February 22, 2021

February 20, 2021 Eagle Island Meet

Sergey's efficient (wet) route from 10 to 11 
extracted from his entire map below. 
Click to enlarge.
I want to begin by offering my deepest apologies to those folks who took on the Advanced and Superhero courses Saturday. I'm thinking especially of Zach, Sergey, and some of the four Morgans. There were others. They crossed the canal in the southwest corner of the park in order to pursue the most efficient route to the control under the big tree. Only a totally clueless course designer or a diabolical one would lure over-zealous competitors into knee deep water on a day that began with ice on the trails. Unable to claim consummate roguishness, I must confess to cluelessness. I mistakenly and naively thought that these hardened competitors would have had enough sense to take a few more steps across a nearby bridge and keep everything below their knees dry. How foolish I was! I now know that I must up my course designs for superheroes who are FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET, MORE POWERFUL THAN A LOCOMOTIVE, ABLE TO LEAP TALL BUILDINGS IN A SINGLE BOUND! Whether that means offering more confrontations with the perils of nature or avoiding them altogether, I'll leave to you, the reader, to ponder. Clearly, there's a difference between a small creek and a large building.

While on the subject of things large and small, a small building reminded that "Golf is a good walk spoiled.” So said Mark Twain according to multiple dubious attributions. Whoever said it surely would not have applied it to orienteering where you can experience the joy of seeing new places visited by few others. Of special appeal on the Advanced and Superhero courses were some small, but exquisite, Eagle Island architectural gems. One orienteer (I don't recall whom.) expressed a high sense of awe with a single word: “Creepy”. I can only believe this excursion to notable architecture more than compensated errors of course design like those noted above.

Before I go any further describing the courses and the events of the day I must praise my two co-directors. Katrina Wright and Melanie Wright administered the start desk. I do not exaggerate when I say that this meet would not have happened without their able assistance, especially with data management on the electronic timing system. My words here do not rise to the level of the gratitude I feel. While I'm praising the Wrights I should add that Melanie placed first of six stalwarts on the Advanced Course, narrowly edging out Ole by a little over a minute. And Katrina turned in a solid performance placing third on the Intermediate Course.

We did not record times for the Beginner's Course. It's only purpose was to introduce newcomers to orienteering procedures and the most basic understanding of orienteering maps. Fifteen participants navigated the Beginner's Course. We offered all Beginner's Course participants a Sport Course map. Thirteen newcomers went on to complete the Sport Course. Kim Colby and Johnny Spud, who did not take the Beginner's Course introduction, placed first and second respectively on the Sport Course. Behind them, Britini Gates and the team of Lucas and Michail Fragkias finished on top of the Sport Course's first-timers.

In other notable performances Kirsten Severud topped the Intermediate field by more than 16 minutes to run her string of consecutive Intermediate Course victories to two. Among six orienteers.  And then there were the eight Superheroes. Because Sergey always wins by a ridiculous margin, nobody cares about him. He really shouldn't bother coming to meets (except as meet director, which thankfully he often does). If I were the god of CTOC, I would award him perpetual first place and be done with it.

The real competition was and always is for second place where we had the pleasure of welcoming Erik Bergset back after a long absence. One of the few benefits of the pandemic (They are very few and minuscule in comparison the lives lost and the global upheaval.) is the permission to work from anywhere. Erik, who earns his living practicing his IT skills in the employ of the University of Washington came back to the Treasure Valley where the rest of the Bergsets reside. Great to see you out with your dad, Erik!

It's pretty clear who finished third if you look at elapsed time. The team of Lee and Sam Scott finished six minutes behind Erik at 1:28:36. That's the official result. I was prepared to accept it without reservation until Zach Clayton breached my paper-thin emotional barriers. It was like resisting a panhandler's sob story in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Actually, I think I do that rather well. But, Zach's story was so much sadder, and although improbable, it fit the facts, some of which are extracted from WinSplits below. So I'm buying it. Zach came running into the finish, but didn't download. He couldn't. While Zach managed the course well, he didn't manage his equipment well, to wit: He lost his SI chip between 17 and 18. As Zach tells it, he finished the remaining four legs to the finish. He then returned from the finish to the problematic leg, searched for the lost chip, and found it where he had crawled under a fence. He then finished the course again, this time punching the remaining control units and finally downloading with a total elapsed time of 1:50:58.

