Every weekend, loads of Belgians head off into the countryside with a map and compass to take part in orienteering. In the traditional form of the activity, the participants navigate on foot. The competitions are races in which the time is recorded and participants use a specially produced map and compass to navigate a range of terrains. The route from the control point is kept secret before the start. At the start, they are all issued with a detailed, topographic map that indicates the route. Participants start at various intervals, are clocked individually and are expected to navigate for themselves. The result reflects who has passed the correct control points in the right order and in the quickest time.
Something for everyone
In the recreational run, the participants don’t really compete with one another or against the clock, but just try to complete the correct route. The old-hands, however, do compete! They run as if their lives depended on it and enjoy nothing more than sending their rivals the wrong way.