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Willow Glen Holiday Lights

Date: (Sun.) Dec. 20, 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Directors: - 510.681.6181, - 408.524.2723
Course Setter: Brad Wetmore
Type: C; Light-O on a new map by Brad Wetmore - Walk/Run through Willow Glen while enjoying the festive decorations!

Skip to the Results

Event Write-Up


Three baby flamingos. That was the difference between first and second place in the 90-minute 2009 Willow Glen Holiday Lights event.

I had tried to properly express my enthusiasm for this event in the event announcements, but I still got several comments like: "I know you said there were a lot of decorations, but I didn't quite realize you meant that many decorations..." "We needed a new venue for lights instead of Vasona Park...and this was a winner." Or more simply "WOW!" Each time I went around the neighborhood, I noticed something new that wasn't there the week before.

I first have to give Thorsten Graeve credit for introducing me to this area. He set a similar event and social in 2005 using a very rudimentary map. I had so much fun, I wanted to create a proper OCAD map and have this as an annual event. The map was two years in the making, and I'm pretty happy with how it came out. Many thanks to Bob Cooley for answering my many OCAD questions.

How's this for volunteer incentive: if you set Willow Glen, your family gives you a couple nights worth of free passes just to wander Willow Glen looking at Holiday Lights!

Folks started arriving at the Willow Glen Elementary School event center (aka the school cafeteria) right at 5 PM, and the first start was at 5:20 PM when it was just barely dusk. The mass start at 5:40 PM had 11 groups. A lot of the usual suspects attended either by themselves or with friends and family. I was gratified to see the number of families and large groups at this event. Most of our events focus on the individual: this one could easily be enjoyed with others.

Following the decoration-gazing, Event Director Rex Winterbottom put on his Social Director hat and hosted the annual BAOC potluck. Ev & Jean Beuerman brought their "traditional" Holiday Ham, and lots of other interesting dishes were served. After dinner, Nick Corsano formally announced the winner of the 2009 BAOC Club Service Award: Jay Hann. Many of you know Jay for his work with the BAOC Juniors and the establishment of the COOL (California Outdoor Orienteering League), but if you don't know him, more details will be posted to the Service Award page shortly.

On to the results...

A quick recap of the scoring. Each control was worth 10, except for 200 (worth 20), and 300/301 (worth 30 each). 10 points were deducted for each fractional minute late in returning, and 30 points were deducted for each wrong answer (to discourage guessing). Ties were broken by the amount of time on the course.

If you didn't declare which division (60- or 90-minute) you wanted to be considered for, I put you into what I thought was most appropriate. If you'd rather be in the other division, please let me know.

The complete results are below.

With so many controls (41), route choice was critical. It was very interesting to note that every control was visited by at least one participant. Between the two of them, Steve and Pierre hit almost all of the controls, but taking very different routes. Pierre did the longer eastern route, while Steve stayed more to the west. Tapio has posted the map on RouteGadget; it will be very interesting to see the routes taken. If you get a chance, please add your route.

There were a couple of issues raised with the controls.

64: The "HoHoHo" house didn't have their lights on when a few runners arrived, but I gave credit if people told me the lights were out and their route looked reasonable.

61: One runner said he couldn't find Buffington House. I went back and checked after the event. The house was properly labeled with 1224 so I did not give credit.

47: "How many giant snowflakes are overhead on this block?" When I set this control, there were definitely 6, but in between setting and the event, one more snowflake was added at the south end of the block. The answer key had 6, 8, or 10, so I gave credit for 6, 8 or a write-in answer of 7. Most people did the write-in option.

So what was the deal with the baby flamingos mentioned above? Pierre and Steve would have exactly tied for the top spot in the 90-minute division, but Pierre failed to notice three baby flamingos following behind Mama Flamingo at control 63 (correct answer was 4, not 1), and that cost him the tie.

Thanks for coming. Many of you said you had a great time, and that's very gratifying. I hope to see everyone next year.


Willow Glen Holiday Lights

San Jose, CA
Sunday, December 20, 2009

You can see the event map with the actual routes traveled by participants, and draw your own route for comparison, in RouteGadget (introduction; this event (

Since this is a Score-O setup with no e-punch, RouteGadget knows about only the Start and Finish locations. All the other control circles are included directly in the map image. When drawing your route, be sure to visit the Finish only when you have completed your route. That is, the blue line pointing to the Finish should follow you throughout your route.

You need to enter your name and total time in MMMSS format before drawing your route. For example, 60:52 is entered as 6052.

For the animation, each competitor's speed is averaged out over the whole length of their route. For a Score-O this works out just fine, as competitors often end up taking very different routes anyway.

90-Minute Division

                                       -- Penalties --   Total       
  Pl  Name(s)                  Score   Incorrect  Late    Pts    Time
   1  Steve Gregg               330       0         0     330     89
   2  Pierre Delforge           330      30 (1)     0     300     89
   3  Mark Blair                260       0         0     260     88
   4  Jim Fish                  210       0         0     210     84
   5  Jay Hann                  200       0         0     200     68
   6  Duchez family             220      30 (1)     0     190     89
        Romain, Anne, Nicolas,
   7  Steve Hass                230      30 (1)    10     190     91
   8  Rosemary Johnson          160       0         0     160     89
   9  Alex Finch,        150       0         0     150     86
  10  Alexander Tarasov         130       0         0     130     87
  11  Nick Corsano,             130       0         0     130     88
        Esther Heller
  12  Rosenquist family         110       0         0     110     73
        Erik, Laura, Marin,
  13  Xiomara Jayasena          100       0         0     100     72
  14  Juliette Delforge,         90       0         0      90     90
  15  Franco-Lee family         110       0        70      40     97
        Joshua, Jordan, Aidan,
        Bailey, Sawyer, Rob, Liz
  16  Lyubov Solomakha           90      60 (2)    10      20     91

60-Minute Division

                                       -- Penalties --   Total       
  Pl  Name(s)                  Score   Incorrect  Late    Pts    Time
   1  Dan Green                 180       0         0     180     60
   2  Emily Hann, Julia Konkov, 100       0         0     100     60
        Johanna Karras, and
        many "shadows"
   3  Steve Beuerman             90       0         0      90     60
   4  Gabrielle Delforge,        50      30 (1)    30       0     63
        Serena Vasquez,
        Jane Melia