That chip-stripping leg consumed 30:02, unsurprisingly placing Zach last for that leg and dropping him from third place to seventh. Had he run that leg at the second slowest pace of 6:31, he would have finished with a time of 1:27:27 putting him solidly in third place, but still far enough behind Erik that Zach could not have overtaken him, even with the fastest time on that leg. Zach, you shouldn't feel too embarrassed. I'm sure other superheroes have lost their chips. I just can't think of any with such tattered capes.

You can find the complete control-by-control breakdown of the timed results at WinSplits 

In addition to the orienteers who participated in the electronic timing, we had at least a couple including Brad Lowe and Jennifer Smackey, who did the Intermediate Course. Jennifer did report a time of 51:38, which, if she had competed, would have earned her a credible third place.

I'm sure there were other stories and notable performances. If you are inclined to share yours, please feel free to do so in the comments.

Next up, Sergey will host on an expanded Julia Davis/BSU map. Sergey is a top international competitor in his age group. He competes at all distances from urban sprints (approx winning time 15 minutes) to ultra-long (approx elite winning time 150 minutes). His favorite is the urban sprint. And while the Julia Davis/BSU event won't be short enough to qualify as a sprint, we know Sergey will design a course with the quick turns and challenging route choices typical of a sprint. I'm looking forward to it. I hope to see you there.

John Murray

Meet Director



January 21, 2021

Ribbon of Jewels Orienteering Meet Write Up– 1/17/2021

My first introduction to orienteering was a friend asking me, “Hey, do you want to drive to Central Oregon and use a map and compass to find things in the wilderness for about 6 hours?”  My response was, “When and where?”  I found myself this past weekend looking back on that memory with joy and a beautiful touch of bitter sweetness that only this sport can provide.  When John asked me if I would be willing to co-host this meet with Melanie at the December O-Meet, I also said “When and where?”.  John didn’t know this it at the time, but I needed something to look forward to and some way to celebrate.  My dear friend, that same one who introduced me to orienteering in the high desert of Central Oregon 6 years ago, had passed away just 4 days earlier after a fierce battle with cancer.

This was my first time helping coordinate one of our club’s orienteering meets and it was an amazing experience.  Learning the nuances of course setting, pre-meet coordination, and the day of logistics was illuminating.  The folks who help make the lift to ensure we have an O Meet each month are nothing short of super heroes.  Special thanks go out to my co-host, Melanie, for her incredible diligence and the highest standards of making sure orienteering is a sport for all.  John, for his intuition and patience as he guided me through this experience. Sergey, for making sure we have all our bases covered and operate at maximum efficiencyAnd the intrepid puppers, Penny and Sue, who joined Melanie and I on our many course scouting adventures.

Originally, this meet was named after the parks we intended to traverse.  As I continued my research, I remembered having come across a term used by the City of Boise to refer to the string of parks located along the Greenbelt that pay homage to women who positively influenced our community.  The “Ribbon of Jewels” is the nickname for the beautiful series of 12 city parks that wind along the Boise River Greenbelt, named after prominent women and their collective legacies to better our community.


This weekend we got to experience two of them: Bernadine Quinn and Esther Simplot Parks.  You can find out more about our Ribbon of Jewels here: https://www.cityofboise.org/departments/parks-and-recreation/ribbon-of-jewels/  This name also felt appropriate as a nod to those who have left a legacy in our orienteering community. Additionally, two women co-hosting an O Meet was a first in my experience with this club!  I have also lived in Boise since 1998, and I am still amazed to find new parts of our beautiful city and the surrounding areas through orienteering - especially this "bridge" when it was a bit frosty at 7am!

We greatly appreciate everyone’s diligence in wearing masks and physical distancing to help us curb the spread of COVID-19.  While, we miss having the “after meet” time, our social nature did have many of us chatting 6+’ apart and catching up with some friends we have missed.

The Ribbon of Jewels O-Meet was also a wonderful celebration of the diversity this sport offers.  Some highlights:

We had a total of 53 participants - by collective memory, this is the largest local meet we have held.

Our youngest orienteer was 4 yrs old and oldest in their 80’s: that’s 9 decades worth of experience!

Lauren and Cat did their first advanced course, and Cat just celebrated her 1-year orienteering anniversary. 

We also had an amazing multi-generation representation of orienteers:

  • Christy and her dad Scott came out in great spirits!
  • Innes and Katrina (Melanie’s husband and daughter) ran separate courses 
  • Jennifer showed up early to run the intermediate course, while her son Zach gave her a "head start" as he tried to chase down Sergey on the Advanced course
  • Nick C. and his two sons came out with their smiles and adventurous souls on the beginner course

  • We also had a visiting orienteer from the Cascade Orienteering Club.  Alex H. joined with his two daughters Emma and Lucy, and did the beginner course after most of the controls had been removed. 
  • And many first time orienteers joined us and are excited to participate next month! 

