NIGHT ORIENTEERING: Orienteers, from left, Victoria Charles, Keshia Linyard, Toni Charles, Natasha van der Kallen, Jane Alloway and Samuel Charles, check out the map before last Wednesday's night rogaine in the Grampians. Photo: Simon Bloomberg.

Winter orienteering proving popular

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The Nelson Orienteering Club’s mid-week winter rogaine series is getting hundreds of people off the couch on these dark, cold Wednesday nights and out running and walking on the streets and bush tracks around Nelson.

There have already been three of the four rogaines and, with just one more to go at Tahunanui on Wednesday, the club has been amazed by the popularity of the series. Around 150 people competed in last Wednesday’s rogaine around the Grampians and club president Dave Mangnall says it’s been great for the sport and, also, the club’s mapping programme.

“We use the proceeds from the night rogaine series to help pay for our mapping programme so we’re pleased we’re getting such good numbers,” Dave says. “We always need to update our maps as the features change and put out some new maps, and that costs money.”

Dave says the maps are initially updated using satellite imagery to identify any changes in features such as new buildings or tracks. The changes are “field checked” by club volunteers using GPS technology that “talks to a software system” before they are mapped.

Although there are some very experienced orienteers competing in the night rogaine series, Dave says one of its big appeals is that it is family-friendly with plenty of parents and their children coming along.

“The younger kids seem to really enjoy it. You often see the mum or dad with the map doing the navigating and the children running along with the clue sheets checking off the clues – it’s like a big treasure hunt.”

The final round of the night rogaine series is being held at Tahunanui on Wednesday. Registration from 5pm with briefing at 5.45pm and mass start at 6pm. Entry is $5. For more information go to the club website at nelsonorienteeringclub.weebly.com