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Training Log Archive: PG

In the 1 days ending Jul 23, 2010:

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Friday Jul 23, 2010 #

4 PM


Almost done, added maps and comments for 2002 to 2010, missing results from 1984, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and one map 1988 (plus I want to get better scans for the 2008 maps)....

The recently completed North Americans and a rainy afternoon has gotten me inspired to dig into the archives for a little bit of history of the event, though my history only starts in 1975, the first year I attended. I think there were one or two early editions, but I'm not sure.

We'll see how far I get, it may take a while....

Map of event locations.

Bear Brook State Park, Allenstown, NH. M21 -- day 1, day 2. A color map (there weren't many)! First time orienteering outside of Quantico-land, I was surprised to find marshes and ponds at the top of hills. Also summer vegetation and the bugs were out, this was late May. Not many memories, but I do recall looking for #9 the first day forever, and the the second day being so excited to find #4 that I celebrated quite a bit on the way to 5 and quite soon had no idea where I was. Finished 6th.

The map was wonderful at the time. A year later, now living in NEOC-land, I set courses for an A meet there and discovered the map had its problems, though I still enjoyed going there a bunch of times because it was the best we had. Now it would be considered atrocious. But somehow people managed.

Partial results, page 1, page 2. There might be a few familiar names, though quite a bit younger.

Brownsburg, Quebec -- M21, day 1, day 2. Day 1 was very straightforward, or to use maybe a more appropriate word, idiotic, such as leg 6-7. The woods weren't great, but most of the time the best routes were out on the trails or fields. Seemed at the time like a waste of a day. Day 2 was different, cold and hard rain for starters. The woods, it turned out, were quite awful, lots and lots of rocks, very slippery, quite miserable, though my main recollection from the day was going through the farmyard just before #11, about a foot deep in cow muck. I just kept running, tried not to think about it, or fall. And the day as a whole, well, it made you think back fondly to the first day....

The map for day 2 is in pretty bad shape. The course has almost faded away completely. Those were the days when the punch card was in the map cases, so everything got wet real fast. A close look will show the points along my route.

Partial results, page 1, page 2. Note Pam James winning F12.

Brecksville, Ohio, M35 -- day 1, day 2. That's the end of the M21 maps as I always ran in my age group from now on. This was also the first year of the BK cup, so I managed to duck out on any responsibilities in that regard....

The two days on M35 show how different the orienteering can be depending on the course setter. Day 1 was relatively flat and definitely fast. The main hazard was getting across the golf course (I can't believe they had permission, the golfers didn't seem real happy). The second day was "across the grain," up and down, and repeat and repeat. Had on-and-off company from a young Tom Hollowell for the last half of the course, he was much faster going up but I'd gain it back on the free fall going down.

Finding the results will take a trip to the basement....

.... but thanks to Gene Wee, here they are. :-)

Carbury, Manitoba, M35 -- day 1, day 2. I was chatting a week ago with Jim Webster, event director of the 2010 NA Champs,and it turns out he was event director in 1982 (the only other time we won the BK cup!). They had the Canadian Champs the weekend before this, also in the sand hills of Manitoba (wonderful terrain), and at that point, a week before the North Americans, it seemed like it might be a good idea to put together a little organization for the following weekend. So everything was a bit of a scramble, though the only thing I remember being amazed at was the map.

It had apparently been at least somewhat fieldchecked. It seemed unclear whether that had made it better or worse. The contours were a little flaky, the vegetation mapping was quite terrible, the trails were shaky. I do believe the north lines were accurate. :-)

The orienteering still was really fun, as long as you knew where you were.

And on the back of my day two, the all-important calculation for the BK cup --

It really should go in the Orienteering Hall of Fame (if we still had one).

Results -- part 1, part 2.

Harriman SP, NY, M40 -- day 1, day 2. Boy, looking at this map, and I think it was the second area in Harriman to be mapped, after Silvermine for the US Champs in 1979, it sure reminds me of the major challenge -- just reading the map. The regular contour lines were very faint, and the small (but very useful) trails were hard to see too. I look at it now and wonder how I (or anyone else) managed at all. Younger eyes, I guess, plus focus on the big features.

I think I got beat on Day 1 by one second by a visiting Scandi. Unfortunately that was the only day that counted as #4 on day 2 went missing part way through the morning. But it was still fine orienteering, probably the best it's ever been at Sebago, as over the years the vegetation has grown up (that's for sure) and the hills have gotten bigger (that's maybe).

