January 22, 2024

Eagle Island Meet

It was a relatively warm day for January, warm enough to have just a little intermittent light rain instead of snowfall. The significant weather was not what occurred on Saturday. It was what had happened in the week before. Some weather alarmists called it Snowmageddon 2.0, a foot of snow and low temperatures approaching zero. As difficult as the week's weather was, I believe Snowmageddon is a little hyperbolic. The real weather story of this meet was the aftermath of the week's storms that left 10 to 12 inches of snow on the ground at Eagle Island. As you can see by observing how much the snowman had shrunk, by Saturday the conditions had much improved since I began setting controls on Thursday. The snow depth had diminished by 2 or 3 inches, and the warmer weather destroyed the rain crust that impeded my setup. In spite of the much-improved conditions, the remaining snow made travel conditions, whether running or walking, much less than ideal. 

Not quite Snowmageddon

Perhaps there was one advantage for the orienteers—elephant tracks. No, Eagle Island State Park has not become a sanctuary for large African mammals. No need to fear lion attacks. At least none has been reported recently. “Elephant tracks” is an orienteering term describing a visible path traveled so heavily that it aids navigation or entirely eliminates the need for navigation. Snow cover ensures elephant tracks are present. 

Jerry, Angela, and Torin's boots for deep snow. 

Some orienteers just enjoy a walk in the woods in places they wouldn't otherwise visit. Others compete either with other participants or with their own expectations. In the latter category there were some expectations that ran notably high. Sergey and the team of Scott and Christy both came to the meet with the intention to complete their courses within one hour. Sadly, Sergey failed to come even close to Scott and Christy in the expectations game. The larger than 15-minute spread was even more decisive when you consider that Scott and Christy were not only picking up controls, but also diverted off their course to pick up a control I failed to gather. 

Scott & Christy at the start table
It's not news anymore that Kirsten won the Intermediate competition. Her name should not be mentioned without thanking her for helping with control pick up. Her assistance along with Scott's and Christy's made the afternoon go much more smoothly for the meet director. As meet director I am very grateful. I should also say how pleased I am that Christy took full responsibility for the electronic timing. We now have 3 people who are entirely capable of managing that aspect of a meet. And, speaking of category winners, Jerry again won the over 80 class, reminding us that this sport is a sport for everyone with the gumption to get out and do it.

 We hope to see you on February 11 when Melanie Wright directs the Willow Lane Motala.

John Murray
Meet Director

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