Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Golden Gate Park

Date: (Sat.) May. 17, 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Event Director:
Course Setters: Vladimir Gusiatnikov, Brian Schmitz, Rex Winterbottom
Type: C; White, Yellow, Orange, & Sprint courses (Sprint Finals)

Table of contents

Skip to the Results

Event Write-Up


It was a good day in San Francisco—great weather, stalwart volunteers and energetic participants! Thanks must go out to the course setters, Rex Winterbottom and Brian Schmitz, who received many compliments on their handiwork. Everyone seemed quite pleased.

Many thanks, again, to the volunteers:

Registration: Gary Kraught, Torkel Dominique, Marina Keating
Beginners’ Clinics: Scott Aster, Becky Redfield
Starts: Greg Ehrensing, Kent Hetherwick
Finishes: Tony Pinkham, Frank Markowitz, Nancy Lindemann, Shirley Pierce, Marsha Jacobs
Take Down: Jennifer Kerr
Elbow Woman: Joan Roos

Thanks, too, to those individuals who were kind enough to offer to help upon arrival.

Special thanks goes out to my roommate, Alice Masuko, who, despite orienteering very seldom, offered to cover a shift for finishes, brought me lunch, and stuck around helping to the end!

One more note of thanks should be given to the security guard manning the polo fields for Footstock, the Bay-to-Breakers music festival, for kindly providing the answer to question #3 to White course participants. The clue had been fiendishly locked away by Footstock’s event staff.

There were about 100 people in attendance, including the sprinters.

As usual, there were a few objections to the multiple-choice options on the scorecard. The most notable of these was the last question involving the number of trash cans. You were right. There were four. The Yellow course had a question involving the location of one Christmas tree when there were a few about the area, and participants on the Orange course took issue with what constituted a "branch", and which tree was at the top of the re-entrant. No one was dinged for giving the "wrong" answer to these.

All in all, a lovely day.

Note: A cell phone was found near the one of the early controls. Please e-mail if you think it could be yours.

Sprint Event Write-Up


This was unprecedented. Fun. Thrilling, for me at least. Contingencies arose. And the participants were great sports and great helps.

When I did this last year at Indian Valley, I enjoyed and appreciated what we accomplished, and came away with ideas for refinements and making it a smoother, better experience for the participants.

Rule #1: Don't introduce new variables when you're trying to smoothen something out.

That variable: SFMuni, the city's bus system. We waited over an hour for a #5 Fulton bus that's supposed to come every 12 minutes. After finishing the first Sprint, we were supposed to head about 3 km west to the western edge of the park, near the beach.

Still, if I were to do an event like this again, I would use public transportation. I think we had a pretty extreme case of bad Muni.

The main lesson learned was that a more enlightened procedure for reseeding participants should be developed to ensure fairness when a few people drop out, thus making it challenging to recalculate seedings and groupings. Something less complicated, more elegant, but still interesting...

I think seeding everyone according to the standings at the beginning was fair and fine. John Kewley, a visitor from the U.K., pretty much torched the field and was able to make it to 3rd place in the end, although starting almost last in the first sprint. So there was some payoff to having participated in other sprints, but people who participated less could still advance. Having no points at all and getting to 3rd place shows what one can do.

Some people don't care about all this ranking and seeding and stuff, and I have to say they seemed to enjoy themselves with the fun variety of courses. Lots of routes were discussed, and the tricks I put in the mix did trip up a few experienced navigators. Overall, I just would have liked it to take less time. If I didn't have bananas, I think some more would have dropped out than the few that had hockey games, friends in town, family to attend to, or the odd foot or ankle injury. Those who stayed, my hat's off to you. Thanks for experiencing what I had long and carefully prepared.

If we didn't have the 1-hour bus delay, I think we would have finished by 2:00, an hour later than the predicted 1:00. I feel I was able to put out and pick up controls fast and efficiently, and parallel-process it while participants would walk to the start/warm-up; going out with the last competitor and picking up, but being careful not to get ahead of anyone. What did affect the timing more than I anticipated was the range in finish times of the participants.

