MTB Orienteering Down-Under
MTBO Website of the NZ Orienteering Federation
Supported by NZOF's Silva Development Program
MTBO Videos on YouTube, 23 Apr 13
We've discovered some short how-to videos acoss the Tasman, thanks Aussies! Find the links on our What is MTBO? page. Once you are in YouTube of course, it will suggest other related videos from round the world.
New MTBOer of the Year, 4 Apr 13
The NZOF's MOTY title has been awarded to Rob Garden. Riding in the World Masters MTBO Championship in Hungary, Garden won gold and two silver medals in the M60 category. The Helensville orienteer is also a stalwart of the sport down under, organising regular trips to Australian events, and right now tying up the details of a MTBO Carnival here next January. Highly commended was Chris Forne (Chch), unbeaten elite rider at the Otago Carnival last year.
Big Plans for MTBO, 7 Mar 13
Plans for major MTBO events in the next 12 months have been confirmed in the last few days. A New Zealand Championship, last held in 2009, will be run in Nelson on 2-3 November. And a MTBO Carnival of 7 events over 8 days will run near Auckland and Rotorua from 4-11 January 2014. NZOF has issue a challenge to Australia based on 3 of these events. Clubs up and down the country but especially in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are finalising programs of local events, find the details here.
Mudslingers Win Again, 31 Jan 13
The Ak Attack returned to the Kapiti side of the Akatarawas this year. It started at the regionally-owned Whareroa Farm and included QE Park as well as extending into the Aka's as far as Orange Hut. Regular winners Simon Kennett and John Randal, riding as "Makara Peak Mudslingers" got all but 4 controls. Pending update of the event website, interim results are here; also the winning route; and John's blog.
Ak Attack Back, 2 Jan 13
After a gap when it was incorporated in the 21st birthday celebrations of rogaining, the Akatarawa Attack is back for 2013. The date is Sunday 27 Jan. As usual the precise area is not revealed until close to the day but the rugged and densely forested Akatarawa Ranges are situated between Kapiti and Upper Hutt. Website...
World Champs, 2 Jan 13
NZ was represented at the 2012 World Champs and came away with medals in the masters category. In 2013 the open/junior champs will be held in Estonia 26-31 Sep. If you are interested you need to advise as there's a process to go through prior to NZ putting entries in by 5 May. Read the details here. The Masters champs will be in Portugal 9-13 Oct; there are no preliminaries for this, you can enter yourself. There is a World Cup round for elites being held at the same time/place. Read the details here.
Kiwis Fly at OZ Champs, 28 Oct 12, updated 30 Oct
Two kiwis won all three distances at the Australian MTBO Champs near Taree in NSW. Marquita Gelderman (W21E) and Pete Swanson (M40) were not beaten in the sprint, middle and long distances. Christine Browne was second behind Marquita in all three races, while Jacqui Sinclair (W50), Yett Gelderman (W70) and Bruce Meder (M60) counted two wins each. Michael Wood won his 5th Australian M60 sprint title.
Results include RouteGadget so you can see the maps. The sprint/middle area was especially complex.
MTB Rogaine, 26 Oct 12, updated 30 Oct
15 Kiwis have been at the Cyclic Navigator in Victoria and have posted some impressive results. In the 6hr category Rob Garden/Marquita Gelderman were first, and Erin Roberts/Pete Swanson 4th, both completing the course to the planner's surprise. In second place was Andy Rhodes who now lives in Melbourne. Christine Browne was the top kiwi in the 4hr class, finishing 7th. The map was called "New Zealand Gully". Full results here. The team went on to train at Maryborough and Canberra.
Kiwis in Oz, 18 Oct 12
15 Kiwis take off tomorrow for Australia. The team will ride the Cyclic Navigator in Victoria this weekend, a one-day version of the Cyclic Saga organised by former kiwis Ken and Anitra Dowling. Next weekend they will ride the Australian MTBO Champs at Taree north of Sydney. There are three races of differing distances.
MTBO Carnival in Jan 2014, 17 Oct 12
An exciting proposal for a MTBO Carnival in Jan 2014 has been put up. It would be run by North West OC in the Auckland-to-Bay of Plenty region with up to half a dozen races. Canvassing interest in Europe suggests a small but keen attendance from there, and the Australians were very impressed by what we put on in Otago. Other clubs have been invited to better this proposal, and also to suggest a national championship for 2013.
