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Spring Lake Regional Park

Date: (Sun.) Apr. 24, 2005
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Event Director: - 415.456.8118
Course Setter: Scott Aster
Type: C; White, Yellow, Fog, and Sprint Courses

The insurance company gave us the endorsement we needed to hold the Spring Lake event, so the event will take place as scheduled. Come on out for the sprint course Scott has designed, and accumulate those sprint points. - Evan

April will be a beautiful time to come out to our map here just outside Santa Rosa, with soft dirt, green grass, and plenty of wild flowers to greet all participants. The Spring Lake map is one of our flatter maps, which makes it physically easier than most of our event locations, however, thanks to extensive mining operations in the late 19th and early part of the 20th century, it also has the densest concentration of rocky pits, making for some very technical courses!

Four courses will be offered this year: White, Yellow, Fog, and Sprint.

We will have White and Yellow courses for first timers and advanced beginners. The White course is primarily for people trying the sport for the first time, and will be fairly short, and will stay entirely on trails and roads. The Yellow course caters to advanced beginners, and will wander a bit off trails at times, and will often reward the adventurous with a shorter route by going off trail if they choose.

Short instructional clinics for these courses will be held throughout the morning beginning at 9:30 AM, adjacent to the registration area.

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For those seeking a tough navigational challenge, the third course will be of the "Fog-O" style. What this means is that for this course only, most of the map will be white, i.e., fog covered, with small clearings only around the control locations. Compass and pacing will be at a premium for this course, with the added challenge that the direct routes on several of the legs will run across Spring Lake, requiring the use of advanced orienteering skills, or a bathing suit!

I have recently been informed that this event has been accepted as a venue for the National Sprint Series ( Because of this sanctioning, the planned sprint course will be modified a bit to ensure it fits the standard. Details are below.

As those of you who have been to Spring Lake know, the map's contours are very gentle, the running is very fast, and the map is loaded with intricate details. It will be a great venue for this style of orienteering!


Registration will open at 9:00 AM at the Oak Knolls picnic area. Short instructional clinics will begin at 9:30, adjacent to registration, and the start and finish areas will be within easy walking distance of registration. Starts will be available from 10:00 AM until 12:30 PM, and the courses will close at 2:00 PM (i.e., you must finish by then). There are picnic tables, piped drinking water, flush toilets, and even a swimming lagoon to enjoy after you do a course. Bring a picnic lunch and plan on sticking around for a while!

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Sprint Details

For the Sprint, there will be one course, covering 2.94km with 60 meters of climb. The course will be two- faced, as the first half of the course will travel mostly off trail in the undeveloped area of the park where you will be running mostly through meadow and very open forest with very little trail running.

The second half of the course winds through a very developed part of the park, filled with man made features. On this section of the course you will most likely be on trails for about 75% of the time, much of that on paved paths. Due to sprint requirements, and a lack of necessary equipment, there will not be any forked controls and we will be using manual punches rather than e-punch. I realize some of you may not even be familiar with pin punching techniques, but it is surprisingly easy and fast to do, with the benefit that you can tell if you've inadvertantly skipped a control.

Start times for the sprint event will be at one minute intervals if necessary. To add excitement, participants will be encouraged to come to the start in bunches so that they can be started immediately after each other to engender the feel of a race.

Besides the Sprint, there will be regular White and Yellow courses and a Fog-O courses for those looking for a different sort of navigational challenge.

The sprint course will require more staff than usual at our Spring Lake events, so if you are planning to come, please send me an e-mail if you can spare an hour or two to help out.

Driving Directions

Take U.S. Highway 101 north to Santa Rosa. Once in Santa Rosa, exit onto highway 12 going east. Follow highway 12 for 1.5 miles to its left turn at Farmer's Lane. Do not take this turn, but instead, continue straight onto Hoen Avenue. At the Hoen-Summerfield traffic light 1.5 miles later, continue straight, then take an immediate left onto Newanga Avenue. Newanga leads into Spring Lake County Park. At the ranger's kiosk (where a $4 parking fee might be required), make a right and go up the hill to the Oak Knoll Picnic Area.