After planning and directing the December meet at Hidden Springs we more deeply appreciate Saint Augustine's conflicted prayer. “Lord, make me chaste, but not yet.” It's not our inclination to pursue chastity. However, as skiers we did pray for snow, but not quite yet. Our prayers of "not quite yet” brought sunny skies and dry terrain--orienteering conditions far exceeding reasonable hopes for December 11. Our prayers are simpler now. Let it snow! It's been cold with hoar frost in sheltered nooks delighting those slower orienteers who took the time to soak in the seasonal beauty. Blue skies and sunshine graced a scene that brought out 41 orienteers for December.
As advertised we ran on an entirely new map with new challenges. The advanced course was 7K with a daunting 450 meters of elevation gain and loss. The intermediate course ran a respectable 5K and a formidable 240 meters. Anticipating several experienced trail runners, outdoorsmen and young bucks as first-timers from the Hidden Springs neighborhood we set up a short, mostly off-trail novice course. It received favorable reviews from new orienteers who would have found little of interest in our beginner's course. And, as always, there was a beginner's course for those wanting to practice their map reading and compass technique.
In the Advanced competition the usual suspects led the field. Sergey Velichko scorched the course in 1:18 and Jeff Black ran a fast 1:38. Ole Bergset put his stomach above honor, opting for the Intermediate Course to allow enough time for a Scandinavian Club banquet. Who can fault his judgment? Bill Leahy and Russ Pilcher followed up with 2:06 and 2:30 respectively.
Bill Pilcher walked away with the largest moral victory of the day. Although he didn't win the Intermediate Class, he did turn in a faster time than his brother Russ. We were all quite impressed until we realized that Bill had mistakenly run the Intermediate Course while Russ was on the Advanced. Yeh, Bill, any way you look at it, you still had a faster time.
Honors for the top performance in the Intermediate Division went to Ben Brock. We hope to see a lot more of Ben and some of his students from Riverstone International School. The aforementioned Bill Pilcher took second place followed by regulars Ole Bergset, Karen Didisse (seen below approaching a man-made feature), Jeff Decker and Jay Morgan. Melanie Wright, who orienteered in Virginia before moving to Boise, placed seventh. Janita and Joe Gumenski finished the course in 2:37. The Stocks boys found many controls in their first experience on a challenging intermediate course. Good job guys! Next season you can apply what you learned to some of our other challenging terrain.
We set up the Novice Course as a developmental exercise over 1.6K and about 100 meters of elevation gain and loss. Times were self-reported. Unlike the beginners, the novices travelled off-trail and made some route choices, getting a taste of competitive orienteering without the physical demands of a longer and steeper course.
Please join us for our next meet on January 14 at Veteran's Park/Willow Lane. Stay tuned for details and more news.
Thank you to Ellen Crosby for the photographs and Andy Hill for assistance with printing.
Meet directors David Murray and John Murray