Wheels in Great Forest, 17 Oct 12
Mountainbikers were in the majority in the Great Forest Rogaine on 29 Sep. Teams could choose either feet, mountainbike, or a combination. Well-known MTBOers Marquita Gelderman and Rob Garden won the bike section, with Rhys Burns and Rob Lei not far behind in the half and half. Steve Lock adn Chris Townley won the foot category. More...
Masters Medals in Hungary, Update 27 August 12
Rob Garden has won a gold and a silver medal in the world masters MTBO Championship at Veszprem, Hungary. Competing in the M60 category Garden won the middle distance on Wednesday and placed second in Thursday's sprint. NZ's two elite riders placed a good 25/39th in the sprint and 42/58th in the middle distance. Rob Garden bagged his third medal at the World MTBO Champs with a another second placing in the long distance. Marquita Gelderman still riding elite finished an excellent 18th among the worlds best while Christine Browne overcame early troubles to finish 52nd. Other masters were Viv Prince (5th W50), Michael Wood (7th M60) and Dave Armstrong (puncture in the extensive off-track riding over the military training area). There was also a masters relay: NZ 2nd W40, 6th M50.
Vegas Vindaloo, 16 July 12
There has just been a weekend of 3 different MTB orienteering events in Rotorua for mountain bikers of all levels. Results are here Results...
Two Kiwis for World Championship, 13 Jun 12
Christine Browne (BoP) and Marquita Gelderman (NW) have been named in the NZ team for the World MTBO Champs in Hungary in August. Marquita is well-known to kiwi foot-orienteers and bikers alike, with a string of top results both at home and internationally. Christine has come on the scene quite recently but is making her mark particularly on the bike. There were no juniors or men available, but Dave Armstrong, Rob Garden, Viv Prince and Michael Wood will ride in the masters competition at the same time.
World Championship - Selection Process, 10 May 12
MTB-orienteers wishing to be considered for selection for the World MTBO Championship in Hungary in August (including junior championship) need to notify
of their availability by 30 May. Selection will be based on past results and all known form, but most weight will be placed on the Otago MTBO Carnival. There are races for veterans too but you don't need to be selected. Also open to anyone with wheels are MTBO events in Australia in October. Talk to Rob if you are interested in these too.
NZ MTBO Rules Formalised, 3 May 12
NZ's draft MTBO Rules have been reviewed after the Otago Carnival, and they have now been confirmed by the NZ Orienteering Federation. Unlike the foot-orienteering rules these are short and focussed on what the participant needs to know. Read them here or under resources.
Nelson MTBO Takes Off, 3 May 12
After years of running the occasional MTBO, Nelson OC is running a series of 5 events this year. Wellington is in the middle of three introductory events and its series of 4 will start in June. Rotorua has a weekend of three events planned for mid July. Auckland and Christchurch no doubt have plans but they haven't hit the calendar yet.
Marquita Still our Top MTBOer, 11 Apr 12
Marquita Gelderman has been named MTBOer of the Year for the fourth year in a row! Though technically a W40, the Helensville rider made a clean sweep of the elite womens class at the 2011 Oceania Championship in Victoria. Once ranked in the top 5 in the world, Gelderman has fallen off the list due to insufficient international results, but is planning to ride the next world champs in Hungary in August.
Birthday Rogaine Attacks Aka's, 6 Feb 12
The Waitangi21 multi-stage rogaine replaced the Akatarawa Attack this long weekend, with riders able to tackle suitable stages. Unlike MTBO, they were allowed to leave bikes and walk to control points. Simon Kennett and John Randal were the outright winners of stage 4 (Battle Hill) and nearly topped stage 5 (also Belmont) in spite of being given only 75% of the time allowed for foot rogainers. More...
Anyone Keen for More? 17 Jan 12
The World MTBO Champs this year combines open classes, junior and masters competition in the one series of events: 19-25 Aug in Hungary. Read the bulletins on the event website. Closer to home, the Australian MTBO Champs will be 27-28 Oct at Taree, which is about 200km north of Sydney. Also on 21 Oct (our Labour weekend) there's a 4 or 6hr MTB rogaine in Victoria. Even closer to home, the 21st birthday of rogaining in NZ on Waitangi Weekend includes two MTB-friendly events: see the Waitangi21 website.
NZ Wins over Australia, 14 Jan 12
NZ has won the ANZ MTBO Challenge - the 4th time in a row. While the middle distance at a wet Wanaka was a draw, NZ went two-up in a hot sprint at Roxburgh and a sweltering long at Alexandra. Chris Forne was "man of the match" with three wins by huge margins. And Huey, who held off the snow at Cardrona until the night after the friendly relay. Team results on the event website (look in the blog), individual results are on Winsplits, and the maps will be on RouteGadget shortly.
