If you want to compete in a world championship athletic event, but you are not an elite athlete, there are really only two options. First, you could compete for a very small country. This has its limitations, though, because few of us are from a very small country, and in most sports there are rigorous qualifying levels guaranteed to knock you out long before you reach the championship level. The only exceptions I can think are very small countries that want to field a team in the Olympics. I think there must be a rule that says if a country like Tuvalu wants to field a team, they’re allowed to have one person doing judo or race walking or something equally obscure.

The second way is to pick an obscure sport. This, too, is harder than it sounds. The most obscure sports (and games) you can think of still have state and regional and national qualifiers. Or so I thought, until I learned about rogaining. Rogaining is a sport where, using a map and compass and competing as a team, you try to visit as many checkpoints as possible in a 24 hour period. The 8th World Rogaining Championships are being held in Estonia next September, and as of this writing I am one of five North Americans entered (for a while I was the only one. That was definitely a weird feeling). I think will make a nice book, and I’m working on a proposal, but my most pressing need at the moment is a teammate.

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