Sierra Summerfest

Sierra Summerfest

Day 2 (AM): A-meet Sprint Event
(Part 1 of the 2013 Western States Championships)

Donner Memorial State Park

Date: (Fri.) Jul. 26, 2013
Location: Truckee, CA
Event Director: - 510.407.1876
Course Setter: Steve Gregg
Type: A; Morning A-meet Sprint (part 1 of the 2013 Western States Championships)

Course Setter's Notes


If you are still undecided about whether you should take Friday off and come to Tahoe for the sprint event, I strongly recommend that you do so, as this terrain is about as good as it gets for a forest Sprint.

You'll be running around the perimeter of the central camping area at Donner Memorial State Park, in smooth, clean, fast, open forest, with minimal climb. (My test-run speeds on the courses were under 6 min/km). The defining feature of the terrain is the large, distinct boulders scattered throughout the landscape, and over half of your control locations will be boulders. Don't be worried that this will make the navigation inappropriately difficult for a sprint event, though. I have purposely chosen the largest boulders in the terrain to use as control points, with only one or two of them being smaller than 2 meters in size. When you reach the control circle, it should be quite easy to pick out the giant boulder that you are looking for. And all the controls are less than 50 meters away from a paved road or a major trail, so should you happen to go running off in the wrong direction, you will probably not pay a huge time penalty as a result.

The main challenge of the event will be to do the navigation at high speed, without slowing down too much to read the map between controls. There will be many controls on the courses and several abrupt changes in direction, and you may feel like you are playing "boulder pinball" out there at times.

Here are the preliminary course stats. Orange and Brown runners will compete on the same course, as will Red and Blue runners:

    Course          Length   Climb   Controls
    White           1.4 km    30 m      11
    Yellow          1.5 km    35 m      11
    Orange/Brown    1.6 km    35 m      14
    Green           1.9 km    50 m      17
    Red/Blue        2.9 km    70 m      20

As you can see, by BAOC standards, these courses are dead flat!

The map we will be using for the event is a brand-new map by Greg Walker, who put the finishing touches on it just this last spring. It's a beautiful map, and in my visits to the park I have found it to be 100% accurate. I do not expect there to be any map legibility issues at all.

The map will be printed at the usual 1:5000 Sprint scale, with a 2.5-meter contour interval, like our Point Pinole map.

As far as clothing is concerned, runners will spend very little time on roads and trails, but the forest is clean and flat in most places. So, runners who prefer to wear running shoes and shorts in a forested sprint event would certainly be able to do so here. However, there are a few areas of thicker undergrowth on the courses, so O' shoes and long pants might be the preferred choice for some people. It's mostly personal preference, I would think.

For the record, water will not be provided on the courses.

Get ready for a good time!