Point Pinole Regional Shoreline
Date: (Sun.) Mar. 27, 2022
Location: Richmond, CA
Event Director: - 925.862.2978
Course Setter: Steve Gregg
Type: C; Our annual visit to this fun, fast park. White, Yellow, Orange, and Long Orange courses for beginner through intermediate (and advanced) orienteers
Course Setter’s Notes
By Steve Gregg
When I realized that I organized our first event at Point Pinole 25 years ago, I decided that it would be fun to hold a “Silver Anniversary” event, and set courses as close to those original courses as possible. I believe that the courses I’ve designed this year are quite faithful to those courses. In some cases, I had to make small adjustments to avoid the worst of the poison oak, as there was virtually no poison oak in the entire park there back then, but there is a ton of it there now (sigh). I also had to move a couple of control locations away from vegetation features that no longer exist. But for the most part, you will be running exactly the same courses, and time comparisons with the results from 25 years ago should be reasonably valid.
The courses I’ll offer this year will be White, Yellow, Orange, and Long Orange (the course details are on the main event page). You might notice that, in the 1997 results list (PDF/312KB), Pink and Long Yellow courses were offered, too. Twenty-five years ago, I apparently had the enthusiasm to put out a ton of controls on the day before the event, but I have now gotten too old to want to do that. 😉 Plus, we were still using manual punching back then, which made it a little bit easier to hang a whole bunch of controls at once than it is now.
If you check out the top times on the 1997 Long Orange course, you might notice James Scarborough’s name listed there, with an unofficial time of 31:36, and an MSP. As I recall, James navigated perfectly from Control 12 to Control 14 without stopping to punch 13 along the way, although it would only have taken him an extra 20 seconds or so to visit and punch 13, and become a valid finisher. So, if you’re interested in comparing results with an elite athlete who was a member of the senior U.S. orienteering team for many years, 32 minutes is the time to beat, on what Condes says is a 6.4 km course.
Question: With 17 controls on the Long Orange course, how much of a time difference will E-punch make, as opposed to the old manual punching system? We will perhaps find out!
Right now, the terrain is fast and runnable. Goats grazed in almost all of the open areas in the park back in December, and the grass is still reasonably short. So, unless it rains a lot between now and the day of the event, conditions should be very good on the ground. In the forested areas, you will encounter fallen tree branches, slippery leaves, and patches of PO that you might have to run around, but (except for the PO) it isn’t significantly different than I remember it from the old days. It should be a lot of fun in any case!
Additional Course Setter’s Notes
(Added March 23rd)
Now that we are confident that the event will actually take place, here are my final Course Setter’s Notes. I hope to see many of you at the event!
- There is a significant amount of poison oak (PO) in the forested areas of the park. The courses have been tweaked a bit from the 1997 courses to avoid the worst of it, but you will definitely still encounter it on your run. Fortunately, the PO primarily takes the form of head-high bushes that are easily recognizable and avoidable, even when running at speed. However, there are also scattered areas of ankle-high to shin-high PO ground cover, which is not so easily avoided. If you are particularly sensitive to the stuff, running in short pants is not advisable.
- This map still uses the old ISOM symbol set, in which rootstocks are denoted by brown ×s. Since the majority of these rootstocks are fallen eucalyptus trees that are accompanied by a lengthy trunk, the trunk is mapped with a brown straight line when it exists. Since most of these fallen trees were either still upright or not mapped in 1997, very few rootstocks are used as control locations, but they can be useful for navigation between controls. Additionally, new trees fall in this park all the time. I have mapped several new fallen trees for this year’s event, but you shouldn’t be too surprised to encounter newly fallen trees that are not on the map at all.
- The grass in the open areas of the park is still short enough to make for fast running, but is now long enough that major elephant tracks will definitely form by the end of the event. If your goal at this event is to run the fastest possible time, starting later in the day will almost certainly help you achieve that goal.
- The maps are all printed at 1:7500 scale. Thanks to Bob Cooley for agreeing to do this! Bob says his main goal was to use up paper that was sitting around his house. For this reason, the White, Yellow, and Orange maps are printed on 8.5 x 14 paper, although the courses could have easily fit on 8.5 x 11 paper. The Long Orange maps are printed on 9.5 X 13 paper (which I did not know existed), and will be pre-bagged in appropriately sized map cases at the Start.
- We will not be placing any water on any of the courses. However, for the benefit of the Long Orange participants, the location of two water fountains will be marked on the map. One is on a reasonable route between controls 6 and 7, and one is on a reasonable route between controls 13 and 14. The fountains were both operational as of two weeks ago. So water should be available on the course for anyone who happens to really need it.
- Marsha Jacobs told me on Sunday that she found her 1997 map! If you have done the same, studying your old course is specifically allowed at this event. Will anyone beat their time from 1997?
- Comments about the last point that were posted to the BayONet (https://groups.io/g/BAOC):
- “Studying the old map?? C’mon, don’t be a wimp: even if you have it, don’t study it! It’ll be more fun and better training to not look at the old map.” – DW
- “I think everyone who did run it in 1997 should do ‘Memory O’. :)” – RW