Time for a biggie. Orienteering must hold the world record for the sport with the most starts. This occurred to me way back in February of last year, at the Chasers’ event at Beaudesert, and I was reminded of it when the fact came up in conversation that it’s compulsory to run to the start kite after you’ve, er, started. I’ve been orienteering for 15 years without picking up on that rule, and I’ve never heard of anyone being disqualified for breaking it, but there you go.

Start 1: registration

Start 2: beginning of taped route away from assembly area

Start 3: big sign proclaiming “START”

Start 4: being allowed into the “start box”

Start 5: being allowed out of the “start box”

Start 6: punching the start

Start 7: getting your map

Start 8: the start kite

Some of the starts at Beaudesert

As well as being confusing, for a newcomer to the sport this profusion of starts must seem pretty ridiculous. Contrast that with informal events where there is often just one start. Okay, a big event needs more than that, but EIGHT?

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