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Burnett, Abbott make it two in a row at mid distance championships

There was a brand new map, but not brand new winners, at the Yukon Orienteering Championship on Wednesday in Copper Ridge.

There was a brand new map, but not brand new winners, at the Yukon Orienteering Championship on Wednesday in Copper Ridge.

A week after winning the expert division at the short-distance championship, Whitehorse’s Kerstin Burnett and Colin Abbott did it again at the middle-distance.

“I loved it. It’s quite a novelty around here to be on a brand new map, and as an orienteerer that’s something we really enjoy,” said Burnett. “It’s all about finding your way in unfamiliar territory. So if you’re running in a place you’ve already run through a bunch of times, you don’t get quite the same challenge.”

Abbott navigated to first on the 3.9-kilometre expert course with a time of 35 minutes and 57 seconds. Multi-time champ Forest Pearson took second at 38:05.

Burnett was the top female on the course at 44:43 and third overall. Pia Blake raced to second for females at 54:36.

“There were a few patches that were pretty nasty,” said Burnett. “There were a lot of places that were open enough to run through but with little branches that stick out and can snag you.”

There’s a good reason why events aren’t held on new maps regularly: making them is a very long process. They aren’t just picking one up at the gas station.

The process of creating the new Copper Ridge South map began in 2014.

“We look for very detailed base maps - whatever we can find that gives very accurate contour detail,” said Yukon Orienteering Association president Afan Jones. “Fortunately all of the city of Whitehorse is covered by what is called LIDAR data ... We have field checkers go in there and they will spend literally weeks of time fine tuning it…

“We have an area we can use for this competition tonight, the Yukon Orienteering Championships middle distance, and we only use a portion of it. Next time, next year or at another event, we’ll use another portion of the map.”

LIDAR, which is a Canadian invention, stands for Laser Interferometry Distance And Ranging. It works in the same way as radar, but with light from a laser instead of sound.

Burnett and Abbott will have a chance to go for a three-peat at the long-distance championships next Wednesday on the Long Lake map.

Contact Tom Patrick at

Top 10 results

Novice (1.3 km)

1st Anais Hildes - 15:23

2nd Ryan Morrison team - 15:47

3rd Phineas Pearson - 22:40

4th Philippa McNeil /Stian Langbakk - 22:58

5th Heidi Rumscheidt team - 24:51

6th Kim Ho/ Loretta Boorse - 34:06

7th Lake Pearson team - 41:23

8th HeatherBurnett/ Wyatt Burnett - 44:08

9th Mura Glenn/ Elvira Knapp - 50:25

Intermediate (2.1 km)

1st Logan Florkiewicz - 25:38

2nd Georgi Pearson - 28:36

3rd Annie-Claude Letendre/Thomas Jacquibn - 28:42

4th Mike Gladish - 36:56

5th Micah Hildes/ Bronwyn Goodwin - 39:06

6th Lara Melnik - 39:57

7th Virginia Sarrazin - 43:42

8th Wendy Nixon - 44:03

9th Jenyfer Neumann team - 45:05

10th Tess Lawrence - 46:28

Advanced (3.1 km)

1st Justine Scheck - 41:02

2nd Bruce McLean - 56:33

3rd Barbara Scheck - 57:00

4th Karen McKenna - 58:00

5th Sarah Murray - 58:34

6th Ryan Kelly - 58:35

7th Bryn Knight - 62:33

8th Juliana Scramstead/Heather Milligan - 82:09

9th Jim Hawkings - 92:40

10th Craig Brooks - 108:05

Expert (3.9 km)

1st Colin Abbott - 35:57

2nd Forest Pearson - 38:05

3rd Kerstin Burnett - 44:43

4th Trevor Bray - 47:23

5th Ross Burnett - 52:15

6th Pia Blake - 54:36

7th Bob Sagar - 90:53

8th Caelan McLean - 48:35

9th Darren Holcombe - 66:49

10th Erik Blake - 68:56