September 30, 2009

Coming Up: CTOC's first ever Vampire-O - Saturday, Oc. 17th

Welcome to CTOC first ever Vampire-O. What’s a Vampire-O, you ask? Read on and get ready for some Halloween fun while orienteering at night. And yes, it’s will be at night because everyone knows that vampires only come out at night!

Date: Saturday Oct 17, 2009
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Sunset is at 6:55pm, however, full darkness will be closer to the 7:15PM)
Location: Simplot Sport Complex East (parking lot off S. Quamash Way)
Format: Vampire-O (score-o format, mass start with one more vampires starting 3 minutes later)
Courses: Beginner & intermediate courses
Notes: Bring your headlamp, warm clothes and Registration Form (or register on site) and enjoy a fun night of orienteering.

  1. So, what is Vampire-O? It's like playing a game of tag while orienteering! One or more participants are selected as "vampires" at the start of the event. The "vampires" leave 3 minutes after everyone else had a mass start. Vampires carry a "vampire" card, worth zero points. When they come within five meters of another orienteer and yell "vampire attack!", the "victim" must surrender his or her punch card (along with all of its points) to the vampire, who then receives the Vampire card. The victim then becomes the vampire (but cannot immediately re-tag the original vampire, of course). This will be done at night with flashlights.
  2. After a vampire attack can the victim attack his/her original vampire? If so, what are the rules for doing so? "No immediate tag backs", just like in third grade. ;-> Cards tend to get traded back and forth pretty quickly, so this usually isn't a problem. You can attack someone that attacked you as long as you unloaded the card you got from them and are now carrying a card you got from another vampire later on. Vampires can't attack vampires of course - they'd just end up swapping cards...
  3. I understand the course is score-o format. Is each control worth the same number of points? Each control is worth the same amount. Identical control point values also makes scoring at the end that much easier - and it will be a bit hectic with a score-O mass finish.
  4. Are teams allowed? If so, how does it work if the team is the vampire and team members have both slow and fast runners can the faster runner go after a victim alone or do they need to stay together as a team? Teams are allowed. The team should stay together, within reason. The rule is "do the right thing" during the event. Teams should stay within vocal range if they get a bit separated, but should travel together whenever possible.
  5. What if I want to run the vampire-o course but don’t want to be bothered by the vampire? Can I just want to run the score-o course? You can run the course but you will need special holy water to protect you from vampires. If you choose this option then you will be given a 1 gallon jug of holy water and you must carry it at all times during the event.
  6. Will there be a beginner and intermediate course? Yes, there will be a beginner and intermediate course. Participants that wish do the beginner or intermediate courses will be give a special garlic bracelet (glow in dark bracelet. The kind you see at the county fair). This will protect you from the vampire. Beginner and intermediate participants should come early to avoid the mass start of the vampire-o.
  7. Because its at night do I need to bring a flashlight? Yes, you should bring a flashlight or a headlamp.
  8. Do I need to dress up in a Halloween costume? No, you do not need to come in costume. However, you can if you wish.
  9. Will it be dark enough for a night-o? Yes, sunset on Oct 17th will be 6:55pm and it will near total darkness by the time of the vampire-o mass start.

September 20, 2009

National Orienteering Day: Sun and Shade

It was a gorgeous day for a park meet, especially National Orienteering Day. The sun was out, breeze was light, and the controls were hung on the distinct trees with care. We thought a more curious member of the Society (SCA for those in the know) next to us might be inclined to find out what all these flags were about, but quite probably their clothing would be problematic. We greeted a fine mix of guests new to orienteering, various inquires from passers-by, and gave our experienced attendees a heady challenge that kept them running hard.

There were three groups who found some excitement on the "easy" (aka beginner) course, a nice loop around the zoo. Kelly Carlen came with his son last year; this year he brought several scouts with him as our event jived nicely with their orienteering work in the troop. They were out early and back first; I thought they might try intermediate but lunch must have been too interesting this time! Then Barry and Greta came on Dondi's invite (they happen to be our next door neighbors), as they were in the park riding the swans. Greta did well spotting controls along the way, and Barry could fall back on his piloting experience if necessary. Hope they try a course again! David Bergset also arrived with Neva and her son Sebastian, and set out together on beginner with Sebastian leading the way, and handily won the category.

On Harder (intermediate), which provided some very interesting route choices and stretched into BSU, the first eager takers were the Hall family, who have seen our stuff a couple times before. They came in breathless in a string of finishers, no worse for the wear. Peter Beckner and son took on the course not far behind them and shaved off a few minutes; they snagged a new watch from Shu's to watch the time even more closely in future meets. Then David Bryd solo'd a run through the course and settled into first, maybe being set for an advanced course next time?

Yet another three took on the Score challenge on the Hardest (advanced) course - a variant we haven't had in a long time on this map, it seemed - and all found the 30 minute time limit to collect as many controls as possible quite challenging. (There was 5 minutes to plan before starting.) All of them, however, picked up the 20 pointers! Jay Morgan matched wits closely with Michael Tobin (his first meet on this map), and edged out ahead, helped a bit more by Michael realizing he mispunched a box after he finished. (And Michael thought he was out for a nice easy Saturday jog!) Jeff Decker went out a little later and turned in a very respectable score given more judicious selection of controls.

Easy: 1.46km, 8 controls
1. Sebastian, Neva, and David: 21:47
2. Barry and Greta: 28:36
3. Carlen scout group: 34:00

Harder: 3.03km, 10 controls
1. David Byrd: 33:45
2. Beckner family: 42:42
3. Hall family: 57:32

Hardest: Score, 25 controls (5, 10, or 20 points each), 30 minutes
1. Jay Morgan: 235 (29:55)
2. Michael Tobin: 220 (29:16) (MP #18)
3. Jeff Decker: 180 (28:00)

Special thanks goes to Andy Hill, the indirect director who assembled the courses, maps, and gear in advance by my house on Friday. (Hope those tomatoes made it worthwhile!) Lee Scott and Jeff Decker were also vital co-directors in helping setup the start area, handle the many guests we had, and helped pick up controls (as well as pack my car while I got a few more).

Next month Jeff D. is planning something even beyond our fairly regular fall Night-O - stay tuned, and gather some garlic and headlamps! That will be Saturday, October 17th, at 6pm. See you then.

Jeff Black

September 15, 2009

Welcome to National Orienteering Day

This weekend, September 19th, our club is pleased to present the Boise events for National Orienteering Day. This is a great meet to get acquainted with the sport for the first time, or a refresher after a long absence with your compass. Experienced club members will be on hand to help explain the basics, and the park meet is a pleasant introduction to the maps without actually being lost!

Meet location: Julia Davis Park, near the Friendship Bridge south of the zoo.
Start times: 11am-1pm - you may arrive within this window to try a course, as participants start separately a few minutes apart.
To bring:
1. your trusty compass, or you may rent one from the club for a nominal fee.
2. a signed waiver, to save you some time signing up when you get there - but we will have blanks handy.
Cost: Cheap, our usual monthly meet fee for nonmembers: $5 per individual, or $7 for a group sharing a map. Or if you're a club member, it's included!

This map was revised just this year for our big A meet sprint in June, and is a larger scale with new details, and fully revised for all the BSU construction. Even if you've done this park with us in past meets, I think you'll find the map even better than before. Andy Hill has planned out three course levels - our usual beginner, intermediate, and advanced, so it's likely he might have some surprises in for us.

See you on Saturday!

Jeff Black