East Fork State Park
July 19, 2003
Matthew Robbins, Event Director

    At about 9:00am on Saturday morning, my nephew Brach and I were placing
controls in the western peninsula of East Fork. I was dripping with sweat
climbing out of a reentrant, the footing terrible due to the overnight
thunderstorm. The humidity was probably 100%. Brach had just said, “You
like doing this?”, and I had said, “Yeah.” I had been up until 3:30 am
finalizing the courses and making clue sheets. I was out-of-bed at 6:30 so
I could do what I thought was three hours of planting controls, if I was
lucky. I was miserable, and I was remembering Greg Sack’s words from Mt.
Airy: “Last year, we had like three people show up.”

    I had brought this upon myself because I went Radio Orienteering in Atlanta
last weekend instead of scouting courses like I knew I needed to. (Had a
blast. Completely awesome orienteering experience. Side note: Through no
fault of my own, I startled a running horse and the rider hit the grass.
Felt really bad about it (still do), but laughed about it later.)

    So I was questioning myself whether it was worth it to do this. To spend
hours looking at the map planning courses, then to drive over to the park to
make sure the summer vegetation wasn’t too thick to ask someone to trudge
through. To learn that it was too thick, and to go home to look at the map
again. To scout so late you lose the light and end up night orienteering
back to the car across steep ditches and through blackberry bushes with no
flashlight. To get three hours of sleep the morning of.

    Well, the answer is in, and, “Yes, it’s worth it.”

    Saturday was probably the most rewarding orienteering experience of my life.
The weather was great, about 80 degrees, moderate humidity, sunny.

    But what really made it great was that so many people showed up. Thank you.
There were competitors from as far away as Columbus, Indianapolis, and
even Champaign, Illinois.

    The turnout was so great we almost ran out of maps. We used every map we
had, then started letting people take the master maps. We had one map, the
Green master, left. Mike had printed 40 maps. I used five, one for the
master-master and four for the course masters. I sold one to a guy who lost
his dog (I had seen the dog on Wednesday night and noticed the missing flyer
on Friday). Including the Radio Orienteering practice event that Bob Frey
and Dick Arnett ran, we used 37 maps.

    This was my third event as a course setter. If you have any questions,
comments, or criticisms of the courses, please let me know. I’ve heard
about one misplaced control (Number 1 Green-whoops). I’ve heard that it’s
not good to place controls within 1 cm of the edge of the map so people don’t
go off the map. I’ve heard that a Brown course is expected, and can often
be easily designed by cutting controls off the longer courses. (I’m
supposed to say that Claire Dell, Dan Dell, Bobbi Sack, and Leo Sack each
completed an impromptu Brown Course of their own design.) I’d also
recommend to Mike that whenever a map has magenta “Prohibited” stripes or
“Danger” cross-hatching that it be overprinted on the legend as well.
Several competitors passed through the magenta area because they didn’t
know. I probably should have had course notes on the map boards, too…

    Number three on Orange, the knoll near the “trail junction” was much
trickier than I expected. Many competitors experienced the same thing that
had happened to me that just that morning. The map at first glance looks
like a straight trail with another trail joining it, but it is in reality a
main trail that bends, and another unused trail or “cut line” or ride that
makes the main trail look straight. That morning, I was lucky because I
noticed the bend right away (on a trail that I was expecting to be
straight), so I turned around and found the straight-line section. It’s
almost hidden. That’s another good reason to check your compass once in a
while even on a straight trail. (Interestingly, it is mapped correctly.
Take a look. It’s the long, straight trail in the lower left section of the
map. Look for a single knoll just below the trail split at the NW end of a
long, skinny clearing. Coming SE it’s distinct, but going NW it’s not. Hmmm.)

    I’d like to thank Mike Minium for helping with the planning and with
competitors as they started to arrive, and Greg Sack for helping place
controls and for refurbishing the control stands. Don’t they look great?

    I’d like to give a special thanks to my nephew, Brach Schwegman (age 12),
who helped place and recover controls, and who did a simply outstanding job
as the timer. He now knows that you can’t place controls behind trees,
*especially* on the white course. I’m sure some other people helped out,
but I don’t know your names. Thanks. Again.

    One last thing. Probably the most satisfying part of the event for me, was
having Mike Minium show up to run a course that he didn’t also design and
set. I couldn’t even start to count how many of his courses I’ve run.
Thanks, Mike.
Matthew Robbins, 20 July 2003

White Course, 2.05 km, 35 m climb

0:29:00    David Jellison    OCIN/Troop 502
0:31:00    John Jellison    Troop 502
0:39:51    David Williams
0:45:57    Katie Williams
0:48:00    Chris Vermillion    Troop 502
0:49:17    D.J. Donnellon    Troop 502
0:55:00    Steve Susan Becky Miller    OCIN
1:11:00    Sharon & Ben Bond    MVOC

Yellow Course, 2.8 km, 80 m. climb

0:56:10    Kevin & Karen Mitchell    OCIN
0:58:14    Chris Taylor
1:03:00    Rob Hubbard
1:18:45    Susan Henson
1:22:40    Katie & David Williams
1:53:53    Connie & Steve Hein

Orange Course, 5.3 km, 120 m

1:31:32    Eric Tullis    ICO
2:02:09    Alexander Preobrazhensky    COO
2:19:11    Tom & Sue Souders    OCIN
2:28:18    Jenni & Tonya
DNF        Bill Hoffert    OCIN
DNF        Joe McMillen
DNF        Karin Gibbs

Green Course, 6.25 km, 205 m climb

1:15:34    Mike Minium    OCIN
1:17:43    Bob Huebner    COO
1:19:02    Bill Swift    OCIN
1:49:36    Greg Sack    OCIN
2:26:57    Eugene Granovskiy    COO
3:01:27    Sergei Preobrazhensky    COO
3:48:54    John Bednar
DNF        Bob Frey    OCIN
DNF        Dick Arnett    OCIN
DNF        Leo & Bobbi Sack    OCIN
DNF        Claire Dell    OCIN

results of previous event (Mt. Airy Forest, June 28, 2003)

results of next event (Bear Creek, August 30, 2003)

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