To celebrate Halloween at the upcoming night-O in Schenck Forest, we will have a one-hour “Vampire-O”. We will also do a “search and destroy” event for control pickup. This is an advanced event that is open to any BOK member who has completed an orange (or above) course. You must pre-register for this event here. Note that this race has a mass start at 9:00 PM, but you can get your map and plan your route as early as 8:15. Please be ready to race by 8:45 when you will get a very important pre-race briefing. Make sure to bring a headlamp, whistle, and a backup light source because it will be very dark. Read on for a specific description of this event.
A Vampire-O is a score event in which a small number of competitors are secretly selected to be “vampires”. A vampire appears to be a normal orienteer; however, he or she can trade punch cards with another competitor by touching them. When this happens, the touched runner becomes a new vampire, and the vampire reverts back to a normal competitor. Strategy plays a big role for vampires, deciding when and where to find their prey. Non-vampires also need to be wary of vampires, and to think about how to avoid them, if they so desire. The specific rules for our upcoming event at Schenck are:
- There will be a mass start at 9:00 PM, and participants will have one hour to score as many points as possible during the Vampire-O. Controls will be worth 1, 2, or 3 points, with the more difficult or distant controls generally being worth more points. Controls can be punched in any order.
- At each control, runners will punch with their finger stick, and will also manually punch their map. When/if you are touched by a vampire, you give up only your manually punched map, and receive the vampire’s map. Vampires’ maps will contain a special symbol on them that proves that their owner is a vampire; thus it won’t work to pretend that you’re a vampire in order to steal another runner’s map. When a vampire touches you, do not give up your finger stick because the controls that you find are still yours, and will compose a large portion of your final score. The other portions of your score will come from the manually punched controls (which may or may not have been punched by you) and from the controls that you retrieve in the search and destroy portion of the event described below.
- Vampires cannot chase their prey in a place or a manner that is unsafe. Prey runners cannot evade a vampire in a place or manner that is unsafe. If a vampire has waited thoughtfully and patiently to ambush you, be a sport and just let him or her touch you – it’s possible that you can benefit from trading maps! Please keep the event fun – not so competitive that someone hurts themselves.
- A vampire’s powers do not begin until three minutes after the mass start.
- A vampire’s powers do not work within 5 meters of a control.
- If a vampire touches another vampire, they still trade maps, and both remain vampires.
- You cannot be turned into a vampire by someone whom you have previously turned into a vampire. However, it is possible to be re-turned into a vampire by a different vampire. For example, if Jerry is a vampire who touches Maggie, Maggie becomes a vampire and Jerry becomes a normal orienteer. However, Maggie will be unable to turn Jerry back into a vampire. Jerry could, however, be turned into a vampire by someone else besides Maggie.
- The finish will be at the shelter. The clearing around the shelter (south to the vehicle track) including the two small patches of open runnable woods will be a ‘safe-zone’ in which vampires are not allowed to steal maps.
- After the one hour vampire-O, competitors will re-gather for a “search and destroy” mission. This will also be a mass-start event, beginning at approximately 10:15 PM. Competitors will be given a bag, and will bring back as many controls as they can (along with the reflective tubes around them), scoring additional points for each control that is returned. There may be additional spooky items at some controls, and these should be returned as well for additional points. During this portion of the event, there are no vampires. Runners must be off of the search and destroy course after 30 minutes, regardless of whether all controls have been retrieved.
Competitors do not have to do both the vampire-O and the search and destroy in order to earn a valid score. The total score for the event will be the sum of:
- Punched controls on your finger stick, weighted by their point values.
- Manually punched controls on the map with which you return (one point for each control — not weighted by point values). You will not earn extra points for manually punching a control that a previous map owner already punched.
- Number of controls and spooky items that you return for search and destroy (one point each — not weighted by point value). Controls that are returned without the reflective tube do not count towards your score and are in fact penalized, as explained below.
The following penalties will also be subtracted from the final score:
- There is a two point penalty for returning with a vampire’s map.
- You will lose 3*d points, where d is the difference between the number of control flags you bring back and the number of reflective tubes. For example, if you gather four control flags during the search and destroy, but lose two of the reflective tubes on the way back, you would lose 3*(4-2) = 6 points. (d can be negative if you find more tubes than flags, in which case you would earn 3 points for each unaccompanied tube.)
- You will lose 2*n points for every n minutes that you are late in either portion of the event. For example, if you are late by up to one minute (e.g., if the start is at 9:00:00 and you return at 10:00:01) you will lose 2 points. If you are late by four minutes (e.g., you return at 10:03:15) then you will lose 2*4 = 8 points. This penalty applies to both the 1-hour vampire-O and to the 30 minute search and destroy.
Finally, there will be a 1-5 point bonus for wearing a Halloween costume during the event. The event director will determine the size of this bonus, based on his own subjective opinions and ideas. Elaborate or artistic costumes (that make it difficult to orienteer) will generally be worth more points. Competitors must attempt to stay in their costume for the entire event in order to earn these bonus points.