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Point Pinole Regional Shoreline

Date: (Sun.) Mar. 18, 2007
Location: Richmond, CA
Event Director: - 510.779.8808
Course Setter: Steve Gregg
Type: C; White, Yellow, and Orange courses; Prologue-Chase two-part sprint -- part of the Sprint Series, with a club championship to be held at Indian Valley May 19th.

Course Setter’s Notes

Even though it is clearly stated in the event announcement that the Chase will be a reverse chase (where the fastest people in the prologue start last), many people seem to still be unaware of this fact. It's likely to be wild! In theory, everyone will have an equal chance to cross the finish line in one of the top three positions, and win a inexpensive prize. I'm going to put two epunch units at each of the last two controls, in case people are too tightly bunched up by the end of the race for one unit to be sufficient. But I would nonetheless advise you to punch quickly at your controls when you near the end of the Chase, as you may have a horde of people right behind you breathing down your neck by that point in the race.

The "official" chase results will be ordered by the time that people actually cross the finish line. It probably won't be possible on the day of the event to produce another computerized list ordered by actual running time for the Chase only. I will produce that list manually later, and of course that results list will be the one sent to Peter Gagarin and to Rex, to include in the national and the BAOC sprint series rankings.

Make sense??? Here are the rest of the Course Setter's notes for the event:

Welcome to Point Pinole! For the first time in eight years, this will not be the club sprint championships (that event will be held at Indian Valley, on May 19). But rest assured that the open, flat, and not-too-technical terrain will still let the speed-burners in the club really show their stuff! The fastest runners in the club are capable of running under 5 min/km here, especially if we have good weather leading up to the event. As I write this a week before the event, the long-range weather forecasts are looking good—for a change!

This year the Chase will be run on a 1:5000 scale map. All the other maps (including the Prologue) are 1:10000 scale. The contour interval is 2.5 meters.


Here are today’s courses:

  Course         Length    Climb    # of controls
  White          3.1 km    60 m           10
  Yellow/Scout   3.3 km    65 m           12
  Orange         3.2 km    60 m           11
  Prologue  (UNMANNED REMOTE FINISH 1.1 km from staging area)
                 2.9 km    20 m           10
  Chase     (First start at about 12:45.  REMOTE START 0.8 km
             from staging area)
                 2.7 km    50 m           18

White: Easy navigation on trails. For beginners and younger children.

Yellow: Every control is less than 50 meters from a trail, and most will be visible from the trails. However, the course is designed so that, in many cases, there will be much shorter off-trail route choices to the controls, across mostly open terrain. This course should be very good practice for advanced beginners. It is also specifically designed to be an appropriate, challenging course for the JROTC and scout groups that often attend this event.

Orange: This course is of equal technical difficulty to the prologue and chase courses—in fact, it shares several controls with those courses. You should run this course if you are an intermediate or advanced orienteer, but do not want to participate in the two-part Prologue/Chase race.

Prologue and Chase: The starts for the Prologue will be first-come, first-served just like a regular event, but you need to start no later than 11:45 or so in order to get back in time for the chase. Remember, after the Finish there is a 1.1-km walk back to the Start!!! Also note that, just for fun, this year there will be a reverse chase, with the slowest runners in the Prologue starting first, and everyone else starting after that, based on how much time they beat the first person by. Normally there is about a 20-minute gap between the last finisher and the first finisher of the Prologue. The plan is to start the slowest Prologue runner at approximately 12:45, which means that the fastest Prologue runner will start at approximately 1:05. I plan to award inexpensive prizes to the first three people to cross the finish line, plus the runner with the fastest combined time for the Prologue and Chase.

Potential Dangers

Ticks (the ranger says there are many of them in the woods), small pits and depressions hidden by tall grass, fallen and/or logged eucalyptus trees that can easily trip you up. (I suggest you wear spikes or cleats instead of running shoes, especially if its wet.) There is little poison oak in the park, and it usually takes the form of big bushes that can easily be avoided.

Weather Issues

As I write this a week before the event, the terrain is relatively dry and very fast. However, there is always the possibility of heavy rain in the days leading up to the event, which can take us right back to the Point Pinole mud and swamps that all of us old-timers know and love. Should that be the case this year, make sure your shoes are well-tied, as the mud can suck them right off if you step into a really bad spot!

Map Notes

  1. Contour line anomalies: For reasons that even Bob doesn't seem to fully understand, the Point Pinole base map came with many tiny, seemingly random contour line bends that don't correspond to reentrants or spurs in the field. I have smoothed out a lot of them, but have not had time to check and fix every single one. Due to the very open terrain, this will not cause any navigational problems, but you'll probably need to take a different mentality from most of our ultra-hilly BAOC maps. On most of our current maps the tiniest contour line bend could well correspond to a huge reentrant or spur in the field, and we all have learned to think accordingly. On this map, however, a tiny contour line kink may well represent nothing at all.
  2. Vegetation mapping: Good thing this map is on OCAD! At Point Pinole they perform eucalyptus logging and brush burning on a regular basis, and this activity dramatically changes the nature of the vegetation from year to year. Thus this map will never be "complete"—every year new field-checking will need to be done to try to keep the vegetation mapping as accurate as possible. In addition to this, it was very difficult for me to accurately represent the different thicknesses of the eucalyptus in the forested areas. My basic color scheme was this: Light green for eucalyptus thick enough to be difficult to run through, white for "normal" runnable forest. In the areas where the eucalyptus was dramatically thinned out but not completely removed, I used the "rough open with scattered trees" symbol. Unfortunately the darned eucalyptus grows back up so fast that after a few years have passed, the previously thinned-out areas start to look a lot like normal white forest again. So don’t expect to notice major differences between the thickness of the vegetation in the forested areas.
  3. Like the Monte Bello map, this map uses black dots to separate the different grades of whites, yellows, and oranges. These dots are there solely to improve the readability of the map—you should not necessarily expect to see "distinct vegetation boundaries." Now that we are using a better printer to produce our maps, these black dots are perhaps no longer necessary, but I have not had the time nor the inclination to remove them and make a test printing.

Steve Gregg