Sprint #1, in the eastern half of the park, near the museums, was the most normal sprint—9 controls, 1.7 km, nice park-O terrain. I put one control bag low on the "east foot of a hill"—I had actually placed it low so it would not be a dog leg. Technically, I don't think it was exactly in the center of the circle, but it was in the circle. Unfortunately, if you took a roundabout way to get there, and didn't look low enough... well, some spent more time there than they would want to. The base of the hill was where I put the control bag, but perhaps the description would lead you to believe it would be low on the hillside.

Sprint #2 seemed to generate the most excitement. I put groups of 4 runners in a 0.6-km, 5-control pinball machine, complete with a windmill, many barriers (bumpers), and it spit them out through a tunnel to a restaurant with a jazz band (the Beach Chalet?? not sure what it's called). It might be the most challenging White course you've ever done. Dan Greene was impressed with the park-O nature of this section of the map, which was enlarged to 1:2500.

Sprint #3 seemed to generate the most discussion. Also a 1:2500 map, and very short at 0.7 km with 3 controls... participants were challenged to pick and execute efficient routes through a variety of terrain types.

The unforeseen Bay-to-Breakers setup in and around the polo fields made Sprint #4 impossible unless I made changes to the preprinted maps and removed a control. All participants were informed to skip control 2, and to note the whereabouts of the massive uncrossable fence circumscribing the field enclosure. This course probably had the most technical spots of fine navigation up until #4, then finished with a footrace through the last 2 controls.

Do check out the RouteGadget routes, a few have been added for each Sprint, and you can see the courses.

I would appreciate comments on the course design—feedback. I did receive some, but it would be nice to hear from more. I was so busy constantly throughout this event that I barely had time to breathe, while y'all had plenty of conversation opportunities that I missed!

Even working every second from start to finish, this would have been impossible without help. Everybody pitched in. Zan Armstrong, whose parents Rick and Fran were participating, graciously assisted in directing the proceedings. Zan figured out results and finishes, and then started people using a variety of seeding and grouping techniques. She was very dependable. Noah Flower assisted with this as well after aggravating an injury. Zan deserves a special thanks for making this event possible—I could not have done it without her experience, expertise, and wisdom.

All the participants were not only good sports, they pitched in wherever possible, carrying stuff, sorting results, assembling and disassembling controls, and picking up the last course. Thank you all! Your help enabled me to focus on the critical tasks of setting up and taking down the courses on the fly.

We had an awards ceremony and certificates were handed out to the winners in the compressed age and gender classes. Terry, I still have yours! Congratulations to all the club sprint champions for 2008, listed in the results. Besides better bus service, less fences, and refined organization, the thing I hope for next year is more competition, particularly in the M21/F21 categories. Thanks to all who showed up and made it a great event! I'd love to participate in something like this next year, hopefully someone can step up and take it on!


Golden Gate Park

San Francisco, CA
Saturday, May 17, 2008

White/Yellow/Orange Results

  Pl  Name(s)                             Time

White Course   (2.1 km, 15 m climb, 9 controls)

   1  Sebo family                         32:25
   2  Janice Ko                           40:00
   3  Alice Masuko                        45:00
   4  Kim Roland, Cherie Zeiler           58:50
   5  Green Raccoons                    1:02:10

      Abyd Al-Zain                        DNF
      Panthers                            DNF

Yellow Course  (3.7 km, 45 m climb, 10 controls)

   1  Rick Baraff                         32:00
   2  Tim Keunster                        32:33
   3  Nick Mills                          40:33
   4  Dwight Freund                       43:32
   5  Ed Ow                               51:50
   6  Peter McCorquodale                  54:00
   7  Adam Doti & Parker                  55:30
   8  Brendan McWalters                   59:00
   9  Rich Israels                      1:02:20
  10  Brian Koga, Joyce Lin             1:07:48
  11  Mike Hecker                       1:16:05
  12  Dan Comway                        1:28:04
  13  Kim Roland, Cherie Zeiler         1:31:00
  14  Brad & Lisa Melton                1:34:07
  15  McKeay family                     1:39:10
  16  Kevin & Sol Rugg                  1:49:15
  17  Meribeth, et al.                  1:50:07
  18  David Harrison                    1:53:58
  19  Bye family                        1:54:00

