April 26, 2020

Social Distancing and Doug LaMott

If social distancing is the imperative of this time, Doug LaMott set an example few of us will emulate. After receiving notice on Friday evening that the controls had been placed, Doug ran the Intermediate Course mostly in the dark. And, I presume, very much distanced from anyone else. I suppose there are several ingenious strategies for maximum social distance while orienteering. Perhaps in a subsequent meet an enterprising orienteer will find a better way, but, for now, Doug is the king.

Saturday saw 40 people take on the two courses, some in groups and some as individuals. That was 24 orienteers on the Intermediate Course and 18 on the Advanced Course. If you are wondering why 24 and 18 don't add up to 40 people, it's because Chris Slavin and Segey each ran the Intermediate Course after finishing the Advanced.

There would be something unseemly about Babe Ruth facing a Little League pitcher. Still everyone would like to witness the Babe's legendary power and see just how far he could hit the ball in our neighborhood. No one in our club can compete with our version of the Babe. Nonetheless, Sergey does us a service by showing us what is possible in this sport of endurance and judgment. For those of you who are new to the sport, you might ponder these fast times and wonder as I do whether some young Maris or Hank Aaron of orienteering will rise up to challenge the old master. Knowing Sergey as I do, I suspect nothing would make him happier. If you want to see what top notch orienteering competition looks like, check out this 26 minute video of the 2019 World Orienteering Championship middle course in Norway. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahR8ZbANco4

And speaking of our younger orienteers, watching Jackson progress from following his father's navigation to being trailed under Angela's watchful eye to leading the family on the Advanced Course. And, ignoring Sergey for a moment, we had four of our youngest orienteers finish in the top four intermediate slots. Twelve-year-old Sam Murray trailed by his dad finished first. Dad did rescue Sam from a major error, but said that Sam did 95% of the navigating. Dad also said that Sam was annoyed from time to time by the failure of the old man to keep up. The team of Belen and Eloise broke orienteering into navigation and looking for controls with Belen doing most of the navigation while Eloise scanned the terrain. Mom was along for the ride. Once again ignoring Sergey, Eli and his dad finished fourth. Eli and Jackson are becoming regulars and a joy to watch grow into this sport.
Merrill and Her Map

Michael Bading has been a stalwart in the club directing the logistically difficult Rabbit Creek Meet in the Owyhees. It's a long way to drive to verify control locations one week and set controls the next week just before the meet. And then there's control pickup over a large area. Mike's wife Merrill ran the Advanced Course with Mike trailing. Mike sent this happy photo.

That brings us to the bad news: Because Rabbit Creek is as much a social event and pot luck, we have decided to postpone it until autumn and probably until much later than that. As it often does, good news follows the bad. We are planning for more social distance meets. As we firm up details, new meet announcements will appear on Meetup.com in the next few days.

John Murray
208 342-2165

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