Record Entry in Otago, 31 Dec 11
With ordinary entries now closed, over 170 participants have registered for the Otago MTBO Carnival which starts next weekend. This is not only a NZ record for bike-o, it may be an Australasian record as well. The numbers are swelled by 50 Australians including a team of 24 which will contest the ANZ Challenge. The event website has the entry list as well as useful info about the events.
Mapping Conventions Illustrated, 9 Dec 11
A sample map to illustrate the NZ Mapping Conventions has been prepared. The colours bright yellow and white may be used for areas where off-track travel is allowed, and green lines for allowable routes. It will take some time for all maps to comply, but the Otago MTBO Carnival will use these. See it here or under resources.
Entries for the carnival are due by next Friday.
Strong Teams selected for Challenge 28 Nov 11, updated 9 Dec
A strong senior team has been selected for the Australia-NZ MTBO Challenge in January. But NZ is short of juniors to meet the M-20 class Australia is sending. The open classes are led by world-ranked Marquita Gelderman, and all-round navigator Chris Forne, now back in NZ after living in Norway. Classes go through to W50 and M60 which NZ dominated in the Oceania Champs last month. Dianne Michels will manage the team, listed here. And the Australian team has also been announced. The challenge will run over the three individual events in the Otago MTBO Carnival 10-14 January.
NZ Creates MTBO Rules, 5 Nov 11
NZ has run MTB-Orienteering for about 15 years without a set of rules. Practice has generally followed other countries, but there are some big variations, particularly about going off-track. The NZOF MTBO Committee has formulated a set of rules and some guidelines for championships, and they will be used for the Otago Carnival. The colours bright yellow and white will be used where off-track travel is allowed. Read them here or under resources. NB Since updated.
NZ Team Nominations Sought, 27 Oct 11, updated 28 Oct
Australia (as the travelling nation) has nominated the classes it will contest in the Aust-NZ MTBO Challenge in Central Otago, January. This means we will now select a team of 3 men in the up to 20, open, 40, 50 and 60 classes, and 3 women in the open, 40 and 50's. Being held next year, ages are as at 31 Dec 2012. NZ currently holds the trophy, if would like to help us retain it, please read on...
And Kiwis Top in Australia, 18 Oct 11, updated 31 Oct
Kiwis have always been attracted to the Australian Champs and this year's events in Victoria carried the "Oceania" label. Marquita Gelderman continues to dominate the womens elite class, and Pete Swanson (M40) was the other kiwi to be unbeaten over middle, sprint and long distances. And kiwis won all W50 and M60 titles though the lead was shared round. 33 kiwis took part, and there was strong interest over there in the Otago carnival in January. More...
Kiwis Ride in Italy, 12 Sep 11
Tom Bradshaw is a top MTB rider at Otago Uni, even while at school he could hold his own on C1 at Wellington MTBO events. As he was doing a world cup cross-country race in Italy we persuaded him to enter the junior world MTBO champs nearby though he could only fit in the middle distance. Tom finished 45th though not that far behind the pace. His father Ant rode the same course later, and says he was impressed with Tom's time given how hard it was. More...
Excuse for Rotovegas, 14 Jul 11
If you need an excuse to go to Rotorua, Orienteering Bay of Plenty is running three MTB-orienteering events on the weekend 30-31 July. A fixed-order (3 course lengths), a 2-hour score, and a sprint. The sprint might seem a bit on the short side for young fit dudes, but it will surely be in the most complex block of forest with junctions coming up thick and fast.
A place where brain might win out over brawn.
More... Looking further ahead, their 3/6hr foot/MTB rogaine has been moved from 5th to 12 Nov.
Otago Areas Embargoed, 30 June 11
The Otago MTBO Carnival in Jan 2012 is an Australia-New Zealand Challenge. For anyone who might be in the Australia or NZ teams, these areas are embargoed from now 30 June until the events. Nominations for the team will be called for in a couple of months.
We don?t want to stop locals enjoying their favourite rides or normal access arrangements, so if you have any questions please contact the
or the NZOF General Manager.
And MTBO in Otago Firms Up, 24 May 11, Website added 17 Jun
Plans for a MTBO carnival in Otago were hatched during the last trip over the Tasman, and a group of Christchurch riders scoped some areas last summer. Then there was an earthquake. However the phoenix has risen from the ashes, dates finalised, and a challenge has been issued to Australia. The important dates are 10-14 Jan with informal events on either side. More...
