What is TrailO?
Trail orienteering is a sport offered to people with widely differing physical abilities, including those with severely restricted mobility, who all compete on equal terms.
Competitors travel along a track or marked route and study clusters of control markers placed in the terrain. They are issued with a very detailed map, and control descriptions. With these aids they must decide which (if any) of the markers relates to the feature depicted by the centre of the circle. Movement up and down the track is permitted but no one may approach the control markers in the terrain.
The markers are designated A - E, as seen from left to right while at a decision point marked on the track, and the result must be recorded by marking the relevant box on the special control card.
Some controls have a maximum time for this decision making and the actual time taken is recorded to act as a tie breaker for those with the same number of points for correct decisions.
The IOF website has a 22 page downloadable PDF that is titled "Technical Introduction to Trail Orienteering for Experienced Foot Orienteers", this is a good read for anyone thinking about trying TrailO.
In order to assist experienced foot orienteers who wish to try trail orienteering and who would like to gain some familiarity with the format before stepping out on a course, this document has been prepared. It describes the procedures followed in typical trail orienteering competition and illustrates some of the principles of course setting and solution by means of a trail photo- O exercise.
What is TempO?
The World TempO Trophy is now an established supplement to the World Trail Orienteering Championships.
TempO suggests a fast form of orienteering, and so it is, in one way. TempO is the ‘sprint’ form of trail orienteering, where decisions on which of several flags, if any, is in the centre of the circle on the map are timed, all the way through. It really is high tempo, but in small bursts, a bit like a footballer sprinting for the ball and, after some sharp activity and then sending it further, jogging or walking until it comes his way again.
TempO and its parent form trail orienteering (TrailO) have much to offer for all orienteers - they provide excellent training in map interpretation, particularly in relating contour shapes between map and ground. I think I have become a better foot orienteer through taking part in trail orienteering.
Clive Allen in the Oct 2011 issue of O-zine
Last edited: 19th Jan 12