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Discussion: Just 24 hours to the 2012 USA Corm Maze Champs

in: USA Corn Maze Champs, Classic, Sprint, and Relay (Aug 23, 2012 - Sunderland, MA, US)

Aug 14, 2012 12:38 AM # 
More info is here.

Drought? What drought? The corn is a lush green. For all those who have had success at CMO by cutting corners, not this year!

Ali is heading for Toledo, Alex is heading back to Boston to join the real world, Phil is self-destructing, PG and Gail are knocking on the door of the nursing home. Come join us for a last fling in Western Mass.

Next Thursday evening, August 23.

From the archives --

2011 Classic, part 1, part 2.
2011 Sprint.
2010 Classic, part 1, part 2.
2010 Sprint
Aug 14, 2012 8:37 PM # 
9 days to go.

Sneak preview of the terrain --

Aug 14, 2012 11:36 PM # 
Potential future venue.
Aug 15, 2012 1:12 AM # 
Entries received will be posted here.

Limit is 30.

Thinking of adding a sprint too. No reason we can't have 3 events. And perhaps a post-dinner night-O?
Aug 15, 2012 1:35 AM # 
A UMass sprint? or a corn sprint?
Aug 15, 2012 1:43 AM # 
Corn sprint, of course.
Aug 15, 2012 3:50 AM # 
Corn in the dark would be great.
Aug 15, 2012 3:51 AM # 
I have a lot of experience with that, probably more than anyone around here.
Aug 15, 2012 8:48 AM # 
How about adding a mobile-cornmaze-O for those who can't be there in person?
Aug 15, 2012 3:00 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Aug 15, 2012 3:02 PM # 
Aw gee. I have a dilemma. The public library is hosting a guy who summitted Everest and leads expeditions there.

What to do, what to do....
Aug 15, 2012 6:59 PM # 
I'll be there. Just fast walking, but then maybe fewer mistakes than the last two years.
Aug 16, 2012 8:16 PM # 
25 entries so far, limit is 30.

The theme of the maze this year is very AOWN.
Aug 17, 2012 12:57 PM # 
...AOWN ???
Aug 17, 2012 1:27 PM # 
At One With Nature (see IOF logo).

My guess is animal shapes in the maze, but we won't know until next Thursday. Either that or deer running through it (or bears!).
Aug 18, 2012 4:51 AM # 
see IOF logo

I never noticed that before! Very much in the background.
Aug 18, 2012 8:58 PM # 
I expect exciting material for the CMOUSA website afterwards! Definitely interviews.
Aug 18, 2012 10:03 PM # 
Glad to see the CMOUSA PR machine is up and running! :-)
Aug 19, 2012 7:31 PM # 
Aug 19, 2012 8:31 PM # 
Wondered how long that would take.... :-)
Aug 19, 2012 9:57 PM # 
I've been monitoring this on a regular basis (and your reply to my query yesterday suggests that you knew that the information was already available). Incidentally, it occurs to me that one nice thing about this year's event is that it will likely be missing a feature of previous events, that of spotting a control in an adjacent pathway and knowing that you're close, but need to somehow go around in order to get there. I expect that the lush green corn will be more visually opaque.
Aug 19, 2012 10:06 PM # 
Let's hope the racoons don't steal the controls...
Aug 19, 2012 11:51 PM # 
Aug 20, 2012 12:10 AM # 
96 hours to go. So far still need the map, still need to do courses, still need to figure out how many events (probably 3, I mean we will have 1:45 of daylight), still need to field check courses, pick up gear, set out controls, make up start lists, who knows what else.

On the other hand, the entry list is full (though still accepting alternates, with their chance of getting to start improved if they are gorgeous), we have a logo, CMOUSA has sanctioned everything, the party is set.

Everything pretty much under control. :-)
Aug 20, 2012 11:45 AM # 
We have a maze in Rochester and I think the owner might be willing to host an ROC Corn Maze-O. It appears that your maze is from the same franchise (Amazing Maize Co.) I haven't approached him yet. How do you make the map? What are they charging you to use the maze? I'm assuming you hold the event when the maze is closed to the General Public. I'm a bit late starting on this for this year, but I have a dream! And of course we'd like to get sanctioned!
Aug 20, 2012 12:05 PM # 
We use Mike's Maze, which is a unique situation, and has no connection to Amazing Maize Company. I happen to have known both the designer and the farmer for many years, and they let us use the maze for free, plus provide the map (itself an amazing work of both art and technology). We do it when it is not open to the public, which lets us do real orienteering without worrying about collisions or bad interactions with non-orienteering maze visitors, hence the weekday evening time schedule.
Aug 21, 2012 12:10 AM # 
The CMO held last October in Missouri took place when it was open to the public.

Nobody died.
Aug 21, 2012 2:11 AM # 
Schedule of events:

Classic: First start 6 pm, last start 6:30, one-minute intervals. Generally those expected to be fastest and/or expected to arrive late will start last. Don't miss your start -- schedule is tight.

