Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Winnipeg's Goeres runs the gamut

Orienteering champ goes over, around and through anything nature can throw at him

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Patrick Goeres of Winnipeg will roam any range and has never met a terrain he couldn't traverse.So for Goeres, Canada's orienteering champion, his little 100-kilometre run across the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario that begins today is like a walk in the park.

Goeres is competing in Blaze the Bruce race in which he and his nine teammates will split the 894-kilometre distance of the Bruce Trail, known as Canada's longest footpath, beginning in Tobermorry and ending in Niagara on Saturday.

"Generally, the more gnarly the trail, the more I enjoy it. When you hit a boulder field, that's not so enjoyable," said Goeres, 24, who is usually seen racing through forests, fields, hills and valleys around the world using a compass and map to navigate between check points. That's the basics of the sport of orienteering.

"It's pretty hard to find something that is really objectionable to run on but we pretty much do anything that the forest throws at us. I think the Bruce (Trail) will be fairly rugged in spots but compared to some of the things we see in orienteering, not so bad."

His team and their opposition will be running in the dark at times since this event is continuous over the five days. Goeres will run six legs of the race for a total individual distance of over 100 km.

"In orienteering, it's a bit more with your brain all the time, you have to make sure you go in the right direction (using maps). In this one, we'll be following the Bruce Trail and make sure we don't miss a left turn along the trail. I think it's going to be enjoyable," he said.

Goeres will be participating in a physiological study by Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky of McMaster University for his research into causes of muscular disease and the teams involved are also raising money for muscular dystrophy and mitochondrial disease. During the race, the athletes will be subjected to specific tests and analysis which may include a muscle biopsy.

"I'm not sure how fun it will be to be giving up some muscle but it's for the greater good," Goeres laughed. "The run is a huge opportunity to do some great training at the same time as raising awareness of the environment and participate in study."

The race will be filmed by Parkland media for a film festival entry and The Discovery Channel will be filming for a Daily Planet episode.

Anyone wishing to follow Goeres' progress can check out his blog at patrickgoeres.blogspot.com or follow the race live at www.adventurescience.ca/blaze.

Next up for Goeres will be the 2009 World Orienteering Championships in Miskolc, Hungary, Aug. 16-23 and the Canadian Championships Aug. 29-30 in Manitoba's Spruce Woods Provincial Park on a new trail called Hog's Back.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 16, 2009 C4

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