Sunday, October 19, 2008

October 19 event in the South Umstead Park (Whispering Pines)

South Umstead and Whispering Pines? Not quite. White, Yellow and Orange course were indeed in that area, but advanced courses were set in the eastern part of park, way north east from the Whispering Pines Camp. With remote start and remote finish all advanced courses pretty much gained 3 extra kilometers or so. Some people didn't like it, but most did. The courses turned out to be quite challenging and orienteerers got to visit some new areas of the park, which is always nice when taking in account how many meets we do have in Umstead throughout the year.

The weather was perfect and turnaround was beyond expectations. What can I say, all the maps (except for 8 advanced ones) got spent! I don't know how Joseph guessed the exact numbers for each course, but somehow he did!

Also so many people helped with this event, especially with the controls pickup despite the controls being so far away! I am very grateful. Thank you very much! Here is the full list (and I hope I didn't mess up the names...):

  • Joseph Huberman and Ruth Bromer - help with courses design, beginners class and maps printing.
  • Holly Kuestner, Molly Nicol, Nadya and Charles Scharlau, Larisa Nord, Artem Kazantsev, Terese Camp - controls pickup.

And, of course, Michael helped tremendously. While it was my and Tanya's names that appeared on the schedule for this event, it was Michael who did a lot today to make the event a success. Tanya had to spent almost all day in the Raleigh Little Theater setting lights for the next show, so she drove us into the park around 9.30 AM and returned only around 3 PM just in time to help with controls pickup. One smart decision we made was to take a bike to the meet. With advanced controls being so far away, it would had been very hard to set the ones visible from the road in the morning. But using the bike, Michael was able to turn around very quickly. Then he set eastern part of white and yellow controls, while I was setting the tables up. When he returned, I ran and set the rest of white, yellow and orange controls. So, by 11.15 we were ready.

People started to arrive shortly after that and soon enough there was a huge line to the register where I was working. I want to apologize for you having to wait in the line... Having remote start and finish for advanced course slowed the process, as I had to explain how it worked. Michael was working at the start, and there were no delays there. The next two hours were a blur for me - so many people showed up! I can hardly remember details, I know only that Joseph did the class somewhere around that time and then I ran out of the maps. Fortunately, everyone got the map they asked for, but we were very close to upsetting someone.

Then people started finishing and to my relief everyone seemed to like the courses. The only critique I got was about a legend for the control 69 (#9 of Red/Green). I should have specify that the control was in western dry ditch, instead of just dry ditch. The most difficult control proved to be 65 (#5 on advanced courses) - a lot of people had troubles finding it clearly from the first attempt. Also 45 (#3) and 41 (#11) caused some delays.

All in all, very good event. I am happy with the way it went and I am very grateful for all the help I had received prior and during this event.

Till the next time!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One day till the event

Tomorrow is the event.

Almost a month away from the country, away from the forest (except for 5 hours mushroom picking hike in Belarus) - it was such a pleasure to set advanced controls today.

Tanya and I went out to the Umstead and set all remote controls. Tanya set Orange ones and I basically ran the Red course. Two ribbons were missing, other than that everything went fine and we managed within 1 hour and 45 minutes. My personal feeling is that the advanced courses will be rather hard, a lot of hills. But we'll see.

See you tomorrow!