February 16, 2018

Orienteering Results from Badger Hole

Typical Badger Hole Terrain
A few weeks ago I wrote that I hadn't selected an name for the February 4 orienteering venue and solicited suggestions. Well, while driving to the event a sign for a business caught Ben Brock's attention. I don't recall the type of business, but I do remember the key words: “Badger Hole”. One thing you notice while orienteering on this site is the number of badger, fox and prairie dog holes. On the Tuesday before the meet Sergey Velichko ran the course in its preliminary design phase in less than an hour. He reported badger holes causing him to fall twice before he slowed his pace and began spending more time looking at his foot placement. Henceforth this venue will not be known as Firebird or Freeze Out. It's Badger Hole.

There's not a tree to be found. There's not a boulder anywhere. With the exception of the clusters of animal dens this is highly runnable terrain. Navigation is all about contours and the network of ORV trails. The course design minimized the utility of the trails, placing the navigational burden on reading the contours.


Those of you who are familiar with cheat grass, medusahead and other noxious grasses know how annoying squirreltail can be. Usually, the seeds have fallen to the ground by February. That was not the case this year. Whatever we might think the benefits of the mild winter, it appears that squirreltail penetrating shoes and clinging to socks is not one of them. Adequate gaiters, resistant shoes and/or unconventional
Norma and Bonnie in their duct taped shoes
means of protection were necessary. The accompanying photo of Bonnie's and Norma's duct tape clad shoes exhibits one effective strategy. 

The weather was good. The temperature was mild. The terrain was in remarkably good condition for a February meet—dry without being frozen. It was pretty much an ideal morning to orienteer on a fun new map in our foothills. Regrettably, only five orienteers came out. Jeff Black and Ben Brock ran the 7.5 kilometer advanced course. Ben finished in 1:08 and Jeff ran it in 1:40. Carrie Magnuson completed the 3.4 kilometer intermediate course in 1:04. The team of Norma Bailey and Bonnie Coiner was unable to find a couple of controls. I expect they will do much better next month at Ann Morrison Park.

Thanks to Ben for picking up most of the controls. Ben came pretty close to running the course twice.

Sergey will direct the next meet on the Ann Morrison map he has expanded once again. We hope to see you there on Saturday, March 17.

John Murray
Meet Director

January 24, 2018

February Meet on a New Map at Firebird

There are two things yet undetermined about our next orienteering meet. First, because wet conditions can make responsible orienteering impossible due to the potential for contributing to trail erosion, we can't set a firm date until the weather forecast is agreeable. As I write this post, the next likely date is Super Bowl Sunday, February 4. Mark your calendars lightly in pencil. Second and much less important, I haven't selected a name for this new venue. The eminently runnable terrain calls for a name like "Runner's World". The proximity to the Firebird Raceway invites "Firebird". The season of cold, rain and snow and the location above Freezeout Hill make a good fit for "Freezeout".  Perhaps, someone with a decisive mindset will annihilate my ambivalence.

Whatever we call it the parking area lies about 1 3/4 miles north of Beacon Light Road on Highway 16.  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ONqvHcC6lrxJ59BuyauNO_4VDfb9GGg0&usp=sharing  

The topography allows design of a Beginner Course. However, it is not one of our better beginner areas.
When:  Sunday, February 4  Starts from 9:00 - 10:00 AM.   Course closes at noon, so if you want more time you should come earlier in the window.
Location:  Firebird??? map.  This link highlights where to park.  Drive north on ID16 (towards Emmett) until 1 3/4 miles past Beacon Light Road.  There is a parking area on the west side. If you reach the Firebird Raceway you will have gone too far. 
Format:  Classic:  Advanced (~8km, ~400m climb), Intermediate (~3.5km, ~155m climb). If you are interested in a Beginner Course, please contact me by Tuesday, January 30.
Cost:  
  • Single meet (day) dues: $10 per person/team, free for members 
  • Junior (up to 20 years old): $5 per person/team, free for members 
  • If more than one map is needed for a team, it is +$1 per map.
  • You may join CTOC for the full year which makes all local meets free!  See member info.
RSVP:  To minimize waste, please email me (jnm2870 AT cableone DOT net) with your count and maps needed by Friday, February 2.    If you show up off the cuff, I will probably have a few blank maps to copy a course by hand.
Bring:
  • Compass!
  • Waiver, prepared in advance especially if you are not a CTOC member.
  • A suitable pack with essentials and snacks as you usually need to prepare for a day hike in the foothills.
  • Sufficient water for yourself.  
  • Sunscreen and/or hat.  This is very exposed terrain.
  • Clothing suitable for extended hiking in foothills brush.  This is surprisingly runnable terrain but there will be some areas of large sagebrush, bitterbrush and other plants.  
  • Gaitors are highly recommended as there is an abundance of very annoying squirrel tail grass.
  • Shoes for steep  terrain.  If your ankles are sensitive please prepare accordingly.
  • Cell phone. I can not vouch for coverage, so be prepared with a whistle and other fallback options.
Important notes:  
  1. There are NO restrooms in the parking area or on the map.  Closest available facilities are probably at Emmett.
  2. I don't know what the rules are for dogs, but with the intersecting ORV trails I'm confident that well controlled dogs will not be a problem.  
  3. There are a few barbed wire fences around.  As always be alert to loose strands around as always watch where you run and step.Hope to see you out navigating with us Sunday!
John Murray

