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Coleraine Hosts Inaugural Orienteering Championships

Over 200 competitors from across the globe will descend on the University of Ulster’s Coleraine campus on Friday for the inaugural Irish Sprint Orienteering  Championships.

The championship will see the 240 orienteering sprinters aged from 10 to over 75, compete on a 2.4 kilometre course around the buildings of the Coleraine campus.

The sprint course is the first of its kind held on the campus and features a more urban route, rather than the longer woodland courses the university grounds  has hosted before.

Event organiser Stephen Gilmore, said: “As soon as the competitors cross the line, they are given a detailed map which they have never seen before and they must negotiate a route around the campus an judge what is the fastest way to reach the end, avoiding obstacles.”

The racers, who have traveled from the United States and throughout Europe, will have electronic checkpoints along the way that they must record the time that the reached with an electronic chip they have with them.

“I am hoping that the event will be a success and with this being the inaugural Irish Sprint Championships. I hope that it is something that is taken on board and held every year,” said Stephen.

The sprint competition kicks off a weekend of orienteering events in the area,  with the 2010 Irish Orienteering Championships taking place on Saturday and  Sunday at Magilligan Point on the northwest coast.