Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Golden Gate Park

Old Speedway Meadow Picnic Area

Event #4 of 4 in the BAOC 2017 Summer Series

Date: (Sun.) Aug. 27, 2017
Location: San Francisco, CA
Event Director:
Course Setter: Steve Gregg
Type: C; One advanced course with short options, total distance 2–5 km; Beginner Clinics will be available—beginners can run the first loop (or more) of the course

Last-Minute Course Change

When I visited the park Thursday afternoon to check control sites for the final time before the event, I discovered that a large, new, homeless encampment had sprung up, very close to control #10 on the course. Deron just confirmed for me that it is still there today.

I would feel very uncomfortable keeping that control on the course, since it feels unsafe to run competitors through there now, and also since the unit could well be stolen at that location. So I'm going to remove it, which will compromise the course somewhat, but I don't see a better alternative. Runners will go from control #9 straight to control #11, skipping #10 completely.

The maps have already been printed, so Saturday evening I will cross control #10 off all the maps by hand, as well as crossing it off the clue sheets. I'll also print out a few signs to display at the staging area. I hope that with all this advance warning, no one will be confused by what will happen tomorrow. See you then!

(Aug. 26, 2017)

Course Setter's Notes


Did you miss the sprint tournament at Golden Gate Park last December? Or were you there, but would like to run again in perfect weather, as opposed to pouring rain? If so, do not miss the final event of the Summer Series, this upcoming Sunday.

As has been the case with all the events in the Summer Series, only one course of 4.6 km will be set. That course consists of three separate loops, all more or less the same length. Competitors can choose to run one, two, or all three loops. Each loop covers a different part of the map, corresponding to the three stages of December's sprint tournament. There will not be a map exchange, as all three loops will be printed on the same map. Controls 12, 24, and 34 will all be in the same location, and runners can choose to proceed directly to the Finish after punching that control for the first, second, or third time.

Loop one will also feature an interior butterfly loop (with controls 2, 6, and 9 being in the same location), although all competitors will run those loops in the same order. The rest of the course is standard, point-to-point orienteering. I have used some of the same control locations as were used in December, but I doubt that will give runners who attended that event any significant advantage, and if your memory is like mine, it will feel like brand-new terrain.

The map scale is 1:5000, with 2.5-meter contours. There will be 34 controls in all, so as usual, a high-capacity E-stick will be required for the full three-loop course. You can rent one, or temporarily exchange yours, at Registration.

The grass is tall and the footing is slippery in the park right now. Although you will be running on trails for substantial portions of the course, and can probably get away with wearing shorts and running shoes, I would personally recommend long pants, and shoes with a little more traction.

I did not update the December map at all. The map is not perfect, and you may encounter a few unmapped trails, and some questionable vegetation mapping. However, my hope is that this will not affect your navigation in any significant way. In particular, I have tried not to set legs that require you to guess whether or not there are passageways through dark green​—​there should always be a sensible route choice that does not require this. If in doubt, however, don't try it!

The courses cross both Chain of Lakes Drive and JFK Drive several times. For safety, I have set the courses so that you will always cross these busy streets at a stop sign. Nonetheless, be sure to check for oncoming traffic before crossing roads.

I am still looking for a few more volunteers to help me quickly put out all the control units on Sunday morning. My hope is that if we start putting out units at 9 AM, none of them will go missing between then and the first start at 10 AM (or earlier). Please let know if you can help with this task. Thanks!