January 17, 2018

Facebook Page Live and other Social Network news

We've reinstated our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/CTOCBoise/ and also now have an instagram account (ctoc_orienteering).

We will be posting meets as Events on Facebook to make it easy for you to RSVP and to get notifications of changes.  If you are not a Facebook user, you can still check our blog and we will still send Yahoo Groups emails. We are trying to limit group emails and use the great features in social networks to help us manage meet communication so we encourage you to check it out.

If you have other ideas for information sharing and getting more Idaho folks out to orienteer, please let us know. We are also looking for additional volunteers to help the club out with marketing and networking (not a major commitment). Let us know if you are interested in that or have time to volunteer in other capacities (eg, co-directing a meet).

The upcoming January 28 (date and time is flexible because of weather) meet is now posted as an event on Facebook.  Hope to see you out there!

December 10, 2017

December 9 Esther Simplot Park Meet Results

Freezing temperatures didn't slow down brave participants of our last meet this year who came to sample new addition to our collection of maps. New Esther Simplot park addition to Willow/Veterans park map proved to be both challenging and fun! I certainly enjoyed  mid-course controls visible across the pond, as well as 4 last controls, with spectacular friendly clear views.

Here are overall results
Advanced (6/6)
PlStnoNameYBClubTimeDiff.

112Ben Brock50:060:00
28Jay Morgan52:24+2:18
31Doug LaMott1:01:25+11:19
42Ole Bergset1:17:11+27:05
57Nikolai Morgan1:20:53+30:47
65Cinthia-Jim Gibson1:28:39+38:33
 
 
 
Intermediate (6/6)Status of: 3:00 PM
PlStnoNameYBClubTimeDiff.


16Alexi-Amily Morgan46:580:00
210Melanie Wright50:46+3:48
39Jerry Stewart1:10:38+23:40
44Bonnie-Norma Coiner-Bailey1:32:33+45:35
 
3John Murraymp(34:53)
11Katrina Wrightdnf

Splits are available at Split times, WinSplits Online.

All courses are available at our RouteGadget where you can post your routes and GPS tracks. Click here to access December 9 Esther Simplot park meet courses.

We will publish next year schedule of events soon. Stay tuned!

Yours,
Sergey Velichko

November 23, 2017

Street Challenge Results!

Strategy in the Streets
For those who don’t know the Street Challenge format, it’s usually a long Score-O with a 3 hour time limit and multiple choice answers for each location question that can only be answered at a specific location. In years past the run/foot division and the bike division would not really race against each other.  For this year’s Challenge the race directors decided to mix it up and make the running class and the biking class a little more competitive with each other using a couple of rule changes - two course maps and bonus points.
Mike Bading directing his first O meet.

Changes
Course 1 was optional and could only be raced on foot (no bikes).  The advantage of Course 1 is that it would include a majority of the available bonus points in the meet.  Course 2, was open to both running and bikes, covered a larger area, had larger point questions, and more overall points available than Course 1 but with few bonus points available.

The hope from the race directors was that it would encourage people to strategize between the two courses and considering how to maximize their points (and bonus points).  Thus some of the bikers would run as least some of Course 1 before starting on Course 2 and (hopefully) spur a little more head to head competition.

Ready to go!

Planning / Pre Start

Racers were given 40 minutes to plan ahead of the 11 AM start time, and sure enough, at 10:20 AM, 10 racers showed up to get their maps and then retreat back to their cars and benches to plan their best race strategy.  The weather near start time was a windy, cool 41F , but still dry. There was speculation that maybe the weather would abate and help the competitors. However, the mostly cloudy skies responded with daunting swirls and gusts and more clouds moving in. 

As expected each team had a different twist to the new Street Challenge rules.  By the time of the start there were: A 3 person all bike team (calling themselves “the rainbusters”) starting on Course 2; Two racers that planned a  run / bike strategy starting on Course 1 and the rest of the 5 racers planned to run only and start on Course 1.
Jerry Stewart plans his route choice.

