Trailcross Joaquin Miller
Joaquin Miller Park
Date: (Sun.) Aug. 25, 2013
Location: Oakland, CA
Event Directors: - 510.779.8808, - 510.325.8080
Course Setters: Steve Gregg, Bruce Wolfe
Type: C; 5 km, 10 km, and 10-mile trail runs with twists! Find your way with a map.
Note: A final-week update is below.
Enjoy a fun 5 km, 10 km, or 15 km romp in the hills of Joaquin Miller Park. JMP is one of the premiere trail-running destinations in the Bay Area, featuring smooth, well-maintained trails through beautiful oak and redwood forests. The park also features several historic sites built by Joaquin Miller between 1886 and 1913, when he lived in the park. Trails are quite steep in this park, however, and all the courses will present you with a physical test. Are you up to the challenge?
About TrailCross Joaquin Miller
This will be BAOC's fifth TrailCross event, a new format for trail runs and for orienteering. It's like a trail run, with aid stations and prescribed distances. Here's the twist: you will get a map with the course on it, and you need to find the checkpoints marked on the map, which are located on the trails. Staying on the trails between the controls is not required, however, and the course is designed so taking an off-trail shortcut or two will save you significant time.
What's It Like?
Have you mastered the trails ... but always wondered what it's like to go off-trail, cross country? To run free ... set your own path through the grasses, through the trees ... take a shortcut to the summit and get there ahead of the rest?
With TrailCross, you can!
Trails will not be marked for this event. Take whichever one you think is fastest!
The course will consist of a series of checkpoints; 7 on the 5 km course, 15 on the 10 km course, and 23 on the 15 km course. Checkpoints, along with all trails and elevation lines, will be shown on your map. All checkpoints will be on trails, but the challenge will consist of finding the best off-trail options to get to the checkpoints as quickly as possible.
At each checkpoint, there will be a marker and an electronic station to record your visit. You must visit these checkpoints in the prescribed order to record an official race time. When you check in on race day, you will receive a special "finger stick" with a computer chip inside, which you will carry with you, and which will prove that you visited all of your checkpoints in order.
The Start and Finish will be in the Lower Meadow area of Joaquin Miller Park. The course will consist of three loops, each of which starts and finishes in the meadow. You will run one loop if you choose to do the 5 km course, two loops if you choose to do the 10 km course, and all three loops if you choose to do the 15 km course. There will be a well-stocked aid station in the meadow area, to both refuel you between loops, and to provide tasty snacks at the end of the event.
Do I need to be an expert navigator to run TrailCross?
No. The course is intended for runners who are comfortable with trails, and want to take the next step. It helps to know how to read a trail map. If you can't, it's perfectly fair game to follow someone else.
Will I get lost?
Unlikely. In case you are, find your way to the nearest trail ... facing the unexpected is part of the challenge!
This is a mass-start event, so be on time! There should be plentiful parking in the lots in the park or on Joaquin Miller Road on the morning of the event, but don't cut it too close. Here is an approximate time schedule:
9 AM – Registration and check-in open 10 AM – Mass start for all courses 2 PM – All courses close
The distance and climb figures below are taken directly from the course setter's GPS watch after test runs of the loops, taking what are believed to be at least close to the optimal routes. (In other words, these are not straight-line distances, but actual running distances.)
Course Distance Climb Checkpoints
Short 4.0 km (2.5 mi) 225 m (740 ft) 7 Medium 8.7 km (5.4 mi) 475 m (1560 ft) 15 Long 15.1 km (9.4 mi) 795 m (2610 ft) 23
Be sure to read the Course Setters' Notes for more information.
You need to preregister by Wednesday, August 21st, at the very latest, to receive the reduced entry fee for the event. Day-of-entry registration will be accepted, but the late fee will be an extra five dollars. No one will pay anything until the day of the event, though. The purpose of preregistration is to:
- Give us an idea of how many maps to print, and more importantly,
- Give us an idea of how much food and drink to provide at the aid station and goody table.
Use this Preregistration Form (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHhHemxHWXc1LTZLakppekV1R1FwUVE6MA#gid=0).
Note that preregistration is not required. You will be welcome at the event even if you haven't preregistered, except in the unlikely event of a sellout.
The event fees listed below include use of a SPORTident electronic e-stick to "punch" at each control, the use of a compass (while supplies last), and a small plastic whistle. Please bring your own compass if you have one. Snack foods and water will be provided free of charge at the aid stations and Finish. Also included in the cost is a short clinic on map reading using maps from prior years (you don't get the actual course maps until 10:00 AM).
What you are mostly getting for the higher entry fee for this event is much more food and drink than we provide at a typical BAOC event, both for refueling during the run, and for treats after you finish.
You may go as a group (or follow someone), but each person will need to register and pay separately.
Technical, short-sleeve TrailCross Series T-shirts are
$7 price reduced to $5. They can be obtained only with event registration.
BAOC membership will be available at the event, or you can join by submitting the BAOC Membership Application before the event.
Member of BAOC, GCO, or any other Orienteering USA club
Regular Event Day (before or on (on or after Course Category Wed 8/21) Thur 8/22)
15 km Adult $23 $28 Junior (*) $8 $8 10 km Adult $18 $23 Junior (*) $5 $5 5 km Adult $13 $18 Junior (*) $3 $3
(*) Juniors are age 20 and younger.
