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Kiwi orienteer mixes medicine and map reading

Outward bound: Tom Reynolds set for Norway

Back in 2007, Tom Reynolds finished 14th at orienteering’s junior world championships, one of the best-ever results by a New Zealander, and the 21-year-old is now hoping to make an impression at the senior worlds in Norway from August 8-15. Reynolds, who describes himself as a “part-time athlete, part-time doctor”,

is combining study for a degree in medicine with 16-20 hours of weekly training. He has scraped together the funds to make the trip to Scandinavia, a hotbed for his sport, to compete with the full-time pros in a discipline on few New Zealanders’ radar. “Orienteering in New Zealand is like rugby in Sweden. No one in Sweden knows anything about rugby, but they all know about orienteering.” Competitors are given a map and a compass and have to navigate to a finish point, passing designated control points along the way. Course distances vary from 3km sprint races in urban areas to half-marathons and even multiday events in the greatest of the great outdoors. The fastest route is usually the most direct, and that can often entail battling through dense bush and all kinds of difficult terrain. “You do have moments on a course where you think, ‘This isn’t quite right. Am I where I think I am?’ It’s a constant mental battle. After a big event your brain is fried, as tired as your body is. “The biggest misconception is that we get instructions, ‘run 200m east to find your next clue’, that kind of thing. Orienteering is a fast, intense sport, not a treasure hunt. The more drilled you are physically, the easier it is to maintain the mental clarity you need to get around the course as fast as possible.” Follow Tom at thomasreynolds.wordpress.com

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Carry On Designer bag lady is proving a big hit

Auckland designer Kylie McKenzie turned to her record collection to name her bag label. “‘Dear Prudence’ was a song I was listening to at the time – the Siouxsie and the Banshees version,” says McKenzie, one half of all-girl DJ duo La Beat Debauchery. Dear Prudence, launched this year, came after a search for the perfect bag. “I couldn’t find a bag I wanted at the right price that everyone else didn’t have,” she says, so she decided to make her own. McKenzie adds a modern twist to her classically inspired carryalls: “The bucket bag I do is a 1970s style, but my materials and patterns make each bag unique.” Her determination to be different is paying off. Her work got the stamp of approval on the blog of NZ fashion maven Pebbles Hooper, scion of World fashion house. Buy the bags at www.childrenofvision.com

Words: Robert TighE. Photography: Norm Jager, Ryan Paul

FLYING DOCTOR

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