Taking it to the streets

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ORIENTEERING may be better known for geeks running around the countryside with maps, but “Street O” (or street orienteering) hopes to dispel the myth.

“We are trying to sex it up a bit,” organiser Julie Sunley says. “It’s not at all geeky.”

Julie, an events organiser and keen bush orienteer, ran a pilot street orienteering series for Orienteering ACT in April that, like bush orienteering, involved participants navigating their way through a course in search of check points called controls.

The April event, which was run in different suburbs in and around the city, attracted more than 450 participants.

Its success has guaranteed other events running throughout November and December plus another six weeks after Christmas.

Julie, who began bush orienteering six years ago, says it’s a great sport for the entire family. Her husband and daughters, aged 18 and 20, still orienteer together as a family.

“It’s designed to get people active,” she says. “We are trying to promote the convenience of the sport.

“You don’t need equipment, and don’t have to be competitive if you don’t want to.

“It’s also fast and can be over in 60 minutes. And really cheap.”

The sport can be competitive, but the Street O series is designed for all levels of fitness and experience.

Julie says the sport is also a great way for people to get into exercise. Also new mums, run (or walk) courses with their prams.

The series is now up to event three, run from Forrest Primary School on Monday November 21. The other events will be held in Hackett, Yarralumla and Macquarie.

There will be four different courses, course A with 18 controls over 9km, course B with 15 controls over 6km, course C with 12 controls over 3km and power walker – 60 minutes to visit as many controls as possible while walking.

And all participants need are sandshoes.

“You also get watermelon after it!” says Julie.

Street Orienteering Series, event three, Monday November 21, Forrest Primary School Park, National Circuit. Cost $5, children $2. More information at act.orienteering.asn.au

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