Cemetery Hill Course and Map Notes
December 3, 2011
Cemetery Hill includes some of the grounds of the former Northampton State Hospital, (aka Northampton Insane Asylum). In the 1950’s, the hospital housed 2657 patients (including, at one point, Sylvia Plath). As you run up Cemetery Hill, you might think of the 594 former patients who are buried under your feet in unmarked graves. (There is a brief history of the hospital here
.) Today, Cemetery Hill is a dog park, where dogs are permitted to run off leash, and includes a disk golf course. Please be respectful of others who may be using the area.
There are three sprint courses (“long”, “short”, and “final”) and a yellow course. These are “woods sprints”, with a fair amount of trail running and open field running. The white woods range from very open, to moderately junky (due in part to the October snowstorm). The “long sprint” (3.1k, 80 m.), the “short sprint” (2.2k, 65 m.), and the yellow (2.8k, 55 m.) may be started any time between 10:00 and 12:00. The “final sprint” (3.1 k, 80 m.) will not commence until 12:30. The two longer sprints, of course, are too long to be true “sprints”: pace yourself accordingly.
To compete for the Western Mass Orienteering Championships, you choose between two divisions: Blue (all three sprints) or Green (long and final sprints). The top blue runners will begin the final sprint as a chase start at about 12:30. The top green runners will begin the final sprint as a chase start at about 12:45. Be sure to check the monitor to get your start time, which will be to the second. Starting at about 1:00, anyone can do the final sprint, with starts one-minute apart.
Please arrive early to complete your preliminary sprints well before 12:30. There is no shelter and no bathroom facilities, so prepare accordingly.
The map is 1 x 4000 with 2.5 meter contours, ISOM.
Special Symbols: Black circles are disk golf baskets. Black x’s (“manmade objects”) are almost always either signs or tables. Brown solid triangles (“charcoal platform”) are disk golf tees (rectangular rubber mats). Brown x’s are, as usual, root stocks.
Vegetation: Medium green (except perhaps a narrow strip) and dark green are to be avoided; they almost always contain nasty vines. Light green is slow run, sometimes with obstacles to go around or over; it may contain some stray vines. The large field mapped as “cultivated land” was, unfortunately, mowed down this week after the courses and map were finished (leaving knee-high stalks); its runnability is roughly “rough open”.
Fences: You may come across a couple of barbed wire fences. They are flagged with orange streamer and marked as crossable fences on the map. There could also be some unmapped barbed wire on the ground. Please be careful.
Rock: Individual boulders are often mapped down to .5 meter. “Cliffs” on the map are manmade rockfaces.