Orienteering is a sport that focuses navigational skills. Competitors find their way from point to point in diverse, and usually unfamiliar, terrain. Participants are given a map, usually prepared specially for orienteering purposes, and they use it to locate control points. Originally a training exercise in land navigation for military officers, orienteering has developed many variations.
This year's Uncle Dusko Jovanovic Memorial drew 300 contestants. They included seasoned orienteers as well as toddlers who have only just started walking.
Jelena Radovic, 85, has participated in all 29 memorials. Despite her age, she is not satisfied with merely finishing the race. She is in it to win.
"You have to go through all the numbers on the map," one contestant explained. "The most important thing is to determine your location, after that it's easy if you don't get lost."
"If you start panicking and running in circles, it's over. The most important thing is not to be in a hurry."
But the fastest did hurry. Romanian Ionut Zinca, winner of many world orienteering competitions, told SETimes that the memorial contest was one of the best and most beautiful in the region. "The event is very well-organised, as are the maps we use during the contest, and that is very important. I have been taking part in the memorial for the last three years and I would highly recommend this event," Zinca said.
The Mobil-O race attracted a lot of attention. On the first day of competition, participants drove from the village of Barzilovice to the nearby town of Ljig. A couples' race was then held, in which participants guided their partners by mobile phones and maps through a terrain completely different from the one they saw the previous day.
Competitors ran through the wet streets of the small town, drawing attention from pedestrians unused to such sights.
As onlookers watched, the unusual group of athletes ran through the streets on a Sunday afternoon, talking on mobile phones, jumping and peeking behind buildings, sprinting as if they had gone berserk, spinning in circles.
Participants and onlookers alike were in high spirits as the first day of the memorial drew to a close.
Rain poured down through the night before the second day of the competition. Puddles and mud were everywhere -- there was so much water on the branches and leaves of the trees and bushes that contestants came out of the forests looking as if someone had hosed them.
There was still enthusiasm in abundance. "I love running in the rain. Rain cools me down, I lose less fluid and can keep the pace up for longer," one club member said.
As a grand finale, the sun broke through the cover of clouds, wrapping up the memorial in the best possible way.