Meet
Using wisdom that often escapes us more youthful orienteers, the self-proclaimed “70 plus” gang consisting of John Murray, Bonnie Coiner, and Norma Bailey used the best strategy of meet, the strategy for staying dry.  They did this by invoking a one hour time limit for themselves.  John came in first at 58 minutes, 7 seconds, while the team of Bonnie and Norma came in just under 6 minutes behind John at 1 hour, 3 minutes and 45 seconds. 

Sure enough, somewhere between the 90 minute and the 2 hour elapsed time from start, the rains came in, the wind swept stronger and it continued to pour throughout the rest of the meet.
The pure bike team:  Innes, Katrina, Kerry.

The 3 person bike team of Innes Wright, Katrina Wright, and Kerry Kelly were the first to come in after the rains began to pour down.  The team came rolling in at 2 hours, 9 minutes and 30 seconds with water dripping from the top of their helmets all the way down to their shoes.  There was a mention of changing the name of the team to “wet and cold” after their rain busting attempts abated, but with smiles they trudged on  pushing their bikes off to get warm.  This all bike team scored a total of 260 points and a 5th place finish.

Jerry Stewart, a CTOC club regular, stayed on Course 1 for his entire race and came in at 2 hours, 38 minutes and 10 seconds.   Jerry collected 270 points from Course 1 and a 60 point bonus for a total of 330 points and an official 4th place finish.

Bill Leahy was the only racer to run both courses.  At just over an hour (1:00:58), Bill came in from Course 1 and switched to Course 2.  When he finished his meet with just over 3 minutes to go (2:56:51), and barely ahead of Melanie at the finish line, Bill was also the only racer to clear a number of firsts:
1. He was the only racer to get the CORRECT answer to a location question even thought the answer sheet did not have a correct multiple choice answer to chose from (a race director error).
2. He was the only competitor to not receive any bonus points from either course. 
3. He visited more controls on both Course 1 & Course 2 than anyone else in the meet.
For getting the correct answer to a question without any clues, the race director decided to award him a bonus of double points for that control (20 points).  Bill’s final point total was an impressive 720 points. and scored him a 3rd place finish.

Melanie Wright is cruising in the first hour.

Melanie Wright was the only racer to truly embrace the Course 1 Run / Course 2 Bike strategy. She came in from Course 1 in 1:58:00 well after it started raining.  Although already drenched from the rain, she continued on and raced forth with a smile.  She came back to the finish during a heavy down pour at 2:57:00, just 3 minutes shy of the time limit.  Melanie’s extra 240 bonus points from Course 1 brought her to a total of 730 points, just enough to get her 2nd place.

Doug LaMott checks the box near Idaho Power.

The final racer to come in was also the winner of the CTOC 2017 Boise Street Challenge.  Doug LaMott, came at 2:59:00 with 10 seconds to spare. And surprisingly he did not come in on his bike. In pre-race, he looked as if he came prepared to do a Course 1 Run / Course 2 Bike strategy.  And at the starting line, he was still thinking about the Run / Bike option.

But as time ticked by toward the time limit, it was apparent that Doug never came in off of Course 1 (and thus switch to Course 2).  It appeared instead that he changed his strategy and decided to maximize his effort on the bonus points on Course 1.  Doug almost swept the entire Course 1, except for 2 controls (1 missed, 1 incorrect).  Doug’s totals were 540 control points, 240 bonus points and a 30 point penalty, which brought his total to 750 points and an official  1st place.
Final Results:  click to enlarge.

Conclusion
As with all November Street Challenge meets, weather plays a big factor in how many people show up.  We were very happy to have 10 competitors at this year’s meet with the pending forecast for rain to start about halfway through the time of the meet.  Thanks to everyone who showed up, in spite of the rains that did come.  A hearty bunch they are...

Mike Bading (co = Jeff Black)
Meet Directors

November 16, 2017

Last meet this year December 9 at Esther Simplot park

Last meet this year will take place Saturday December 9 at Esther Simplot park. Classic format with our usual 3 courses for beginner, intermediate, and advanced participants. Beginner course will be exclusively around the Esther Simplot park. Intermediate course would also venture into Veterans park. Advanced course would cross Esther Simplot, Quinn, Veterans, and Willow Lane parks for a long adventure. Electronic punching will be used so bring your SI stick or rent one from the club during the meet.

Starts 11am to 1pm. Finish close at 3pm.

Directions: Enter N Whitewater Park Blvd from either State or Main streets, at the traffic circle enter the park, follow about 400m to the first shelter and park. Meet center will be at or close to the shelter.

We are working on defining our next year schedule and hope to have it ready before the meet.

Yours,
Sergey