Regular Event Day (before or on (on or after Course Category Wed 8/21) Thur 8/22)
15 km Adult $28 $33 Junior (*) $8 $8 10 km Adult $23 $28 Junior (*) $5 $5 5 km Adult $18 $23 Junior (*) $3 $3
(*) Juniors are age 20 and younger.
August 17th Update
The JMP TrailCross event is now only one week away. A few reminders and remarks:
- Please preregister no later than Wednesday, August 21st, to get the cheapest rate, and just as importantly, to give us an idea of how many people to expect. You can sign up on race day but you will pay $5 more. Go here (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHhHemxHWXc1LTZLakppekV1R1FwUVE6MA#gid=0) to preregister.
- The only real help we need at this event is some people to arrive around 8:45 AM, to help with setup and with registration before the mass start at 10 AM. We could still use two or three more people willing to come early and help for about an hour, as the more people we have working registration, the quicker we will get people through, and the more likely it is that the race will actually start on time. So let know if you can help.
- There are only 15 controls total, and many of them are quite close to a paved road, so control pickup help, although nice to have, is not a pressing concern.
- Since we still have a large inventory of TrailCross shirts, and this is the next to last TrailCross event of the series, we have decided to reduce the price of the shirts to $5. What a deal! First come, first serve on the sizes. I might even buy one for myself at that price.
- I don't think I have ever been asked this question, and I'm curious—what food and drink would you like to see at the aid station, both for mid-race refueling, and for after-race partying? I haven't gone shopping for this stuff yet—any suggestions? BAOC owns several cases of Vitalyte and of course we will have water. What else should we purchase?
- Vladimir will appreciate this one. I just discovered that a national trail-running company is putting on an 8.5-mile trail race in Joaquin Miller Park two weeks after our event, on September 7th, starting and finishing in the lower meadow area exactly like we are. The home page of the race organizers is here (http://www.musclemilkwoodsy.com), and a course map of the race is here (http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1320556).
- Please note that, for those of you who perhaps are not going to attend the TrailCross because "it costs too much", the fee for this straight trail run is $60! I can absolutely guarantee that you will see much more of the park, and run on much more scenic and interesting trails, at the BAOC event. In fact, the only thing I can see that you are getting for your extra $40 at the trail race is a finishers medal, and beer after the race. Not worth it if you ask me!
Shirts and Awards
A technical TrailCross Series T-shirt is offered with the registration for a nominal fee.
We will award the top male and female runner for each of the three distances, plus the top Masters (40 years of age and over) and Junior (20 years and younger) runners of each gender.
There is a 4-hour time limit for all the courses. We will not allow 15 km course participants to run a third loop if we think they won't make it to the Finish before the course closure.
Each runner will be given a map at the Start. A recent copy of the map will also be available at check-in, but it will not have today's course on it.
The courses will loop back to the aid station at the Start approximately every 5 km, so it certainly will not be necessary to carry water. However, if you are a slower runner or an inexperienced map reader, you should consider carrying a bottle or other container that can hold at least 0.5 liter (a pint) of water. Although you will be running in the shade of the forest much of the time, Joaquin Miller can get hot in August, so a water bottle will help keep you hydrated between aid stations. You are required to carry a whistle for emergency signaling—you can get one for free at check-in.
Shoes with good traction will help. Also, undergrowth off-trail at Joaquin Miller Park can be over ankle-high in certain parts of the park, so if you anticipate taking a lot of off-trail shortcuts, you might want to wear high socks, long pants, running tights, or gaiters to cover your lower legs. There is poison oak (PO) in the park, and you might look at this Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxicodendron_diversilobum) if you don’t know what it looks like. You will perhaps encounter poison oak on a few of the off-trail shortcuts. The courses will be set to avoid any really bad poison oak patches, but we cannot anticipate every route that a runner might possibly take between checkpoints, so if you are extremely sensitive to PO, you should take appropriate precautions.
The race is electronically timed with SPORTident equipment. We will have SPORTident electronic tags available (the price of the rental is included in your entry fee). If you own one, you are welcome to bring and use it! A compass is useful, but not necessary. We have compasses to lend, also included in your entry fee.
The Course and Checkpoints
Courses for this event will not be published in advance. You will learn the course at the Start.
Generally, each checkpoint will feature route choices. You can either take a trail the whole way, or part of the way, or cut straight. Several checkpoints will feature a choice of several trails. It's OK to follow someone, but beware that they may not have the best route! They might even be lost!
Still have questions?
There is an FAQ on the TrailCross Series page. You are also welcome to contact the via email.
From Highway 13 in the East Bay (the Warren Freeway), take the Joaquin Miller Road (JMR) exit. Go uphill (east) on JMR for approximately one mile. The park entrance is on the left (look for the orienteering sign). The cross street for the park entrance is Sanborn Dr (on the left) and Robinson Dr (on the right). (That's the upper end of Sanborn, not the lower end with the gate.) You can either turn left onto Sanborn and park in one of the lots in the park, or park on Joaquin Miller Road itself.
The staging area for the race will be in the Lower Meadow area, directly north of the intersection of Sanborn and JMR. Look for the orienteering signs.
There's a map here that shows the location of the event.