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

O in the Oaks 2017 – Day 2

Briones Regional Park

Date: (Sun.) Mar. 26, 2017
Location: Lafayette, CA
Event Director: - 510.684.2001
Course Setter: Gavin Wyatt-Mair
Type: A; 2017 U.S. Ultra Long championships for all age classes, and recreational courses for beginners

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

Recent Information:

Event Results (3/27)
Request for Volunteers Updated (3/22)

Table of contents


This event will be very different than the previous day's event at Point Pinole. Instead of Middle courses, with emphasis on fast decisions, this event will have Ultra Long courses, with emphasis on route choice (and stamina); instead of fairly flat terrain, this event will have significant hills.

This event will be the 2017 U.S. Ultra Long Championships. (The OUSA rules for the U.S. Ultra Long Championships are here (http://www.us.orienteering.org/rules#A21).) If you will be competing in the championship, be sure to read the embargo notice below.

Note: There will be a mass start at 9:00 AM for the U.S. Ultra Long Championships. (It might be possible to start individually after the mass start, but not as a competitive entry.) The walk to the start is 1.6 km, gradual uphill. It will take at least 20 to 25 minutes from the parking area.

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.


  7:30 AM – Registration opens for competitive courses (i.e., packet pick-up and day-of-event entries) [see note 1 below]
  8:45 AM – Registration opens for recreational courses (please don't come early)
 9:00 AM – Mass start for the U.S. Ultra Long Championships [see note 2 below]
  9:00 AM – Beginner's clinic instruction available (free)
  9:15 AM – Starts for recreational courses open, you can start on courses anytime until 10:15 [see note 2 below]
 2:00 PM – Courses close; checkpoint pick-up begins
  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), or at the Saturday event.
  2. There is a 1.6 km, gradual uphill, walk to the Start. Plan on taking at least 20 to 25 minutes to get there, plus time to get "composed" for your start.

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 10:00 (they could stop earlier if there is no more demand).

Please note that everyone must return to the Finish by 2:00 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.

Per the OUSA rules (http://www.us.orienteering.org/rules#A21), there is a 5-hour time limit for the U.S. Ultra Long Championships. Thus, anyone finishing after 2:00 PM will be classified OVT (overtime), so there's no point in staying out later.

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


Here are the course details:

    Course            Length       Climb     Controls   Difficulty  
    White             3.3 km    120 m  4.1%      9      Beginner  
    Ultra Yellow      4.4 km    150 m  3.4%      8      Advanced Beginner
    Ultra Orange      6.5 km    300 m  4.6%     13      Intermediate
    Ultra Brown Y     4.6 km    248 m  5.5%     10      Advanced
    Ultra Brown X     6.7 km    375 m  5.6%      9      Advanced
    Ultra Green       9.9 km    540 m  5.3%     24      Advanced
    Ultra Red        12.1 km    660 m  5.7%     30      Advanced [see note 2 below]
    Ultra Blue       16.0 km    990 m  6.3%     39      Advanced [see note 2 below]

(The lengths of the White, Brown Y, Green, Red, and Blue courses were changed slightly after the stats were originally publicized. The revised, actual lengths are above.)
  1. As noted above, there is a 1.6 km, gradual uphill, walk to the Start. Plan on taking at least 20 to 25 minutes to get there.
  2. Note that the Blue course has more than 30 controls. Thus, you cannot use an SI-5 (1–499,999) or SI-8 (2xxxxxx) E-stick on that course. With 30 controls, the Red course will completely fill one of those E-sticks, but people running that course should use a higher-capacity E-stick in case they mistakenly punch an additional control. If your E-stick does not have sufficient capacity for your course, a ("trade-in") loaner E-stick will be available for you to use at this event.

Here are some comments about the courses:

Beginners should be aware that the lengths given above are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance covered will be longer​. The climb shown represents the cumulative ascent, without regard for any descent, along the "optimum route" (i.e., in the course setter's opinion). Your actual climb will likely be somewhat more.

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 (310KB).)


U.S. Ultra Long Championships

Registration for the U.S. Ultra Long Championships 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 (White) and advanced beginner's (Yellow) 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 (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. The courses will be steep!

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

Water fountains and flush toilets are available, as well as picnic tables, so 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 some poison oak that you will want 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 Ultra Long courses, but you might also want to carry your own.


OUSA Championship medals will be presented for the 38 standard OUSA championship classes (http://orienteeringusa.org/rules#A11) (i.e., excluding the "open" classes).

In addition, BAOC "2-day" awards will be given, for all classes, for a combined ranking from the "extended" Middle race on Saturday and this event. 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 for the Ultra Long Championships and for the "2-day" awards will be held around noon.

Volunteers Needed

Because of the mass-start format, it is hard to run and volunteer. So, I would be grateful for some additional injured, or just not-in-Ultra-Long-mood folks, to volunteer on Sunday.

In particular, we are looking for somebody to staff the second (closer) remote aid station. Obviously this has to be someone who does not want to run any of the courses. If that's you, please contact , Event Director, to offer to help.

As of Wednesday, March 22nd, we have (barely) enough people for control pick-up. Thanks very much to those who responded. However, we could use a couple more people. 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! Pick-up will start at 2:00. Please send an e-mail if you can help.

Embargo Notice

Since this is a National Event, Briones Regional Park 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 U.S. Ultra Long Championships is not allowed to visit Briones Regional Park.

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

The Assembly Area will be at the West entrance to the park, off of Bear Creek Road.

To get there, take Route 24 west from I-680 or east from I-80. Exit at Orinda, heading north on Camino Pablo. After about 2 miles, turn right onto Bear Creek Road. After about 3.5 miles, the park entrance will be on your right, and is well sign-posted (don't be fooled by the parking area on the left​—​that's not it).

There is an entry/parking charge of approximately $4.00 per vehicle. Please carpool if possible, since parking might be limited.

There's a map here that shows the location of the event. (The approximate location is 37.927,-122.158.)