Pearson back on top in middle championships

The Lewes Lake orienteering map is so detailed, know-how counts for more than speed, says Whitehorse's Forest Pearson. "The race today was very technical, so it's all about experience," said Pearson. “So it’s not about the strength and the speed, it’s about the wisdom.

The Lewes Lake orienteering map is so detailed, know-how counts for more than speed, says Whitehorse’s Forest Pearson.

“The race today was very technical, so it’s all about experience,” said Pearson. “So it’s not about the strength and the speed, it’s about the wisdom. So this was my terrain … I could get it on them even if I don’t have the speed they’ve got.”

Pearson’s years of experience served him well on Wednesday in the Lewes Lake area. The 41-year-old won the expert division in the middle distance of the 2015 Yukon Orienteering Championships.

Pearson swept the expert races at the 2013 championships and won two out of three last year.

“Last year I was second on this map, so I had to reclaim my honour,” said Pearson. “It was awesome; it was really fun. This is a part of the map we’ve never used and it’s so technical, but very pleasant. It’s bushy in parts, but there also a lot of fast running too.”

Pearson won, but not without incident. He had trouble finding control No. 6 and figures he lost a couple minutes. He was also delayed by wildlife.

“It was going good until I didn’t know where I was,” said Pearson. “Then I just about stepped on a mother grouse and a whole bunch of babies went running out. I’ve been chased by a grouse before orienteering, so I was pretty scared and ran like heck in the wrong direction. But I was already lost by that point.”

Pearson had some stiff competition in the 3.7-kilometre expert race. He won with a time of 38 minutes and 45 seconds, ahead of second place’s Trevor Bray (39:43) and third’s Caelan McLean (42:31).

Bray and McLean are getting set to represent Canada at the Junior World Orienteering Championships next month in Rauland, Norway.

Bray, 20, who won the expert division during the sprint championship last week, will be competing in his fourth JWOC while McLean, 17, in his first.

They will be joined by fellow Yukoner Pia Blake, who is studying abroad and was absent from Wednesday’s race. Bray and Blake each produced some of Canada’s top results at last year’s JWOC.

While the three Yukoners are competing in Norway, there’ll be lots of orienteering action back at home. The Yukon Orienteering Association is hosting the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships July 3-5. The association also hosted the westerns and nationals in 2011.

The Yukon championships will wrap up next Wednesday with the long course championships, to be held in the Long Lake area in Whitehorse.

Contact Tom Patrick at


Novice (1.4 km)

1st Finn and Georgi Pearson/Maddox Hale/Stian Langbakk – 28:24

2nd Maura Glenn/Elvira Knaack – 35:37

3rd Iliana, Aurelia/Glenda Koh – 43:34

4th Asha Rowan/Land Pearson – 45:15

Intermediate (1.6 km)

1st Savannah Cash – 17:37

2nd Rob and Logan Florkiewicz/Kienna Baker – 21:26

3rd Micah Hildes – 23:52

4th Rowena Bedleth – 33:54

5th Lara Melnik – 38:05

6th Tess Lawrence – 38:14

7th Miko Miyahara – 40:56

8th Nesta Leduc – 46:03

9th Darryl Bray – 48:49

10th Deb Kiemele – 53:03

11th Sidney Maddison – 57:36

Advanced (2.4 km)

1st Pippa McNeil – 39:58

2nd Sabine Schweiger – 49:14

3rd Dave Hildes – 56:28

4th Joe Bradley – 1:02:18

5th Karen McKenna – 1:09:23

6th Jill Pangman – 1:23:09

7th Kai Breithaupt/ Ella Parker – 1:25:32

8th Linda Mackeigan – 1:48:04

9th Craig Brooks – 1:57:22

Expert (3.7 km)

1st Forest Pearson – 38:45

2nd Trevor Bray – 39:43

3rd Caelan McLean – 42:31

4th Leif Blake – 46:18

5th Lee Hawkings – 47:06

6th Afan Jones – 49:07

7th Ross Burnett – 51:59

8th Erik Blake – 1:01:46

9th Jennifer MacKeigan – 1:01:59

10th Gerry Willomitzer – 1:08:42

11th Darren Holcombe – 1:11:24

12th Bob Sagar – 1:52:12

13th Jim Hawkings – 1:53:19