event :: venice street o 2006

The 27th Venice Orienteering Meeting saw over 3000 competitors coming from all parts of the globe to navigate the multitude of alley ways, canals, and bridges (plus plenty of dead-ends!) that make this event quite unique. The weather was just about perfect for both the main event on Sunday and the Park-Opreceding it.

Saturdays Park-O race took the competitors around the eastern part of the city and proved to be technically pretty easy, and very fast. Route choice was fairly obvious, though one little alley way had a fence at the end which caught some people out. As there are relatively few tourists milling around in this area, speed was of the essence - a good warm-up for the quick thinking that would be required the following day. The main event on Sunday used the same eastern part for the first few controls, but then forced everyone into the infamous Venice maze, where it is essential to plan ahead and learn to use the bridges, squares and courtyards as catching features. Getting even close to a straight-line route choice rarely happens, and in some of the longer classes it would be easily possible to add 4-5km onto the course length, thanks to the twists and turns required. The HE and HA courses didnt cross the famous Rialto bridge this year, directing the runners instead towards the Accademia bridge in the south and Scalzi bridge to thewest, the only other 2 options for crossing the GrandCanal. However, there were plenty of thronged streets to negotiate as usual, especially around St. Marks Square and close to the main bridges.

Apart from the odd shout of piano and the inevitable crashes, most people seems to enjoy the spectacle of it all, despitethe scary sight of orienteers charging at them in fullflight! Its difficult to be focused on the map and where youre going, keep count of the alleys yourepassing, watch where your feet are landing on thebridge steps, and additionally run cleanly around all of the Sunday strollers and camera-touting tourists. With the start and finish beside each another along the waterfront, everyone was treated to being cheeredin on the run-in with a beautiful city back-drop.

Although its always great orienteering in the forest or on mountain, Venice provides another type of challenge that no other city can match with its confusing network of streets over a large area, with its lack of cars, and the wonderful sights now and againas you speed past. Roll on next year!

Results can be found here

Report Courtesy of Kieran Rocks

Nopesport relies on user submitted articles. Got an inside scoop? An event review? Please submit it to us.


Orienteering headlines from around the web:


Bof News

Nopesport is supported by these advertisements