Mountain Bike Orienteering at O-Ringen

For the first time since its inception, Sweden's week-long orienteering festival, O-Ringen, is offering a full five days of MTBO competition. Sue Grandjean (pictured) and I (Abra McNair) decided to jump at the chance to attend, see what O-Ringen was all about, and get in some good MTBO practice. Just two days in, we've already been blown away by the organization and effort behind this whole event. Coordinating over 12,000 people is not an easy feat!
O-Ringen 2017 is in Sweden's Varmland region, so our first long and middle distance events have included some classic countryside and forest views; one competitor even saw an albino moose on their drive back to Arvika (!!). Out of our first two events, we both preferred the terrain and course setting of the middle. Held in a nordic skiing park, there were many chances to assess the topography while navigating some fun, rocky descents.



The long distance course was relatively flat, but with a distinguished ridge line (sometimes 50 meters high) where the only way down was a rocky path filled with deep sand. The multiple trips down this ridge line made the course no longer as flat. :) Sue had a great race on the middle event, finishing third in the W21 category.

MTBO has only been at O-Ringen since 2011, but is slowly growing in popularity as people realize the challenge of reading maps at a much higher speed. Next year's event should have all MTBO races within a bike ride's distance from O-Ringen City, which will hopefully inspire more people to try it out. Tomorrow is "Activity Day," which gives all participants a chance to try new orienteering disciplines, including MTBO, Trail-O (or Pre-O), a micro maze, and even pairing orienteering with biathlon. We are excited to try as many new things as possible before we are back on two wheels in the forest for the rest of the week.
 

CROC at 2017 National Championships at Gold Rush Days, Idaho

by Jill and Rick McBee

CROC's Dan Grabski punching a control on the sprint course.

CROC's Dan Grabski punching a control on the sprint course.

Once again City of Trees Orienteering Club (CTOC), Boise, Idaho put on a great national event for all of us in the orienteering world. CROC was represented by 7 members of our club in each of the following age groups: Dan Grabski and Mike Kacmar in Men’s 35+, Alex Myachin in Men’s 45+, Scott Drumm in Men’s 50+, Mike Poulson in Men’s 55+, Rick McBee in Men’s 70+ and Jill McBee in Women’s 70+. 

The Sprint race on the Boise State University Campus was a true test of speed, endurance and quick thinking for all within the mass of classroom and dormitory buildings interspersed with small gardens, works of art and tennis courts. There were lots of direction changes, cull de sacs and route selection opportunities for all. 

The Middle and Long Distance races were held just outside of Stanley, Idaho at an elevation of about 7000 feet. For both races, the complex moraine landscape was unusual in having a large number of depressions caused by the ancient ice of a long gone glacier. This was further complicated by many areas of deadfall within the mature Lodge Pole Pine forest which made direct line running difficult if not impossible in a number of areas. These obstacles made for very difficult navigation with the necessity of runners using their maps to decipher the terrain as they detoured through the maze-like courses. 

As always in national level events, a few extra seconds of decision making or dis-orientation on a course made all the difference between a competitor winning a medal or being only in the runners-up for any race. In the end, all agreed that CTOC had once again done a magnificent job of setting and organizing the courses to comply with the distance and winning time requirements of the completion. 

Several of our CROC members were awarded medals for their efforts placing them at or near the top of the nation’s orienteering age groups. The awards were as follows:

Dan Grabski: Bronze Medal for 3rd Place In men’s 35+ Overall for two best of three scores.

Mike Kacmar: Bronze Medal for 3rd Place in men’s 35+ Sprint. 

Rick McBee: Bronze Medal for 3rd Place in men’s 70+ Middle Distance.

Jill McBee: Silver Medal for 2nd Place women’s 70+ Sprint, Silver Medal for 2nd place in women’s 70+ Middle Distance, and Silver Medal for 2nd place women’s 70+ Long Distance. Additionally, Jill received a Bronze Medal for 3rd place in the women’s 70+ Overall for two best scores in a category which included the scores of non-USA competitors as well. 

Hurray for CROC! 

Jill and Rick McBee with an impressive hardware collection! National Championships, Idaho, 2017.

Jill and Rick McBee with an impressive hardware collection! National Championships, Idaho, 2017.

Member Training - Summer Series

“Summer School” at CROC offers members three opportunities for learning and/or fun. Details on Events page.

