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Bedwell Bayfront Park

Date: (Sun.) Aug. 29, 2021
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Event Director: - 650.281.5280
Course Setter: Matthias Kohler
Type: C; There will be a “beginners” course, and a three-loop “advanced” course (you can do 1, 2, or all 3 loops). 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.

Saturday, August 28th Update:

In case you are wondering about the status the event because of the air quality, be advised that the event will be held tomorrow. (Of course, it's up to you to decide whether or not you consider it safe to participate.)

Are you ready to get back out into the outdoors for some fun orienteering? If so, here's your chance. On Sunday, August 29th, we return to Bedwell Bayfront Park, one of our regular venues. Matthias Kohler has designed some fun but challenging courses, including a beginner course and a 3-loop Motala for those with more experience and/or wanting more of a challenge.

Bedwell Bayfront Park is located right next to the Bay, almost always has good weather, and is easy to get to.

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 (White) course. Free beginner clinics are available for anyone interested.

For experienced orienteers, this is a great opportunity to get back into orienteering, especially if you missed the recent Presidio and Tahoe 2021 events.

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

COVID-19 Precautions

We will be following the San Mateo County health ordinance guidelines on the day of the event. That generally means that we can hold the event without social distancing and wearing masks. Nevertheless, we should all be cognizant of the ongoing risk of contracting COVID-19, even for those who have been fully vaccinated. Please stay home if you are feeling unwell in any way. If you are not vaccinated, we ask that you wear a mask while you are in the assembly area, including at the Start and the Finish.

Also, no food or water will be provided at the assembly area (except for a nearby drinking fountain), and no water will be available on the courses. Please bring what you need.


The standard BAOC event schedule will be followed:

  9:00 AM – Registration opens
  9:30 AM – Beginner instruction clinics begin (free)
10:00 AM – Starts open
10:30 AM – Beginner 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).

Beginner clinics are 15–20-minute, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the Beginner (White) 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

You can register online here (, and optionally pay via PayPal. (If you prefer, you can register online and pay at the event.) Online registration will close at 6:00 PM on Saturday, August 28. You can check your status, and see who has registered, here (

At on-site 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/12KB]).

The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for each junior on the Beginner (White) course
  $8 for each adult on the Beginner (White) course
  $5 for each junior on one or more Advanced course  
$15 for each adult member on one or more Advanced course
$20 for each adult non-member on one or more Advanced course
  $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)  


More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/12KB), 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 a public drinking fountain next to the assembly area (near the Start and Finish), so it isn’t absolutely necessary to bring your own water, but we do recommend it.

Comfortable outdoors attire and walking shoes are fine for the Beginner (White) 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. However, the park has been heavily mowed, so you may want to wear less protective gear than usual.

It is sometimes quite windy at Bedwell 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.)

Note: 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 SIAC stick will be $80. (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 (White)       2.2 km     45 m      16  
    Advanced Loop 1        2.3 km     45 m      12  
    Advanced Loops 1+2     5.9 km    130 m      25  
    Advanced Loops 1+2+3   9.3 km    195 m      38  


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.
There are many possible combinations of the three Advanced Loops, but only three alternatives are considered “acceptable”: Loop 1, Loop 1 then Loop 2, and Loop 1 then Loop 2 then Loop 3. That is, only those alternatives will be included in the results. (Note that the Start location for Loop 2 and Loop 3 will not be at the Start for Loop 1.)
If you are going to do all three Advanced Loops, make sure you use an E-stick that can store more than 30 controls.

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

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.

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, with very few areas with taller grass. Be aware that there are numerous holes hidden under the grass, and wear sturdy shoes. 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 scouts and other newcomers to participate (probably early), and we want to keeps things running smoothly for them and for our regulars.

Let know if you may be able to help.

, 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 very small knolls are no longer apparent, and vegetation​—​both grass and thickets​—​is less dense than in previous years, as a result of mowing and drought conditions.

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.

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 a 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 high.

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. 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 ×” symbols (not ISOM).

Generally, thickets are mapped accurately. 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”) symbols.

For Competitors on the Advanced Courses

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

In case there's any question, Sprint rules will not apply at this event.

As mentioned above, the map has some symbols that are not in compliance with the ISOM standard (PDF/2.0MB).

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 (i.e., they are mapped as crossable).

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.

Driving Directions

The approximate coordinates are 37.4909,-122.1773.

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.