Coulson, Ontario, M40 -- day 1, day 2. I have almost no recollection of this place. I think it's one of a number of places I've orienteered more or less north from Toronto, perfectly OK but very nondescript. I think maybe there were "issues" (the map? a questionable control or two?) but maybe I am imagining that. I think it was hot, but I may be imagining that too. I really don't have a clue, though it seems like I went to all the points without many detours. So I guess it was a fine event!

Results -- part 1, part 2.

Hickory Run SP, Pennsylvania, M40 -- day 1 (day 2 seems to be missing, will have to search....). First time at Hickory Run, have been back there several times since and enjoyed it. One of those successful times when a club (DVOA in this case) maps an area quite a distance from its home turf, and then they use it a lot over the following years. As opposed to, perhaps, the North Americans in 1982 (Manitoba) or 1986 (Coulson, Ontario), where I wonder if the areas were ever used again.

Zero memories of my runs, and no routes marked on the map (that's pretty stupid in retrospect), so all I can assume now is that I spiked them all. :-)

One memory of the weekend was meeting a Norwegian in my class, Ivar Opsahl. Kept in touch, saw him a bunch of times in the following years. I do recall he had a hard time dealing with getting beaten by an American.... :-)

Wish I'd done that more -- make connections -- because you tend to keep showing up at the same events as the years go by. And it's nice to know people.

Results -- part 1, part 2.

Beaver Lake, Caroline, Alberta, M45 -- day 1, day 2. Oil country northwest of Calgary, also interesting terrain. At some point you figured out that things mapped as small ponds, or uncrossable marshes, or crossable open marshes, or crossable wooded marshes, were all basically the same thing, and you should just avoid them. And the woods were a little scruffy. So routes were a matter of linking up as much as possible the trails and the open areas and the patches of white woods. And when you did that right, it was pretty easy and fast. And when you didn't (see day 2, #7), you could blow off a lot of time.

I think a number of folks had bad experiences here.

Results -- part 1, part 2.

Prince William FP, Quantico, VA -- M45, day 1, day 2. Back to where I started orienteering. I think this is the nicest part of PWF, mostly good forest with interesting topography, the kind of terrain where you really should not miss, but if you don't pay attention, then parallel errors can really bite you. And my recollection is that Quantico did a really nice job hosting the event.

Results -- part 1, part 2.

Barrie, Ontario -- M50, day1, day 2. I suppose this event was an example of how different the orienteering can be depending on what course you run. This was my first year in M50, so I was still running well, but the courses were shorter, and also apparently the expectations were lower, because we were supposed to have course lengths of about 4 to 4.5 km and winning times of 45-50 minutes. Either the forest is really awful, I thought, or they don't realize that older folks can still orienteer. Probably the latter. So my motivation for the weekend was to see how far under the 45-50 minutes I could get. Got 32 minutes both days. Was I annoyed it was too short? Heck no, it was wicked hot and coming up the last hill each day I was toast, very glad I was about done.

What was annoying was the course design. Essentially the same course both days, so lots of familiar territory on day 2. Who knows, perhaps that was all they could do. I do know there was a lot more map that the longer courses got to use. And also that, if I remember correctly, the organization was first-class.

But I think it was times like this that kept me running longer courses for a long time, just for the simple reason that I wanted to see more of the terrain that was being used.

Results -- part 1, part 2, part 3.

Meramac SP, Sullivan, Missouri -- M50, day 1, day 2. A trip down memory lane, back to the site of the 1976 US Champs, first time I won, thanks mainly to Bob Turbyfill making a mistake at the master maps on day 1 and circling the wrong depression.

This time the map was better, which probably made the orienteering easier, even though it seems I still screwed up some. One thing that hadn't changed were the hills.

One other memory of the trip was going bowling in Sullivan with Charlie and some others. I think that was my bowling excursion for the 90s.

Results .

Pothole Lake, Kamloops, BC -- M45, day 1, day 2. Canada had switched to 10-year age groups, so now I was in my last year in M45-54. Which meant we got to do a lot more interesting orienteering (compare this to M50 in the previous two editions).

I've run in some wonderful terrain in the Kamloops area, also in some crap, though most of it has been wonderful. And this certainly was nice. Very interesting. Also very hot if I remember correctly, but I think it is always very hot in Kamloops. And I don't remember much else.... :-(

Results -- part 1, part 2, part 3.

Hudson Valley, NY -- M55, day 1 (Sebago), day 2 (Ringwood). Back to Sebago again (first used for the North Americans in 1984), this time with a 1:10,000 map and quite a different mapping style, but still with the same hills and rocks and laurel and huckleberry bushes (or whatever they area, something like blueberries, knee-high). Rockwood had its share of hills and rocks too.

