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Bedwell Bayfront Park

Event #6 of 6 in the BAOC 2019 Summer Series

Date: (Sun.) Aug. 25, 2019
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Event Director: - 650.281.5280
Course Setter: Matthias Kohler
Type: C; This will be the last event of the 2019 Summer Series. There will be a "beginners" course, and two "advanced" courses. Yes, beginners are very welcome — the courses will be "easier" than usual because of the nature of the park.

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

This will be the final event in the 2019 Summer Series. However, we want to emphasize that everyone is welcome to come out and do one (or more) of the courses, regardless of whether or not you attended a previous Summer Series event.

Beginners new to orienteering are encouraged to attend​—​the navigational difficulty is significantly eased by the nature of the park, so anyone should be able to complete the beginner course.

We will offer three courses at this event: One for beginners (2.3 km long; less than 1.5 mi), a Short Advanced course (2.9 km), and a Long Advanced course (5.2 km). The Long Advanced course will be the ranking course for this final event of the 2019 Summer Series.

Notes to competitive orienteers:

We look forward to seeing everyone at what should be a fun event!


The standard BAOC event schedule will be followed:

  9:00 AM – Registration opens
  9:30 AM – Beginners' instruction clinics begin (free)
10:00 AM – Starts open
10:30 AM – Beginners' instruction clinics end
11:59 AM – Registration closes
12:30 PM – Starts close
  2:00 PM – Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins

You can register and start on courses anytime between the open and close times above. Thus, for example, you do not need to be "punctual" at 9:00 (but you can if you want).

Beginners' clinics are 15–20-minute, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the beginner course.

Everyone must check in at the Finish by 2:00 PM, and report to the E-punch table, so we can have everyone accounted for and start checkpoint pick-up on time so those volunteers can get home.

Registration and Costs

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/90KB)).

The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for each junior on the Beginner course
$10 for each adult on the Beginner course
  $5 for each junior on an Advanced course  
$15 for each adult member on an Advanced course
$20 for each adult non-member on an Advanced course
  $1 for a compass rental (optional)  
  $5 for an electronic fingerstick rental (optional, but each team will need one to complete the course)
$15 for the lowest-cost individual one-year BAOC membership (optional)  


More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/90KB), 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.)

What To Bring

Bring your own water for the course(s). There will be no drinking water on the courses. There will be drinking water at the assembly area (near the Start and Finish).

Comfortable outdoors attire and walking shoes are fine for the Beginner course.

For the Advanced courses, any comfortable running shoes are appropriate. Courses will include some pavement, but mostly off-trail legs. You might want shoes with cleats or spikes for the off-trail legs.

You may encounter some annoying grass depending on your route choice, so you might consider wearing gaiters, long socks, or long pants.

It is sometimes quite windy at Bidwell Bayfront Park, so consider bringing a windbreaker. However, it could also be 98° F!

A compass is not necessary, but can be helpful (especially on the Advanced courses). 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 (note that there's a significant charge for a lost rental). (Use of the "E-punch" system is easy. You can learn how at the event, or read about it here.)

The controls will be set up to respond to SPORTident SIAC "touchless" fingersticks. That type of fingerstick will be available for rent at the event, but note that the charge for a lost stick will be $80, not the normal $25. (SPORTident SIAC fingersticks might also be available for purchase from Western Race Services for $80.)

Venue Facilities

Running water and restrooms are available near the assembly area.


Here are the course details:

    Course           Length    Climb   Controls
    Beginner         2.3 km     40 m      15  
    Short Advanced   2.9 km     60 m      16
    Long Advanced    5.2 km    120 m      26   (Summer Series ranking course)
Beginners should be aware that the lengths shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance will be somewhat longer. The climb numbers represent the amount of ascending that would be done on the "optimum route" (i.e., in the Course Setter's opinion), without regard for any descending.

The Start and Finish for all the courses are approximately 130 m from the assembly area.

The Long Advanced course will be the ranking course for the Summer Series.

Be sure to read the Park Hazards and Map Notes for more information.

As noted above, the controls will be set up to respond to SPORTident SIAC "touchless" fingersticks.

If you are thinking about doing more than one course, consider the following:

Park Hazards

The good news: You can’t get lost. There is very little poison oak. There is very little climb. The park is very runnable.

Most of the park is mowed, but there are still some areas with taller grass. So, leg coverings and sturdy shoes are advised on the Advanced courses. And be aware that there are numerous holes hidden under the grass. Exercise caution!

There is little shade, so wear a hat and use sunscreen.

The park is likely to be fairly busy. Please be considerate of other park users.

Flocks of Canada geese are visiting the park, and jackrabbits and a skunk have been spotted.

Request for Volunteers

We need several people to help out to make sure the event is a success. We're expecting a large number of younger scouts to participate (probably early), and we want to keeps things running smoothly for them and for our regulars.

Let know if you can help make this event another BAOC success.

, Event Director

Map Notes

There are references below to "ISOM", the International Standard for Orienteering Maps. You can see the document here (PDF/2.0MB).

