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More than 450 competitors streamed over the rolling Orari Gorge Station on Sunday in the Geraldine Rogaine Autumn Muster, a major fundraiser for the Geraldine High School Parent Teacher Association.

Rogaining is an orienteering sport of long-distance cross-country navigation involving route planning and navigation between checkpoints.

Teams choose which checkpoints to visit within a time limit with the intent of maximising their score.

Local resident Mike Harding, who set the courses with a helper, briefed more than 460 athletes young and old on flat ground before they spread in different directions – teams seeking the best route.

The athletes, most from outside South Canterbury, registered and studied maps at the Woodbury Hall before driving the short distance to Orari Gorge Station, owned by the Peacock family.

Mr Harding said there were three events – a six-hour course for experienced rogainers, a three-hour event for the less experienced, and a one-hour event for novices and children.

After a briefing on safety, no-go areas (deer paddocks and private areas), athletes went up tracks, over hills and back down the road in, all clutching maps.

Mr Harding said the event was gaining in popularity and was known among rogainers as well organised.