Run rogainers, run

How about this for an event? You get a fixed period of time – say four hours – to go anywhere you want to. There’s no defined course or route; just the period of time.

OK, so the pairs don’t exactly wander around aimlessly. They’ve got checkpoints to find. All the checkpoints out there in the great expanse are marked on the map that the pairs are given at the start. The teams can choose which of them they want to visit – in any order. The big challenge is to find the checkpoints and to make it back to the finish in time. The teams score points for every checkpoint successfully located and they lose chunks of points for every minute that they’re late.

This is the sport of rogaining, which Wiki defines as “a sport of long-distance, cross-country navigation, involving both route planning and navigation between checkpoints using a variety of map types”.

Some people walk, others run and most do a bit of both. Many take a time-out to eat lunch under the shade of a tree. The competitive pairs run and run and run.

This is a two-day staged event. On the first day, pairs participate on foot, running between checkpoints. There are two time-limit options: four hours and eight hours.

And then… the next day… pairs take to their mountain bikes for a similar format event; only this time they ride on dirt roads, tracks and paths. Again there are two course options: three hours or five hours. Entrants without mountain bikes can opt to head out for more on foot on Day 2 with a ‘lite’ three-hour option.

This year the annual Trail & Mountain Bike Challenge, presented by Rand Orienteering Club, takes place in the forested Mokobulaan Plantation near Lydenburg, in Mpumalanga. Entrants can choose to do the foot event (Saturday, 26 July 2014) or the mountain bike event (Sunday, 27 July 2014) or both. The entry format is pairs and teams can select which of the two course durations to do.

For more information on the event, entry forms and entry information please visit

Event: Trail & Mountain Bike Challenge
Date: 26 and 27 July 2014
Venue: Mokubalaan Plantation, Lydenburg

Day 1 (Saturday, 26 July 2014): Trail Challenge

  • Briefing: 08h15 for 8hr course participants; 09h15 for 4hr course participants.
  • Start: 08h30 for 8hr course participants); 09h30 for 4hr course participants.

Day 2 (Sunday, 27 July 2014): Mountain Bike Challenge

  • Briefing: 07h46 for 5hr course participants; 08h45 for 3hr course participants
  • Start: 08h00 for 5hr course participants; 09h00 for 3hr course participants.

Note: For those who prefer to run/walk rather than cycle on Day 2, there’s a 3hr course option. Start is at 09h00.

Prize giving: No later than 14h00 on Sunday 27 July, at the competition centre.
Terrain: pine forest plantation (in various stages of growth with varying runnability) with interspersed areas of grassland.

Day 1 – 8hr Trail: R560.00 per pair
4hr Trail: R340.00 per pair

Day 2 – 5hr Mountain Bike: R560.00 per pair
3hr Mountain Bike: R340.00 per pair
3hr Trail: R340.00 per pair

A light meal and cold drink will be provided at the end of each day.