Precision Orienteering (PreO) National Event and Local BAOC Sprint event
Joaquin Miller Park
Date: (Thu.) Mar. 23, 2017
Location: Oakland, CA
Event Directors: - 925.872.3935, - 510.681.6181
Course Setters: Nick Corsano, Rex Winterbottom
Type: B; Pre-O (Trail-O) and Sprint event: Pre-O National Ranking Event, (non-ranking) Sprint course in a redwood forest on a new ISSOM map; register as part of O in the Oaks 2017 preregistration or at the event (part of COW)
PreO Course Setter's Notes posted (3/21)
General Description of PreO posted (3/21)
Request for Volunteers added (3/21)
Information for Sprint Course added (3/20)
Competitive PreO Start List posted (https://www.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/reglist/home/o-in-the-oaks-2017) (3/18)
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Note: The event is shown as "pending park approval" because we have not yet actually received the permit. However, we fully expect it will be issued.
Beginners Are Welcome
Even though a lot of attention is being given to the competitive aspect of this event, beginners are still welcome to participate. So, please do not be deterred by all the hubbub about the competition.
In particular, please note that this is a rare opportunity to experience Precision Orienteering (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_orienteering), which is very different than "normal" orienteering. PreO is more mental, and less physical, than point-to-point orienteering—the objective is accuracy, not speed.
- 2:00 PM – Registration opens (i.e., packet pick-up and day-of-event entries) [see note 1 below]
- 3:00 PM – Pre-assigned start times (https://www.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/reglist/home/o-in-the-oaks-2017) begin for the competitive PreO [see note 2 below]
- 4:45 PM – Starts open for the recreational PreO; you can start on the course anytime until 6:00
- 6:30 PM – PreO course closes; checkpoint pick-up begins
- 5:00 PM – Starts for Sprint course open; you can start on the course anytime until 6:30
- 7:00 PM – Sprint course closes; checkpoint pick-up begins
- You can pick up your O in the Oaks 2017 registration packet at this event.
- The time limit for the competitive PreO is 90 minutes.
At day-of-event 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/100KB)).
Please note that everyone on the Sprint course must return to the Finish by 7:00 PM, and check in at E-punch, even if you don't complete your course. We need to account for all participants, because otherwise we must organize a search party for you.
After you finish, enjoy free snacks and refreshments, and socialize with other participants!
Location in the Park
The Assembly Area will be at the Redwood Glen picnic area, close to Skyline Blvd. There is some parking in a dirt siding on Skyline Blvd not far from the Redwood Glen picnic area (see below).
The picnic area has benches and tables. There is a restroom nearby, but the closest water fountains are a bit more of a hike.
- The Start for the PreO is near the Redwood Glen picnic area.
- The Finish for the PreO is remote, with a walk of about 815 m back to the Assembly Area.
- The time limit for the competitive PreO is 90 minutes.
- The official U.S. rules for competitive PreO are on the Orienteering USA website (http://www.orienteeringusa.org/rules#D).
- Recreational entrants will not do the timed controls, and will not be officially scored.
There will be only one course. The (straight-line) distance is about 2.5 km, with 115 m climb, and 20 checkpoints. The difficulty will be Yellow-ish to Brown-ish, because it's a "forest Sprint".
Starts will be in the parking area at the edge of the forest. If you don't see Rex Winterbottom in a lawn chair there, check for a blue-green Ford Focus wagon where he will be sitting if it's raining. Then you get checked in, go find the Start unit, punch, and go.
The Finish is by the picnic site. Walk back to the Start (or Rex's car) to download your results.
- Shoes with some kind of studs or more aggressive grip are recommended.
- Pants are probably better than shorts, though I did wear shorts when course planning.
- The boundaries of thicker vegetation areas are fuzzy, and patches of various shades of green can be harder to discern because of this. I had planned on using some smaller bushes as checkpoint locations, but had to move those.
- The mapper mapped some trails that are blocked by a fence or have lots of branches laid across them suggesting "do not go here." Since the activity we do is a bit off trail, it's okay to use them. They're mapped.
- Not everything that looks like a trail is mapped though, but mostly they are.
- Major trails are mapped as light brown in ISSOM, and can be hard to see on the map (as opposed to in the terrain).
- I finished course planning out in the forest about 7:10 PM on Friday, and a headlamp would have been handy to read the map at that point. I think most 6:30 starters will not have a problem this week, but who's to know—it might be dimmer because of the weather being rainy.
- Clearings can be a somewhat brambly; "white forest" is more runner friendly.
- Poison Oak is minimal, but in the mix here and there. Take the usual precautions.
- Finally, don't go through the areas mapped as sensitive (both purple cross-hatching and shading), except along mapped trails. The course is set to encourage you to behave in that respect.
Please stay after to help with checkpoint pick-up, beginning at 7:00.
– Rex Winterbottom
Request for Volunteers
We need some people to run the two timed controls for the PreO event. Please contact if you can help.
From Highway 13 (Warren Freeway) in Oakland, follow the direction signs for Chabot Space and Science Center, past the Roberts Regional Recreation Area, to the Orchard Trail trailhead. Specifically: From Highway 13 take the Joaquin Miller Road exit and head east, uphill about 1.2 miles to the stoplight at Skyline Blvd. Turn left and continue on Skyline Blvd about 1.1 miles to the trailhead. (The approximate location is 37.815367,-122.178843.)
Park in the dirt along Skyline Boulevard between the entrances to Roberts Recreation Area and Chabot Space and Science Center. After that area is full, there is more space at points along the southwest side (left side while heading northwest) of Skyline Blvd past the trailhead, There is also an actual, free, parking lot, marked "Redwood Bowl Staging Area", about a quarter of a mile northwest of the trailhead (on the right while heading northwest). From there, competitors must walk back to the trailhead along Skyline Blvd—don't go into the park earlier, because that is the competition area.
There's a map here that shows the location of the event.
Take BART to the Fruitvale station, then take the AC Transit 339 bus to Chabot Space & Science Center. From the bus stop it’s about a 1/4-mile walk back on Skyline to where the parking is (i.e., the bus passed it on the way to your stop). You must walk along Skyline Blvd—don't go into the park earlier, because that is the competition area.