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Point Pinole Regional Shoreline

Date: (Sun.) Jan. 27, 2019
Location: Richmond, CA
Event Director: - 925.862.2978
Course Setter: Steve Gregg
Type: C; "Club relay" event, with 3-person (or 2-person, or 1-person) teams, at a popular "fast" venue

Course Setter's Notes

By Steve Gregg

First, a couple of important reminders:

  1. Get your relay teams formed and submitted to as soon as you can. Remember, one option is "Put me on a team" if you want to participate but don't care who you run with.
  2. As a condition of our permit, only meet workers are allowed to park in the new parking area off of Atlas Road.
    Competitors must park in the old parking area off of Giant Highway. However, if you would like to take advantage of convenient, close parking, please volunteer to help out at the meet in some capacity.
  3. We are not using the Palms Picnic Area (our usual staging area) at all this year. From the Giant Highway parking lot, walk up the hill and over the railroad bridge, and follow the streamered path from there to the new staging area.

On to the Course Setter's Notes...

[Editor's note: The following paragraph was replaced on Thursday, January 24th by the new content below.]

It will be wet! There probably won't be a whole lot of deep, sticky mud to contend with, but there will be a lot of standing water in the flat, open areas of the map. The pits and depressions that I have chosen for control sites have already started to fill with water, and if the expected week-long rains leading up to the event come to pass, some of these locations will perhaps be more accurately described as small ponds. We will make every effort to hang the control flags so that you won't be forced to wade through shin-deep water to get to them, but it might not be possible to avoid that completely. Be sure to bring a dry pair of shoes and socks with you, to change into after your run.

I visited the park again today (Thursday, Jan. 24), to check the conditions after last week's heavy rains, and discovered the terrain to be in fantastic shape. Virtually no mud, and most of the standing water I encountered was restricted to mapped terrain features: depressions, pits, and ditches. Some of these features will be used for control points, but we will be able to position the bags so that you will not need to wade through any water to reach them. So your feet will probably still get a little wet during your run, but not at all uncomfortably so.

I must admit I was a bit skeptical when Graham Brew proposed that we hold this event at the end of January, but he must have known something about the long-term weather forecasts that I did not. It was absolutely gorgeous at the park today, and is forecast to be even better on the day of the event. Hooray!

Our current plan for the map exchange area is to rig up two parallel lines of string, and attach Map Two and Map Three for each team to those lines with clothespins. There will be no bib numbers, so I would recommend that each team come up with a good way to remember what their team number is, so that each runner can quickly and easily find the correct map for their teammate. Perhaps you could draw a distinctive picture on a piece of paper, and clothespin it to the string along with the map. Or make your own set of bib numbers. Be creative!

It is not clear to me how well we will be able to mark the path to the staging area from the regular parking lot, so follow these directions when you arrive.

Don't forget, if you volunteer to help out at the event in some capacity, you can ignore all of this, and drive directly to the new lot and park there. Please don't try to park there otherwise, though, as that will violate the conditions of our permit.

Relay teams are signing up at a fast and furious rate now. As I write this, we have 15 confirmed teams​—​including six full teams from the Carson High School NJROTC group, who have attended a number of our events this past year. Please sign up by tomorrow (Friday) evening if you possibly can. Our current plan is to print enough maps for N + 20 relay teams, where N is the number of teams that have signed up by Friday. That should leave some room for procrastination, but don't risk being left out!

Finally, if the number of people who want to participate is not an exact multiple of three, I plan to make myself available to run a leg for a team, if that becomes necessary. So don't hesitate to sign yourself up as "potluck", and let Jay put you on a team. Conditions at Point Pinole do not get any better than they will be on Sunday, and you don't want to miss out.

[Editor's note: The original notes continue below.]

An unpleasantly large number of tall thistles have sprouted up on the hillside on the south part of the map since the National Event last spring. I have mapped some of the larger patches close to the control locations as fight, but I certainly didn't try to map them all. You might encounter some unmapped thistle patches thick enough to require you to run around them on your way to the control locations. Because of this, the control locations in this area are all on what I hope will be quite distinct contour features: hilltops, large depressions, and major reentrants. So navigate primarily by the contour lines (and the trees off in the distance, as all Point Pinole veterans know), and don't take the vegetation mapping near the controls too seriously.

The course statistics are basically unchanged from the preliminary announcement.

White/Yellow: 2.5 km length, 25 meters climb, 10 controls 
Each Relay loop: 3.3–3.4 km length (depending on the forking pattern), 50 meters climb, 15 controls

It should be flat, fast, and fun!

Driving Directions

(These are the same directions as on the event announcement page.)

Note: You want the Giant Highway park entrance, not the Atlas Bridge entrance, which we are not permitted to use.

The approximate coordinates for the parking lot are 37.992,-122.356. (Note: If you look for the park by name in Google Maps, you'll get wrong final directions.)

To get there, take the Richmond Parkway exit off Interstate 80 in Richmond, and go west for 1.3 miles. Shortly 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 (do not go straight). You will pass a detention center on your right, and the park entrance will be immediately after that, also on your right.

There is an entrance kiosk at the parking lot, but they might not be there to collect the $3 fee.

Please carpool if possible, since parking might be limited.

From the parking lot, walk up the hill, over the railroad bridge, and follow the streamered path from there to the staging area.