Senior Olympic Profile Orienteering Course

Topographic map of the Occoquan regional park used for the start of the orienteering competition in 2018 NVSO. Contributed photo

Arm yourself with a compass and a detailed topographic map and set off on unfamiliar terrain to follow a defined route as quickly as possible. Orienteering is a recent addition to the more than fifty sports on offer at this year’s Northern Virginia Senior Olympic Games (NVSO), which are set to begin on September 19.

Keg Good of Woodbridge and Sid Sachs, who lives at Greenspring Senior Living, are co-directors of the orienteering event. They have been orienteering for decades and pushed for it to be added to the NVSO Sports List in 2016 to gain visibility for the sport. Sachs has practiced orienteering for 48 years. “My wife and I were going orienteering with our 3.5 year old.” Good has been orienteering since 1997, when she returned to college and is a former member of the United States National Orienteering Team and competed in national competitions.

Good says orienteering will return to Accotink Lake in Springfield this year. “You don’t want to have it in the same place every year because people will have memorized the terrain.” This year’s event will take place on September 19. Meet at the McLaren Sargent Hut at Lake Accotink Park to check in between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

GOOD RATINGS it might take a beginner “who knows a little” about 20 minutes to complete the lesson, but it usually takes 60 minutes. An advanced competitor could finish in 40 minutes, but more generally it would take 60 to 70 minutes. There will be no intermediary offered this year. NSVO works in collaboration with the Quantico Orienteering Club, which allows it to use the detailed maps of the Club. “Otherwise, it would be impossible for us to do it. “

Sachs says: “It’s a thoughtful men’s sport. You have to watch where you are all the time; it’s for people with a visual mind. He adds: “You can bring the whole family. Keep your grandchildren away from the cell phone.

Sachs says he’s not competing to win. “I am competing against myself. I’m 84 and I have a bad knee so I’m slower and very careful. But it is an activity that you can do for life.

Good says that in senior Olympic events there are professionals in some jurisdictions who compete at the state and country level and others who just sign up for fun. NVSO is more recreational. She says she sometimes carries NVSO flyers to give people information about the games because some people think they’re not good enough to compete. But she says the concept of NVSO is to get out there and stay active and do something you love.

Good is also the director of the 3K event this year. “It used to be a five kilometer walk around a track and it took a long time. People walked around and lost track of the towers. We are behind the schedule for other events due to the overwhelming number of people. ”

And the competitors were walking or running. “They didn’t know how to briskly walk.” She’s hoping that moving the site to the Falls Church High School trail and judging by the brisk walking standards will make things run smoother.

The NVSO will organize its 39th competition from September 19 to 30 at venues in the region. To be eligible, participants must be 50 years of age by December 31, 2021 and live in the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier and the towns of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church. To register before Sept. https://nvso.fusport.com/.

Dino J. Dotson