Sunday, March 11, 2001

Contact: Harold DeMoss, 510-658-4327

Get out your spikes and head over to Briones next Sunday (March 11) for some fun in the sun. This is the theory of positive thinking, since right now (March 5) it's still raining. The trails are messy, but off-trail is quite nice as the ground is still soft and the cow prints haven't solidified into ankle-twisting hazards. If you've got spikes - and this applies to Orange runners as well - I would strongly recommend using them since Briones is steep and with the mud.... Oh, by the way, Orange runners are advised to bring a compass. The course is not long, but it will challenge you.

We've set the usual seven courses, on the north end of the Briones map, with the same parking and registration area that was used for the Scout-O a few months ago. The start for White and Yellow is 100m from registration. The start for Orange, Brown, Green, Red, and Blue is 400m from registration with no climb.

We will be using E-punching on Orange and above. White and Yellow will use manual punching. If you do not have an E-punch card, you can obtain one at registration. We'll have premarked maps in cases.

Below are the stats. Now that the weather has improved, the courses are fast and a bit short. However, we've only been able to lengthen Blue, so if you've been thinking about running up a course, this would be a good time to do it. The new map is more accurate and navigation at Briones is not as difficult as it used to be.

        distance   climb   controls   navigation       physicality
White     2.3k      82m      8        Easy
Yellow    2.4k      82m      9        Advanced easy
Orange    3.9k     187m     11        Intermediate     Fairly physical
Brown     2.8k     145m      8        Advanced         Shouldn't kill anyone used to doing Brown
Green     4.3k     235m      9        Advanced         A bit short, but seems 'Green' to me
Red       5.2k     367m     12        Advanced         Lots of running in nice terrain
Blue      7.0k     440m     12        Advanced         Lots more running in nice terrain!
The poison oak is easily avoidable except in the area of Blue's two farthest controls, where there are lots of little sprigs of it coming up all over the hillside. It's only about 8 to 10 inches tall, so gaiters should be ample protection.

The Briones Regional Park supervisor expressed concern about the number of cars that would be using the parking lot. We agreed that I would request that you carpool and use the far left side of the parking lot. Please follow the Direction signs for parking. Please form "double lines" nose to nose when the parking lot starts to fill up. When parking, please have consideration for cars coming after you and don't park "funny."

We still need volunteers for the White and Yellow start, the White and Yellow finish, beginner's clinics, and control pick up. No experience necessary!


To get to the meet site, take Highway 24, go north on Pleasant Hill Road (between Lafayette and Walnut Creek), after about a mile, turn left on Reliez Valley Road. Go about 5 or 6 miles to the Alhambra Creek Staging area of Briones Regional Park on the left, which will be signposted. If you come from any other direction, look on a map!