March 16, 2020

Ides of March Meet Report

It was the Ides of March Orienteering Meet. I don't think that Norma intended the name to have the ominous portent it did. The Ides didn't work out so well for Julius Caesar, and it could have gone a lot better for Norma. At least a half dozen people exercised an entirely justified level of caution about the rising tide of Corona Virus infections as they chose to stay away. Among them was Melanie, our computer operator who earlier in the week had been in the proximity of Idaho's first COVID-19 case. And then we came up short on Sport Ident chips as I discovered that I'd left about 40 at home where, it seems, they were of no value to the orienteers waiting to get started on the course. It could have been a longer delay and larger embarrassment if not for a fortuitous string of green lights on the round trip.

Sergey headed for Control 15
With the looming pandemic and mismanagement of the equipment inventory we only needed the weather to complete a triad of orienteering disasters. It was not to be. After a night of rain that threatened to dampen our spirits the rain stopped as if out of respect for our sport. It's not as if all was perfect after that. The printer ran out of ink. We couldn't find the spare cartridge whose location only Sergey knew. And, as you might expect in our series of unfortunate events, Sergey was out running the advanced course. I should add that he was running it at his boringly predictable blazing pace, so we did not have long to wait to be rescued.

Meanwhile in contrast to the crew managing (if that's what you call it) the start desk, orienteers by their own accounting were enjoying the courses. First among the notable performances was Jackson's run on the beginner's course. He has been following along behind Dad and Mom for several meets. I heard that he was eager to take a map in hand and do his own navigating. The opportunity came today and Jackson seized it by navigating a beginner's course (with some intermediate controls thrown in) to a first place finish. Congratulations Jackson! He went on to post a very respectable 4th place on the intermediate course.

If my memory serves me, today's meet was Kirsten's third. She finished first smashing the intermediate competition. We can't help but admire that kind of performance, especially for a new orienteer. But for most of us this sport is not about blazing speed, inspired navigation, and finishing first. It's a chance to learn and polish a skill. It's about seeing new places and seeing old places in new ways. Before he punches the start, Mike knows that Sergey is going to beat him. Anyone who saw his last route choice through a chair
behind the start desk in great haste to punch the finish knows Mike also loves to compete. I get that because Mike and I and a lot of others are members of the Wile E Coyote School of Orienteering. After all, I bought my compass at Acme Orienteering Co.

The Ides of March Orienteering Meet brings our 2019-2020 series of Treasure Valley park meets to a close. April takes us into the out of town season with meets planned from the Owyhees to the Sawtooths to Bear Basin near McCall. But first it looks like we will be in the local hills at Willow Creek on the north end of Eagle Road. If all is well with Melanie Wright, she will direct the meet on April 25 including some training on how to read contours. That's a skill we seldom use in the city parks. It is quite important in mountainous terrain.

John Murray

The split times of the event have been added to the WinSplits Online database. Thank you for your participation!

1 comment:

Christy M said...

That picture of Sergey is very accurate as this is what we saw as he blazed passed us on our way to control 5! Thanks again for the goal is to give Kirsten a run for her money at least once this year ;)