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Club’s March 9 Park-O Meet is Cold but Fun

The Club held its second meet of the 2003 season on Sunday, March 9 in Lincoln Park. Over one hundred participants braved the sub-zero wind-chills along the Lake Michigan shoreline park, in a Score-O event that had 32 control points worth 80 points. A Long and Short course was offered, differing only in that the Short Course, at a time-limit of 45 minutes, was a quarter-hour shorter than the Long Course.

Black-and-white copies of the Lincoln Park map were handed out along with the "clue sheet" which contained a question about each of the 32 features. Many park features, including all the paths, were not shown. So it required a minute or two for most people to "get into the map."

Instead of regular orienteering markers and punches, control features were statues, monuments and other park landmarks. Competitors tried to run to as many of the 32 features as possible within the time limit. At each feature, they attempted to answer a question about the item.

Although winner Kathy Bullard came close, no one turned in a perfect score of 80 points, probably because a few of the 32 multiple-choice questions were a bit subtle. For example, one question was:

Is this structure a....

  1. pentagon
  2. hexagon
  3. octagon

A surprising number of competitors, including Kathy, failed to accurately count all eight sides of the gazebo in question.

The most-missed question was asked about one of the Zoo buildings:

This building is...

  1. Great Ape House
  2. African animals
  3. Kevlar Lion House
  4. none of these

Although the building sported a large sign proclaiming that it was the "Kovlar Lion House," many people rejected choice (d) and selected choice (c) because "The Meet Director didn’t look too swift...." and figured the choice was "close enough." Nevertheless, there were many enthusiastic stories back at the finish at Ranalli’s Restaurant on Belden Street. View the final results.

Although the points were evenly distributed north and south of the start, most of the competitors went south, probably because that is the direction the strong wind was blowing. Also, most competitors said they were more familiar with the south end of Lincoln Park.

Several competitors found that they were having such a good time visiting the features in the Park that they decided to stay out until they had visited all features, and accept a heavy penalty for finishing overtime. Indeed, it was a very bright and sunny Sunday morning, and except for a few joggers, the Club had the Park to itself.

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