July 23, 2017   Stoplight Orienteering - Ali Crocker - Creston Park

August 5, 2017   Focus on Precision - Scott Drumm - Mt. Tabor Park

August 30-September 4, 2017 - Deschutes Daze

There are six days of advanced orienteering events in great forest and open areas around Bend, Oregon. There is no formal teaching, but you learn a lot from the courses. Come to one or all Deschutes Daze events. Note: Charges apply; not a free Member Training.

The Fall Member Training series will start with a Mapping Workshop on September 23, 2017. Mapper Virginia Church will help us learn how to map the terrain for an orienteering map.

Hamilton Island Classic Summary and Results

Many of us enjoyed perfect weather on Saturday, May 20, at the Hamilton Island Classic event. Four courses were offered - the intermediate and the advanced being the most popular. 38 individuals/teams set out - 61 people in all plus 3 dogs and babies in backpacks and tummies!

 The high water on the Columbia drowned out the shoreline path on the west end limiting route choices in that area but since no one felt like swimming, we moved two controls to higher ground. Andy ran an intermediate clinic and Julie taught 5 or 6 beginning clinics. The results below will show that Ali has not slowed down yet much to the chagrin of our advanced male runners!

 And there was cake. Thank you for making my birthday such fun!!

See Results on the Events and Results page

 Jill and Rick McBee, Meet Directors

The latest in finger sticks - an overview

The finger sticks used in the SPORTIdent (SI) electronic scoring system have enjoyed a steady increase in capability over the years. Recently, it's had yet another upgrade.

In true orienteering fashion, there are several names for the same thing. The latest version is called the SI Active Card, or SIAC, or "SPORTIdent AIR+", take your pick. 

This new stick allows you to register a control point without you having to insert the stick into the hole, you just need to be 50 cm or so away from the control. (Hence the "air", get it?) They can also be used in so called classic mode and inserted into the hole. They have a small battery and then that should last several years of heavy use.

This system will be used at a large orienteering festival in Australia in 2017. They are published a nice PDF article on the system, how it works, and who may or may not benefit from using it. (The programming of the blue SI Field units needs to be changed to allow use of these new sticks, so it does complicate setting up an event.)

Read the article here 

(Opens a shared Google drive folder)

More CROC winners from California

Our friends at the Bay Area Orienteering Club  (BAOC) recently had a large national meet. CROC was well represented.

Congratulations to Jill McBee for a first place finish in female 70+ on the brown course, and to David Rogers and Ken Wenzel for finishing in second and third for male 65+ on the brown course. Sorry Jill, we don't have a picture of you, but here is a photo of a happy David and Ken showing off the hardware.

"The Thinking Sport" - Winter Challenges

Mt. Tabor, January: Your map is not securely in your hand as usual, but was attached to a tree back a ways. Your mission, given this constraint, is to plan ahead, be aware of your surroundings and to look for prominent features. 

After this honing of memorization skills, the second part of the exercise was to complete a course with map in hand but with the goal of looking at that map as little as possible.


Reed College, February: Your partner has the map and is steaming along. But where? You have a map, too, but the controls are missing. Thumb that map! Stay located!

Participants paired up with a fellow orienteer of similar fitness and ability for this exercise in maintaining map contact. The partners ran the same course together, with the exception of different controls missing from each of their maps. This forced paying attention to the surroundings, matching them to the map, and then being able to quickly pick up where the partner left off -- though that control was not on your map!

You Are Here.

You Are Here.

Laurelhurst Park, March: It's raining and muddy, but so what? Your focus has to stay on the challenges of maps with missing features (like, almost everything) or worse, a map you drew yourself.

Two maps had significant things erased; requiring compass practice. A third map was drawn by participants, with only the details needed to complete the course. The exercise helped to understand which features are critical to navigation.

 

Sue Grandjean, Abra McNair, and Dan Grabski put together these fun and challenging skill-sharpeners and reported how the events went.

Sue: "Memory Training was a good exercise for planning ahead as well as a good drill to be aware of your surroundings and to look for prominent features. Club members enjoyed the training and it made them look at Mt. Tabor a different way."

Abra: "I heard that it was fun to follow someone else and see how they orienteered in comparison to how you might do it. Creating the event was pretty fun -- a great opportunity to be on maps while course setting and setting out controls day-of. "

Dan: "We had ten people for my training in hard rain and muddy conditions at Laurelhurst Park. Most people did at least the corridor and no-map training. Everyone was challenged by the training and had a good time!"

The spring series of CROC member training events are on the schedule!