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Presidio of San Francisco, Main Post

Date: (Sun.) Nov. 18, 2018 CANCELED
Location: San Francisco, CA
Event Director: - 415.566.7990
Course Setter: Vladimir Gusiatnikov
Type: C; Sprint event, and beginner’s course, at this popular park

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

November 16th Update:

This event has been canceled. The reasoning follows:
Vladimir reported:
"The air quality was rated Purple at 239 at 11:00 AM today in Potrero Hill. That's three times Beijing! It is absolutely the worst since the Camp Fire started. In the opinion that is mine and only mine, it is ill advised to hold an event in this air.
"Currently the winds have died down. So particulate slowly filled up the Central Valley, and the only way out is to trickle through the Golden Gate. Presidio is the epicenter of the suck. The majority of the particles have to come through the Gate, or within a couple miles of it."
The Event Coordinators conferred this morning over email, and there was an email discussion this afternoon involving a dozen key BAOC members. The conclusion was a decision to cancel the event (and hopefully reschedule it soon). This was based on the forecasts for air quality to remain in the unhealthy category through next Tuesday, and an expectation that turnout would be low because of people's concern about air quality. (As an aside, multiple running events have been cancelled for Sunday.)
We hope to reschedule this event for the near future. Stay tuned. "Thank you" to all of the volunteer effort that went into this event already. I appreciate it!
– Deron
(For the record: The details for the Chase course have been updated below, and an update has been added to the Course Setter's Notes.)

November 15th Update:

I wish I had better news for you. The air quality in SF today (Thursday) was the worst. As in, you couldn't see the Golden Gate Bridge from the Main Post. You look out there towards the ocean, and all you see is nothing. As of Thursday evening, the air quality rating is Purple (Very Unhealthy)​—​about two city blocks visibility.
Very Unhealthy: Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid all outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit outdoor exertion.
It is forecast to stay in the Red (Unhealthy) definitely on Friday, and possibly (borderline Red/Orange) on Saturday. As of now, Orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) is expected Sunday. The Golden Gate works as a funnel. There's a streamline of particulate matter being sucked out over the Bay.
Personally, I don't experience too many problems walking in the stuff for a couple hours every day, and it stopped smelling like fire at some point​—​not sure if it's adaptation or the soot percent indeed went down, and it's more dust now than soot. I can definitely feel it on my teeth. There were some people out and about in the Presidio, mostly masked. If Friday is like today, I may not finish mapping some of the peripheral updates, but the courses are done, complete. If you deviate off course by more than one building, and if I don't do this peripheral mapping Friday, you may find unexpected things ...
... as in, I look towards the Bay seeking out that glimpse of the Bridge, and instead I see not, a building. I just mapped the new fence around it on Monday, and today, there's a demolition excavator and a guy hosing down what's remaining. Things change quickly! They might change between now and Sunday ... if we have this thing Sunday at all.
Stay tuned.
– Vladimir

November 14th Update:

This late morning, air quality in San Francisco (which until then had been gradually improving) took a material hit, and now appears to be the worst it has been since the Camp Fire started. Of course, we are all consenting adults, but if the air is like what it's now, and given our demographics, I'd say it may be unwise to run. We'll proceed with the preparations all the way, but be warned.

Please join us for some orienteering fun in the San Francisco Presidio in the northern part of San Francisco. The assembly area will be at the Main Parade Ground (i.e., where we have met previously). Vladimir Gusiatnikov will be setting Sprint courses as well as a beginner’s course. A Prologue and Chase format will be provided for the Sprint.

Orienteers of all abilities are welcome and encouraged to attend. Also, this will be a good warm-up for those of you planning to enter Sprint San Francisco December 7–9.

If you are unfamiliar with this format, the Prologue course will have first-come, first-served start times beginning at 10:00 AM, just like a regular event. However, if you wish to participate in the Chase that follows, you need to be sure you arrive early enough to finish your first run by 12:00 or so. The first-place finisher on the Prologue course will start the Chase course at approximately 12:30, with the subsequent starts in fairly quick succession (hence the name "Chase"). The winners of the event will be the first to cross the finish line at the end of the Chase.

