San Francisco Night & Day Challenge

Date: Jun. 3 - 4, 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA
Event Directors: - 206.913.3790, - 206.291.8250
Course Setters: Terry Farrah, Eric Bone
Type: Urban Rogaine; bike or foot; Presented in conjunction with Meridian Geographics.

The 2005 San Francisco Night & Day Challenge was a great success. With 208 participants, many of them new to orienteering, attendance exceeded our expectations, and people reported having a great time. So, as promised, we are doing it again this year. We have scheduled it one week earlier to avoid conflict with the North American Rogaining Championship -- although we do not recommend doing both events, it is possible!

Eric Bone and I have been putting on Night & Day Challenge each summer in Seattle since 2003. Night & Day Challenge is a metrogaine, or urban rogaine. About sixty controls will be located throughout San Francisco and northern San Mateo County, each with a point value between 20 and 150. The goal is to accumulate as many points as possible within 16 hours. For the less courageous (or more smarter), we also offer 7-hour and 3-hour options. The event begins at 4:00 Saturday afternoon, which means that the finish options will be 7:00 pm or 11:00 pm Saturday, or 8:00 am Sunday.

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

The map will be a USGS topographical map at 1:35,000 scale, on two 11x17 sheets of paper. The map will be minimally corrected. We are certainly not going to add in all the staircases and pedestrian passageways. Thus, San Francisco locals will have somewhat of an advantage.

Most rogaines require you to compete in a team of 2 to 5. We allow solo participation for the 3-hour and 7-hour options. However, for safety reasons, teams are mandatory for the full 16-hour race.

You have the choice of participating on foot, on bicycle, or in the duathlon division. The duathlon division starts on foot and transitions to bike mid-way through the 7-hour and 16-hour races (no duathlon division for 3-hour race).

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Event Center

The event center, called the hash house in rogaine parlance, will again be at Douglass Playground at 26th St. and Douglass St., pending approval. This is near the geographic center of the city. This is not a true hash house in that we will not be offering hot meals throughout the event. However, we will be providing plenty of post-race refreshments.


Preregistration is required for the 16-hour and 7-hour options. Three-hour participants can either preregister, or show up on the day of the event and pay more. Preregister by following this direct link to our ( page.

Fees are as follows. The prices below reflect a $5 discount for BAOC and other O' club members for all options except 3-hour preregistration; non-members will pay the prices listed on the event website ( (Note that, although the discount is not shown on the initial pricing page, you will have an opportunity to claim the discount later in the registration process.)

16 hour
Through March 15:$40 general, $30 student/senior
March 16 - May 15:$50 / $35
May 16 - 31:$60 / $40
7 hour
Through March 15:$20 general, $15 student/senior
March 16 - May 15:$30 / $20
May 16 - 31:$40 / $25
3 hour prereg
(though May 31)
3 hour event day$20, $13 student/senior, $3 ages 6-12
$30 maximum per family

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)


Volunteers are needed at check-in/registration 1:00-4:00 pm Saturday, and at all three finishes: 6:30-8:00 pm Saturday, 10:30-midnight Saturday, and 7:30-9:00 am Sunday. Please email the event director if you can help. All helpers get a free Night & Day Challenge bandana and T-shirt.

More Information

There is lots and lots more info available at the Night & Day Challenge website (, including suggested gear and preparation, detailed rules, current team lineup, and results, photos, and stories from last year.

– Terry Farrah, Event Director

Driving Directions

The event begins at Douglass Playground at 26th St. and Douglass St. (

From the south, take I-280 into San Francisco and take the San Jose Ave. exit. After about 1 mile, get in the left-turn lane to bear left onto Dolores Street. Go 1/2 mile on Dolores. Turn left onto Clipper St., and go 1/2 mile. When you reach Douglass St. you are just one block north of the Playground entrance; park where you can.

From the east, take the S.F./Oakland Bay Bridge, and continue on 101 about 3 miles after the bridge. Take the C Chavez St. exit, and go west about 1 mile. Turn right onto Dolores St., and then take your second left onto Clipper. Go 1/2 mile. When you reach Douglass St. you are just one block north of the Playground entrance; park where you can.

From the north, turn right onto Divisadero shortly after crossing the bridge. Go south 2 miles. Bear slightly left onto Castro St., and go another 1.5 miles. Park when you reach 26th St.; Douglass Playground is 2 blocks west. (This is derived from Mapquest; I have not actually driven this route.)