Barebones on the map in the Whistler 

This past weekend more than 300 orienteering enthusiasts from 13 countries took part in four days of orienteering challenges in Whistler, followed by two challenges in Vancouver this week.

The competition got underway with a long distance race at Lost Lake that went well off the beaten path.

"The races were long, physical and technical today and many of the participants took advantage of the location by jumping into the lake to escape the heat as they finished running their races," said organizer Adrian Zissos.

The majority of athletes were from out of town, but several locals took part and many had solid results.

At Lost Lake, Evan Boland placed third in the Open Intermediate category, while Kristi Leppanen was fourth on the women's side. Kevin Hodder, who has been getting into more adventure racing, placed first in the Open Advanced group.

Day two was a short urban sprint race through Whistler Village. Hodder was second in that event, while three-year-old Madeline Pardoe was second in open beginner - with a little help from her father Martin Pardoe, a national level orienteering athlete only a few years ago.

On Sunday, a middle distance race was held in the Brandywine area. Mike Conway won the Adventure Run category. That event also doubled as the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships, with an opportunity for athletes to win points in the International Orienteering Federation and attend higher calibre events.

Lost Lake long distance race


1. Patrick Goeres (Winnipeg)

2. Rob Baker (Great Britain)

3. Mike Smith (Prince George)


1. Marte Balchen (Norway)

2. Louise Oram (Vancouver)

3. Jenny Arvidsson (Sweden)

Whistler village sprint race


1. Patrick Goeres (Winnipeg)

2. Mathias Nipen (Norway)

3. Rob Baker (Great Britain)


1. Carol Ross (Vancouver)

2. Clare Baker (Great Britain)

3. Marte Balchen (Norway)

Brandywine middle distance race


1. Thomas Nipen (Vancouver)

2. Mike Smith (Prince George)

3. Jan Tore Ludvigsen (Norway)


1. Marte Balchen (Norway)

2. Louise Oram (Vancouver)

3. Jenny Arvidsson (Sweden)

Patrick Goeres, Mike Smith, Louise Oram and Carol Ross are all members of the 2010 national orienteering team and will be competing in Norway at the World Championships in August.

Race director Charlotte MacNaughton suggested that the event will return to Whistler in the future.

"These orienteering events have been a great kick start to develop more orienteering in Whistler," she said. "We've had well-attended clinics this spring and several Whistler locals competed in the races. Having this high level of event in Whistler is a great way to showcase how physically and mentally challenging the sport is and we are looking forward to growing the sport here."


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