Sprint: First start 6:45 pm, last start 7:00, 30-second intervals. Similar start order to Classic, but not identical.

Relay: Mass start 7:15, two-person teams.

Sunset: 7:40.

Dinner/party at Bub's: Immediately after the relay.

And organizational progress. I now have a map, plus e-punch equipment. Next thing needed is some courses. But no worries, since a day in corn-maze time is equal to a month (or more) in regular time.
Aug 22, 2012 12:41 AM # 
Progress -- the courses are designed, all points have been field-checked, the start lists are ready. Still need to do the maps, plus figure out the e-punch computer, plus put out the controls. Lots of time left.
Aug 22, 2012 12:42 AM # 
Latest news --

Weather forecast is favorable.

It is still possible to read the map at 8:00 pm.

Start lists and relay teams are below. Subject to change with sufficient bribes.

There may be bathrooms available, or may not. I'll try to find out tomorrow.

There is no entry fee. But I would like to make a donation to Mike and Will, who have been exceedingly welcoming. So, a suggested donation is $5 or $10. Nothing is required, do what you wish.

If you are concerned about arriving on time, try to leave a little earlier. Don't do something stupid, like get a speeding ticket. If you miss your start, we will accommodate you, but it would be nice if that wasn't necessary.

Bring a map case if you want one. It is supposed to be sunny, but…. Map size is 8.5 x 11.

The map — scale is roughly 1:1,000. Contour interval 5 meters. There is a magnetic north arrow, Map has only two features: White is dirt ground (I.e. no corn), good running but it may be bumpy, so if you normally wear braces for O', it might be good to wear them for this. And dark grey is corn = DO NOT CROSS. The maze is in great shape, and the map is wonderful. There is no reason — like "I was confused" -- to cut through the corn.

E-punching will be used. Don't forget your SI card.

If you are hopelessly lost, call 911. Just be prepared for a lifetime of ridicule. :-)

Classic start list --
6:00 Phil Bricker
6:01 Elizabeth Harkavy
6:02 Hayden Morse
6:03 Rachael Harkavy
6:04 Rhonda DeWeese
6:05 Jezanna Gruber
6:06 Gail Gagarin
6:07 Geoff Pingree
6:08 Rob Tryson
6:09 David Bryant
6:10 Stephen Richardson
6:11 Janet Tryson
6:12 Guy Olsen
6:13 George Walker
6:14 Camilla Scolini
6:15 Charlie DeWeese
6:16 Neil Dobbs
6:17 Barb Bryant
6:18 Dean Sturtevant
6:19 Ed Despard
6:20 Isabel Bryant
6:21 Ken Walker Sr
6:22 Glen Tryson
6:23 Clint Morse
6:24 Ben Gallup
6:25 Dave Yee
6:26 Alex Jospe
6:27 JJ Cote
6:28 Ali Crocker
6:29 Giovanni Berlanda
6:30 Ian Smith
6:31 Giacomo Barbone
6:32 Claudia Schaerer

Sprint start list --

6:45:00 Phil Bricker
6:45:30 Rhonda DeWeese
6:46:00 Gail Gagarin
6:46:30 Rachael Harkavy
6:47:00 Hayden Morse
6:47:30 Jezanna Gruber
6:48:00 Elizabeth Harkavy
6:48:30 David Bryant
6:49:00 Stephen Richardson
6:49:30 Geoff Pingree
6:50:00 Rob Tryson
6:50:30 Guy Olsen
6:51:00 Janet Tryson
6:51:30 Neil Dobbs
6:52:00 Camilla Scolini
6:52:30 Barb Bryant
6:53:00 George Walker
6:53:30 Ed Despard
6:54:00 Charlie DeWeese
6:54:30 Isabel Bryant
6:55:00 Dean Sturtevant
6:55:30 Ben Gallup
6:56:00 Glen Tryson
6:56:30 Dave Yee
6:57:00 Ken Walker Sr
6:57:30 Clint Morse
6:58:00 Ian Smith
6:58:30 Giacomo Barbone
6:59:00 Ali Crocker
6:59:30 JJ Cote
7:00:00 Alex Jospe
7:00:30 Giovanni Berlanda
7:01:00 Claudia Schaerer

Special rule for relay --
There will be a mass start 2 minutes after the first first-leg finisher for all second-leg runners whose teammate has not yet finished. Final results will be based solely on the order of finish of second-leg runners.

Note that one reason, and maybe the main reason, for having the relay, is to give folks who have totally screwed up the Classic and the Sprint a chance to get it right.

