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Stanford University Campus

Date: (Sun.) Apr. 9, 2006
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Event Directors: - 415.948.5593,
Course Setter: Stanford Orienteering Club
Type: C; White, Yellow, Sprint, and two Mystery-O courses

Course Setters' Notes

From Marina Keating

Well, despite the promise of showers, it looks like we are set for a great day at Stanford on Sunday. Peter Graham, Alex Saltman, and Russell Neilson have finalized the courses, the maps are printed, and we're good to go.

Here are some notes on the event from the course setting team. We're hoping to get a bunch of new people out on this excellent urban map. There will be informal clinics between 9:30 and 10:30 — ask at registration.

The following five courses will be offered:

  Course           Length    Controls    Technical Level
  White            1.6 km       11       Beginner         
  Yellow           3.0 km       11       Advanced Beginner
  Sprint           3.0 km       14       Intermediate     
  Short Mystery    3.6 km       10       Advanced         
  Long Mystery     6.9 km       19       Advanced         

The Sprint course will be part of Peter Gagarin's U.S. Sprint Series ( The Mystery courses are somewhat like window orienteering, but with a twist: For some controls, the inside of the control circle will be whited-out, while the area further out is shown. These controls can be found by a careful reading of the control description and/or taking a careful bearing. We suggest that everyone doing either Mystery course look at the control description card before heading out, to make sure that they know what all the control descriptions mean.

The courses are physically easy, as the Stanford campus is effectively flat. We suggest running shoes, not cleats, for all courses. The maps are printed at 1:7500 scale with 3-meter contours. All starts will be from the registration area directly to the east of the Tressider Student Union. For people wishing a longer workout, we suggest running the Sprint course and then one of the Mystery courses. The map sections overlap little, and no controls overlap.

All controls will be paper plates instead of the normal white-and-orange control flags. The plates will have a number that will match up with the control description, and a short letter code that you will write down on your punch card to prove you were there. Remember to get a pencil at the start (or bring your own).

Stanford is doing a tremendous amount of construction right now. New construction sites even appeared while the courses were being set. It is quite possible that new construction will appear after the maps have been printed! We have tried our best to avoid areas where construction is occurring, or where we think it might occur. But do not be surprised if there is unmapped construction. Also, in general, the Stanford campus changes frequently. We have tried to add all the new features that were near the courses (including new buildings), but it is possible we missed some.

There are many special man-made features on campus. These include benches, fire hydrants, statues, totem poles, and many other things. Lamp posts are not mapped. We have had a lot of rain recently (in case you haven't noticed), and the campus has been very wet. With enough rain, new unmapped swamps appear, sometimes right on the path of a course. We have tried to include these on the map, but be aware that water features change dramatically depending on the amount of recent rainfall. The northern portion of the map, which only the Long Mystery course will enter, is primarily rough open with trees. The occasional clearings in this area can be a little subtle, but they are visible. Some clearings are unmapped, but any clearing on the map should be there. There are also many trails in this area, most of which are mapped, but some of which are less distinct than the map may indicate.

Some roads have heavy vehicle traffic. Runners on the White, Yellow, Sprint, and Short Mystery should cross roads with only light vehicle traffic (but be careful anyway!). The Long Mystery course crosses several roads where cars move at high speeds. We have tried to design the course to make it easy to cross at crosswalks on major roads, but this was not always possible. ALWAYS EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN CROSSING ROADS. The campus will also have heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, so be careful (and courteous).

The estimated winning times are as follows: Sprint – 14 minutes, Short Mystery – 25 minutes, Long Mystery – 40 minutes.

We're looking forward to seeing you there.