orienteer 1:24:08  5.16 km (16:18 / km) +70m 15:16 / km
Hanging markers for today's event.
About 8C and sunny to start, but cloudy later.
We had a great turnout, including 3 women who had been at our recent training events. 47 starts, almost a record for us. But there must have been about 70 folks total, almost looked like a real athletic event. I think we are reaching critical mass for advertising our events on Facebook and other places and the word is spreading about O.
We have one regular participant, a woman (in her 20s?) with an intellectual disability. Her mother comes with her, and I assumed she knew how to read the map, but let her daughter read it sometimes. But I was wrong. After 2 hours they were not yet back from the intro course. Fortunately, I had their phone number (the daughter calls me a lot!) so I called them and tried to figure out where they were. It was difficult, because the daughter told me they were passing a tree with mushrooms on it, or a downed tree or a rock wall. Finally I understood they were on a trail and heading west, so I took an educated guess and headed to meet them. Found them 30 minutes after the courses closed. I had designed the intro course to leave the trail, follow a rock wall and field edge, then follow streamers to the next trail. The mom said that she had been told that the intro course is always on the trail so she never wanted to leave the trail. They wandered for a long time, but finally realized they should turn around (thankfully!)
So now I know I have to teach the mom to read a map. We also need to find a way to teach folks who are moving up from Intro to Intermediate. Blair suggested a "Step Up Training" along the lines of our beginner's briefings. I'm willing to try that.