2018 North American Orienteering and Canadian Orienteering Championships

August 17-24 in and around Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

by Rick McBee

CROC was well represented at this international event last month and although most of us were hopelessly outclassed by competitors from Europe, Canada and Australia, we did have wonderful, challenging experiences. The weather was wonderful and over 600 people competed from many countries.

Virginia Church came home with two well-deserved Gold and Silver medals in her age category and Alison Crocker won two Gold medals for the US Team, one in the long and the other in the middle events. Alison also competed in the winning team relay for the USA which took the Gold in that event. Alison’s efforts greatly helped our US Team defeat the Canadians for the coveted NAOC trophies.

The following CROC members ran in events and were really happy when they actually managed to complete courses in the complicated negative terrain:- Tony Pinkerton, Ken Wenzel, Debbie Wenzel, Julie Pohl, David Rogers, Jill McBee, Rick McBee, Anndy Wiselogle, Ali Crocker, and Virginia Church.

Day One was the NAOC Long Course at Croucher Creek comprised of detailed negative topography interspersed with upland areas – all of it covered with forest of varying thicknesses.

Day Two was the NAOC Middle Course at Lewes Lake south of Whitehorse. It was equally difficult terrain with very few trails and a few more open areas between the depressions and forests of aspen, pine and spruce.

Day Three was the NAOC relay held on the Grey Mountain Biathlon Trails- a convoluted ski trail network with deadfall, deep moss and Labrador tea understory. Both the US Junior and Elite teams prevailed! We dared not enter a CROC team!!!

Day Four – the NAOC/COC Sprint was terrific fun running around the Carcross village and surrounding area with its nightmare of trails and pits.
Day Five – a rest day - some went canoeing on the Yukon River, others hiked Grey
Mountain, visited the hot springs, shopped or laid low nursing sore muscles.

Days Six and Seven were the COC Long and Middle Courses set at Hidden Lakes just outside of Whitehorse. Again complex negative topography described in the course notes as "kame and kettle features" confused us all. Despite many trails, open south facing hillsides and lakes, one was often lost. Navigation is incredibly hard when you can’t see ahead and are faced with numerous pits to circumnavigate or plunge through. Bears? No bear in its right mind would have been anywhere near that many humans trashing through the bush.

We can’t wait for 2020 when this event will be in the Lake tahoe area.