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Point Pinole — BAOC Sprint Championships

Date: (Sun.) Mar. 5, 2006
Location: Richmond, CA
Event Director: - 510.779.8808
Course Setter: Steve Gregg
Type: C; BAOC Sprint Championship, plus White, Yellow, and Orange courses

Are you planning to take part in the first-ever US Sprint Championships in Ohio on April 1? Then come get some practice in a race of this length and technical difficulty at the BAOC Sprint Championships in March. The top finishers in this race will also earn points in Peter Gagarin’s informal US sprint series, the details of which you can find posted on the Web here (

The sprint races will follow the same format used in previous years. The Prologue course will be 2.7 km in length, with an unmanned remote finish requiring a 1 km walk back to the start. The Chase will be 2.6 km in length, with a remote start (1.3 km from the start of the Prologue), and will finish back at the staging area. The controls will all be White to Orange level of difficulty. (See the Course Setter's Notes for more information.)

I will once again use a "butterfly loop" pattern at some point during the Chase, to split up the packs a bit, but it will be a different sort of loop than I have used in the past. It’s a bit hard to describe this in words, but imagine four controls A, B, C, and D, set at the four corners of a square. All the runners will first encounter control A. Then half the runners will next go to control B, with the other half going to control D. The next control for everyone is C, then everyone will run from C back to A. From A, you take the branch you did not take the first time to C, which is the end of the loop.

In other words, half the runners will take the controls in the order A-B-C-A-D-C, and the other half will take the controls in the order A-D-C-A-B-C. Clear as mud? I’ll try my best this year to make sure everyone understands how the butterfly loop works before the start of the Chase.

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 12:00 or so, since your starting time for the Chase will be 12:30, 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.

As usual, the terrain at Point Pinole is flat and blazingly fast. The Prologue, in particular, has been set in the most runnable part of the map, and unless it rains in the days leading up to the event, we should see some of the fastest per-km times ever. 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, there will also be regular White, Yellow, and Orange course with electronic punching for those people not interested in running the sprints. The Yellow course is specifically designed for the large scout groups that often attend this event. Rental E-sticks will be available at the event for people who do not own one.

There will be a special Junior Sprint Championship course for runners of age 17 and under. This will be a single sprint-length course of White to Yellow level of difficulty, with electronic punching, and with the winners earning the title of "BAOC Junior Sprint Champions". See the Course Setter's Notes for more details.

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

Preliminary Course Setter's Notes

[Also see the final Course Setter's Notes].

The Point Pinole sprint courses have been vetted, and will be ready for action on March 5. Here are more facts you should know about the event:

Prologue: 2.7 km, 30 meters climb, expected winning time 12 minutes
Chase: 2.6 km, 60 meters climb, expected winning time 14 minutes

Hope to see you at the event!

Request for Volunteers

The 2006 Sprint Championships at Point Pinole is less than three weeks away now. As usual, several volunteers will be needed to help make the event run smoothly.

In a previous post, I mentioned that Point Pinole will be an "all epunch event" this year. That will make several of our traditional volunteer roles much easier than usual! In particular, the starters will not have to go through the tedious task of writing White, Yellow, and Orange start times on the runner's punch cards. We will probably still record all start times on a clipboard for safety purposes, but the job should be MUCH easier overall. Same with finishes. Again, we will probably still record finish times for safety and backup purposes, but you will not have to collect punch cards, nor do any math to compute finish times. What could be easier?

So please let me know if you are willing to help at the event. At Point Pinole there is a very compact staging area, and all the volunteer positions are literally within meters of each other (registration, epunch, starts, finishes, beginners clinics). So if you just want to volunteer to "do anything needed", that would be terrific! You might let me know if you prefer "early shift" or "late shift".

Thanks in advance for your help. I know the two-part nature of this event makes the volunteer schedule much more tricky than usual, but we always seem to be able to work things out.

Driving Directions

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.