Sifter Goes Riding, 31 May 11
Sifter, a.k.a. John Randal, is one of our keenest orienteers. As long as there's a bike involved! He often rides with MTB pioneer Simon Kennett, and they are great rivals at MTBO. Last year Kennett (right) finished the Wellington series one point ahead, in 2009 it was Randal (left) who was one point up. He's also a great spinner of tales, and his blog is fascinating reading. This is a great link to pass on to anyone you think might be interested in maps on wheels.
NZ Junior for World Champs, 23 May 11
NZ will be represented by a promising junior at the Junior World MTBO Champs in Italy in August. Tom Bradshaw is an outstanding rider who can usually beat the Wellington seniors when he rides MTBO. He will be in Italy for a World Cup cross-country race, and will also ride the middle distance MTBO event. NZ has no-one in the open world championship, but Di and Roel Michels are going to the World Masters MTBO in Sweden 17-21 June.
National Award to Marquita, 27 Apr 11
Marquita Gelderman has been awarded the federation's MTBO award for the third time. Gelderman had a clean sweep of wins at the Australian MTBO Championships last year, and remains on top judging by their recent world champ trials (see below). And Australia's top rider Adrian Jackson has been awarded "Athlete of the Year" by the Australian federation. That's the top award across ALL disciplines. The Victorian won a gold and two silvers in the 2010 world championship in Portugal. More...
Australian Trip Firms Up, 20 Apr 11
Preliminary details are now available for the Oceania and Australian MTBO Championship in October. They follow the Oceania/Aust/Challenge foot-orienteering carnival, and will be centred on the picuresque town of Beechworth.
Riders interested in group training/accom/travel in Australia for the week up to the events should make themselves known to It is not necessary to be expert to enjoy these trips.
Marquita Still Top in Australia, 20 Apr 11
Marquita Gelderman won the open women's class in the Victorian MTBO Championships near Daylesford on 9/10 April. Also there were Rob Garden, Chris and Yett Gelderman, Nick Collins, and Greg Barbour. The long and a middle distance races were also team trials for the Australian World Champs team; they have chosen two men, one woman, and four junior boys. Results include Winsplits and RouteGadget.
MTB Rogaine Results, 7 Feb 11
Adventure racer Ian Edmond riding solo won the 6hr section of the Port Hills rogaine, with usual partner Nora Audra best in the 4. The area went from Sumner to Living Springs near the head of the harbour. Results, and planner's report.
And next day Simon Kennett and John Randal held onto their Ak Attack 8-hour title, on a course brought out of the Aka's. Controls covered 100sq.km on both sides of the Hutt Valley. Astonishingly, John and Tim Robertson won the 4-hour section by an even bigger margin. Results...
PAPO Starts the Year, 20 Jan 11
PAPO starts the MTBO year on 29 Jan with a 4/6hr rogaine on the Port Hills, while next day is the Ak Attack though not in the Akatarawas as usual. It will use both sides of the Hutt Valley. HV follows this with "brownie events" on the flat, while North West (Auckland) is repeating its successful autumn MTB rogaine series. Meanwhile the long-running Cyclic Saga has been called off. Keep your eye on the calendar.
Three World Championships, 24 Nov 10
As well as World Championships, MTB-Orienteering has World Junior and Masters Champs. The 2011 World and Junior Champs will be held in Italy in August. Links to these events are on the IOF website. Anyone wishing to represent NZ should contact in the first instance. There is also a World Masters Championship in Sweden in June. You don't have to be selected for this and there will be a wide span of ability. To share plans, prospective entrants might wish to contact
Foot Vs Bike, 9 Nov 10
Mountainbikers vied with rogainers on foot at Rotorua last weekend. Given 6 hours compared to 8 for the footies, the top scores were near as dammit the same, with the top two bike teams 10 points ahead. By finishing a couple of minutes earlier, Rob Garden and Marquita Gelderman (Helensville) were given the win from Simon Kennett and John Randal from Wellington. 2006 world rogaine champion Dennis de Monchy, and Darren Blackwell were next. Weather and track conditions were perfect.
Replay the Australian Champs, 30 Oct 10
A 19-strong kiwi group rode the South Australian and Australian Championships over the last fortnight. Marquita Gelderman did what Australia's multiple world champion could not - win the national sprint, middle and long titles. Double winners were Pete Swanson (M40) and Yett Gelderman (W60). Christine Browne won the W40 long and Michael Wood the M60 sprint. Full results on the event website include RouteGadget, which is an application that lets you replay the events as if selected riders started together. Best training aid there is.
