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University of California

Date: (Sat.) Feb. 27, 2016
Location: Berkeley, CA
Event Director: - 510.407.1876
Course Setter: Holly Gaston
Type: C; Beginner/Novice, Sprint, and Middle-distance courses on the beautiful Cal Campus; COOL event #4

Please note that fees and time limits apply. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Please see the late request below for a couple of volunteers. Thanks.

Everyone is welcome to our orienteering event where there will be Beginner, Sprint, and Middle-distance courses on the scenic University of California Berkeley campus (aka Cal or UCB). Holly Gaston has designed some intriguing courses that everyone will enjoy, whether you are training for the upcoming U.S. Sprint Championship, out to enjoy a walk, or keeping up your COOL score.

Campus orienteering can seem easy, but the different elevations and passages can make it a challenge. If the courses don't seem long enough for you, note that second (and third) courses will be free!

Note that this event is on Saturday, not our usual Sunday.

U.S. Champs Prelim Sprint

This event was put on the calendar to give everyone an opportunity to practice a campus sprint in preparation for the U.S. Sprint Championship to be held at Mills College on March 20. Now we are offering, in addition, a special opportunity to participate in a more competitive Sprint as part of the Berkeley event. We're calling this the U.S. Champs Prelim Sprint. Participation is strictly voluntary. If you just want to run the regular Sprint (essentially the same course), you can certainly do that. But if you want to run in the U.S. Champs Prelim Sprint, you must tell by 7:00 PM this Thursday, February 25. You do not have to be an elite sprinter to participate; all are welcome to this high-stakes, high-reward event.

Full details of the U.S. Champs Prelim Sprint are here.

Event Schedule

The standard BAOC event schedule will be followed:

  9:00 AM – Registration opens
  9:30 AM – Beginners' clinic instruction begins (free)
10:00 AM – Starts open
10:30 AM – Beginners' clinic instruction ends
11:59 AM – Registration closes
12:30 PM – Starts close
  2:00 PM – Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins

You can register and start on courses anytime between the open and close times above (except as noted below). Thus, for example, you do not need to be "punctual" at 9:00 (but you can if you want).

Note: There will be gap in the start window for the (regular) Sprint course as follows:
If you wish to run the Sprint, but not participate in the special U.S. Champs Prelim Sprint, you may start anytime between 10:00 and 10:30, and also anytime from after the last Prelim Sprint start until 12:30. No regular Sprint starts will be allowed from 10:30 to 10:45 (in order to clear the course), or during the window of U.S. Champs Prelim starts.

Beginners' clinics are short, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the beginner (White) course.

Everyone must check in at the Finish by 2:00 PM, and report to the E-punch table, so we can have everyone accounted for and start checkpoint pick-up on time so those volunteers can get home.


The following courses will be available the the event:

    Course       Length     Climb   Controls
    Beginner     2.1 km      60 m      13    
    Sprint       2.3 km      75 m      14
    Middle       4.2 km     150 m      16

Beginners should be aware that the distances shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance will be longer. The climb numbers represent the amount of ascending that would be done on the "optimum route" (in the Course Setter's opinion), without regard for any descending.

Be sure to read the Course Setter's Notes for more information.

Registration and Costs

At registration, all juniors must be accompanied by parents or legal guardians, or bring with them a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian (the registration form is available here (PDF/38KB) (

The following fees apply at this event.

  $3 for juniors on the Beginner course
  $8 for adults on the Beginner course
  $5 for juniors on Sprint and Middle courses  
$12 member price for Sprint and Middle courses
$18 non-member price for Sprint and Middle courses
  $1 for a compass rental (optional)  
  $5 for an electronic fingerstick rental (each team will need one to complete the course)
$15 for the lowest-cost individual one-year BAOC membership (optional)  

For extra people on a team, add $5 per adult on the Beginner course or $7 per adult on the Sprint and Middle courses (with lower prices for juniors).

As a special feature of this event, second (and third) courses will be free!

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ.

Venue Facilities

Water and restrooms should be available inside Barrows Hall. However, there is a possibility that Barrows Hall will be closed that day. If so, there will be open restrooms at Sproul Hall about 150 meters away.

No snacks will be served at this event. There are many food opportunities just steps away on Bancroft Way.

What to Bring

Running attire and running shoes are fine. Comfortable outdoors attire and walking shoes are fine for those who will walk their course.

A compass is not necessary, but can be helpful. We have compasses available for a $1 rental fee.

We time the courses with the SPORTident system, so a SPORTident fingerstick is required for each team​—​they rent for $5. (Use of the "E-punch" system is easy. You can learn how at the event, or read about it here.)

Request for Volunteers

Friday Update:

We still need a volunteer or two (who are not participating in the U.S. Champs Prelim Sprint) to help with starts and registration between 10:30 and 11:30. There will still be plenty of time to do your course or courses.

For this event to happen, we need to have volunteers. Volunteering is fun (and easy), and is an opportunity to meet people (and support the club's events). All volunteers will be able to run their desired courses.

Location on Campus

Registration will be held at the Barrows Hall Courtyard (, which is located on the south side of the campus, near Sather Gate and Sproul Plaza. Here is a campus map ( (Barrows Hall is at D4–D5). Also, this map shows the location of the event (and other upcoming BAOC events).


Parking is always tight along the roads south and north of the main campus (Bancroft and Hearst, respectively). Arrive early to secure space on Bancroft near Telegraph (closest to Barrows Hall). More parking is available on the streets south of Bancroft. There are many pay spaces around the campus and in nearby garages. (Note that street parking is metered and has a 2-hour limit.)

Parking tip for Downtown Berkeley: Drive to the North Berkeley BART station (, park your car there for free (on weekends), and take BART one stop south to Downtown Berkeley. I used to go to Berkeley every weekend for a course, and this worked well for me. – Alak Ghosh

Public Transit

The Downtown Berkeley BART station ( is about a kilometer away, and a very pleasant walk to Barrows Hall.