      Lena Eydelberg                      DNF

Orange Course  (5.9 km, 70 m climb, 9 controls)

   1  Jon Bonwick                         44:20
   2  Rick Baroff                         46:26
   3  Adam Doti                           47:30
   4  Tony Pinkham                        49:25
   5  Guy Whittaker                       50:50
   6  Chuck Spalding                      52:25
   7  Greg Ehrensing                      55:45
   8  Tim Kuenster                        56:20
   9  Matej Sebo                        1:02:47
  10  Scott Aster                       1:08:18
  11  Marina Keating                    1:12:39
  12  Nick Corsano                      1:13:57
  13  Joe Maffei                        1:15:00
  14  Alex Solomatnikov                 1:15:09
  15  Matt Sheehy                       1:17:53
  16  Adam Ruskin, Eric Wilkinson       1:20:25
  17  Wes Erck                          1:24:20
  18  Marsha Jacobs                     1:29:27
  19  Gina Christopher                  1:29:30
  20  Katy Robinson                     1:32:30
  21  Steve O'Keefe                     1:33:30
  22  Jeff Lanam                        1:36:26
  23  Arlie & Tomer Maymon              1:38:10
  24  Brendan McWalters                 1:39:27
  25  Jennifer Kerr                     1:43:44
  26  Cecil Conkle                      1:43:48
  27  Garrett Short                     1:45:55
  28  Linde & Jeremy Scott              2:00:23
  29  Wendt Burbank                     2:01:30
  30  Mike Whelply, Joyclin Hashimoto   2:04:50
  31  Nancy Lindemann, Shirley Pierce   2:08:40
  32  Sanders & Hughes                  2:12:45
  33  Fred & Diane Ciaramaglia          2:21:49
  34  Lisa Fawcett                      2:50:35
  35  Jane Parody                       3:26:55

      Harold Lischner                     DNF
      Eileen Everett                      DNF
      Neal Lischner                       DNF
      Ed Wirth, Jen Grafe & Reesa         DNF
      Redfield-Subiantaro                 DNF
      Abyd Al-Zaim                        DNF
      Joey & Randy Brett                  DNF
      Darren Don                          DNF
      Marcel Good                         DNF
      Johanna Merris                      DNF
      Aja & Nick Brown                    DNF
      Chris Mellor                        DNF
      Jim Masters                         DNF

Sprint Results

Championship Results

Determined by order of finish in the final Sprint, Sprint #4—not by fastest time, but first person to the finish, after staggered, seeded starts. The winner did not have the fastest absolute time on Sprint #4.

   1  Francois Leonard      M21
   2  Manfred Kopisch       M40
   3  John Kewley           M45
   4  Toby Ferguson         M50
   5  Steve Harrison        M40
   6  Alex Finch            M45
   7  Fyodor Konkov         M45
   8  Daniel Kopisch        M14
   9  Rick Armstrong        M55
  10  Marie-Josee Parayre   F21
  11  Dan Greene            M50
  12  Shura Kretchetov      M21
  13  Michael Robinson      M35
  14  Bob Cooley            M65
  15  Fran Armstrong        F60
  16  Terry Farrah          F45
  17  Jim Fish              M65
  18  Philipp Kopisch       M14

Club Sprint Champions

  F-Junior  No entries
  F-21+     Marie-Josee Parayre
  F35-50    Terry Farrah
  F55+      Would be Fran Armstrong if she were BAOC member

  M-Junior  Daniel Kopisch
  M-21+     Francois Leonard
  M35-50    Manfred Kopisch
  M55+      Bob Cooley (Rick Armstrong would have been if he was BAOC)

Sprint Details

Total time on all 4 Sprints—used for USOF Sprint Series points and club sprint series rankings

