Waterford Orienteers organise events for all ages in the South East of Ireland.
Orienteering is competitive navigation on foot. If you enjoy running or walking,if you are interested in maps and navigation, or if you like outdoor sport, then orienteering is for you.
By kind invitation, I travelled up to Stradbally in the early hours of Thursday morning to observe the workings of the DFO All-Army Championships. As newly appointed Development Officer with the IOA, I was interested to see how the DFO organise their events.
On arrival at Oak Vale Forest, I was relieved to find there were Portaloos.
At the JK in Bristol, I had experienced the EMIT system but this was a chance to look at the alternative more closely. The photo shows how the tablet that you carry around with you instead of an SI card is placed on the control. It gives a reading of the control number which is always a help but it does not beep. For me it is another thing to read with my wonky eyesight and I prefer the beep on the Sport Ident system which I can hear.
At 9.15, I headed off on Course 4, a lengthy 7.5 km with almost 300 metres climb. Oak Vale forest has some nice deciduous blocks and is largely runnable. Some of the later craggy areas had a bingo feel due to the variability of ground cover. An enjoyable run even though there was sometimes more navigation in the circle than between controls!!
Download and then a welcome cup of coffee and roll and chat over the courses with other early runners who were doing a little bit of checking in return for the run. The early sun gave way to some heavy showers but as ever the army were prepared with their tents for shelter.
Back out with a camera to surprise a few runners. Settled into a depression and almost witnessed Ruairi Short taking his eye out with a branch. Thanks to Pat Farrelly for his invitation and to all his team for their excellent organisation.