Pt. Pinole

Sprint Championships

Sunday, Feb. 23, 2003

Contact: Steve Gregg, 510 531-6697

The courses at the BAOC Sprint Championships will be true "sprint" courses this year. The Prologue and Chase courses will be 2.6 km and 2.7 km in length, respectively, each having 40 m climb. Since the best terrain at Point Pinole is about 1 km away from our usual staging area, I will have remote starts and remote finishes to avoid too much dead running through the open areas. In particular, the Prologue will have an unmanned remote finish 1.4 km from the start at the staging area, and like last year, the Chase will have a remote start 1.0 km away and then finish at the staging area.

For those of you who are new to this, the Prologue course will have first-come, first-served starting times just like a regular event. However, if you wish to participate in the Chase that follows, you need to be sure you arrive early enough to finish your first run by 11:30 or so, since your starting time for the Chase will be noon, plus the amount of time it took you to complete the Prologue. The winners of the event will be the first people to cross the finish line at the end of the Chase.

I expect the per km times at this event to be even faster than last year, as not only are the courses shorter, but there has also been additional eucalyptus thinning and brush burning in the park. Syd ran 5.2 min/km to win last year. Perhaps the winner will be under 5 min/km this year? Syd and Vlad were the top two finishers last year and are the early favorites for the top two spots again this year. But with Wyatt and Dan Stoll now out of the Bay Area, the bronze medal is up for grabs. Competition should be fierce during the Chase!

I hope most of the club "regulars" will choose to compete in the championships, as this particular event format is much more fun for everyone if a lot of people participate. However, I do plan to set a regular Orange course with electronic punching for those people not interested in running the sprints. Normal White and Yellow courses with manual punching will also be offered.

If you have questions or want to volunteer to help, please contact me.

Course Setter's Notes

Welcome to BAOC's seventh orienteering meet at Point Pinole. This is the fifth year the sprint championships have been held here, and it's an appropriate location, since the open, flat, and not-too- technical terrain will let the speed-burners in the club really show their stuff! The fastest runners in the club are capable of running under 5 min/km here, especially if we have good weather leading up to the event. As I write this Wednesday evening, that is likely to be the case this year.

The map is 1:10000 scale, with 2.5 meter contours. Here are the courses:

                Length     Climb     # of controls
White           3.2 km      45 m           10
Yellow          3.2 km      60 m            9
Orange          3.3 km      50 m           10
Prologue  (Championship course #1.  UNMANNED REMOTE FINISH 1.4 km
           from staging area )
                2.6 km      40 m           10
Chase  (Championship course #2--first start at about 12:15.  REMOTE
        START 1.0 km from staging area)
                2.7 km      40 m           12
White: Easy navigation on trails. For beginners and younger children.

Yellow: Every control is less than 50 meters from a trail, and most will be visible from the trails. However, the course is designed so that, in many cases, there will be much shorter off-trail route choices to the controls, across mostly open terrain. This course should be very good practice for advanced beginners.

Orange: This course is of equal technical difficulty to the prologue and chase courses--in fact, it shares several controls with those courses. You should run this course if you are an intermediate or advanced orienteer but do not want to participate in both parts of the Sprint Championships.

Prologue and chase: The starts for the prologue will be first- come, first-served just like a regular event, but you need to start no later than 11:30 in order to get back in time for the chase. REMEMBER, AFTER THE FINISH THERE IS A 1.4 KM WALK BACK TO THE START!!! Your start time for the chase will be noon, plus however much time it took you to complete the prologue. (So if Syd wins the prologue with a time of 15 minutes, he will be the first person to start the chase, with a start time of12:15. Everyone else's starting time will be based on how far they are behind Syd after the prologue). The first people to cross the finish line at the end of the chase will be the winners of the event.

Potential dangers

Ticks (the ranger says there are many of them in the woods), small pits and depressions hidden by tall grass, fallen and/or logged eucalyptus trees that can easily trip you up. (I suggest you wear spikes or cleats instead of running shoes, especially if its wet). There is little poison oak in the park, and it usually takes the form of big bushes that can easily be avoided.

Weather issues

We are looking at what perhaps may be the best weather conditions in the history of the event. Rain has been taken out of the long-range forecast on the day of the event, and it hasn't rained a great deal in the last two weeks either. So I expect the courses to be dry and fast! There will still be standing water in some lowlying areas but much less than in previous years, I predict.

Map Notes

(1) Contour line anomalies: For reasons that even Bob doesn't seem to fully understand, the Point Pinole basemap came with many tiny, seemingly random contour line bends that don't correspond to reentrants or spurs in the field. I have smoothed out a lot of them, but have not had time to check and fix every single one. Due to the very open terrain, this will not cause any navigational problems, but you'll probably need to take a different mentality from most of our ultra-hilly BAOC maps. On most of our current maps the tiniest contour line bend could well correspond to a huge reentrant or spur in the field, and we all have learned to think accordingly. On this map, however, a tiny contour line kink may well represent nothing at all.

(2) Vegetation mapping: Good thing this map is on OCAD! At Point Pinole they perform eucalyptus logging and pruning on a regular basis, and this activity dramatically changes the nature of the vegetation from month to month. Thus this map will never be "complete"--every year new field- checking will need to be done to try to keep the vegetation mapping as accurate as possible. In addition to this, it was very difficult for me to accurately represent the different thicknesses of the eucalyptus in the forested areas. My basic color scheme was this: Light green for eucalyptus thick enough to be difficult to run through, white for "normal" runnable forest, and in the areas where the eucalyptus was dramatically thinned out but not completely removed, I used the "rough open with scattered trees" symbol. I hope this distinction will be clear in the field in most cases, but don't be surprised to find yourself in places where the vegetation mapping does not seem to match what you see while running. Also, most of the small dark green circles and ovals on the map are bushes which were big enough or distinct enough to be individually mapped.

(3) Non-IOF symbols: (A) Like the Montebello map, this map uses black dots to separate the different grades of whites, yellows, and oranges. These dots are there solely to improve the readability of the map--you should not necessarily expect to see "distinct vegetation boundaries". Now that we are using a better printer to produce our maps, these black dots are perhaps no longer necessary, but I have not had time to remove them and make a test printing. (B) On the advice of Evan Custer, I also invented a non- IOF symbol (yellow with green dots), which stands for "rough open with scattered bushes". You can see one of these areas when you are at the start line--just look up the hillside to the west. When these bushes could be mapped individually, I mapped them as small circular dark green patches, but in areas where they are clumped togther too thickly to map individually, you will see the special symbol.


To get to Point Pinole, take the Richmond Parkway exit off Interstate 80 in Richmond and go west for 1.3 miles. Immediately after the stoplight at San Pablo Avenue, turn right onto Atlas Road. After 0.8 miles on Atlas, you will cross over a set of railroad tracks and encounter a stop sign. Turn left onto Giant Highway at this intersection. You will pass a detention center on your right, and the park entrance will be immediately after that, also on your right. Pay the fee (if any), park, and walk over the railroad tracks to the staging area in the meadow.