Laramie Daze and US Orienteering Champs, August 2008
By Angie Barrett
Cate Barrett (center, with purple shirt), 2nd, F-12
Nearly 300 orienteers from around America – and several other countries – converged on Laramie, Wyoming in early August for Laramie Daze (4th thru 8th) and the 2008 U.S. Championships (9th & 10th). The week was filled with informal and formal morning races, afternoon practices, and junior training with some of the USA’s top competitors.
The PTOC contingent included Paul Clatterbuck, Reta Roe, Dick and Nancy Neuburger, and the Barrett’s (Angie, Matt, Joe, & Cate). The Neuburger’s daughter Colleen, and their four granddaughters also participated. Some competed for medals, while others went out as recreational groups.
The weather was beautiful: cool, dry, and breezy with only one afternoon of scattered showers. It was a welcome break from the Kansas City heat and humidity.
The courses on the first day of the U.S. Champs were more difficult to navigate than those on the second day, due to more trees, boulders and rock formations. The second day had more open terrain, but most of the races were longer requiring more stamina.
Everyone gained valuable experience running through sage brush (which sent more than one of them sprawling face first on the ground!), exercising at higher altitudes from 7,000 to 8,000 ft above sea level, and maneuvering among numerous boulders and rocks. Cate Barrett brought home a medal placing second in the F-12 category.
A splendid time was had by all – seeing old friends, making new friends, and sharing past and present O-experiences. Laramie Daze is definitely an event worth returning to – providing a fantastic opportunity to practice orienteering, exercise, and enjoy breath-taking scenery.