History of Rogaining - in Europe and Mountain Marathons

History of rogaines and mountain marathons in Europe by Sue Harvey

Sue Harvey is president of the International Orienteering Federation and has liaised with the International Rogaining Federation for several years. Rogaining - IOF contacts date back to the mid 1970s, and informal alliances between the two sports have been a feature of activities in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Europe, and Australia.

In Europe, orienteering marathons have been popular since the early 1970s, attracting a large number of competitors of all ages. Organizers of the better known events are compelled to restrict entries to a maximum of 1500 to 2000 teams. These events come under different names depending on the country (mountain marathons in the UK, raids d'orientation in France). They are organized mainly by orienteering clubs or individuals. In the past there has been little national or international co-ordination of these events but this is slowly changing. For the first time in 1999, the International Orienteering Federation published a calendar of events.

The detailed rules for orienteering marathons in Europe vary but the following characteristics are common to most events:

Participants compete in teams of two
Competitions are run over two days with one night camping at a common site
There are courses adapted for all ages and abilities (total distance ranging from 35 km to 80 km)
The competition begins with a mass start
Orienteering marathons attract a very wide spectrum of participants from hikers to a highly competitive elite class. The top competitors are pushing for recognized international competitions. There is an annual official IOF "World Orienteering Marathon Trophy", and in 2000 this included the 4th World Rogaining Championships in New Zealand.



Copyright 2001 International Rogaining Federation Inc. All rights reserved.

Editors note as published Sept 5 2002