I have alot of fond memories of this sport by now. I was thinking of making
a list of my favorite map, race, etc. I got as far as what I think is my
favorite map, which is
Arisaig, in Scotland. Not only is it a beautiful map -- interesting,
high penalty technical terrain with very few trivial handrails and catching
features, the views out over the Isle of Syke, and the location in general,
I had been orienteering for a little over 3 years when I ran here, and I was
in over my head and did not have a good run. But I remember
smoking leg #8, and focusing on what I did right. I did alot of that in
those days (and these days), focusing on good legs, even if the race was bad.
I'd love to see what other orienteers rate as their favorite map/place/etc.
There is just so much cool and interesting terrain out there.
(I had the pleasure of meeting the course setter for this race in both
Laramie and Spain, small O world ...)
One of the contenders, and certainly the winner of the favorite map name
Oscar would be "Spaghetti Soup", North Island, New Zealand. Technical
sand dune terrain with poor visibility and fast runnability. Described by
one commentator as "the best O terrain in the world".
Spaghetti Soup, Woodhill Forest, New Zealand. Best O terrain in the world?
The good news is that there will again be races on this map and elsewhere in
the area in January, '05. I highly recommend a New Zealand O trip; it is a
beautiful country, the O people are friendly and put on high quality races.
I hope to get back.
Of course, I've never orienteered in Scandinavia and seen the terrain and
maps up there. A proximate goal is to rectify that situation this year.
One possibility is races near Idre,
Sweden (click on "Kartor", then "Karta Stadjan", pretty intense
looking, at least to me). Some of these races just happen to be right after
Jukola. My luck that the dollar is in the tank, but we'll see ...
my odds of hitting Jukola this year have increased from the 0% they
were at last month (the terrain
and maps there look interesting as well).
And on a more exotic note, while I was poking around the web tonite,
I noticed the
Arctic Midnight Orienteering races in Greenland are back. As a
student of language, its cool to see an O program in Greenlandic. I'd
love to get back to Greenland for this, but its not gonna happen this
year, if ever. (And as I remember my geography, Greenland is part of
North America; I wonder if Ilulissat OG should be part of the North
American Champs rotation).
Finally, the only other favorite I came up with was favorite James
Bond flick, tough call, but I think the winner, hands down, has to
be Live and Let Die.