“Corona” courses at Joe Grant
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Joseph D. Grant County Park, Twin Gates Parking Lot
Dates: April 3, 2020 to ??
Location: San Jose, CA
Course Setter: Misha Kreslavsky
Type: Training; Four streamered courses for practice/exercise during the shutdown (at the Twin Gates Parking Lot)
February 28th Update
- This course is considered to be "closed".
September 28th Update
- Joseph D. Grant County Park appears to be open! You can check the park status here (https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/parkfinder/Pages/JosephDGrant.aspx). However, the fire maps seemed to indicate that the Twin Gates Parking Lot was in the fire area, so it might not be open.
- These are training courses, not an organized BAOC event. We do not have a park permit for these courses.
- Be careful for your safety. You are on your own—tell somebody where you will be and when you expect to return.
- You are doing this at your own risk. Each participant assumes full responsibility (BAOC accepts no responsibility) for any and all injuries, losses, and damages that he or she incurs while attending or participating in these courses.
- Be mindful of the general COVID-19 restrictions, and any specific restrictions that might apply to the park.
I set 14 controls in the NE part of the Joe Grant South map, which has not been used for 15 years. I suggest you use them as a fast Classic course (“Corona”) or as shorter shortcut courses (“Rona” and “Na”), or as a 2-hour Score-O (aka Scramble or Rogain). The maps are here (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/151SenvdPb5vJpUylzi1LXnTON6QYFwEW).
A Google Sheet for registration is here (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13rahQIzSKFazsaabvcjy4oVNqsW4_55GxRjPNjbOeao/edit). Please use the sheet to enter your expected start time, as well as your time on the course.
This is just for fun, so everything is on the honor system: time yourself, “punch” at each control by getting within 1 meter of it (like an air punch, and no need to touch anything).
Park at the Twin Gates Parking Lot. It is on the N side of Mt. Hamilton Rd, 3.4 miles to the east (uphill) from the main entrance to Joseph Grant County Park. The coordinates are 37.32908, -121.68127. A Google map is here (https://goo.gl/maps/rbSvakJ38sEcdf74A).
The “Corona” and Score-O Start, and Score-O Finish, are just across Mt Hamilton Rd from the parking lot. The Finish of the Classic courses is far downhill—it is a 250 m climb back to the parking lot on a trail. The Starts for the shorter courses also require some trail hike (see the maps).
Beautiful. Fantastic vistas. Spring flowers. Hilly, often steep, partly open, with oak and mixed forest of different runnability. See the map.
Usually, ridges are more runnable than re-entrants. The ground is soft, however the steepest slopes are still difficult to cross in any direction. Grass is nicely short (due to cows), but in some places the ground is rough (due to pigs). It is still a little muddy in a few small places.
There are many cows in the park. I also saw wild pigs. There is no drinking water—be sure to take enough with you—do not drink from the streams. There is poison oak, but it is avoidable if you walk or run slowly—but you’ll touch it, if you run fast.
Contour interval: 5 m
Most of the map (except its W edge, see the boundary) is very old, 1984–1991 field work. For this age, it is surprisingly good. It is real, technical, enjoyable classic orienteering.
Rely on contours—they are nearly perfect. The only issue is that the map does not show the difference between V-shaped and U-shaped re-entrants. I tried to fix it in a few places, but not systematically.
Vegetation has changed a little; there is some unmapped undergrowth. I didn’t check all possible routes (sorry), but everywhere I checked, “white” forest was either very runnable or with some undergrowth, but still runnable, not worse than I would map as light green. Avoid all places mapped as any kind of “green”—they are thick indeed.
There are many unmapped cow trails. Green crosses are either dead or fallen trees. I changed a number of mapped trees into dead or fallen trees, but I could have missed some.
Course Length Climb Controls Na 2.7 km 110 m (4.2%) 8 Rona 4.0 km 180 m (4.5%) 11 Corona 5.4 km 265 m (4.9%) 14
Score-O 2 hours; score is the first digit of each control number
The maps are here (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/151SenvdPb5vJpUylzi1LXnTON6QYFwEW). Please print your own map. Unfortunately, I cannot print maps for you, sorry. Please, do register in the sheet referenced above.
The Classic courses are mostly downhill. They are faster and physically easier than typical courses with 4–5% climb!
The control locations are marked with orange streamers. They are placed 10–30 cm above the ground to mimic the appearance and visibility of real bags. There are no numbers or any check devices. “Punch” by waving your hand within 1 m of the control marker. This is just for fun or training (or both), so everything is on the honor system.
OUSA rules state, “It is normal to have a period of planning time after issuance of the maps before competitors are allowed on the course, and this time is not counted in the duration of the event. ... This time should be stated in the meet announcement.”
For this course, let’s state that you can study the course as much as you want before you start.
You have 2 hours to collect points. Each visited control adds certain number of points to your score, for example, #34 gives you 3 points, #91 gives you 9 points. Each full or partial minute after 2 hours subtracts 1 point from your score.
Usually, the number of points reflects technical and physical difficulty of each control. I did not follow this practice; I assigned points trying to set an interesting strategic problem for planning. An elite runner can easily clear the course (visit all controls) in 2 hours; for such a runner the strategic choice is just steep uphill vs long uphill. I might be able to clear the course, but I’m not 100% sure, this would affect my strategy. An even slower runner needs to think, what controls she/he would skip.
All that said, to me the Classic Corona course looks more interesting than the Score-O. But it is certainly your choice.
Disclaimer: This is not a BAOC event. I just did this for my, and hopefully your, fun. BAOC is not responsible for anything. Nor me. Please, care about your safety.
Since there was no E-punch, I set up the event using the "no results" mode, which requires a bit more effort to enter your route.
Drawing Your Route Manually
You need to enter your name, total time, and optionally any cumulative splits that you might have taken. Both splits and total time need to be in MMMSS format. For example, 0:57 is entered as "57", 5 min 43 sec as "543", and 1:12:32 as "7232". That's easy.
Uploading Your GPS Track
You need to enter only your name (please include your time after your name)—total time and splits are not required as with manual entry.
Since there are no E-punch splits, it's very challenging for RouteGadget to fit GPS tracks to the course automatically, especially as our maps are not georeferenced. Thus, you will need to adjust your track manually more than usual.
When you upload your GPS track, there are three blue adjustment points that you can move to adjust your track. There are typically points at the start and finish of the track, and a third one somewhere in the middle of the track.
The trick is to add more blue adjustment points by right-clicking the track anywhere you would like to add a new point. I typically add a blue dot at every control location on my track, as those are easy to identify because of the notable direction change. Then I drag the blue dots to the corresponding control locations on the course. Note that you can remove a blue dot by right-clicking on it.
To see other RouteGadget events worldwide, visit http://www.routegadget.net (http://www.routegadget.net).
(April 20, 2020)