My first Orienteering Run!

On Sunday I was going to meet my friend Helen for a run, she said noon. I said, I’ll confirm later. I wasn’t sure how late I’d be going to sleep on Saturday and how crappy-feeling or late I’d wake up on Sunday. Luckily, I woke up early, finished the 20 last questions (of 200) of the Track and Field test and I was ready and wide awake by noon!

Helen, just so you know, is VERY fast. She just came in 2nd in the Brooklyn marathon last weekend, so she has no business running with me. And somehow, she still does. I am still not sure why (I might be quite entertaining or something) but I figured she’d be sore and slow this week so I could totally run with her and not feel like I am dragging her down.
 
I got to the park and she had papers, maps, phone… wtf? she then explains she’s doing an “orienteering” run. A what? I interpreted it as a very technically mapped scavenger hunt with no prize, but I decided I’d be fine with hot chocolate after. Basically, this one was organized by the Hudson Vally Orienteering and they give a map just like this one:
 
 
 
I was instantly on board!! Now there’s a sense to the run. It’s not just piling on miles with osom conversation and fabulous landscapes (as if that wasn’t more than enough): there’s a challenge, a misterious direction, and things to figure out and new things to see than the regular path… FUN!!!! Fun Fun Fun Fun FUN!!!
 
I guess you pick the distance/level of difficulty, look for the markers (not sure that’s the technical term!!), and there’s a color crayon where you get to the “marker”, and you make yourself a “mark” in your “sheet” (I have no idea what the terminology is!!!) and you go in order from spot to spot and then back to the start/finish. Or something like that.
 
Some markers were easy to see, like this one right on the road and under the cat hill cat, some were really well hidden…
 
I thought it was ridiculously fun to not be sure where we were going next. We had to back track a bunch of times, because sometimes we were not sure where the markers were… or they were higher up a climb, or down… Helen was really good at the climbing, I tend to get scared I am gonna turn into roadkill. Eventually we made it to the finish area, and they had chocolate chip cookies and oreos!!!!! Awww! WIN!
 
Those are my OSOM (funny) leg warmers, so what? Those two on the right really got there sprinting ike crazy, like they raced there, they were sweaty and breathing heavily and had mud in their sneakers, I am guessing they were quite competitive about it or something!?!?!
 
We had chocolate oreos, run a few more miles and got some really dense hot chocolate. I can see myself doing some of these in the future. But seriously, if I tell myself there’s hot chocolate at the end I’d probably say yes to anything.
 
Bonus – As seen on the run:

Helen’s not just fun and fast, but also takes great pictures!

My first Orienteering Run!

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