Inside the whacky world of orienteering

Sport gives competitors a compass, and little else, to find their way from point A to point B

Inside the whacky world of orienteering

Orienteering is a sport where the runner runs through the woods or whatever terrain they are running in. All they are given is a map, a compass, and a whistle so if they get lost they can notify the other runners where they are.  The runner runs to certain points on the map using only their compass and they’re instincts.

Recently, I strung along with the orienteering team in Brunswick, Ga. On the ocean side, with swamps and bugs everywhere, is where they ran. Fifteen schools attended this meet, all energized and ready to run. Yet not all schools could qualify. All participants seemed ready to sprint across the finish line for their school’s orienteering team.

On the three-hour bus ride, everyone was ready to win this race.  We were chatting on the bus and for about an hour all you could hear in the back of the bus was, “I’m ready!” and, “When are eating?” There was never a quiet moment on the bus. Even at 5 in the morning people were chatting and giggling with each other.  We managed to watch a movie two times by the time we arrived at our destination.

When the race was over Cross Creek’s team, with only 20 runners, finished just below fifth place out of 15 schools. Henry County won the 1st place trophy that day.  Cross Creek ran hard and fast Saturday but just couldn’t prevail over the top 5.

All the schools there had confident runners, but all could not win the foot race.