Wellington MTB-Orienteering Planning Guide

Or, "MTBO Planning 101"

Adapted from a rogaine planning guide built up over the years.


In recent years the "year" has culminated in a tough MTB rogaine variously called the "Akatarawa Attack", or "NOT the Ak Attack", etc. This has been at the end of January. Members of OHV and HVMBC organise it, in recent years the formal organiser has been OHV. This page has nothing to do with that, except that little else get organised or thought about until its over:-))

In Feb or so the coordinator(s) start thinking about a programme of MTBO events. By this time MTB race dates have been sorted out, also the foot-orienteering programme. It's highly desirable to avoid these, and the plan has been to TRY for Sundays but to use Saturdays if necessary. Wellington OC and Red Kiwis OC have sporadically organised events however Orienteering Hutt Valley has done the majority and appears to be the driving force.

The recent pattern has been for a couple of beginner events on flat terrain (the sort that kids with trainer wheels can manage), an intermediate event which might only provide 45min for top riders but suit inexperienced riders, and then 3-4 events making a series where gnarlier terrain can be used. There's still a need to provide a physically easy course for the series events though. In recent years this set of 7 events has run monthly from late Mar/early April thru to late Sep/Oct. Sometimes OHV has run an "area championship", and once a national championship. (The main difference for a championship is a brand new area and pre-entry. You can get two events from the same area by running a score event the next day.)

Here's what we currently tell the participants.

Getting The Programme on the Road

  1. Coordinator
    Someone (or ones) needs to formulate the calendar, decide on areas, find course planners, help with land permissions, publicise the events, ensure maps and equipment are available, get results published, keep the score of the series, etc. That role is the "OHV MTBO Coordinator". See at the end (to make maintaining this page easier).
  2. Areas
    In theory everything from Waikanae to the harbour entrance is on OHV's mapping, which is shared by rogaines and MTBO. However exploration has only been done when required for an event, so a new area is going to require more work by the course planner (in the field) and the Mapping Officer (drawing). Look for past results on the club website for areas that have been used before. Areas are often suggested when offers to plan are called for.
  3. Course Planners
    OHV has built up a mailing list of 3-400 addresses and this group should be asked for interest in planning. Anyone can do it, the introductory events are of course easier and closer to do than series events. We have also built up an "advisory group" of regulars with high interest who can comment on proposals, point out conflicts etc. So ask both these groups (you won't be inundated...) Absolutely no problem if there aren't enough course planners. No planner, no event.
  4. Permission
    OHV has a land access officer, see below. However its often good if the planner establishes contact with the landowners directly. Perhaps use the access officer for the "institutions" (councils) and use the planners for the others. The access officer has safety plan templates that are sometimes required. OHV has a list of landowners, ask about it. It is not going to be published as it contains personal information.
  5. Publicising Events
    Various methods. There's a WellyMTBO website for the generalities of the series. As soon as dates are selected get that updated via the OHV webmaster (see below). Then there's a comprehensive orienteering calendar. OHV has a sign-on and password for this. Ask the committee for it and list the events - the details don't need to be complete to begin with. As the date approaches update the details such as time of day and how to find the event. The third method is an email to the MTBO mailing list during the week prior. Use bcc to preserve the anonymity of addresses on the list, and delete addresses promptly when asked. Add addresses supplied by new people at events.
  6. Maps
    The planner needs to talk to the Mapping Officer about this (see below). Initially get a printout of the area envisaged, supply updates to the Mapping Officer, and finally supply the course details. The Mapping Officer will ensure the computer files are updated, order printing for the event, and get the maps to the event. He needs the final course details about a week prior to the event.
  7. Equipment
    There are two sorts. First the light gear. The special MTBO clippers on a string live with the MTBO coordinator, along with about 40 flags (more than enough) and 25 pigtail stakes (awkward to carry on a bike but handy in some locations). The planner needs these before the day. The clipper box also contains 140mm cableties for attaching cards to bikes, they may need to be stocked up. The coordinator also has the bare minimum of other gear which enables an event to run out of the back of a car on a fine day: some signs, clocks, first aid kit, supply of minigrip bags and clipcards, cashbox and float.

    Now the heavy gear. Depending on the location/weather you may not need it at all. If needed, it wouldn't be until the day - get someone else to bring it. At the time of writing it lives in a shed in Kelson, Lower Hutt (see below). The key is hidden nearby, ask for details. It can fit into a car except for the tent. A trailer is recommended if the tent is involved, borrow or hire. Here's a list of what is sometimes used:

  8. Personnel The custom is that the planner (and hopefully an assistant) gets the controls out, someone else brings the admin gear and helps set it up, the planner and assistant run the show on the day, and hopefully there are some offers to get controls in. In the past we used to employ a secondary school student to do the registration and guard the gear while the planners were out on the course. The arrangement was $1 per competitor and that often suited a family member of a competitor. Could be considered especially if there was no assistant planner.

    The other staffing issue is that (except for very benign areas) there needs to be an emergency plan. In the event of an injury or non-return, there needs to be (a) someone to control a search from base and (b) someone to go out onto the course. This is where an extra pair of hands can help. Rare, but the possibility needs to be considered. Get keys to gates and know where you can take a vehicle on the course. Know where there is cellphone coverage. Find out where the nearest A&E Dept is.

  9. Wrap-Up


You may see a double-up of some of these roles but they could be shared out in different ways in the future.

The MTBO Coordinators are Phone xxxxxxxx

The OHV Mapping Officer is Phone 566 2645.

The OHV Webmaster is Ph 566 2645

The OHV equipment lives in Kelson, the custodian is Ph 565 0164. But the MTBO Coordinators (see above) keep a small set of the items needed for MTBO

The OHV Treasurer is Ph 566 0750

The OHV bank account is at the Westpac 030502 0316515-00. The deposit slip has a reference field, use eg "Karori MTBO". Send an email to the treasurer telling them the date and amount so they can reconcile things.

This page written by and updated on 21 Mar 17.