For all our CTOC family, I encourage you to remember fondly your first O-Meet and how it felt to find this sport.  I hope they are all as beautiful a memory as mine was to bask in, especially as I walked along the Boise River at sunrise this weekend!


Next month, we travel down the river to Eagle Island State Park on Feb 20th for what promises to be a fun and challenging course hosted by John Murray.  See you all there!

Results below and splits can be found at this link: http://obasen.orientering.se/winsplits/online/en/classes.asp?databaseId=72998

 


 


December 31, 2020

November Urban-O Event Results

Thank you everyone for coming out on a perfectly amazing November morning!  We had 36 participants of all ages attend on a rather chilly morning, but with the sun out it felt warmer and was perfect for today’s event. 

While living in Washington I participated in one of their Urban O events and after talking to John decided to bring it back to the CTOC club (last one was 2017!).  After reviewing some of the previous event maps and clue sheets I put some map boundaries out and began my plan of attack.  I was trying not to use too many (if any) points from previous years and being an avid geocacher I had a leg up on some control ideas.  Dad and I spent many mornings/early afternoons walking, driving and researching potential locations.

I realize now my course did not lend itself to a “race” setting (note for next year!) as some controls required some reading or taking in your surroundings, however the overall feedback was positive. With less than a year of events under my participation belt I agree with Kirsten that the learning curve to host vs participate is a bit steep, even on a simpler type of event, but it was fun. Hosting my own event I have MUCH more respect for other directors as a lot of work goes into the course setup, maps, control settings etc.  I want to give a huge Thank You to John for all the help he provided in getting the map finalized and ready for print for all the hints/tips he provided over the phone and via email.  I have a better understanding of the process and the subtleties that are required for event directing! 

After a mini speech from myself the mass start (socially distanced of course!) started at 10, except for John who was frozen in place or distracted by something and started a few minutes after the pack.  14 people left on bike while the remaining people left on foot.

John was only going to tackle what he could in an hour and in 1:01 he returned with an impressive 55 points. 4 foot groups returned within the 2 hour mark and everyone else made it back within the 3 hour max time limit came in with smiles on their faces.  Even Carrie who had an unfortunate bike tire incident shortly after the start was still in good spirits upon checkout. 

Karen and her pup Clipper who drove down from McCall(!) sat after her finish and chatted with us on how she has hosted this event in the past and how living in McCall can make things a tad difficult.  She had some stories and advice to share while she rested up for her drive home.

Bike

Name

# in Party

Race

Time Out

Time In

Total Time

Total Points

Melanie/Innes Wright

2

Bike

10

12:57

2:57

245

Doug Lamot

1

Bike

10

12:54

2:54

175

Mattsons'

3

Bike

10

12:08

2:08

110

Thomas'

3

Bike

10

12:08

2:08

110

Carrie Magnuson

1

Bike

10

11:09

1:09

40

Arron Banner

4

Bike

10

 

 

 

Foot

Name

# in Party

Race

Time Out

Time In

Total Time

Total Points

 

John Murray

1

Foot

10:03

11:05

1:02

  55

 

Leslie

1

Foot

10

11:48

1:48

55

Jennifer Smackey

1

Foot

10

11:59

1:59

145

Zack Clayton

1

Foot

10

11:59

1:59

145

Donna P

1

Foot

10

12:00

2:00

30

Alecia Murray

3

Foot

10:32

12:34

2:02

115

Karen Didisse

1

Foot

10

12:08

2:08

90

John & Eli Arambarri

2

Foot

10

12:14

2:14

25

Darla/Randy

2

Foot

10

12:17

2:17

55

Kim & Roy Tsuda

2

Foot

10

12:17

2:17

55

Nick Collias

3

Foot

10

12:26

2:26

Didn't turn in score sheet

Heather Steele

2

Foot

10

12:28

2:28

Didn't turn in score sheet

Nate Ramsey

1

Foot

10:04

12:57

2:53

50

Jerry Stewart

1

Foot

10

12:56

2:56

60

The only people we didn’t see return was the Banner family, hopefully they didn’t freeze while out on the course and just stopped for lunch or a warm drink!
The hint sheet has been posted on the Meetup page along with the maps and answers.  I appreciate everyone’s feedback about the event and took away several items of things to do differently as I’m already starting to plan my next hosted event!
Meet director,
Christy Morris

Image of the map used for the event