Cary/Morrisville suburban orienteering, October 22, 2022 — With Bikes!!!

Filed under: Latest News by Imre Polik on October 14th, 2022

For the third (sub)urban orienteering event in Cary we return to where it started: North Cary Park. There will be a 2 and a 4-hour category. Additionally, a bike option is also available.
Note that this event isn’t a regular orienteering event. In particular, this wouldn’t qualify for scouting merit badges.


All participants need to register online before 8pm on Thursday, October 20. I’ll print the maps on Friday, October 21. Due to the capacity of the shelter, this event is limited to only 50 participants.

Instead of orienteering control flags I will mark certain points on the map and ask a question that you can answer there. This is not a treasure hunt, the controls won’t be hidden. No prior knowledge of Cary or the area is necessary. The key to success is a careful route choice and precise execution. I guarantee that the map has more details than what you know about.

The course

There are 50 controls worth 1 point each. Runners can visit the controls in any order. The runner with the most points wins. If there is a tie, the one who finished faster is the winner. There is an extra 5 points awarded for visiting all 9 in a special set of controls (spread out to the edges of the map).

The two farthest controls are 5.5km from each other. Clearing the course (as the crow flies) takes about 23km. Using laser sharp navigation, a fair bit of bushwhacking and crossing creeks at unpleasant places the course can be cleared in 31km. A more realistic estimate is probably 35km. That being said, the course seems clearable for a very good runner in 4 hours, and the event director would love to see someone do it! Judging from similar previous events a total distance around 32km is quite doable. No external help is allowed, including a GPS, Google maps, asking friends, using a TSP solver, etc.

All the control locations can be reached on paved trails, sidewalks, neighbourhood streets. Nothing is off-trail. However, significant advantages can be gained by careful (and lawful!) use of shortcuts.

Bikers can either take a longer route and bike everywhere comfortably, or take some shortcuts cyclocross style, or store the bikes in strategic locations and do part of the course on foot.

The area covered by the course is slightly smaller than in previous years. It is limited by Lake Crabtree on the North, Harrison Ave on the East, Maynard Rd on the South and Evans Rd on the West.


Teams of at most three people can also participate. Team members must always be within earshot of each other. Each team member needs a map.

The map

The map is at 1:10000 scale, printed on both sides of a landscape legal size (8.5″x14″) paper. In addition, you’ll get a letter size clue sheet for your answers. Bring a pen/pencil to mark your responses and a highlighter to plan your course. Let me know if you need a larger map.

There are no street names or identifiers on the map.

A compass is not necessary, but could be useful. Some control descriptions ask you to find something on the North East corner of something. A compass is also useful in guiding you during the shortcuts.

The start and finish will be at the picnic shelter in North Cary park in Cary. The address is 1100 Norwell Blvd. Water and restrooms are available there. On the map I’ve marked several places where water and restrooms are also available. Please carry your own water and plan your pit stops carefully.


  • 8:00 Handing out maps for the 4-hour group (50 minute preparation time)
  • 8:50 Pre-race briefing
  • 9:00 Start for the 4-hour group
  • 10:20 Handing out maps for the 2-hour group (30 minute preparation time)
  • 10:50 Pre-race briefing
  • 11:00 Start for the 2-hour group
  • 13:00 Finish for everyone (Late penalty: you lose your highest scoring control in the first minute and 1 point for each minute afterwards. Don’t be late.)

We need to leave the shelter by 2pm as it is booked for the afternoon.

If you cannot make it on the day of the event and want to run it beforehand, let me know. As there are no controls to set up, you can run any time, as long as you time yourself.

Comments are closed.