March 18, 2013

A Leprechaun in the Woods!

St. Patrick provided our March orienteering meet with odes of great spring weather, bringing both the experienced and the first timers to our meet in Veteran's Park.  Jay Morgan rounded out the holiday theme by wearing a tall hat that I knew would surely be tested by a few controls out there buried deeply in the green - and quite possibly led a few casual observers convinced there was a leprechaun jumping in and out of the trees, looking for gold!
A texting leprechaun:  Jay Morgan

The intermediate score course met a few honored guests trying out this map and compass sport for the first time.  Kimber and Ian Dyer, accompanied by Jamie Simpson, collected almost every single control on the intermediate course, except for the distant 30 pointer.  While they came in overtime, no thanks to the meet director who mixed up controls AL and JD (I have made a time adjustment to compensate), they accomplished a lot and I hope they return for more!  Becca Tab from Riverstone was there for her first time too, but learned the painful way how to overrun the map into Willow Lane, a slight error I think almost every experienced orienteer can lay claim to themselves.  Hopefully it does not deter her from tackling a more traditional course next time.  Michael and Caelin Judd, with some excellent Australian accents (but who live in Eagle), tested the decades old experience of Michael and had a grand time finding a bunch of controls, even if they did have to copy their own map.  Mitch Dyer and Logan Smith pulled off the remarkable feat of taking on the course without a watch, getting most controls, and returning in the nick of time!  First place on the course goes to the experienced Morgan family, who optimized the balance between point collection, speed, and time nicely, even bike commuting to the event with their father leprechaun.

Riverstone pre-race discussion.
The full advanced course drew out some serious competition.  Not surprisingly, Sergey set the bar high early by breaking 40 minutes with all controls.  His course is shown below, although the variety of possible route choices were very close and good cases could be made for other routes.  Ben Brock took a close second but made a few different choices of his own - including making a case for going around the lake and in another case taking a shallow water shortcut to LL.  Bill Leahy turned in a commendable performance, skipping only a single control to make the time cutoff - indicating that ultra training is teaching him the virtues of good pacing!  Jay Morgan had only a few points less, recovering from a head cold and perhaps plucking his hat from the heavy brush on several controls in the green.  Michael and Merrill gave it a solid run and found extra controls worth the slight time penalty of the clock, including blazing the short heavy green route to LL.  There is no doubt Michael likes the score format, the longer the better.  John Murray was tested by the meet director control flip on AL and JD himself, so the director has also adjusted his time slightly to mitigate a slight penalty but it certainly didn't deter his good cheer or desire to rib the director something good.  Karin drove in from snowy McCall and sneaked in right after him with only 10 points less, having taken the soaker route across the pond to #41, then using the river later to LA in an effort to clean off the muck.  She pulled in almost every 30 pointer on the map!  Alex Pusch from Riverstone noted and fully leveraged the same road north of the water treatment plant Sergey did, a shortcut that could be used this month while the canal remained dry.  He gets kudos for the observation, but regretted missing MA and DA on the way home given their heavy point value.  And finally, Dennis Ahern arrived fresh on the heels of a 10k race earlier that day and tackled his first score course with the diligence of an eager learner.  Next time he notes he will push for those 30 pointers first.
Michael Bading finishes strong.
Bill and Dennis discuss route choices.

Intermediate Course:  200 points possible (Veteran's side only)
Orienteer Time Pts Collected Penalty Total
Nikolai, Aleksi, Emily Morgan 0:43:37 120 0 120
Mitch Dyer, Logan Smith 0:45:15 110 0 110
Michael and Caelin Judd 0:48:50 140 -30 110
Rebecca Tabb 0:45:12 90 0 90
Kimber and Ian Dyer, Jamie Simpson 0:54:00 170 -140 30

Advanced Course:  430 points possible (Veteran's + Willow Lane)
Orienteer Time Pts Collected Penalty Total
Sergey Velichko 0:39:13 430 0 430
Ben Brock 0:41:38 430 0 430
Bill Leahy 0:45:42 420 0 420
Jay Morgan 0:44:45 380 0 380
Michael Bading, Merrill Hayden 0:49:55 400 -40 360
John Murray 0:45:55 290 0 290
Karin Didisse 0:44:42 280 0 280
Alex Pusch 0:48:05 250 -30 220
Dennis Ahern 0:46:00 210 -10 200

Sergey's route choice.
Thank you to Bill Leahy, who got there early and assisted with setup, starts, control pickup, and even took the gear for next month's meet.  Thank you to Jay Morgan who saved the meet directors' brain from short circuiting by recording finishers and calculating times while scoring was being done on those already finished.  Thank you to Dondi, my wife, for making the cookies that were gobbled up as finishing prizes and for arriving to help assist in meet cleanup, as well as taking some of the fine pictures you see above.  Thank you to Andy Hill for providing me with final maps that had enough punch boxes and control descriptions on the back.  And lastly, thanks to everyone for coming out to enjoy the meet and not beating up the meet director too badly for a little flip-flopped control.  I have definitely made worse mistakes in my day.

Join us next time as we migrate to the foothills on our Stewart Gulch map on April 28, east side starts.  Bill Leahy and his co-directors promise plenty of challenge for those who like vertical!

Jeff Black
Meet Director

March 13, 2013

Warming up spring with a Score course

It is high time for a Score course as we ramp up into our third meet of the year, with the objective to find as many controls as possible within the time limit.  Controls are worth variable points, depending on difficulty and distance from the start, so you will get a few minutes to consider your optimal route choice - an opportunity to use your orienteering brain in a different bent.  Points are deducted for overtime, as usual.

The main course will cover Veteran's and Willow Lane combined, but I prepared a Veteran's map alone for those seeking a fun walk in the park with kids.  Time limit will be the same as the double map.

Vegetation is just starting to green up in places, but leaving a little room to squeeze through the dark green zones if you are so inclined...

Date:  Saturday, March 16
Start:  Veteran's Memorial Park, near the main parking lot
Time:  Starts from 11-12:30, roughly
Score time limit:  45 minutes, 10 points per minute deduction if overtime
Courses:  Score (competitive and recreational classes)
Bring:  Compass, water as needed, a hat, and of course a waiver.  Rental compasses also available.
Fee:  free for club members; $5 for non-members

If you would like to sign up as a club member, the dues are prorated for March.  As a member all local club meets are paid for through December, and you support work on future maps in development.  We definitely have some under discussion!

See you this weekend!

Meet Director Jeff Black