Since moving to Wanaka, my running has got back on track with the help of my pal Ed, who has a running group once a week, which I go to. Ed also runs Highland Events with his friend Terry, and both are passionate about getting folk out on adventures, whatever their ability.

Ed had a place going for The Heights of Winter Rogaine at the Woodbury Domain near Geraldine. <——Ah, I think I need to backtrack slightly. For those not in the know, a Rogaine is a long distance, cross-country navigation event (according to Wikipedia), involving route planning and navigation between various checkpoints. The word rogaining is derived from the names of three of the founders, Rod Phillips, Gail Davis (née Phillips) and Neil Phillips (RoGaiNe, hence ‘rogaining’, ‘rogainer’ etc.). Terry (of Highland Events fame), likes to think of rogaining as “strategic mountain running in a team”.

Ed had a spare place on the Heights of Winter Rogaine at Woodbury near Geraldine together with another friend, Jonanthan. I was a bit nervous about going as the thought of running around for 10 hours was a bit daunting, but I need not have been concerned. Ed gave us lots of advice beforehand and made sure we had all the compulsory gear we needed (whistle, base layers, waterproof and windproof running top and trousers, head torch etc.), and gave us lots of tips for the day.

The day wasn’t really about winning (there were professional adventure racers out there for a start), but more about having fun and enjoying the experience. You don’t have to be amazingly fit to do fairly well – there was a group of pensioners on one team who did a lot better than us – ahem. But boy, what fun it was — it was exhilarating and I loved it. I would highly recommend rogaining to anyone who even vaguely fancies giving it a go. Don’t feel like you need to be a hardened adventurer to compete. Rogaines seem to be for competitors of all levels, and all are welcome! Oh, and did I mention there is usually a meal at the end of the day?

For anyone who can be in the Wanaka/Cromwell area for the weekend of the 14th of September, Ed and Terry are organising a Rogaine.  The event seems very reasonably-priced, and knowing Ed and Terry the route and the whole event will be amazeballs. So, why don’t cha give it a go? Go on…

p.s. If I’m not in the event, I will be helping out, so see you there!

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