Competitors from the North American and Canadian Orienteering Championship have been participating since Saturday in the first event held north of the 60th parallel.
More than 500 participants from 22 countries take part in the competition, which includes six races in six different locations in the greater Whitehorse area.
Orienteering is about finding geographic points in a specific order using a map and a compass. These destinations are marked with a red and white flag on the field and an electronic device to allow competitors to register their presence.
Topography and vegetation
The sectors are chosen not according to the landscape, but rather according to the topography and the terrain.
The Yukon competitor and volunteer Pia Blake has been practicing Orienteering since she was 12 years old and participates in international competitions regularly.
She says the Carcross area, for example, is particularly interesting.
We want a really interesting map. The Carcross Desert has many small hills and forests. It changes everywhere and it’s really an interesting place to visit.
Pia Blake, Yukon competitor
Danish athlete Lars Klogoord appreciates the sport that forces him, he says, to challenge his body as well as his spirit.
You have to find your way, the right way, as quickly as possible, and sometimes it’s difficult. It’s not just about running, you have to use your brain, and that’s what’s fun about Orienteering.
Lars Klogoord, competitor from Denmark
A forest fire on the horizon
The runners, however, were greeted by the smoke from the Windy Arm fire near Carcross during Tuesday’s competition.
he authorities also forecast that the fire of 1250 hectares will increase in intensity that day because of the winds.
The smoke however was only perceptible to the eye, the winds pushing the particles away from the course of the race.