2017 California Orienteering Week (COW)
2017 California Orienteering Week (COW)

O in the Oaks 2017 – Day 1

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline

Date: (Sat.) Mar. 25, 2017
Location: Richmond, CA
Event Director: - 510.684.2001
Course Setter: Holly Gaston
Type: A; "Extended" Middle courses — both competitive National Event and recreational courses

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

Recent Information:

Event Results (3/26)
Request for Volunteers Updated (3/22)
Technical Skills Clinic added (3/21)
Start Procedure added (3/19)
Start List posted (https://www.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/reglist/home/o-in-the-oaks-2017) (3/18)

Table of contents


In addition to being fun and challenging, this event will give you a chance to "warm up" for the next day's Ultra Long event at Briones. The Middle courses will emphasize fast decisions, and the fairly-flat terrain will encourage fast running.

Although this event will not be a championship, it will be a National Event, earning OUSA ranking points. Also, this event will comprise half of the competition for prestigious BAOC "2-day" awards that will be given out for the weekend (see below for details).

If you will be competing in the National Event, be sure to read the embargo notice below. (For reference, the OUSA rules for Middle courses are here (http://www.us.orienteering.org/rules#A19).)

A map showing all the O in the Oaks 2017 activity locations is here.

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 on the "recreational courses". They will be standard beginner courses, just like those at a "normal" BAOC event. So, please do not be deterred by all the hubbub about the competition​—​in fact, take advantage of this opportunity to experience a National Event.


  8:00 AM – Registration opens (i.e., packet pick-up and day-of-event entries) [see note 1 below]
10:00 AMPre-assigned start times (https://www.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/reglist/home/o-in-the-oaks-2017) begin for the competitive courses (end at 11:30)
10:00 AM – Beginner's clinic instruction available (free) [see note 2 below]  
10:00 AM – Starts for recreational courses open [see note 2 below]
11:30 AM – Starts for recreational courses close
 2:30 PM – Courses close; checkpoint pick-up begins  
  2:30 PM – Possible technical skills clinic (see below)  
  6:00 PM – Event dinner (see below)  
  1. Hopefully, most preregistered people will pick up their packets at the Thursday event, or Friday evening, between 5:00 and 8:00, at the Hilton Concord (1970 Diamond Blvd, Concord, CA 94520 [map (https://www.google.com/maps/place/1970+Diamond+Blvd,+Concord,+CA+94520/@37.970706,-122.0504696,14.77z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x808566c5c8491e6f:0x9ace163c4f8661a1!8m2!3d37.9714189!4d-122.0540631)]).
  2. Since beginner's clinics and recreational starts do not begin until 10:00, there's no point in arriving very early for recreational courses.
  3. An OUSA Board meeting will be held at the event hotel from 2:00 to 8:00. More information is here.

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/100KB)).

Beginner's clinics are short, repeating sessions that provide an introduction to orienteering and enough instruction to be able to complete a beginner (White) course. The sessions will continue until about 11:00 (they could stop earlier if there is no more demand).

Please note that everyone must return to the Finish by 2:30 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.

The OUSA rules (http://www.us.orienteering.org/rules#A19) specify a 2-hour time limit for Middle courses. However, since this event will have "extended" Middle courses, a 3-hour time limit will be applied. Thus, anyone finishing more than three hours after their start will be classified OVT (overtime).

After you finish, enjoy free snacks and refreshments, and socialize with other participants!


Here are the course details:

    Course     Length       Climb     Controls
    White      2.6 km     35 m  1.3%     12  
    Yellow     2.5 km     35 m  1.4%     13
    Orange     5.1 km     85 m  1.7%     23
    Brown      3.9 km     60 m  1.5%     19
    Green      5.1 km     75 m  1.5%     25
    Red        6.2 km    115 m  1.9%     28
    Blue       8.1 km    155 m  1.9%     35

Here are some comments about the courses:

Be sure to read the Course Setter's Notes for more information. (In addition to that online copy, the Course Setter's Notes will be in the registration packets, and they are available in this PDF file (120KB).)

Start Procedure

(Competitive) National Event

There will be a single call-up line at the Start for all the courses. Runners will be checked in at this line four minutes before their assigned start time.

At two minutes before their assigned start time, the runners will cross the call-up line, and advance to the Start line.

Note: There are two different marked routes out of the start: One for the White and Yellow courses, and one for all the other courses (Orange, Brown, Green, Red, and Blue).

At the assigned start time, the Start worker will call out the time, blow a whistle, and shout "GO!" The runners for that start time will punch the Start unit, pick up their maps, and proceed down the appropriate marked route.

Recreational Courses

The start procedure for the recreational courses is much simpler. Go to the Start anytime during the open period (see above), and ask for the person who is administering recreational starts. They will ask you how soon you want to start (e.g., you might respond "As soon as possible." or "In 10 minutes, so I can warm up."), and they will assign you a start time. Follow the instructions from the start worker regarding how to proceed.


