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Sunol Regional Wilderness

Date: (Sun.) Apr. 25, 2010
Location: Sunol, CA
Event Director: - 510.747.8003
Course Setters: Mark Blair, Theo Verhoeven
Type: B; Standard 7 courses plus Long Orange course

Please note that fees and time limits apply, unless otherwise mentioned below. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Note: The Event Director is still looking for event helpers, as listed below.

After our first (self-proclaimed) successful event as an organizing team at Sunol in 2009, Mark, Theo, and Luc are going to give it another try to offer you a superb springtime event at one of our favorite and trusted venues in the Bay Area.

Sunol Regional Wilderness is a land of moderate and steep slopes, half of them covered by open grassland and the other half covered by generally sparse forests of oak, bay laurel, and madrone. Patches of underbrush occur in denser parts of the forest and blanket a few hillsides (which will not lie on anyone's best route between controls). It's a little too early in the season to tell how prevalent the poison oak will be, but Sunol in the spring can be quite rife with shiny little leaves. All courses are certainly being engineered to avoid known areas of lush poison oak growth, but long sleeves and long pants are strongly recommended to avoid direct skin contact if a brushup does occur.

NOTE: The BAOC Annual General Meeting will be held at 1:30 PM near the Registration area. This meeting is open to all members of BAOC. Highlights of the past year will be discussed, and club officers will be elected for the coming year.

Also, for those lucky enough to have participated in the Morgan Territory Rogaine on March 27, Rex Winterbottom and his team invite you to the "Rogaine Awards Ceremony" that will be held at the start of the Annual General Meeting. Rex will present certificates to all teams — even if you didn't place "top 3". There will also be a large spread of food and drinks for everyone to enjoy.


Event registration will be open from 9:00 AM until noon. We'll hold a beginner's clinic around 9:30 AM, and we'll try to hold another one around 10:30. Start times will be available on all courses from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM.

All courses will close at 2:30 PM. Please be sure to return to the Finish and download your E-stick by that time, even if you did not complete your course!! Otherwise, we need to assume that you got lost and need to organize a search party.


This year we will be offering the standard 7 courses, plus an additional, Long Orange course. As usual, the White and Yellow courses offer a beginner's-level orienteering experience suitable for families with younger members, or those who want a little more “challenge” in their spring trail hike. The standard Orange course will offer an intermediate level for those who like to try an off-trail experience. The Long Orange course offers the same intermediate orienteering level, but with the physical challenge of a Green or Red course. And as usual, the advanced Brown, Green, Red, and Blue courses offer an increasing physical challenge.

Theo Verhoeven will be setting the White, Yellow, and both Orange courses. Mark Blair will be setting the Brown, Green, Red, and Blue advanced courses. Course details will be available later.

The beginner (W/Y) and intermediate (O/LO) courses will start at the registration area — at the grassy area close to the nature exhibition building.

The advanced courses (Br/G/R/Bl) will have a remote, self-serve start, 1.7 km from the registration area. Allow about 25 minutes to get there. It will be a perfect warm-up as it is moderately uphill. There will be water at the remote start.

The intermediate (O/LO) and advanced courses (Br/G/R/Bl) will be using a different area than last year. We will be venturing more into the east side of the park.

The Finish for all courses will be common, and will be staffed with cheerful BAOC volunteers, encouraging participants to run their hearts out to the Finish punch.

Here are the details of the courses. See the Course Setters' Notes for more information.

                                           Technical          Physical  
   Course        Length   Climb  Controls  Difficulty         Difficulty
   White         1.8 km    60 m     10     Beginner           Easy
   Yellow        2.2 km   115 m     12     Advanced Beginner  Moderately easy
   Orange        3.8 km   230 m     14     Intermediate       Good workout
   Long Orange   5.3 km   325 m     18     Intermediate       Very tough
   Brown         4.2 km   217 m     11     Advanced           Fairly tough
   Green         5.3 km   270 m     13     Advanced           Very tough
   Red           6.3 km   382 m     13     Advanced           Greuling
   Blue          7.1 km   412 m     16     Advanced           Possibility of collapse


Electronic punching will be used on all courses (E-sticks used with the E-punches can be rented if you don’t own one). Beginner's clinics will also be provided for newcomers to orienteering.

Even though, it will still be early in the year, Sunol is known for its extreme weather conditions. Remembering last year, where we had a pretty cool spring, except for that one particular weekend when we all came out to celebrate the first sun of the season. It turned out to be a near 90-degree “summer” event, catching a lot of people off-guard, especially the Brown-course runners.

As last year, water fountains in the park will be dry due to our prolonged drought (yes, despite all the rain we got so far this year), so bring plenty of liquids. We will provide water at most strategic places, including Starts, Finish, and along the courses.

Request for Volunteers

With our beloved Sunol event approaching, I [Luc] would like to rattle the chain and see if there are any brave souls ready to share our joy of organizing this wonderful spring event. I'm trying to round up folks for:

  1. Control pick-up supervision [Filled—thank you!]
  2. Control pick-uppers (5–6 people) [Filled—thank you!]
  3. Manning the beginners' Start (2 or 3 people; 30–60 min. shifts) (*)
  4. Manning the common Finish (2 or 3 people; 30–60 min. shifts) (*)
  5. Beginners clinics [Filled—thank you!]
  6. One or two vetters to run the advanced courses prior to the event (hopefully before 4/11/10) — perfect for those who can't make it the day of the event (4/25/10), but would still like to comment on the course setting quality.
  7. It would be nice to have an early runner (9:00 AM) on Blue or Red the day of the event. [Filled—thank you!]
  8. People for whatever I've forgotten, as this is my ED debut, so please bear with me...

Thanks in advance!

(*) Note that no experience is necessary to help at the Start or Finish, and this is a good way to meet people (e.g., those whose names you've seen in previous results).

Driving Directions

Sunol Regional Wilderness is in the East Bay. Take highway I-680 to the Calaveras Road exit near Sunol. Go south on Calaveras Road about six miles to Geary Road. Turn left onto Geary and continue a couple of miles to the park entrance. Pay the entrance fee (see below), and follow the O' signs to the Registration area. (Park only in designated parking areas. The rangers do give tickets.)

Be prepared to pay a park-usage fee of $5 per car (and $2 per dog). Most likely a ranger will be on duty at the entrance kiosk to accept your payment, but if not, you may have to grapple with a rather temperamental ticket machine that takes only $1, $5, and $10 bills.

There's a map here that shows the location of the park. (Click on the "pins" in the East Bay until you find the one for this event, and then drag the map [not the pin] to center the pin, and zoom in to see more detail.)