Sunday, Apr. 13, 2003

Contact: Cheryl Madson, 510-797-8712

One week after everyone enjoys the flat and sprint-like conditions at Stanford, itís time for the "classic" BAOC terrain of the East Bay!

The "standard 7" point-to-point courses will be offered: White, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Green, Red, and Blue. If you've never tried orienteering before, we recommend that you try a White course first. If you like it, you may have time for a Yellow course too. There will be informal clinics for beginners between 9:30 and 10:30 AM near the registration area.

Standard event fees apply at Sunol.

Course Statistics

Course        Length       Climb       Technical Difficulty      Physical Difficulty
------        ------       -----       --------------------      -------------------
White          2.7km        100m        Novice                    Easy
Yellow         2.8km        100m        Beginner                  Easy
Orange         3.2km        180m        Intermediate              Moderate
Brown          3.1km        175m        Advanced                  Moderate
Green          4.1km        200m        Advanced                  Moderate
Red            5.3km        315m        Advanced                  Moderately Difficult
Blue           6.8km        405m        Advanced                  Difficult
All course maps are pre-printed from OCAD. White and Yellow maps are printed at 1:7500 scale. All other maps are scaled at 1:10,000. Electronic punching (e-punch) will be used on all courses except White and Yellow.

Special Note for Advanced Runners

The courses this year are shorter and physically easier than typical Sunol courses. In fact, I think you will find the winning times to be somewhat on the fast side relative to the standard target winning times. I would suggest that runners who want to get the full value for their entrance fee consider moving up to a more difficult course today.

Special Note for Orange Runners

The Orange course has been set up a little differently. The idea is to try to give Orange runners a taste of advanced level controls without the risk of becoming hopelessly lost. For the first half of the course (especially controls 2,3,& 4 you will have to use your fine map reading skills as well as compass bearing and pace counting to orienteer directly to the control. If you miss, there are good catching features to the left and right. The second half of the course is more traditional Orange.


Starts for the White, Yellow, and Orange courses will be located at the registration area.

The assembly area for the advanced courses (Brown, Green, Red, Blue) is located about 300 meters from the registration area. Follow the signs and pink streamers across the bridge then left on the trail. There will be water at the start assembly area (no need to bring your own). There are no toilet facilities at the advanced start assembly area. You can leave warm-ups at the start assembly area and we will arrange to transport them back to the registration/e-punch download area.


The terrain at Sunol is STEEP. The contour interval is 7.5 meters. Two closely spaced 7.5 meter contours can mean an uncrossable reentrant. In most cases contouring around reentrants is advised. The footing is generally pretty good. The recent rains have made it soft but not too soft (particularly if you stay off the cow trails. That being said, CLEATS are strongly recommended on Orange and Advanced courses.


Since the map is basically a direct conversion to OCAD of the old Sunol map and doesn.t reflect all of the changes that have occurred in the 12 years since the park was mapped. It does reflect changes that were made last year by Mark Blair and Bob Cooley as well as some new changes this year (mostly in the immediate area of controls).

Some map items of note: There are many unmapped animal trails primarily the result of cattle grazing. Some of the mapped trails and vehicle tracks are overgrown and indistinct. Cattle trails in particular can be surprisingly well- defined and confusing in areas of mapped trails. Be careful not to mistake an unmapped trail for a mapped one. There are also many unmapped dead/fallen trees (root stocks). Some of the vegetation has spread and thickened since it was mapped. Much of the .green. (even the very light green) is poison oak. The courses have been designed to avoid the worst of the poison oak, but you'll still encounter some on the courses. Full body covering and the use of Tecnu is recommended.

Control Markers

Some of the control markers for advanced courses will be on stands about knee high. Most will be hanging from the branch of a tree or a bush. Where the control feature is a point feature (such as a boulder), the control is typically placed on the side of the feature opposite the expected direction of approach.


Sunol Park has the usual wilderness hazards which include poison oak, ticks carrying Lyme disease, rattlesnakes and steep loose terrain. There are several fence crossings on the intermediate and advanced courses. Some of the fences have been repaired recently and are more difficult to scrooch under than in the past. Choose your crossing point carefully and beware of the barbed wire. There will be a First Aid Kit at the registration area.

Cattle, Wildlife and Fauna

Sunol Park has a variety of wildlife. This year the course setter has seen wild pigs, flocks of turkeys, and two bobcats. Wildflowers are in bloom!! COWS!!!!! The Advanced courses will all cross an area with a large herd of cattle. All of the vetters have commented that the cattle are unusually curious and have actually started walking towards them. I found that if you make a little noise/clap your hands loudly they will move out of the way. Hopefully after the first few runners pass through the grazing area, the cattle will move on. One word of caution, avoid getting between a mother and her know how protective mothers can be!!


Sunol Park conducts trail rides near the beginning of the White and Yellow courses. Please note that the equestrians, as always, have the right-of-way. IF YOU ARE NEAR EQUESTRIANS, PLEASE WALK TO AVOID SPOOKING THE HORSES.


Every participant (or group) on every course must carry a whistle. Whistles will be available at registration for participants that don't have one. Whistles should only be used in an emergency. Blow three short blasts at 1 to 2 minute intervals to signal that you need help. Safety bearing is SOUTH to Alameda creek which runs through the park near the registration area.

The courses close at 2:00PM. Every participant must check in at the finish by 2 PM whether or not you finish your course. If you do not check in by 2PM we will assume you are lost or injured and a search party will be organized. If you think you may take a long time to finish a course, please start before 11 AM so you'll have the full 3 hours to finish.


Take I-680 to the Calaveras Road exit near Sunol. Go south on Calaveras Road about FOUR miles (not six) to Geary Road. Turn left onto Geary and continue a couple of miles to the park entrance. Pay the parking fee and follow the O' signs to the registration area. (Park only in designated parking areas. The rangers do give tickets.)