Polaris has announced the dates and a couple of venues for the 2005 season of the original MTB orienteering event. After all these years it’s easy to assume that everyone’s familiar with the Polaris Challenge, but we know that’s not the case. For the uninitiated, it’s a two-day navigation event with minimal information before the start – you’ll know the vague area it’ll be in before you enter, a specific enough location a fortnight before to let you find the start and the positions of the checkpoints a couple of days before so you can mark your map up. What you won’t know until after the start is how many points the checkpoints are worth or where the overnight campsite is, so you’ll be planning your route “in the field” and carrying two day’s kit with you. It’s as challenging as it sounds, but you choose the route so it’s only as hard as you make it.
The first Polaris of 2005 will be in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales on 19/20 March – entry forms are out now, get in quick. The Summer event will be in the Peak District on 9/10 July – traditionally the Summer Polaris uses a slightly less ‘core format with the overnight camp being in the same place as the start so you don’t actually have to carry your tent with you. Then it’s the Autumn Polaris on 8/9 October in a to-be-confirmed location. If you’re superhumanly organised you might want to make a note of the date of the Spring 2006 Polaris – 18/19 March.
More details at www.polarischallenge.com.