June 13, 2021

Control #5 Mystery Code
 "Castle Rock is an American psychological horror..." begins the Wikipedia article on the streaming television series inspired by Stephen King. As I don't favor that genre, I've never read Stephen King. Little did I know the irony that would jump out from Int and Adv Control #5 when I employed the accompanying image as a mystery control code. The psychological horror, as it were, lay in wait at Control #2 where the early Int and Adv orienteers were unable to locate the control bag and number. Lest you think I exaggerate, check with Jerry Stewart, who in his stalwart search climbed all the way to the forest on the ridge above in a vain quest. I heard other tales of 30 to 45 minutes wasted in a similarly futile effort. 

I placed that control on Tuesday afternoon. Possible explanations for its displacement range from angry cows (of which there was none on the site) to (heaven forbid!) the preposterous insinuation that the course setter misplaced the control. I know him well; I can assure the jury that in the highly unlikely scenario that he misplaced the control, he wouldn't have soaked to ensured that the maximum quantity of mud and dust would adhere when he dragged it along the ground. Occam's razor cuts the explanations down to one: The storm that blew through and deposited a lot of rain on Thursday tore the control loose from its moorings and propelled it to the dirty place where it was eventually came to rest.

Control #2 Filthy, but Restored
As it turned out the control bag's bent frame and filthy fabric was found some short distance away in the dirt. Sergey promptly returned the control bag to its proper place, thus sparing subsequent orienteers the "psychological horror". I understand that some folks who view orienteering as nothing more than a walk in the woods guided by a map might regard casting this situation as a "psychological horror" to be rank hyperbole. However, for the serious competitor the loss of seconds can provoke hours of remorse and navel gazing.

Navel Gazing
Speaking of serious competitors our club was once blessed with one of the best. I'm sad to say that Sergey has fallen from his throne. It's not just that he shared the frustration with the aforementioned Jerry and several other seekers of Control #2. Sergey, who prizes the every second he can gain by choosing the right path around boulder (International meets are won or lost by mere seconds.) lost an unheard of five minutes on the first control. And that's not all. The meet director had no choice but to disqualify Sergey when he failed to identify the mystery control code at Advanced #16 to top off his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And all of this happened as Sergey was trying to prepare for the North American Orienteering Championships to be held in early August in the Lake Tahoe-Truckee area. 

If the sad story of  Sergey Velichko's dethronement moves you, then you should know that there is something you can do about it. The best way to prepare for an orienteering meet is by orienteering often. We had originally planned to conduct a meet on the site of our 2015 national championship meet. However, her job and other commitments have caused Kirsten Severud to withdraw as meet director. We have a map. We have high quality course designs. We just need you to volunteer to direct the meet. As meet director you can choose your date and time. And I can guarantee full support from experienced meet directors as you take on this most essential role in our club.



By all accounts the Castle Rock Map is set in beautiful country with great orienteering terrain. In my pre-meet memo I said, "This is a wild and challenging venue." Even acknowledging the significant number of beginners, I was surprised by the number of DNFs (did not finish) we had. In our club treasurer's (Andy Hill) case he sustained a painful calf strain that prevented him from taking on the Advanced Course as planned. In spite of his injury Andy has to be admired and thanked for helping with pick-up. Jerry Stewart didn't suffer an injury. He did spend a lot of time and energy seeking the infamous #2 and still hung around to help with pick-up. DNF or not, it was great to see so many new faces out there giving orienteering a try. From the many comments I think it's fair to say a lot of the newcomers will be back. So, although we had some minor disasters, the meet seems to have been a success.

Mike Bading at Adv
#17
It was great to have many new orienteers in attendance and to see some old faces. Michael Bading, who has directed several meets, has been busy with family matters and nursing a gimpy knee. Good to see you out again. Mike's wife Merrill teamed up with him on the Advanced Course. Brad Lowe, another member we see often brought his wife Dawn. You can recognize Brad by the company he keeps, a big, friendly, fluffy white dog. 

The team of Heather Steele and Matt Kohn ended a long streak of Kirsten Severud's Intermediate Course victories. Unlike Sergey, she has nothing to be disappointed about; she took top honors in the Advanced division.

I've thanked Andy and Jerry for their help with pick-up. Kirsten also helped. Both Kirsten and Andy contributed photos.

