Imagine next summer. You're spending time outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather. Would you believe you spent January 7th, a winter day, out strolling in the woods under a warming sun? It wasn't perfect, a little breezy and cold at the start, but it was so much nicer than any of us could have anticipated. What a marvelous way to spend the day, enjoying nature and a challenge.
50 souls ventured into Miami Woods that Saturday morning. And all returned as well. This is no small statement; I'll bet all fifty where hung up more than once on a branch of Honeysuckle. That gift from China is the defining feature of the park. And it is responsible for that pain in your lower back (ducking under bowing branches).
The competition was ripe! Now I know when you are out there fighting the fight you don't see how close your competitors are to you and to each other. But let me tell you (or you could just look at the results below), there were some tight races.
Starting with the White course; well there were only three people on the White. And they weren't all that close. But all of their first names began with an 'A'. That's cool! And what about this Alyssa Malpede? She came out for her first attempt at orienteering at the Big Blue 'O' thanks to Zac Wilkins. Amazingly she was back again and taking first place to boot! Way to go Alyssa.
Now the Yellow course, on the other hand, proved to be one of the more challenging and competitive Yellows of the year. Of course it remains early in the year as of yet. Nonetheless, five individuals finished in a tight 10 minute spread. Kenny Fugate took the honors, running at 10 minutes per 'k' through dense underbrush. However he had been out on the Green course earlier and had an upper hand.
The Orange course too saw some lively action with again five folks finishing inside of a 10 minute window. The boys from Miami Valley OC cleaned up on this one. Tom McCloy & Dave Taylor took first in the control picking course.
The race of the day was definitely on the Green course. With eight runners all finishing within a 10 minute span and four very close duels, this proved to be quite interesting. Warren Mandrell narrowly bested Jon Rauschenbach by only 19 seconds. Matthew Robbins edged out Brad Stork by a simple 25 seconds. Bob Frey snuck by Greg & Steve Sten with but 8 seconds to spare. But if that wasn't close enough for you, Vince Hand beat Dick Arnett by a mere 7 of those miniscule measures of time. What a race!
The course was taken by Richard Boehm in a resounding 59:45. No one came close to toppling the recent Champion of Louisville's Billygoat. However, if time had permitted it could have been another day if Gabe Svobodny had been able to complete the course before I took it down. He finished 17 of the 20 controls at about 50 minutes. With only three to go it is easily plausible he was to tip the champ. Another, perhaps virtual, but very close competition!
Congratulations to you all. This was a fine way to start your orienteering experiences for the year. Try to get out as often as you can. One must 'O' regularly to improve. Take advantage of the strong winter and spring lineup. Check the schedule page on the net. Plan to hit a more distant event in Columbus, Indianapolis, or Louisville. Take some time to enjoy life and improve your health.
Thanks go to the members of the Badin High School Orienteering Club(ROKS), who hosted this event. And to Gerald Yipp who with the ROKS took down all of the controls.
Now some notes on the courses and park in general. Miami Woods is a small park consisting of around 110 acres (give or take). To set a Green or Orange course you would typically need about three to four times that much land. To solve that problem I used two different methods.
On the Orange course I used predominately "control picking". With an abundance of controls (24 instead of say 10 to 15 which may be regarded as typical) the orienteer was forced into all areas of the park. While limiting route choice one was pressured into using precision navigational techniques. Although the map was small, those on Orange saw every corner of it and got good practice of their skills.
On the green course I used a little control picking but also added "leg criss-crossing" and parallel routes. As you know the course crossed over itself several times. In addition, the same route choice was possible on multiple legs, or more precisely, their were many more and longer route choices open per leg on Green over the Orange.
