As much as Kat Woolyung likes running through the woods, winning a medal at the North American Orienteering Championships isn't one of her top priorities. "I have a hard time competing," says Woolyung, a member of the North Eastern Ohio Orienteering Club. "I'm the kind of person who, halfway through the trail, is like, 'Oh! Check out these cool flowers over there!' And I go over to look at them."
The competition takes place every two years in either the U.S. or Canada. On the first day of competition, as many as 600 orienteers, armed with compasses and maps, navigate their way over a maze of hills, trails, and ravines to a series of checkpoints. After they run the course a second time the next day, competitors' times are totaled. The fastest runners are awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals.
"We're throwing everything in -- straight uphill, through rocks, over and around cliffs, and around mountain laurels," says Jon Nash of the North American Orienteering Federation. "But many are just there to have fun, for exercise, for being out in nature. It's a nice way to do something casual and relaxing." The North American Orienteering Championships start at 11 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday at Camp Manatoc, 1065 Truxell Road in Peninsula. Registration is $20 per day; call 440-729-3255. -- Cris Glaser
Ridin' in tropical style.
It's a well-known fact that there's no surf in Cleveland. But that doesn't stop folks from donning flowered shirts and khaki shorts. And it sure won't stop the Lake Erie Wheelers from sporting that nifty ensemble at its annual Hawaiian Shirt Ride on Monday. The cycling club began the trek a few years ago as a summer-kickoff ride for its members. It was such a hit with spectators that it's now open to anyone with a bike, protective helmet, and summery shirt. The free, 30-mile ride begins at Cleveland Metroparks' Rocky River Reservation and heads to the Flats before returning home. It starts at 10 a.m. at Sweetwater Landing at the Emerald Necklace Marina, 1500 Scenic Park Drive in Rocky River. For more info, visit lakeeriewheelers.org. -- Lucy McKernan