An entirely new map at Edna Creek/Whoop'em Up is next on our calendar. However, if someone is gracious enough to step forward to direct a Gold Rush meet (Idaho City) we might scramble the calendar. Stay in touch on Meetup. com.

John Murray
Meet Director







May 4, 2021

Rabbit Creek O-Meet and Potluck

    I try not to say the word literally too often. I think it's overused. However, there are times when any other word won't do. For example, I've never heard any respectable orienteerer claim, "I metaphorically went to all the controls." Unfortunately, thanks to a reptilian incident, now I'll need to use literally whenever I tell this story.

    My friend Michael from Chicago visited for the weekend and not only competed in his first orienteering meet, but also got the deluxe package: control setup AND pickup, camping with the coyotes, and catching the sunrise for a great shot.

Sunrise at Rabbit Creek (Michael Lin)

    The action started from the moment of our arrival on Saturday. Two bullsnakes welcomed us to the ranch; we nicknamed them Bert and Ernie. After a quick snack, we said bye to our new friends and ventured off into the beautiful desert scenery to place controls. And it was truly beautiful, as a few pictures illustrate below. A huge thank you to Bill Pilcher for hosting us all at his oasis and helping continue the Rabbit Creek tradition.  

                                                             My favorite control location

                                                          Oranges skies and an orange tractor

                                                        The custom Rabbit Creek O-Meet flag!

    Given that we'd already seen two snakes, Michael was on high alert for more Sesame Street pals. Meanwhile, I, like a good orientereer, was checking the map. Suddenly, Michael jumped backwards. He wildly gestured for me to come towards him, his gaze locked at my feet. I decided not to look down. He whispered a single word, "run." 

    Having someone whisper "run" while staring wide-eyed at your feet is a deeply terrifying experience. Nevertheless, I casually strolled off without breaking a sweat, although Michael claims the dust cloud I left behind suggested otherwise. A safe distance away, somewhere between a few feet and a half mile, I spun around and saw a massive snake. Coiled up in the path, it looked indignant, probably because of the footprint straddling its broad back. "I literally stepped on a snake!!"

    According to Michael, by the time he'd turned around, it was already too late. There I stood, consulting the map, one shoe in the sand and the other firmly planted on the snake's scaly back. It was easily three feet long and, to embrace the Rabbit Creek theme, as thick as a carrot from Bugs Bunny's wildest dreams. I'm not sure if the snake was dumbfounded by my cluelessness or an extremely gracious reptile, but I want to personally thank it for its patience. I hope the bruised ego gets well soon.

   The actual Sunday meet was equally adventurous, with reports of rabbits, rattlesnakes, lots of running around the ranchland, a few slightly misplaced controls (I blame Bert and Ernie, I think they moved the controls in the middle of the night), and for me, a very rewarding feeling to watch everyone try out my course designs. Rabbit Creek is one of my favorite CTOC locations and I was super excited to organize the meet this year. We had an impressive turnout of 51 people, with strong showings on all three courses. Thank you very much to Michael and Jennifer S. for helping set up controls. For those who are interested, the times are posted below; friendly rivalries are welcome to continue in the next meet!






Scouting the terrain (Rachel Meyers)

#61, in case you missed it! (Kirsten Severud)

    Last March, I wasn't particularly thrilled to come home during my senior year of college, to say the least, but over the past year, I've genuinely appreciated the chance to be back in Boise. It's been really nice to spend time with family and, furthermore, I always looked forward to the monthly CTOC meets. It was wonderful to chase Sergey on the advanced course, chat with the regulars, make friends, and meet new CTOC orienteerers! I was even able to design my first orienteering meet (Pine Creek 2020), and I couldn't have asked for a better sequel with Rabbit Creek this weekend. I'd like to thank Michael Lin, Bill Pilcher, John Murray, and Jennifer Smackey for their invaluable help in making my grand course ideas into a reality, and thank you all for attending!













April 21, 2021

Prison Break and Smell the Flowers

We couldn't have asked for a better day!  This was the first event on this map, and it lent itself to some challenges.  First due to the location we needed to stick to trails as much as possible, so we went with a modified trail type course. Then due to the openness and popularity it was tricky to find the perfect control spot that would be easy to see for participants but not so obvious to the general passerby. The last thing was that it was my first course design and director of an event that included controls (I had it easy with the November metrogain!).



