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Sprint San Francisco

Date: Dec. 7 - 9, 2018
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Event Director:
Course Setters: Erin Schirm, Matej Šebo
Type: A; Friday: Sprint Relay; Saturday: 3-round tournament; Sunday: NRE Qualifier and NRE Final

Course Setters' Notes

By Erin Schirm (Friday & Saturday) and Matej Šebo (Sunday)

Friday Relay at Hidden Lakes/Hidden Valley Park

Course Details: 1.9–2.2 km; roughly 40–60 m of climb

Teams of two, where each person runs two legs. We will put teams together at the event. Please make sure to show up by 6:10 PM, so we can make sure you know your teammate, and go through the exchange and arena before the race starts.

Forest orienteering shoes recommended. No medal studs if possible.

Mapping Notes:

Saturday 3-Round Knock-Out

Round 1 will be 4 heats of 7 runners each. The top 2 from each heat, and the next 6 fastest times, will advance to Round 2.

Round 2 will be two heats of 7 runners each. After the heats finish, there will be an open start window for all the people who did not "qualify" for Round 2. The top 2 from each Round 2 heat, and next 2 fastest Round 2 heat times, will advance to Round 3.

Round 3 will be a "final" with 6 runners. After the final finishes, there will be an open start window for all the people who did not "qualify" for Round 3.

Saturday Round-1 Knock-Out at Paso Nogal Park

Course Details: 2.4–2.6 km; roughly 80–90 m of climb

For the first round, the challenge will be to spot the best forking. There will multiple forking options that will be either 42A–43A or 42B–43B. Your job is to choose what you think is the shortest forking, and you need to go only to the controls on the forking you choose. Please note that you can't switch forking halfway through. Once you choose the forking, you're on that forking until the course comes back together. Numbers of the controls will be printed on the map.

There will be a 1 km walk/jog to the Start. Parking will be at Diablo Valley College. You will be able to pick up a walking map at registration to get to the Start at Paso Nogal Park. The Start and Finish are close to each other, and the walk back is the same as the walk there.

Forest orienteering shoes suggested.

Mapping Notes:

Saturday Rounds 2 and 3 at Diablo Valley College

Course Details: 2.8–3.2 km (best-route distance); roughly 40–60 m of climb

Urban running shoes recommended. However there might be areas that are slippery, so rubber shoes are fine, but medal studs are not permitted.

Round 2: The second round will use butterfly-loop forking, and will have a map flip. The map flip will happen roughly two-thirds through the course. There will be one common control on each side of the map. So when you flip the map, the control you are at last on side one will be the first control on side two of the map, with the rest of the course.

Round 3: The final round will have multiple loops for forking, and will go directly into what I call the maze. In order to better show the maze area, the scale of the map might be blown up, which will be announced at the Start​—​so be prepared. The nature of the maze is multi-level​—​in some cases three levels. I have done my best to depict this on the map, however the clue sheet will show which level the control will be on using upper, lower, and middle. Note that this is supposed to be a fun challenge, and the nature of the multi-level area makes it a little harder to make out. So part of this final round is a little bit about using the clue sheet and making your best guess.

Mapping notes:

Sunday at St. Mary's College

The Map

St. Mary's College is a brand new map created by Bob Cooley in October 2018. The map is drafted according to the ISSOM ( standard, at 1:4,000 scale with 2.5 meter contours.

This small college campus is located just outside of Moraga, and has a few unique qualities that make it excellent Sprint terrain. The center of the campus is almost completely flat, with the terrain sloping sharply upwards around it. The courses are mostly set in this flat central area, so climb should rarely be a factor. The campus has many overhangs, and narrow passageways with sharp changes in direction. Attention to detail is often important to determine which areas are passable, and the shapes of the buildings make it possible to set longer route choices with multiple possible options.

The Schedule

  8:00–  8:50    Packet pickup
  9:15–  9:40    Qualification round (Qualifier) with assigned starts
11:20–11:35    A-Final with assigned starts
12:00               Award Ceremony
12:35–13:00    B-Final with assigned starts
14:00               B-Final course closes

The Format

Both courses are interval-started. The Qualifier will use a 30-second start interval with assigned start times (don't be late for your start!).

The start times for the Qualifier are available here ( Note that the times posted online show only whole minutes; this file (42KB PDF) shows actual start times.

The top 8 men and top 6 women in the Qualifier will receive start times in the A-Final. Everyone else will run in the B-Final, which will start after the A-Final is done so that everyone can watch the A-Final.

The A-Final and B-Final will be run on the same course. Both Finals will use a 1-minute start interval, with the start order in reverse order of the results of the Qualifier (that is, fastest runners start last).

The Qualifier and the Finals are National Ranking Events (and thus have 1-hour time limits).

The Courses

    Course      Distance   Climb  Controls
    Qualifier    2.5 km    20 m      15  
    Final        2.4 km    30 m      19

The two courses will start from different locations. The call-up lines for both the Qualifier and the Final starts will be visible from the assembly area (Chapel Green), where the Finish is located. The Finish is shared between the Qualifier and the Final.

These courses will both be set to Sprint standards. There will be many changes in direction, with an emphasis on quick map reading and route choice. The expected winning times are in the 12- to 15-minute range for both courses. Due to the short length of the courses, no refreshments will be offered at controls.

Both courses will be printed across two maps. Both maps will be provided to competitors at the Start, facing outwards within a single map case. Competitors will start the course using one map, and after completing the course up until a certain control (#10, for example), will flip over their “double-sided” map and use the other map through to the Finish. In this example, map 1 would depict the course from the Start Triangle to control #10, and map 2 would depict the course from control #10 to the Finish. Control #10 would be shown on both maps. This makes the maps much easier to read, as parts of the Qualifier and Final courses loop back on each other.

A small section of artificial fencing will be used to make a part of the terrain more interesting. This artificial fencing will be clearly marked in the terrain with several lines of chest-high pink streamer tape. On the map, it will be depicted as an impassable fence. Any competitor spotted crossing this barrier, or any other impassable barriers as defined in ISSOM ( (i.e., buildings, olive green, 50% black/100% green, as well as any walls, fences, or hedges that are mapped as "impassable"), will be immediately disqualified. Marshals will be stationed throughout the courses to ensure fair play.

I would also like to remind all runners to carefully read the map when approaching a control. Remember that not all of the controls you see will be on your course, so remember to check each control code before punching.