This past weekend I spent two days at the GVOC Sprint Camp. This was not what you might think…there was no track and the spikes we wore were far from what Andre Degrasse would wear. This was a Sprint Orienteering Camp and it included training sessions and 5 races over the course of the 3 day weekend. This was my first introduction to formal Sprint Orienteering and I found it fascinating. I have been orienteering with the GVOC (Greater Vancouver Orienteering Club) for the last 3 years but most of what I have done is the Wednesday night (WET) training sessions. I have been able to improve my performances by working hard on my map skills and planning. I entered orienteering as a pretty quick runner but very quickly realized that being fast just means you make more mistakes and they tend to be more costly. I needed to practice the basics to get my orienteering ability to more closely match my running ability. This is what you witness when you see the very best out on course. They move fast, with purpose and no mistakes. What makes orienteering rewarding for even the slowest runner is the sense of accomplishment you get when you get the navigation right. Nothing can quite match the feeling when you run around a boulder and see the control you are looking for right where you thought it would be. That feeling can leave you quickly when you make an error, but overall the sense of accomplishment found in orienteering is difficult to find in other sports.

The GVOC operates events year round and is absolutely the best value in family sport $30 for the whole family for a whole year! That gives you access to every Wednesday night (WET) session, plus for a small fee the monthly formal events that they hold around the lower mainland.

Thanks to Robert Svoboda for the photos.