- Event Directors: Randy Mitchell, Howard Montgomery
- Course Designer: Stan Rachitskiy
- Registrar: Kevin Peterca
- Timers: Matt Johnson & Ken Witalis
- Control Collectors: Steve Johnson, Todd Pownell, Frank & Wes Mahne, Howard Montgomery
Track: slightly damp. Sky: Azure Blue Temp: low 60s
In short, autumn beauty as far as the eye could see.
It was under these conditions that 53 participants came out and orienteered our final event of the 2015 season. I’m sure that each one of them thought, “This is tough duty, but someone has got to do it.” Because it was just that beautiful a day to be out in the woods. A number of the orienteers commented on being stunned by the number of recreational users on the park’s many trails. We are so fortunate to have the wonderful and accessible Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park in our proverbial backyard.
Side note before I get to the main recap: Kevin Peterca is a selling machine! The man sold seven or eight 2016 memberships to Sunday’s participants. We NEVER get that kind of day-of-event interest in membership. Most people need to think it over and send in their form to us afterward. But not with Kevin “Just-Sign-Here” Peterca. He closes the deal. It is especially noteworthy when you consider that the value of the membership won’t kick in again until roughly March of next year. WAY TO GO KEVIN!
There were four courses on the day – White, Yellow, Green and Red. Whereas sometimes we omit a Yellow course at some of our events. On this day we omitted an Orange course. And at times during the day, I would have given my kingdom to have had it. The Orange is situated right in the middle between the beginner-level courses on one side and the expert level on the other. It’s absence left people with some hard choices. Do they signal that they are beginners by choosing Yellow or overreach by choosing Green. In many cases pride won. And as Proverbs told us: Pride goeth before the fall.
The Green course was easily the most chosen course on the day. But almost 70% of the participants were “DNF” or “Did Not Finish” either because they could not find all of the controls, ran out of time or ran out of gas. The course was also deceptively long or steep. That was choice orienteers had to make –climb up and down OR go around and add significant distance. One orienteer, Andreas Johansson, estimated that for him the 5.9K course was easily more than 10K. The Red course provided a similar dilemma. But as with all of Stan’s courses one can count on the controls being where they are supposed to be. But expect to be a little more winded that you might have originally thought when you get there.
But DNFs aside, everyone seemed to have fun. Some mumbled about the shape they were in. (I mumbled about that myself when I was picking up control #43) Others came back and commiserated with more seasoned orienteers and discussed the eureka of certain route choices taken as well as the lament others trekked. Some of our long time favorites came out and joined us, Frank and Wes Mahne, Gayle and Tim Burdick. We also had a lot of new or newer faces, which is always very encouraging to us who worry about our sport’s appeal. So all in all, It was a satisfying and fitting final event for 2015.
Thanks to everyone who played a role in making each event happen.
A few special shout outs and special thanks:
- Hazel Barton for reinvigorating our membership base. Because of her, our membership numbers have climbed in each of the past two years. She also designs a pretty keen Scout patch.
- Fred Mailey, our e-punch coordinator. But Fred is also just Mr. Everything. He course designs, he is an Orienteering for Beginners Instructor, he designed and led an orienteering activity for Cub Scout day camp, he is a constant control collector and is assisting in mapping.
- Richard Toth was a volunteering beast this year. It seems that Richard volunteered at half of the activities that we conducted this season.
- Andreas Johansson has jumped in with new energy and sense of mission around catapulting our sport forward. He redesigned our club website, taught Orienteering for Beginners and is now designing and administering some introductory O’ activities for early in the new year – including a revived course design clinic.
There are always others who should be mentioned. And to you all… THANK YOU!
White Course: 9 controls 1.9 km 100 m 1 Michael Frazee 55:33 2 Burden Family 81:27 3 Yisrael Wilks 89:13 4 Thomas Boyd 95:43 5 Sarah Lombard 96:36 Gayle Burdick DNF Yellow Course: 10 controls 3.8 km 100 m 1 Tim and Lexi Feaser 87:54 2 Sanae Rosers 92:50 3 Wes and Frank Mahne 112:37 4 David Kulik 131:50 5 Hal Weaver 148:58 6 Andrew Strobel 177:15 Rich Perrenoud DNF Lois and Dan Wiesbrook DNF Bruce Ferraro DNF Tim Burdric DNF Green Course: 13 controls 5.9 km 100 m 1 Zuzana Kiacova 122:07 2 Paul Frankman 126:25 3 Elizabeth Freiheir 128:02 4 Andreas Johansson 130:26 5 Fred Mailey NEO 139:09 6 Mark Stypczynski 165:34 Neil Dolinger DNF Mark Levey DNF N2013543 N2013543 DNF Laurence Porter DNF Jeff and Alex Perry DNF Alexi Kondratien DNF Jan Smink DNF Vera Yudovina DNF Phil WadsWorth DNF Brandi Napier DNF Kevin Pererra DNF Dwight Epling DNF Red Course: 14 controls 7.6 km 100 m 1 Todd Pownell 96:59 2 Randy Mitchell NEO 106:31 Stephen Johnson DNF Ivan Redinger NEO DNF Dominic Conte DNF
Here’s the Green Course, re-created in Purple Pen, for review purposes only.