With the most recent snowfall, some members of this weekend’s Acif Epica ultra-endurance race and other local sportspeople got together this past week in the basement of the Manitoba Sports Federation Building for an introductory seminar on using technology to help find the correct route across 130 kilometres of snowy terrain.
Instruction was given by Vern Nelson, vice-president of the Manitoba Orienteering Association, and by Dwayne Sandall, one of the race directors for Actif Epica.
Attendees learned about downloading free maps, the different types of file extensions, the differences between courses, routes, and tracks.
The often muddy interpretation is not helped by the companies that provide the hardware, like Garmin and Suunto. Dwayne explained that Sunnto is almost all on-line, and some of the flexibility available with the Garmin series is lost. But, both Vern and Dwayne stated that the different types of files needed and created by different software packages is mind-numbing.
Dwayne mentioned that the best way to find your way through the navigation aids is to find somebody with skill in such areas, such as Vern. Having a real life person knowledgeable with such items is invaluable.
The race on Saturday and Sunday, starting in St. Malo, will surely have snow covered trails, that will extend for many, many kilometres. Dwayne also mentioned that in some sections of the race, the snow is waist deep, making the reliance on modern navigation aids all that more important, when time is a factor.
More navigation help, with uploading of files and the hard-copy of race maps, will be provided for the racers at the Belgian Club on Provencher this Friday evening.
The Facebook page for the Manitoba Orienteering Association can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/150397631758498/
All photos by Gregory McNeill