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Matthias Kohler and Dan Greene compare strategies on the Red course at Big Basin 9/21/01 (Photo: Tony Pinkham)

China Camp

Date: Sunday, July 11, 2004
Location: San Rafael, CA.
Event Director: - 510.526.9071
Course Setters: Bill Papendick, Joan Roos, and Anne Gorby
Type: B; All Regular Courses Offered and an Adventure Race Orange course (long orange)

Last Minute Update: Course Setters Notes

Come run, hike, and walk at beautiful China Camp State Park on the bay, in Eastern Marin County.

The terrain is a mixture of rolling grassland hills, flat marsh, steep hills, ridge and valley terrain typically found in Northern California, covered with a mixture of Oak, Bay, Manzanita, Madrone, and some Redwoods. This is a typical Bay Area venue with great views of Mt. Diablo, San Pablo Bay, and San Francisco.

Eight orienteering courses will be offered with pre-marked maps. White and Yellow will be using manual punch. Orange and above will use E-punch (which can be rented at registration).

Registration will open at 9:00 A.M. and end at 12:00.

Short beginner's clinics will be available from 9:15 till 11:00 as needed.

Starts will be from 9:30 if possible until 12:30 P.M.

Courses will close at 2:00 P.M. sharp. Please check in before then.

Everyone must check in at the finish whether or not you complete your course.

Course Statistics:

  Course        Level                # Controls   Length   Climb   Difficulty
  ------        -----                ----------   ------   -----   ----------
  White         Beginner                 17       2.5 km           Very Easy
  Yellow        Beginner                 16       3.0 km           Easy
  Orange        Experienced Beginner     10       3.6 km   225 m   Moderate
  Long Orange   Intermediate             13       5.0 km   305 m   Challenging
  Brown         Advanced                 9        2.6 km   205 m   Just right
  Green         Advanced                 11       3.6 km   245 m   Hard, but fun
  Red           Advanced                 15       5.4 km   365 m   Very Hard
  Blue          Advanced                 19       6.3 km   460 m   Extremely Hard

The terrain can be steep, and the grassy and leafy slopes very slippery. The use of spiked or cleated shoes is recommended to avoid sliding.

The climb ratio is higher than standard. The course lengths are about 20% to 40% shorter than standard to compensate for the climb. This was the trade off to set courses in this beautiful park.

Water will be conveniently located on the course at various control locations.

The white areas of the map are very runnable with some of the lighter green areas navigable as well. However, this is ground zero for the Sudden Oak Death blight so a lot of oak tress and limbs have fallen everywhere, creating a hazard to fast mobility. We have not attempted to map any of these down limbs even though they sometimes blur features on the map, meaning a clearing may no longer be as clear or a trail may have an occasional mass of brush to fight through.

Poison Oak (PO) is prevalent and can be found in various stages from green and blooming to red color fall leaves or bare vine. Avoid catching an itchy rash by taking the following precautions:

  1. Use full body cover.
  2. Learn to identify PO so you can avoid it.
  3. Scrub with Technu soon after completing your course.
  4. Wash your shoes and clothes after each day's event.

The safety outlet is the major road along the Bay to the North.

Good luck and have fun. Enjoy the view and the park. Driving Directions.

Original Announcement

It will be "A Hot O' in a COOL Camp," says advanced course setter Bill Papendick. He will set the Blue, Red, Green, and Brown courses. Anne Gorby will do the White and Yellow courses for beginners. Joan Roos will plan a regular Orange intermediate course as well as a LONG Adventure Orange. She hopes to send those racers to almost every plant-shrouded abandoned car in the park.

We expect to have our usual good time at this venue. Beginners and Adventure Racers are especially WELCOME.

Tom Jahn standing by a huge fallen tree at Big Basin in 1996 (Photo: Joel Thompson)

Expect to park on the main road and walk the 2/3 mile to the registration area at the Miwok Meadows picnic grounds. Registration will be open from 9:00 AM to noon. Short beginner's orientation classes will be available from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM. Starts will be open between 10:00 AM and 12:30 PM. All courses close at 2:30 PM. Please check in by then, even if you do not finish your course.

We anticipate a HOT summer day in those air-still woods, so come early and bring plenty of liquids. Many will be using personal CamelBaks to keep hydrated out on the courses, even though the organizers plan to have extra water at selected control sites. Also, bring your Technu to wash off the poison oak oils you may encounter off the trails.

A scenic view at Calero Reservoir, 1997

The Miwok Meadows picnic area is shaded with many tables -- perfect for lunch after your course. Barbecue is possible there too. After the meet you and your family can drive up the road to the fishing village display, which features buildings and artifacts from the Chinese settlement that was there in the "olden days". It's interesting with a great view.

Driving Directions

China Camp is located 15-20 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge and a few miles northeast of San Rafael. Exit highway 101 at North San Pedro Road near the Marin County Civic Center. Travel east on North San Pedro Rd for 3.5 miles to the Miwok Meadows picnic area.

Because of park fire management plans most people will be asked to park on the main road and walk 2/3 mile along a dirt road to the picnic area itself.