Relay teams (in order of running) --
Janet Tryson, Dave Yee
David Bryant, Clint Morse
Charlie DeWeese, Dean Sturtevant
Rhonda Deweese, Ben Gallup
Geoff Pingree, JJ Cote
Rob Tryson, Barb Bryant
Gail Gagarin, Giacomo Barbone
George Walker, Neil Dobbs
Stephen Richardson, Ken Walker Sr
Phil Bricker, Isabel Bryant
Hayden Morse, Alex Jospe
Guy Olsen, Ed Despard
Jezanna Gruber, Ian Smith
Rachael Harkavy, Ali Crocker
Elizabeth Harkavy, Giovanni Berlanda
Camilla Scolini, Glen Tryson
TBD, Claudia Schaerer
Aug 22, 2012 1:09 AM # 
The 2012 maze is now posted on their web site.
Aug 22, 2012 1:13 AM # 
I was wondering how many folks would not manage to discover that, but now I guess that number should be pretty close to zero....
Aug 22, 2012 1:22 AM # 
I figured, for fairness, if some saw it, all should :-)
Aug 22, 2012 1:36 AM # 
Just because regular orienteering suffers from an irrational need for perceived fairness -- as if anything in life is fair -- doesn't mean that corn-maze O' has to think the same way. CMO is much more concerned with important stuff, like the party.
Aug 22, 2012 2:44 AM # 
oh man, up until I saw the maze that Phil posted, i had almost succeeded at not feeling too bad about not being able to make it. Have fun!
Aug 22, 2012 9:35 PM # 
In case you didn't notice, first starter this year is Phil Bricker, in honor of his many contributions to orienteering in Western Mass (and also perhaps in recognition of his current "broken" status, so no way he was going in the red group).

And we have another international entry, Claudia Schaerer from Switzerland, apparently coming just for the corn maze champs. The word is spreading....

Meanwhile, we have a map, we have courses, the maps might even get printed tonight. Now just need to hang controls and figure out the e-punch computer. Lots of time, everything under control (I hope).
Aug 23, 2012 12:24 AM # 
A note from Will Sillin, the designer of Mike's Maze --

"It features a rendering of Jean Francois Millet's "The Sower" besieged by a murder of crows, Aeolius, a giant locust, woodchuck, and raccoon. Ahh!... our subject is the joy of farming!"

See, I told you it was AOWN.

Check out Will's spectacular creations on his web page, link above.
Aug 23, 2012 1:27 AM # 
Incidentally, the 2006 maze was mentioned on last week's edition of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" on NPR.
Aug 23, 2012 4:46 AM # 
The 2011 maze.
Aug 24, 2012 2:14 AM # 
The party is over, oh, and the races too. Splits are linked from here.

My vague recollections --

Some very tough orienteering, but no injuries, and no one had to call 911. We squeezed in all three events in under two hours. Mike and Will, the maze creators, seemed very impressed. And my sense was people had a lot of fun.

And the organization was just what it needed to be -- close to disaster at all times but never over the edge. :-)

A fine evening in other words.
Aug 24, 2012 2:24 AM # 
Sniff sniff. Sorry I couldn't/didn't make it. And five minutes on a 21s leg? The stars mustn't have been aligned...
Aug 24, 2012 2:35 AM # 
Event #1, the Classic, click on map for larger version.

Followed immediately by the Sprint, click on map for larger version.

And it was followed immediately by the relay. Below is leg 2; the first leg had controls 1-5 and then the finish. Note that controls 5 and 8 are outside the maze.

Aug 24, 2012 3:37 AM # 
Aug 24, 2012 4:13 PM # 
Aug 25, 2012 3:04 PM # 
Wow. That looks intense. And diabolical.
Aug 25, 2012 3:08 PM # 
And it was great fun too, for me at least, once I figured out the scale! Thanks so much Peter for organizing this and doing all the map prep. Will's designs are fantastic and he's a wonderful realist in his paintings, and Mike appears to be a great friend.
Aug 27, 2012 10:49 AM # 
David & Isabel went to the MFA yesterday to see the original Sower painting. Izzy reported that it didn't have a raccoon or a gopher...
Aug 27, 2012 12:23 PM # 
Pity. The raccoon and gopher added a lot.
Aug 28, 2012 2:11 AM # 
GuyO: see the original Sower painting

You mean, this one?

"This Year, our 8 acre rendering in corn and dirt is of Jean François Millet’s ‘The Sower‘ besieged by, counterclockwise from top right, a murder of crows, the winds of Aeolius, a giant locust, a brazen woodchuck, and a thieving raccoon. Hence we have titled the maze The Sower’s Banquet."
Aug 28, 2012 3:18 AM # 
Not measured quite as carefully as I've done with these things in the past, but what I came up with for the shortest legal routes are:
Classic: 1.945 km
Sprint: 0.491 km
Relay leg 1: 0.509 km
Relay leg 2: 1.062 km
Map scale was 1:1000
Aug 28, 2012 4:59 AM # 
Some fiddling around with the available GPS tracks, specifically the last leg of the Classic:

Seeing the relay would be a hoot, as it was neck-and-neck for quite awhile - especially when Ian led us for a circular bonus lap at top speed - but almost everyone seems to have fooled AP's automagic map-linking voodoo. I'll get around to doing the sprints when I get over the shame of blowing the lead with a leg ~150% of the total winning time. Thanks again to PG, it was a total hoot!

This discussion thread is closed.