Note: If you happen to know whether or not the San Francisco JROTC programs will be participating, please let us know. We would love to have them participate, and want to make sure we print enough maps.

Also, if you are coming with a group of five or more people, please tell the event director so we can be sure to have enough maps.


  9:00 AM – 11:59 AM: Registration open
  9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginners' clinic instruction (free)
 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts open for beginners' and Prologue courses
           12:30 PM: Starts begin for the Chase course
            2:00 PM: Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins

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)).

Note that you can register and start on courses anytime during the open periods above. Thus, for example, you do not need to be "punctual" at 9:00 (but you can if you want, but please don't show up earlier and expect to be served).

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.

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.

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


The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for juniors (age 8 through 20) on beginner's course
  $8 for adults on beginner's course
  $5 for juniors on (both) Sprint courses  
$12 member price for (both) Sprint courses
$18 non-member price for (both) Sprint 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)  

Note: We are able to accept payment only by cash or check​—​no credit cards or electronic payments.

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

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ​—​note, however, that it might not be clear how the "standard" prices will apply to this "non-standard" event. 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 the beginner course, comfortable outdoors attire is fine, but you should wear sturdy running or hiking shoes.

The Sprint courses will involve a lot of running on streets, sidewalks, and trails, so running shoes might be appropriate. However, there will also be some off-trail travel for which you might want cleated shoes. You will want long pants and/or gaiters. See the Course Setter's Notes for additional comments.

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.)


Here is final information about the courses:

    Course      Length    Climb   Controls
    White       1.5 km     20 m      10  
    Prologue    3.4 km     60 m      15
    Chase       3.5 km     45 m     ~15

Note: Unlike "forest" courses, the course lengths above are the shortest possible while going around impassable objects (i.e., per IOF standards for Sprint courses). As usual, 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.

Request for Volunteers

Please tell the if you are willing to help for an hour or two during the event.

Even if you don't have time to volunteer, we hope you decide to participate. The Chase format is especially fun when you have a lot of people of all speeds and navigational abilities participating.

Driving Directions

There's a map here that shows the approximate location of the event. To use that map, drag it to center San Francisco in the panel, then use the "+" button to zoom in. Repeat dragging and zooming to get the desired area shown. You can click on the Satellite button to see an aerial view.

Note: Read the directions below carefully, as no signs will be provided because of park rules.

The approximate coordinates are N37.7984,W122.4582.

From the Bay Bridge: Take exit 1B to merge onto US-101 N/Central Fwy toward Golden Gate Bridge. Continued on Central Fwy. Turn right onto Market St. Use the left two lanes to turn slightly left toward Franklin St. Turn left onto Pine St. Turn right onto Presidio Ave, which becomes Presidio Blvd when you enter the park, and later becomes Lincoln Blvd. Continue past the "T" intersection with Girard Rd. Turn left onto Graham St and drive S until you pass Sal St. The assembly area is on the left in the large parking lot. Park there and be sure to purchase a parking sticker from a machine.

From the South: On I-280, use any of the three left lanes to take exit (#49B) for CA-1 N toward 19th Avenue/Golden Gate Bridge. At the first traffic light, use any of the three left lanes to turn slightly left onto 19th Ave. Stay on 19th Ave through Golden Gate Park, beyond, and through the Presidio. Keep right and follow signs for US-101 S/Marina Blvd S, and merge onto US-101. Take the exit (#437) for Marina Blvd toward the Presidio. Turn right onto Girard Rd, then turn right onto Lincoln Blvd. Turn left onto Graham St and drive S until you pass Sal St. The assembly area is on the left in the large parking lot. Park there and be sure to purchase a parking sticker from a machine.

From Marin: After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, stay left to continue on US-101 (i.e., do not exit to Veterans Blvd). Take the exit (#437) for Marina Blvd toward the Presidio. Turn right onto Girard Rd, then turn right onto Lincoln Blvd. Turn left onto Graham St and drive S until you pass Sal St. The assembly area is on the left in the large parking lot. Park there and be sure to purchase a parking sticker from a machine.

The parking machines accept credit or debit cards, possibly coins (more info is here (