# Nationals 2016

Nationals 2016

Thomas Stolberger - March 2016

Over the Easter weekend, a large contingent of North West club members travelled down to the beautiful Nelson region to compete in the 2016 New Zealand Orienteering Champs.

The Event kicked off on Friday with a sprint around the streets of central Nelson. North West featured prominently in the results including podium finishes in Men and women’s elite. After the Sprint wrapped, the action shifted to the small alpine village of St Arnaud for the long and middle distances and the relay.

The middle was held on the ‘Black Hill’ map just outside of the village in a picturesque location right on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. The race took us through the native beech forests that the Tasman region is famous for a very different kind of terrain than what we’re used to up in Auckland. This provided an interesting challenge for some, especially some of the younger runners who perhaps hadn’t run on a map with so much green/ undergrowth on it before! None the less it proved to be a great race, especially when topped off with a quick dip in the lake upon finishing.

With Sunday came the long distance held on the map ‘Big Bush’. The first part of this map took place on the slow, steep forested slopes to the north of the village before concluding with a few legs through St Arnaud itself, finishing in the grounds of Lake Rotoiti School.

This led into the final day of competition at Teetotal Flat which hosted the Relay Champs for 2016. Unfortunately North West didn’t quite manage a win and took second and third to PAPO in the mixed long grade, resulting in a podium identical to last year’s nationals in South Auckland. The Mixed Short grade also saw us taking second to the PAPO team.

Congratulations to all the North West members who achieved their goals in Nelson this year and may they continue to build on their success leading up to Oceania and World Masters, which will be in our own backyards at this time next year. Congratulations to Nelson O-club as well for hosting us in such a stunning location and giving us a great weekend of quality orienteering.

For some more reading on specific races see blogs by Tom Reynolds and Gene Beveridge.

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