a family sport, we get a lot of response from schools and they bring families”, Mr Lyon said.

“The really competitive ones are strong marathon runners who run through the bush looking for control markers and they are navigating on a complicated map.”

Mr Lyon says that this Mid North event is not isolated, with six other orienteering maps near Burra, Wilpena, Telowie Gorge, Bowmans Park and Wirrabara Forest used for previous events.

He explains that although it is a popular sport for many, they do not have large participation numbers from the Mid North and want to encourage those that do drive by the signs to considering partaking.

“We are hoping to pick up several people in the Mid North who think they might give it a go”, he said.

“Among the 100 or so competitors who will take part, will be some of the top orienteers from around Australia. Newcomers are welcome and there will be helpers available at the event to assist.”

“The event is about enjoying the Australian bush which is the common factor for all of us. Being able to navigate on a complicated map and to meet like-minded people to socialise with.” 

Competitors are expected to come from Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Naracoorte, the metropolitan clubs in Adelaide and possibly some from interstate.

The event is being held as a precursor for the Australia Championships that will be held in September near Renmark.

If you are interested in taking part in the event, please contact Erica Diment on 0408852313 or visit the SA Orienteering website.