While designing the course and I knew this was going to be a crazy fast course!  The uphills were slow and gradual, and the hard packed trail were in peak condition. This was evidenced by blazing speeds set by people in all categories!

Late arrival Erik blew through the advanced course in 33:51 and some friendly competition between the Morgan family had them both finishing under an hour with some light hearted taunting and cheers to go around!

The Intermediate course similarly saw some speedy finishes.  Kirsten managed to hold on to her streak of finishing first (37:17) followed closely by Jennifer Smackey. Lauren H made a last-minute decision to participate and while she complained about the hills she finished with a smile.  Out of towner Mary Hardy (visiting from the Bay Area) joined us and did well with the warmer weather and lack of water features.



The sport map had a strong showing which included several 4 legged friends and a young Fragkias who ran the Sport course AFTER his soccer game and still said he had fun.  Also, some newcomers tackled the sport course after completing the beginner map, perhaps they've caught the bug?

As I mentioned above this was my first course design, so I appreciated all the kind words I heard.  I learned a lot and know I still have a lot to learn so I value all the feedback and people being flexible with some things I may have missed.  All major complaints should go to John as he was my mentor during this process! ;)  But in all seriousness a huge thanks to John for creating the map and letting a newbie take control of course design.  There were many phone calls (some quite long), I appreciated all the hints/tips/nudges I received and still be allowed to do "whatever I wanted".

 Some additional thanks yous:

    *Sergey/Melanie for helping with the OE software.  Sergey is truly a trooper as he hung in there until the last runner checked in!

    *Carrie for helping set course the night before and for assisting with check-in.  She was able to help provide some help to some newer folks on map reading and navigation with a compass. Also assisting with course pickup

    *Ole who not only ran the Advanced course, waited while his son finished the advanced course but then offered to go back out and help with course pickup.

    *My Dad (Scott) for walking the area several times with me scouting control locations, setting the course the night before, helping setup the registration area, course and registration tear down. Nothing like being volentold ;)

We had 50 people turn up for this event and this included a handful of first timers! For those who selected to use our electronic punching, here are the results:

Advanced 6k- 11 Participants

Place

Start#

Name

Time

1

35

Erik Bergset

33:51:00

2

14

Lee Scott

37:47:00

3

2

Sergey Velichko

39:53:00

4

17

Jason Russell

42:18:00

5

25

Melanie Wright

48:31:00

6

8

Dustin Thomas

50:13:00

7

5

William Leahy

51:31:00

8

20

Emily/Aleksi Morgan

51:36:00

9

23

Ole Bergset

54:32:00

10

19

Jay/Nikolai Morgan

57:03:00

 

28

Lisa T

DNF


Intermediate 4.5km; 12 Participants

Place

Start#

Name

Time

1

12

Kirsten Severud

37:17:00

2

9

Jennifer Smackey

37:50:00

3

33

Lauren H

40:44:00

4

16

Mary Hardy

41:41:00

5

26

Innes Wright

43:23:00

6

7

Keeley Elisaon

48:40:00

7

22

Ford Family

50:31:00

8

10

Matt/Heather Steele

1:14:06

9

15

Lauren/Teagan Scott

1:21:26

10

34

Heather Cooper

1:21:27

DQ

1

John Murray*

35:47:00

 

27

Katrina Wright

DNF

*Due to Orienteering USA Rule A7.5 "... Individuals or groups visiting the closed venue shall not be eligible for competition, awards, or rankings, but they may nevertheless participate in the event." 

Sport 3.1km; 7 participants

Place

Start#

Name

Time

1

6

Britini Gates

42:46:00

2

13

Michail Fragkias

55:20:00

3

30

Brett2 Smith

56:59:00

4

18

Reese Russell

57:12:00

5

29

Brett1 Smith

1:01:13

6

24

Dan/Debbie DeVonce

1:16:02

 

11

Marcella Mink

MP

Split time for each control on courses may be accessed using the link below. Use it to see how you stacked against others on the course and where you may have lost time.

Split times, WinSplits Online

Here are a few photos from the event; if you have any additional please share them via the meetup site!

Fun in the sun!


All Smiles


View of Town