  Pl  Name                      Time

   1  John Kewley               27:44
   2  Manfred Kopisch           32:42
   3  Toby Ferguson             33:34
   4  Francois Leonard          33:40
   5  Alex Finch                35:31
   6  Steve Harrison            36:18
   7  Fyodor Konkov             36:22
   8  Marie-Josee Parayre       36:40
   9  Dan Greene                38:45
  10  Rick Armstrong            39:29
  11  Shura Kretchetov          40:53
  12  Daniel Kopisch            40:58
  13  Michael Robinson          42:42
  14  Bob Cooley                45:31
  15  Terry Farrah              51:07
  16  Phillip Kopisch           52:20
  17  Jim Fish                  59:02
  18  Fran Armstrong            60:14

Sprint #1        (1.7 km, 9 controls)

   1  Ben Legg                   9:16
   2  John Kewley                9:39
   3  Andrejus Masalkovas       10:14
   4  Cameron Ferguson          11:10
   5  Toby Ferguson             11:30
   6  Phillip Kopisch           12:00
   7  Brad Wetmore              12:35
   8  Alex Finch                12:46
   9  Marie-Josee Parayre       13:12
  10  Francois Leonard          13:16
  11  Manfred Kopisch           13:19
  12  Fyodor Konkov             13:19
  13  Dan Greene                13:25
  14  Steve Harrison            14:01
  15  George Minarik            14:05
  16  Bob Cooley                14:36
  17  Shura Kretchetov          14:42
  18  Michael Robinson          15:18
  19  Rick Armstrong            16:11
  20  Noah Flower               16:29
  21  Terry Farrah              17:10
  22  Daniel Kopisch            18:22
  23  Jim Fish                  19:44
  24  Fran Armstrong            22:48
  25  Joan Roos                 34:35

Sprint #2        (0.6 km, 5 controls)

   1  John Kewley                4:11
   2  Ben Legg                   4:35
   3  Manfred Kopisch            4:47
   4  Cameron Ferguson           4:55
   5  Marie-Josee Parayre        5:02
   6  Alex Finch                 5:06
   7  Rick Armstrong             5:06
   8  Daniel Kopisch             5:24
   9  Phillip Kopisch            5:39
  10  Francois Leonard           5:42
  11  Steve Harrison             5:45
  12  Fyodor Konkov              5:56
  13  Dan Greene                 6:01
  14  Shura Kretchetov           6:07
  15  Terry Farrah               6:30
  16  Toby Ferguson              6:38
  17  Bob Cooley                 6:44
  18  Michael Robinson           6:51
  19  George Minarik             7:39
  20  Jim Fish                   8:27
  21  Fran Armstrong             9:25
  22  Joan Roos                 11:09

Sprint #3        (0.7 km, 3 controls)

   1  John Kewley                3:49
   2  Francois Leonard           4:07
   3  Toby Ferguson              4:22
   4  Manfred Kopisch            4:40
   5  Steve Harrison             5:02
   6  Alex Finch                 5:07
   7  Fyodor Konkov              5:17
   8  Dan Greene                 5:35
   9  Daniel Kopisch             5:39
  10  Rick Armstrong             5:52
  11  Marie-Josee Parayre        5:53
  12  Michael Robinson           5:54
  13  Shura Kretchetov           6:35
  14  Phillip Kopisch            6:42
  15  Bob Cooley                 7:01
  16  Jim Fish                   7:33
  17  Terry Farrah               8:27
  18  Fran Armstrong             9:07
  19  Joan Roos                  9:11

Sprint #4        (1.7 km, 7 controls)

(Note: Because a large section of the map was fenced off and
       made out-of-bounds the day before the event, this was
       shortened to 6 controls, and probably about 1.5 km.)

   1  Manfred Kopisch            9:56
   2  John Kewley               10:05
   3  Francois Leonard          10:35
   4  Toby Ferguson             11:04
   5  Steve Harrison            11:30
   6  Daniel Kopisch            11:33
   7  Fyodor Konkov             11:50
   8  Rick Armstrong            12:20
   9  Alex Finch                12:32
  10  Marie-Josee Parayre       12:33
  11  Shura Kretchetov          13:29
  12  Dan Greene                13:44
  13  Michael Robinson          14:39
  14  Bob Cooley                17:10
  15  Fran Armstrong            18:54
  16  Terry Farrah              19:00
  17  Jim Fish                  23:18
  18  Phillip Kopisch           27:59


DNF = Did not finish (missed one or more controls)