I look at my routes and I see what I did at the first control on day 1 at Sebago, and I don't know how or why I did it. But I think it was a precursor of things to come....

Results -- part 1, part 2, part 3.

Edmonton, Alberta -- M55, day 1, day 2. This was Canada's year, so summertime orienteering again. Hot.

Rather easy orienteering, the main problem being picking the right route, or perhaps I should say guessing the right route, because it often a matter of around a marsh or through it, without knowing whether the marsh would be OK or awful. I think my strategy was to not cross any marshes unless there was no choice, figuring I might lose a little going around, but lose a lot going through.

Day 1 course was mostly OK (except 6 to 7, really...), day 2 was pretty worthless, though I must admit the terrain limited the options.

A few more comments (written at the time) are here, scroll down a ways.

So far can't find any results....

Cleveland, Ohio -- M60, day 1, day 2. The second time for the North Americans in this part of the world (see 1980). My recollection from the first time was of steep slopes, and there were certainly some steep slopes again. And also some mud.

But the orienteering was interesting. I'm tempted to say the maps left something to be desired, but I'm not sure that's a fair statement since the first day I was blind (having lost my contact for distance vision very early in the course) and the second day I was orienteering as if I were blind (seriously, my O' was better the first day when everything more than a foot away was a blur).

I believe this was another weekend when we got whomped in the competition for the BK cup, perhaps because the Canadians were better, but a contributing factor was that a lot of our guys/gals didn't show up.

A few more comments (written at the time) are here, scroll down to items 20 and 21.


Hamilton, Ontario -- M35 (sprint), M21 (middle), and M55 (long).

This was the year the North Americans changed to Sprint-Middle-Long. A very first-class event put on the Mike Waddington and lots of other members of what used to be called Hamilton Kings Foresters (a really fine name for an O' club, though maybe better suited for a Canadian club than an American one). And at least the first two days were World Ranking Events. Which is why I did something I hadn't done at the North Americans for 29 years, run M21. Because there was talk about how each country was going to be ranked by how many WRE points its top 10 or 20 runners had, and this would be used to allocate slots at WOC and/or World Cup events. And I thought, well, maybe I can add a few points for our side.

The sprint was at MacMaster University where Mike teaches, very nice course. M17-20, M21, and M35-44 all had the same course (and all were scored for the WRE), so I put myself in M35, not that it mattered, I was out of my league. More on the day here.

The middle and the long were at Rocky Ridge. I think I'd run there in the late 70s or early 80s, very interesting terrain, lots of small features, easy to get confused. Ran in M21 in the middle because that's where the WRE points were. Not a good run, though not as bad as a lot of folks, just a missed opportunity on a day perfectly suited to me. More on the day here.

I can't remember if the long was also a WRE, but enough was enough, wanted to run my age group at least once. Had a good run. More on the day here.

As I said, a really nice event. And a move to create a finish area with some excitement, which was done very nicely, a trend that was carried on by this year's NAOC in British Columbia.

Oh, and the Canadians won the BK cup, handily.


north of Syracuse, NY -- M60, sprint 1, sprint 2, middle, long. CNYO was the host in 2008 and the format was again sprint-middle-long, though there was a wrinkle for the sprint, there were two sprints Friday afternoon and results were based on the total time. Overall a very fine weekend, talking about the "weekend," namely the middle and the long, they were wonderful. The sprint terrain was iffy, mainly because there was a lot of summer vegetation in the open fields and it was a huge disadvantage to be starting early.

I had not a good day at the sprints, the first one was shaky, the second terrible. Bounced back with a pretty good run for the middle and a very good run for the long, though I remember be very tired and feeling very slow. Slow as one may be, however, there is something to be said for hitting all the controls.

Saturday and Sunday were wonderful terrain. In a ranking of the best places to orienteer in New York state I'd put them right at the top of the list. And certainly ahead of Harriman (just as much a challenge and, due to the lack of rocky ground and laurel and knee-high vegetation and monstrous hills, a lot more fun). Though I think some may disagree. :-)

Oh, and the Canadians won the BK cup, handily.

A few more comments (written at the time) are here.


Cranbrook, British Columbia -- M65, middle, long, sprint. Wonderful event. Fun terrain, great organization. Enough said.

Oh, except the USA won the BK cup once again!

A few more comments (written at the time) are here.


So that's it. Except not quite. There was either one or two editions of the North Americans prior to when I started going in 1975. Does anyone have any info about them?

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