The map scale for all the courses is 1:5000 with a (LiDAR-based) 2-meter contour interval.

The map is generally very good. Some corrections were made, especially in the vicinity of control locations.

Grass and Knolls

Most of the tall grass in the park has been mowed, which makes the courses very runnable and the visibility very good. As a result of the mowing, numerous piles of straw that unfortunately look like overgrown knolls are spread over large areas. Therefore, knolls are not used as control locations for the Advanced courses. Be careful when using knolls for navigation. (Two unambiguous knolls are used as control locations on the Beginner course.)

Even if not used as control locations, you will encounter many “knolls” and the map uses three different “knoll” symbols: “Brown dot” for normal knoll (ISOM 109, small knoll); “Grey dot” for a small mound of gravel; and “Brown solid triangle” for a small man-made mound covered with a lid, usually overgrown with grass, and often with a post with streamer next to it. The last is by far the most frequent type of “knoll” the map shows. They are not always significantly elevated above the surrounding land surface, and some are not mapped. Most of the knolls are less than 0.5 m in height.

The tall-vegetation map markings (green parallel lines, ISOM 409) are minimal and represent current conditions in the park. However, where present, running will be very slow or impossible.

Yellow “open land” (ISOM 401) is generally very runnable as the grass was mowed down, except for some “forested” (white) areas where the machine could not get in, and thus some tall grass remains (but visibility should not be much impaired). Most of the ground is covered with “straw”. Be careful with the footing (especially when you are reading the map while running)​—​there will be some unexpected ground-squirrel holes!

The map uses a dark-yellow, non-ISOM symbol for “bare earth/sandy area” that may help with navigation.

Boulders and Cairns

The map uses boulder (ISOM 204), big boulder (205), and boulder cluster (207) symbols. Generally these features are smaller than what would normally be mapped, and what we usually encounter at other BAOC events. Only a few boulders are significantly large. Most “boulders” on the map are rocks of about 0.5 m in size; some boulders and clusters are not easily visible because of overgrowing vegetation.

The “cairn” symbol (ISOM 526) is used to denote the park’s sequences of rock sculptures (i.e., man-made rocks). These are not used as control features.

Other Symbols

The “Green O” symbol (ISOM 417, “prominent large tree”) sometimes represents a quite small, lone tree or a small copse. The distinction between several “single” trees close together and a small patch of “white forest” is not clear. “White forest” often consists of a group of Eucalyptus trees.

The “Green T” symbol (not ISOM) represents a fallen tree (can be dead or still green, usually a few meters long). Not all “Green T” symbols have been removed from the map where there is no longer a fallen tree (e.g., you may find traces of a decayed tree or the remaining rootstock).

Rootstocks as small as 0.5 m diameter are indicated with “Brown ×” (not ISOM).

Generally, thickets are mapped quite accurately. The map has been updated in the vicinity of controls. Some of the thickets have grown together. Two levels of green are used: dark green usually represents thick bushes of various sizes (from as small as about 2 m to several tens of meters in diameter), while light green is very often a dense group of short pines.

The map shows man-made features with “Black ×” (e.g., utility boxes, benches, and wells of some kind) and “Blue ×” (for gas wells, often with a lid labeled “GAS”).

For Competitors on the Advanced Courses

All the trails and roads will be removed from the Advanced course maps.

Unlike recent events, Sprint rules will not apply. The map is not in compliance with ISSOM standards (PDF/284KB), and has symbols that are not in compliance with ISOM (as mentioned above).

There are a few fences (ISOM 516) along some of the bigger trails and roads in the park. Competitors are allowed to cross those fences.

You will not encounter any out-of-bounds areas on your courses. The sewage treatment plant at the northwest corner of the map is marked with the purple cross-hatched lines and is fenced off by the “impassable-fence” symbol (ISOM 518). It is the only out-of-bounds area on the map.

2019 Summer Series

This is the final event of the BAOC 2019 Summer Series. The Series consists of six events, each of which has a "ranking course" for the overall Summer Series results. At this event, points will be awarded to all the individuals (but not groups or teams) who complete the Long Advanced course.

Details of the Summer Series scoring system are available here. (Note that we need your birth year if you want to be scored properly. Also, to be eligible for Summer Series awards [assuming there are any 🙂], you must be a BAOC member in good standing as of this event.)

The current Summer Series standings are here.

Driving Directions

The approximate coordinates are 37.4909,-122.1773. There's a map here that shows the location of the event. (Yes, we do know that the map does not display correctly.)

From the Peninsula, North, and South, take Highway 101 to the exit for Marsh Rd/CA-84E (#406). Head east on Marsh Rd (toward Dumbarton Bridge or the Bay). Stay to the left so you can drive straight ahead into the park at the traffic signal where Marsh turns right onto Bayfront Expressway.

From the East Bay, cross the Dumbarton Bridge (Hwy 84). Go to the fifth traffic light after the bridge and turn right into the park.