Kennett, Ockelford Win Wgtn Series, 11 Sep 10
In a tight series finale Simon Kennett beat his riding mate John Randal in the race and the series at the Wainui MTB Park today. Liam Drew who also had a series chance was actually 3min ahead, but on points that left him sandwiched between Kennett and Randal. Rachel Ockelford clocked up her fourth straight win to take the Womens. Results have been posted.
Gelderman, Edwards Top at Rotorua, 28 Jul 10
And Brent Edwards and Marquita Gelderman could be NZ's top MTBOers if the weekend at Rotorua is a guide. Over a fixed-order course on Saturday and a 2-hour score course on Sunday, the two were top man and woman in a field of 75. The tracks were in superb condition and the courses were capably set by first-time planner Erin Roberts. Results have been posted for Saturday and Sunday.
Australia has World's Top MTBOer, 28 Jul 10
Adrian Jackson came away from the World Champs with three medals: his gold from the sprint, and silvers in the long and middle distance. This restores him to No. 1 position in the world rankings, which he lost through the difficulty of maintaining five current scores. Coverage of the championships was good, you can review comments and link to pictures, maps and videos via the Maptalk Forum thread.
New Mapping Specifications, 12 Jul 10
A common approach to orienteering mapping is essential for fair competition. A new edition of the international specifications for MTBO mapping has come into effect. Australia and NZ have already adopted the most significant change, showing tracks in four speeds instead of three. Here's a summary of the changes (minor updates made 16 Jul).
AJ Defends Sprint Championship, 12 Jul 10
Australia's Adrian Jackson has become the first man to successfully defend a world sprint title, winning yesterday by 18 seconds around the streets and historic ruins of a small town. The organisers' coverage (and the Aus team blog) puts the JWOC foot-o to shame, Adrian has already posted his comments. With no kiwis, this is one occasion we can say "go the Aussies!"
World Championships Soon, 23 Jun 10
NZ has no-one in the World Champs in Portugal this year, but Australia is sending a team of 9. They begin on 11 July, and the team has begun posting news on their blog. Rider to look for is Adrian Jackson, who holds the long and sprint titles. Nice video from last year's championship here.
Challenges for Experts, 10 Jun 10, Oz Champs link added 15 Jun
While beginners have been catered for up and down the country, here are a couple of challenges for riders willing to travel. Rotorua OC will run two days of MTBO in Whaka Forest - scene of last year's NZ Champs. Dates 24-25 July, see the calendar. And there will be a trip to Victoria 15-25 Oct which will take in two weekends of competition including the Oz Champs. Organised accom and travel makes this more affordable and lots of fun. Express your interest to
Lessons for Beginners, 26 Apr 10
OHV's "Brownie" events contain some very good lessons for beginner riders. OHV MTBO Coordinator Michael Wood has noted the features that he would look for on yesterday's course, together with some navigational techniques he would use. This link has also been put into the Resources Section.
Marquita Re-Named, 9 Apr 10
For the second year in a row, Marquita Gelderman has been named NZ's "MTBO-er of the Year". The 40-year-old spearheaded the NZ victory over Australia last year by winning all the races in the womens elite class, and has only lost her top-10 world ranking because she didn't ride the European circuit last year.
Back to Basics, 27 Mar 10
OHV's "Brownie" MTB-Orienteering event today returned to the Hutt riverbank where it ran the first one two years ago. But the riverbank is continually changing, with flood protection engineers cutting willows and planting new ones, and local kids creating new tracks. Everyone, even some very small ones, managed the 6km course between two bridges! And some bigger people scored some brownie points. Results have been posted.
Kennett and Randal Return, 1 Feb 10
Simon Kennett and John Randal regained their Ak Attack title yesterday, visiting 35 out of the 40 control points in the rugged Akatarawas and scoring 1740 out of 2010. Marty Dinniss, Dave Howard and Tristan Kramers got 675 to win the 4-hour section. Results...
Ak Attack Location Announced, 21 Jan 10
The one-day saga in the North Island will start on the Kapiti side this year, in the "serene and soulful Maungakotukutuku Valley"! There won't be much serenity once the riders set off for 4 or 8 hours in rugged bush. Entries for the 31 Jan event are still open. More...
Earlier News (from 1998)