I ran in a rather unusual orienteering event yesterday – a maze cut in a field of maize. It was the Maize Maze-O Challenge, taking place at the National Forest Maize Maze in the Midlands and organised by Stodgetta of WCH. I’d never heard of maize mazes before, but there are several throughout England. They generally have a new design each year, the crop is planted, the pathways have their crop removed, the field grows and the maize appears, before being cut down for animal feed at the beginning of October.
The format of the race was two qualifying runs, both less than a kilometre straight-line but well over 2km by the shortest path. These were in the afternoon, there was then a pause while the sun went down (and the competitors took advantage of the local catering – burgers from cows fed on last year’s maize) and then the finals – in the dark! A first at night-orienteering for me, but I just about made it around, along with around 100 other connoisseurs of unusual orienteering races!
The map and pic (of Mike G from SLOW entering the maize maze for the night final) is on the WCH website. The GPS trace is of my night final route.