White Course, 1.975 km, 90 m. climb, 13 controls
1 33:30 Alyssa Malpede ROKS 2 42:15 Anthony Hessling ROKS 3 87:32 Anita Frank
Yellow Course 2.3 km, 90 m. climb, 15 controls
1 23:33 Kenny Fugate HHS 2 35:01 Matt Wiegand ROKS 3 39:33 Nick Heath ROKS 4 41:05 Chuck Sunderhaus ROKS 5 44:35 David Giuliano ROKS 6 44:51 Brian DeYoung, Josh Cramer, & Kiera O'Neill OCIN 7 48:28 Andy Shaver ROKS 8 53:47 Matt Hubbard ROKS 9 88:36 Jahmar Belle & Jazmyn Brierley HHS 10 93:59 William Cox & Andrew Simmons HHS 11 98:16 Emily DeYoung & Danielle Marshall OCIN 12 107:34 Wayne Abney & Bob Swaver
Orange Course 3.46 km, 159 m. climb, 24 controls
1 84:00 Tom McCloy & Dave Taylor MVOC 2 92:32 Sean Anderson & Gabe Svobodny MVOC 3 97:38 David Giuliano ROKS 4 105:55 Matt Pennington HHS 5 109:54 Claire Dell OCIN 6 111:17 Scott Furnish HHS 7 111:17 Carl Capps 8 115:24 Shayna Chinn 9 119:40 Becky Schweinfest HHS 10 126:19 Jason Hewer & Jon Taylor Mispunched #2 DNF Zac Wilkins ROKS 10 controls
Green Course 4.36 km, 177 m. climb, 20 controls
1 59:45 Richard Boehm ROKS 2 75:06 Warren Mandrell OCIN 3 75:25 Jon Rauschenbach OCIN 4 77:12 Kenny Fugate HHS 5 80:10 Tom Svobodny MVOC 6 81:29 Matthew Robbins OCIN 7 81:54 Brad Stork MVOC 8 85:00 Bob Frey OCIN 9 85:08 Greg & Steve Sten 10 92:00 Gerald Yipp OCIN 11 110:22 Vince Hand OCIN 12 110:29 Dick Arnett OCIN 13 114:20 Robert Rice & Robyn Gorman OCIN 14 120:20 Erick Lebreton OCIN 15 159:10 Joyce Whalen OCIN DNF Gabe Svobodny MVOC 17 controls in 50 minutes (course was closed) DNF Ellie Kennedy OCIN 16 controls
The western half of the map, or about 60% of the wooded area, is recently reclaimed farm land. It has unfortunately gone wild and not formed into useable park land. What was once an open pasture is now predominately overgrown untraversable Honeysuckle. The only interesting features on this portion of the map are the ruins of the farmhouse and out buildings. These were nearly rendered unusable the Friday afternoon before the meet.
I had set the control Stands and bags on the south-west side, Thursday. When I returned Friday afternoon to finish the job on the north end I saw a couple of construction flatbed trucks parked in the parking lot and along side the road. Heavy pieces of equipment had been offloaded and I could see them west of the park entrance in or nearly in the stream. Something big and something yellow, I was not sure what it was or why it was there. I had a job to do and although curious I paid them no mind.
By about 4 O'clock I was through and heading back to the car. I had heard, what turned out to be a bulldozer, operating in the distance during my entire set of multiple treks into the woods. As I considered leaving I sensed a disturbing nearness to the voluminous noise emitted by machines, engines, and snapping wood. I could see black smoke emitting above the tree line. Both sight and sound where far closer than I had imagined. I could not believe they were bulldozing the park. Yet I was compelled to investigate.
I trotted across the foot bridge and up the trail to discover what was up. Suddenly the trail ended in a wall of earth and displaced root balls, limbs, and rock. The forest itself had been cleared and the trail closed. I was puzzled, angered and dismayed.
I climbed through and found my self on a muddy earthen rode no more than hours old. I followed it to learn the answer. I began to wonder what was the true question. Did this land no longer belong to the park? This looked like some kind of commercial development.
I found the dozer and another piece of equipment down in the creek bed along with many men looking at those doing the work. I followed the track, remaining unseen myself; I could not determine the meaning of this destruction. I found a set of cul-de-sacs blazed from the park back to the stream bed where the men had survey and placed stakes in the disturbed ground.
None of the three controls in that area had been disturbed. But of course the usefulness of the map had been compromised in that area. I spent the next 30 minutes making notes on my map of the new 'road bed' now meandering through the park like a cancer. As I finished and was walking back to the car I walked into two of the gentlemen from the stream.
It turns out they were with the City's Engineering Department. The demolition crew was actually making a way for a boring machine to gain access to the streams southern facing slopes. The City is concerned about the soundness of that stream bank and is having a contractor bore samples for testing. Unfortunately for us the timing was bad. Unfortunately for the park, the trails once there are now muck.
Fortunately I was able to persuade the men to clear the blocked trail. They were quite willing and very able. In addition an insignificant amount of Honeysuckle has been laid waste and is now absent from Miami Woods. But I doubt you noticed.
Orienteering Clubs and Groups
COO = Central Ohio Orienteers, Columbus
HHS = Hamilton High School JROTC
ICO = Indiana Crossroads Orienteering, Indianapolis
MVOC = Miami Valley Orienteering Club, Dayton
OCIN = Orienteering Cincinnati
ROKS = Rams Orienteering Klub (Badin HS)
results of previous local event (Governor Bebb, January 1, 2006)
results of next local event (Miami Whitewater, January 28)
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