Meet day quickly became, like most other days this July, hot and sunny. It
did not deter many newcomers to the sport and even the experienced club
members eager to run another course on the more detailed Veteran's park map.

On the beginners course, a loop around the northern grassy area of the park,
several families took the first time challenge. One glitch was that control
#3 wandered off in the hands of some home decorator even before the first
group got there, so everyone perhaps lost a few minutes wondering what they
did wrong. Toni and Anna Hardesty, recent enthusiasts from Kristin's
orienteering course, ran through lickety split and promptly took off to try
their hand on intermediate. Masha Velichko proved her experience and speed
once again. Brad Van Roosendaal recalled his scout experience for his son
Nate, so they finished quickly enough to also tackle the intermediate level.
Both the Comstock and March families got an enthusiastic taste of
satisfaction and plan to be back for more next time. Charlie and Valerie
Gonazalez savored the experience to write about it later, but were quite
confused when Karin made it to the last control just a bit ahead of them and
collected it too early. Their final story may have a few extra plot twists.

The intermediate course attracted a blend of every level. David Byrd
arrived early and headed out first to finish with a very respectable time
despite feeling a bit under the weather. Matt Herring, son of Dan, went out
for his first time on his long distance running legs and finished in a solid
second place. Kristin Ritzenthaler, after deciding the intermediate would
be best with a stroller in hand, cleaned up first place after learning how
to read maps and push at the same time. Toni and Anna Hardesty still came back
smiling and ready for next time (they even joined the club!), just behind
the equally satisfied Van Roosendaal's in overall time.

The advanced course consisted of two loops with an interesting swim route
for those too hot on the second time around. Sergey ran on memory but still
managed to solidly take first place and set the standard. (It certainly
helps that he revised the map!) Dan Herring took his dog for company and
came back looking a bit sweaty with tree cotton, but still ready to roll on the
second loop. He missed the subtle placement of control #6, though, as he
discovered the peninsula was full of "twisty paths, all alike." Karin
decided to try her hand at the first loop only given the increasing heat and
came in just a shade behind Dan's time.

Perhaps the control of most discussion (CoMD) was #5 on the intermediate; #4
on loop 1 advanced. The description was the "north end of the three boulder
pile", vaguely speaking, which is more or less the way it looked on the map.
The boulders, however, were pretty green at this stage of the summer and the
scale of the trails is slightly odd in that corner of the map, leading more
than one competitor to wonder exactly where they were. Everyone did manage
to find it in the end - it was hung fairly prominently from the tree next to
a boulder. Sergey admitted that two pieces of mylar merged on the original
fieldwork there so something was a little off. Karin also suggested adding
the fence and perhaps clarify the private property which is clearly posted
at the end of the main trail. A mappers job is never done...

The numbers:

Beginner:  5 controls, 1k  (#3 missing for all)
Toni and Anna Hardesty               11:30
Masha Velichko                       14:30
Brad and Nate VanRoosendaal          23:50
March family                         25:40
Gonzalez family                      26:00
Comstock family                      27:10
Intermediate:  11 controls, 2.7k
Kristin Ritzenthaler                 23:50
Matt Herring                         26:18
David Byrd                           29:30
Brad and Nate VanRoosendaal        1:02:20
Toni and Anna Hardesty             1:05:00

Advanced:  11 controls, 2.6k (loop 1), 8 controls, 1.8k (loop 2)
Sergey Velichko (1)                  15:08
                (2)                  17:17
Dan Herring (1)                      38:40
            (2)                      44:30 (DNF-missed #6)
Karin Didesse (1)                    39:10

Next month we're off to the foothills and Hull's Gulch, for those who miss
the climb. See you then!

Jeff Black