South Dakota To Host 2014 World Rogaining Championship

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The International Rogaining Federation has announced that the 2014 World Rogaining Championship will be held in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The event will run August 16-17 and will attract hundreds of elite navigators from around the globe to the area, where they’ll compete across South Dakota’s unique and challenging backcountry.

For those who aren’t aware, rogaining, which is also known as orienteering, is a long-distance cross-country race, usually held in wilderness settings. Teams compete against one another to locate navigation points using just a compass and map. They’ll travel on foot across rugged terrain looking to find orienteering flags that are planted about the course, scoring points for each of the flags the find. The sport is akin to adventure racing, minus the mountain biking and paddling sections.

In recent years, Rogaining has grown in popularity across the U.S. with events being held throughout the country. In 2010, the inaugural Dakota Roganing Championship was held in South Dakota’s Custer State Park, with 26 teams from 14 different states in attendance. The 2011 edition is set to take place on August 20-21 in the same location.

Having visited this area for the 2009 Primal Quest Badlands race, I can tell you that it is the perfect setting for this kind of event. The landscapes are diverse and there is a great mixture of terrain to really challenge navigators. The Dakota Championship course and WRC course are both designed by Rick Emerson of Peak Assurance, who was also responsible for our PQ course. Rick knows the area very well and will definitely a few challenges awaiting the teams in 2014.

Congrats to my friends in South Dakota for luring this great event. I’m sure it will be just as amazing as our Primal Quest experience was.

Kraig Becker