Williams Lake teams walked, ran, stumbled and sometimes seemed to crawl for 24 hours during the World Rogaining Championship.
Two teams from Williams Lake stumbled around in the dark and during the day when they competed in the world Rogaine Championships mid-August near Deadwood, South Dakota.
Bryan Chubb of Big Lake and Leo Rankin of Williams Lake competed in the Super Veterans category (55 to 64 years) under the team name Cariboo Silvertips. Angela Forseille and Jim Lessard, also from Williams Lake, participated in the mixed open category (20 to 54 years) under the team name Northern Ghosts.
The country in the competition area was exceedingly rugged rolling hills with dense forests of ponderosa pine, logged areas with scattered meadows and open range.
Rogaine is a 24-hour orienteering race. Each team of two or more people is given a map and they use their compass and their native intuition and intelligence to locate marked controls out on the course.
The object of the race is to visit as many controls as possible within the 24-hour period and then return to the start before time has expired.
Each competitor has an electronic fob which they must insert in the control in order for the visit to be recorded. The competition began at noon on the Saturday and finished at noon on the Sunday.
The secret is to plan your route in order to visit as many high-value controls as possible, however, the higher the points, the more difficult they are to locate.
Maps are handed out two hours prior to the start of the race to allow for preparation or planning of a route before the race commences.
Teams had to qualify for the championships by competing in other races or national competitions.
Chubb and Rankin were North American champions in the super veteran category in 2012 which allowed them to be eligible for the world championships. Forseille and Lessard qualified after competing in a Rogaine in Savona held earlier in the Summer.
Teams from 22 countries competed in the championship.
Chubb and Rankin placed fifth in the Super Vets category behind teams from Australia (2), Estonia and the Czech Republic.
Foreseille and Lessard placed 13th in an extremely competitive mixed open field which is, likewise, a very good finish.
Rogaine originated in Australia and is very popular there, as well as in New Zealand. It is also prevalent in Europe, particularly in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. It is widespread in the U.S. and Canada but still has a relatively low profile.
Results were tantalizingly close to a medal for both teams. But with a little luck a world championship for either team was possible. The competition is so rigorous and exhausting that consideration of competing again in future world championships makes one pause and consider for more than a few moments. Next year’s World Championships are in Finland just north of 60 degrees and the Cariboo teams will have to determine whether the funds are in the cookie jar and the resolve and energy has been revitalized satisfactorily in order to make the journey over to compete for Canada.