Point Pinole Regional Shoreline
Date: (Sun.) Apr. 1, 2012
Location: Richmond, CA
Event Directors: - 510.779.8808, - 510.526.9071
Course Setter: Steve Gregg
Type: C; Standard White, Yellow, and Orange courses, and a special "THOMASS" course
Course Setter's Notes
The "main event" at Point Pinole this year will be what the Canadians call a Thomass course. A Thomass race is a mass-start event, in which all the runners compete on the same course. However, in the middle of the regular course there is a score-O section called the Thomass Box, in which runners may take the controls in any order, and in which the number of controls you must find depends on your age and sex.
To my knowledge, BAOC has never run this type of race before, and so I will clarify the details below:
- There will be a mass start at 11:30 AM for all runners interested in competing in the Thomass event.
- Right before the mass start, all the runners will be given a map case with two maps inside, both facing outwards. (Runners who do not like running with their maps in a case will have to figure out for themselves how to carry two different maps with them during the race.) Both maps will be printed at 1:5000 scale, with 2.5-meter contours.
- One of these maps is the regular orienteering course for which all the controls must be taken in order.
- The other map is the Thomass Box, which is the score-O course, for which the controls can be taken in any order.
- When the race begins, all runners will find controls #1 through #4 on the regular orienteering course, in order.
- After punching control #4, runners will flip over to the Thomass Box score-O map, which will contain ten controls. Runners must find, in any order, 2, 4, 6, 8, or all 10 of the controls, based on their age and sex. Here are the age and sex categories:
- M21–M39: All 10 controls
- M16–M20, M40–M49: 8 controls
- M1–M15, M50–M59, F21–F39: 6 controls
- M60–M64, F16–F20, F40–F49: 4 controls
- Everyone else: 2 controls
- After finding the required number of Thomass Box controls, all runners will then punch control #5 back on the regular orienteering course, and then proceed to find the rest of the controls, in order, to the Finish.
- First across the Finish line wins!
- Your total running distance will be somewhere between 3.7 km and 5.9 km, depending on how many controls you have to find in the box.
There will also be regular White, Yellow, and Orange courses at the event. The White and Yellow courses will be printed at 1:5000 scale. The Orange course will be printed at 1:7500 scale. Here are the statistics for those courses:
Course Length Climb Controls
White 2.3 km 30 m 11 Yellow/Scout/JROTC 2.5 km 50 m 11 Orange 3.8 km 80 m 15
No goats grazed in the park this winter, and as a result, the open fields are covered with taller grass than usual. Between that and the uneven footing, I suggest you run with cleated shoes or spikes, and people with ankle problems should bring out their braces or tape.
Depending on the amount of rain we get before the event, it might also be quite wet in the park, with muddy terrain and standing water in the low-lying areas, so bring a dry set of clothes to change into after your run.
Finally, there is a significant amount of poison oak in the park, and although you'll be able to easily avoid the largest clusters, you may contact individual shoots without even knowing it. So if you are very sensitive to the stuff, be sure to take the usual precautions.
March 31st Update
Don't be afraid of the recent rains — the conditions at Point Pinole are wonderful! I hung all the bags this afternoon and had a great time, in pleasant weather. The weather forecasts are all still saying sun and an almost 0% probability of rain tomorrow, so come enjoy the day.
There is a lot of standing water in the park. Your feet will definitely be wet when you finish your run, so be sure to bring a change of shoes and socks. However, there is very little mud, and the trails are firm for the most part. I would rate the running conditions as good to excellent.
Thomass runners will perhaps come within sight of an impressively large unmapped lake in a lowlying part of the map. I'm glad I didn't put any controls anywhere near there this year!
The major hazard in the park this year is definitely poison oak. There is, by far, more of it in the park than I have ever seen before. In particular, one control site on the Orange and the Thomass course now has a rather impressive sentinel of poison oak guarding it. You'll be able to avoid the PO and get to the control without any problems, but depending on your line of approach, you might have to make a not-insignificant detour around the largest patches. This growth has all happened over the course of the last two months. When I first hung the vetting ribbon in mid-January, the PO was nothing at all like it is now, I promise! I had no idea that the stuff can grow so fast here.
In general, there are quite a few patches of unmapped fight on the map, both PO and otherwise. I hope this will not give anyone any serious navigational problems.
Finally, due to there being no goats grazing in the park this winter, the grass is taller and the footing more uneven than it has been in the past. I would definitely recommend wearing shoes with some sort of traction, since it's a little slippery out there.
I think that's about it — looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow.