E2C: Yes, we do this for fun.

 On the May 3rd and 4th weekend, Kris and I met in Halifax for this year's Eco Endurance Challenge (E2C).  Its a annual orienteering race event put on by the Halifax Search and Rescue team and an event that we've participated in four times since it started in 2002.  This years event was near the Halifax airport.  Last years event was in the same location, but shifted slightly east on the map, which had much more Hurricane Juan deadfall in the area– making it very difficult to travel.

The goal is to find and navigate to 60 "points" in the woods using the map seen below.  The points are spread out over a roughly 10sq km area.  Each point has a unique punch for the score card also seen below.

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There are two races: the 8 hour and 24 hour race.  We've always entered the 24 hour race and in the recreational division — which means you can bring a GPS with you.  There are some serious contenders in the competative division who navigate compass only!  E2C is also part of the adventure race circuit, so it attracts more entrants every year.

IMGP2973-001The Start/Finish area was busy prior to the start with everyone grabbing their equipment and race material.  We used this time to plot out our points on the GPS and plan our route for the day.  We planned to keep going straight through into the night.  Some others will plan to do a bunch of points, then camp for the night and continue in the morning.  However, you need to carry more weight to do that.  Maybe next year, we'll try that strategy too.

IMGP2973-001This is some of the nicer terrain we travelled through.  All of the points are off-trail, which requires a lot of bushwacking.  The point we looking for was just off this pond, near the middle.

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Who says you can't bring a pizza into the woods?  This photo was taken about 8 hours into our 13 hour, 37 kilometre day.  We continued until 1am, when I promptly lost all my will to continue and hobbled our way back to the finish line.  Kris was overcoming some pneumonia as well from the past few weeks, so it was good that we participated although didn't have as many points as our previous years!  All in good fun though…we think. 🙂

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