March 9, 2008
Lincoln Park

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Meet director: Michael Collins
Course Setter: Michael Collins

10 a.m. Registration
10:30 Mass Start
noon Courses close

(Max time on course: 1.5 hrs)

Cost: (per individual or team)
CAOC members $7
non-members $10
additional maps $3
rental compass N/A
map cases $1

On-line registration and payment
No longer available. Register on-site.

(We suggest a maximum of four people per group.)

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It's likely to be as cold as last year, but we have secured an indoor starting location in the zoo! Join us at the Kovler Lion House in the middle of Lincoln Park Zoo for the final event in the Winter Madnaess series. 3/3/08 Note: The Park Place Cafe doesn't open until 11 a.m. The start has been moved to the Kovler Lion House.

On-line registration and secure fee collection via Google Checkout is no longer available. On-site registration will be available, but you will have to copy the control locations from a master map.

Please arrive soon after 10 a.m. in order to be ready for teh mass start at 10:30. Don't forget that Daylight Savings Time starts that morning at 2 a.m., so set your clocks ahead so you're not late for the event.

Although it will require orienteering skills such as map reading and route selection, the terrain is simple, relatively flat, and open, so it will give you an early-season chance to get some exercise and have some fun. But because it will involve crossing busy city streets, the Madnaess event is not appropriate for children on their own. However, we will also have a Novice event that will take place entirely within the zoo that is perfect for families with small children. You'll get a chance to see almost the entire zoo and learn more about the animals along the way.

In order to give you practice reading the map (and because the navigation is so easy without them), we won't be renting compasses at this event.

Unlike the other two Madnaess series events, which used the honor system and regular controls, you will be looking for refreshing homemade controls (dressed-up soda cans) to record two-letter codes on your score card. The zoo doesn't want us to use the cans this year, so we will be finding another way to identify control locations within the zoo itself.

As a reminder, here are the Madnaess rules:

  1. You may start without penalty up to 20 minutes after the official start time (10:30). After that, your start time may be adjusted back to 20 minutes.

  2. The time limit is 90 minutes—all controls will be picked up starting at noon.

  3. Every participant must sign an event waiver prior to the start, or pre-register on-line (which includes a waiver).

  4. Pre-marked maps are guaranteed to all who pre-register.

  5. Map cases may not be provided. Please bring your own. If you need one to protect your map, please e-mail us.

  6. To ensure competitiveness for all participants, each event will use a handicap system called The Madnaess Box. Using their creativity, course setters will attempt to choreograph that elusive mass finish.

The Madnaess Box

Each race will feature the infamous Madnaess Box, which consists of a set of controls labeled with letters (A,B,C, etc) somewhere on the course. Participants may attack the controls in the box in any order. There will be several controls that must be taken in order before and after the Madnaess Box (this will be clear on the maps and control descriptions sheets). Additionally, participants may drop controls equal to their handicap point total. Handicap points are awarded as follows:

Category Handicap
add 2
12 or younger
65 or older
14 or younger
55 or older
16 or younger
45 or older
19 or younger
35 or older


  • A 46-year-old female may drop 4 controls in the box.
  • 19-year-old male may drop 1 control in the box.
  • A 28-year-old male must visit all the controls in the box.

Club memberships ($10, $15, $28, or $42), and cash meet fees can be purchased at this event since it will not be held on Cook County Forest Preserve property.

Bring a permanent marker (like a Sharpie)! Since no standard orienteering markers or punches will be used at this meet, participants will be required to mark their scorecard with a pen, using information found at each control location. (If you don't have a marker, one will be provided for you.) If you are looking for a more traditional meet, make sure you come to the next local meet at Waterfall Glen on March 30.

Driving Directions:
Take Lake Shore Drive or the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) to Fullerton. Turn south onto Cannon Dr., which is the first street west of Lake Shore Drive. Parking on Cannon Drive costs a nominal amount (fee to be shown here soon). There is free parking, if you can find it, on Stockton Road, on the west side of the zoo. Once you've parked, walk into the zoo and follow the zoo signs or ask directions to the Kovler Lion House, right in th middle of the zoo. We won't have any orienteering signs in the zoo, so call the meet director at 847-673-7283 if you need directions once you get in the zoo.

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