National Fall Orienteering
Events of Note
Many orienteering meets are offered nationally this fall which
offer first-rate orienteering terrain, better late-fall weather
than we sometimes have here in Chicago, and the opportunity to enjoy
some of the country's most picturesque natural areas. Although we
have an active club here in Chicago, our terrain is not as breathtaking
and technically interesting as orienteering areas elsewhere. Now
that the good weather in Chicago is coming to an end, and air fares
are quite low, it is a perfect time to begin planning an Orienteering
For the two USOF sanctioned A-meets, times will be cumulative over
both days, and results will be tallied by normal 5-year age groups.
You should register in advance or otherwise notify the registrar
that you are coming. Often we like to register ourselves in advance
(about $20 per day) and wait to sign up our girlfriend on the day
of the event as a Map Hiker ($6) if she feels like it. Summarized
below are a few of the meets that you might wish to consider.
- Genesee Valley Classic (October 20-21)
Letchworth State Park in the Fingerlakes District of New York
State is known as "The Grand Canyon of the East" This
event will be held at the height of the fall foliage season; if
you've never experienced fall foliage east of the Appalachians
you'll be thrilled at the colors we don't see in the Midwest.
This area was heavily built up 200 years ago during the Erie Canal
days, so is rife with small inns, quaint towns, and winding country
- Orienteering in the Oaks (October 27-28)
The Bay Area Orienteering Club presents a meet on a new map
of Morgan Regional Preserve in the golden grass-and-oak studded
mountains of the Coastal Range, about 35 miles east of San Francisco,
on the eastern slopes of Mt. Diablo (Devil Mountain). The running
will be very fast and open and there are many interesting cliffs
and rock features on the map. Electronic punching will display
leg-by-leg your entire run along with everyone else's, an excellent
way to see your mistakes!
- St. Louis 3-hour Score-O (November 24)
Known as the "Turkey-O," the event will be held in beautiful
Merimec State Park, about an hour southwest of St. Louis. The
map is a large chunk of the Ozarks with well-defined ridge and
valley terrain and few trails. It's just the kind of place for
a fast three hours of knoll-and-reentrant orienteering at a great
time of year in beautiful open oak forests after the leaves have
fallen. In this event, there are over 30 controls spread out over
the 5x6 km area and it is unusual for anyone to get them all.
If you've ever wondered about doing a Rogaine this would be a
good chance to try the format by yourself: no teammate is required
at the Turkey-O.
- Kansas City Possum Trot Billygoat (December 2)
Another long orienteering event on terrain more like Chicago than
the Ozarks. It is also a mass-started event, about 15 km in length,
and following another person is allowed. Usually you are allowed
to skip any two controls, and often the course forks, allowing
you the choose between controls. The Possum Trot has a reputation
for being held in bad weather; two years ago it was snowing at
- Louisville Billygoat (December 8)
One of the advantages of living in Chicago is that it is easy
to get to a warmer climate...just drive south! The OLOU club puts
on excellent long events in their open but rugged terrain. This
is another billygoat event like the Possum Trot above.