December 6 Regular event at Umstead South

Filed under: Uncategorized by David Waller on December 1st, 2014

This Saturday, we’ll again be in Umstead for a 1-, 2-, and 4-hour score event.  Unlike most regular orienteering courses, these “score” courses do not need to be completed in a predetermined order.  Competitors will simply get a map with a number of locations circled, and can chose which ones they want to visit and in which order.  Different locations will be worth different numbers of points (more points for more distant or more difficult-to-find locations) and the person with the highest total points (who finishes under the time limit) wins.  There are big penalties for being late.  Please note that there is a mass start: competitors in the 2- and 4-hour courses will all start at 10 AM, and late starts for these events cannot be accommodated.  Competitors for the 1-hour course may start any time between 10 AM and 1 PM.

Registration, mass start, finish, and beginner class will all occur at the big shelter north of the Reedy Creek parking lot in the south portion of the park.  GPS coordinates are approximately:  35.838090, -78.760748

If you are planning to come with a group of 5 or more, please contact the event director, David Waller, at so that we can be sure to print enough maps.


9:00  Registration begins.  Please arrive early enough to be registered by 9:40.  Maps will be available at registration, so arrive early and give yourself plenty of time to plan your route!

9:50  Pre-race briefing

10:00  Mass start for 2- and 4-hour events

10:00 – 1:00  1-hour competitors may register and start any time in this window

11:00   Beginner class on orienteering basics

12:00  2-hour course finishes

2:00  4-hour course finishes


Courses:  The 1-hour course will be suitable for all runners, and will have a mixture of beginner (white), advanced beginner (yellow), intermediate (orange), and advanced controls.  In general, advanced controls will be worth more points than beginner and intermediate controls.  People with limited experience with orienteering are encouraged to participate in the 1-hour course.

The 2- and 4-hour courses will have a mixture of intermediate and advanced controls, and in general, advanced controls will be worth more points than intermediate ones.  These courses will enable runners to visit portions of the park that are rarely used for regular events.  Local orienteers who are very familiar with the park are encouraged to participate in the 4-hour event in order to visit some of these rarely-used places.  Note that water will be provided at few if any controls, and competitors are strongly encouraged to carry their own.  Several controls will be relatively close to existing park water fountains, and competitors who do not carry their own water will probably need to incorporate these locations into their route planning.  The straight-line distance required to clear the 4-hour course will be over 22 km.  These courses will most likely involve at least one wet-foot creek crossing, although such crossings may be avoidable with time and/or with careful planning.


Map information:  The 1-hour course will  be printed at 1:10000 scale.  Because of their especially large extent, the 2- and 4-hour courses will need to be printed at 1:15000.  (Competitors can copy circles onto their own 1:10000 map if they have one.)  The 2- and 4-hour courses will use the exact same map, but there will be controls from the 1-hour course that do not appear on it.  Overprint color will be bright scarlet.  Unlike most BOK events at Umstead, downed trees will not be mapped, and no controls will be located on rootstocks.

Control descriptions will be printed on the map and will not be available in loose sheets.  Control descriptions will be in English for the 1-hour course, and will be symbolic for the 2-and 4-hour courses.

Finally, and as a very minor point, the course setter pretty firmly believes that the ‘linear marsh’ symbol (blue dotted lines) is overused on the Umstead map.  There are many places on the map where a ‘seasonal stream’ symbol (blue dashed lines) would be appropriate; but these are instead mapped as linear marshes.   There are also places where linear marshes are correctly mapped. To help disambiguate this situation, the control descriptions for these features will indicate whether the course setter thinks that the feature is a marsh or a stream, even if the map represents everything as a marsh.  Thus, occasionally, a linear marsh may appear on the map but it will be referred to as a seasonal stream in the control description.

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