(Competitive) National Event

Registration for the National Event can be done online here (https://www.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/register/start/o-in-the-oaks-2017) (until 11:59 PM PDT on March 12th). See the main event page for details. You can see who has registered here (https://www.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/reglist/home/o-in-the-oaks-2017).

Recreational Courses

Registration for the recreational courses will be done at the event. The following fees apply for those courses:

  $3 for juniors (age 8 through 20) on beginner's (White) and advanced beginner's (Yellow) courses
  $8 for adults on beginner's and advanced beginner's courses
  $1 for a compass rental (optional)  
  $5 for an electronic fingerstick rental (if you don't own one; you'll 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 beginners' courses or $7 per adult for the intermediate course (with lower prices for juniors).

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/100KB), which you can print and fill out in advance to save some time at the event. (You will need one entry form for each group of people going on a course together.) Please note that the form has a second page for signatures of group members.

What to Bring

For beginners' courses, comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

For intermediate and advanced courses, leg cover or gaiters are recommended, as well as shoes with some extra grip on the sole.

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 each entry/team needs to have a SPORTident fingerstick. If you don't have your own, you can rent one at registration for $5. (Use of the "E-punch" system is easy. You can learn how at the event, or read about it here.)

Venue Facilities

There are limited facilities at the Assembly Area​—​pit toilets and picnic tables. Please feel free to bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy after you finish your course.


Participants on the intermediate and advanced courses should be aware that the park has a lot of poison oak that you will want to try to avoid. It looks like this. Washing clothes and shoes, and bathing with dishwashing soap or a commercial product such as Tecnu, is recommended to remove the irritant oil.

There will be water on the courses, but you might also want to carry your own if you expect to take a long time on your course.


Awards will not be given out for this event. However, BAOC "2-day" awards will be given, for all classes, for a combined ranking from this event and the Ultra Long race on Sunday. The combined ranking will be based on points awarded according to the two, individual, day rankings. For each day, a first place in class is 1000 points, and all other ranked runners earn points according to their time relative to the class winner, as follows:

1000 × (your class winner's time) / (your time)

For example, if your time is 67:30 (4050 seconds) and the class winner's time is 57:15 (3435 seconds), you get 1000 × 3435 / 4050 = 848 points.

You must successfully finish both races in order to be eligible for a "2-day" award.

The award ceremony will be held at the Briones event on Sunday, March 26, around noon.

Technical Skills Clinic

A technical clinic is being offered by Junior National Coach Erin Schirm from 2:30 to 5:30. A minimum of five people is required for the clinic to happen. Erin will go through basic O' skills progression practice methods to introduce skills to kids and adults at various levels. Please email if you are interested.

Event Dinner

For those who preregistered for the event dinner, it will take place in the Assembly Room at the Winslow Community Center in Pleasant Hill (2590 Pleasant Hill Rd, Pleasant Hill, CA [map (https://www.google.com/maps/place/2590+Pleasant+Hill+Rd,+Pleasant+Hill,+CA+94523/@37.9539743,-122.1212238,13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x808564019f2d563d:0x8bec2f28781e7092!8m2!3d37.9539701!4d-122.0861995)]), starting at 6 PM on Saturday, March 25. There will be a choice of menus with and without meat, as well as non-alcoholic beverages available.

(If you did not preregister for the dinner, but want to attend, you can ask if there have been any cancellations.)

Volunteers Needed

Thanks to everybody who already responded so generously for volunteering for our spring National Event. We are nearly set for Saturday, but we can use more help on Sunday.

We could still use a couple more people to help with control pick-up on Saturday. If you haven't signed up yet, and could help out (even just for some of the closer controls), it would be much much appreciated. The more volunteers we have, the faster everyone gets home! Saturday pick-up will start at 2:30, Sunday at 2:00. Please send an e-mail if you can help.

Embargo Notice

Since this is a National Event, Point Pinole Regional Shoreline is embargoed (ref. OUSA Rule A.7 (http://www.us.orienteering.org/rules#A7)). This is done for the purpose of fairness.

Thus, from September 2016 through the completion of the event, anyone who intends to compete in the National Event is not allowed to visit Point Pinole Regional Shoreline.

Anyone who visits an embargoed area can still participate in the event, but will not be included in the official results, will not receive awards, and will not earn OUSA ranking credit.

(This notice does not apply to people who will participate on the recreational courses.)

Driving Directions

To get there, Take the Richmond Parkway exit off Interstate 80 in Richmond, and go west for 1.3 miles. Immediately after the stoplight at San Pablo Avenue, turn right at the next light onto Atlas Road. After 0.8 miles on Atlas, you will cross over a set of railroad tracks and encounter a stop sign. Turn left onto Giant Highway at this intersection. You will pass a detention center on your right, and the park entrance will be immediately after that, also on your right.

We've been told there will not be an entry/parking charge (but the booth has occasionally been staffed in the past, collecting a $3 fee).

Please carpool if possible, since parking might be limited.

From the parking lot, the Assembly Area is a 600 m walk up the hill and over the railroad tracks to the meadow.

There's a map here that shows the location of the event. (The approximate location of the parking lot is 37.992,-122.356.)