After a recess of a few years the New Zealand Mountain Bike Orienteering (MTBO) Champs are back on in Rotorua on 14 and 15 November 2009. The event, to be held in Whakarewarewa Forest, will take in the best mountain biking in New Zealand over courses that will take participants into areas of the forest they may never have visited before.
The event will be broken over two days. The first day on Saturday, 14 November will see two events with the middle distance (winning time 35 minutes) in the morning and for the first time at a New Zealand MTBO Champs, a sprint distance which will have a winning time of about 15-20 minutes in the afternoon. The next day, Sunday 15 November, will see the traditional long distance event starting in the morning. Race starts and finishes will be kept under wraps until the week preceding the event but all participants can be assured there will be heaps of variety.
The Rotorua Orienteering Club, the event organizers, have done some substantial work updating the Whaka Forest map specifically for this event. Although MTBO events have been held in the forest for a number of years, the map had been brought up to international standards and new 5m and 10m contours have been added to provide more detail and accurate positions of the massive trial network that now exists in the forest.
MTBO has been undergoing a popularity surge in the last few years with regular events throughout the country and a strong presence at overseas events in Europe and Australia. It is an integral discipline for adventure racing and it is no surprise that some of the best MTBO competitors in New Zealand are also the best adventure racers.
There are a number of classes to cater for the competitive side of the weekend. Juniors (Under 18), Open as well as a Mens/Womens 40+ and 50+ class will see the best New Zealand MTBO proponents battle it out for the right to be called New Zealand Champ.
Even if you just want to give it a go a recreational class will be run for both male and females. This class will be run over courses that will be slightly easier than those for the more competitive classes and the emphasis will be on getting out there and having fun.
All event information can be found at http://www.n-duro.co.nz/event1/ as well as online entries. It will be great to see you there giving this event a go and challenging yourself on a mountain bike.