Deer Grove, June 1, 2003
The club has been blessed with truly fabulous weather for almost
all of its events so far in 2003 (which makes up for cold wet
of 2002). Over 340 people took advantage of the 70 degree temperatures
and bright sunshine to make this one of the largest meets of
the last few years (the Poplar Creek meet
few more registrants).
Recent rains have made the ground very soft, and each of the five
courses had to cross the creek that winds west to east through
the Deer Grove Forest Preserve. The trails were still in good enough
however, that most of the folks on White, Yellow, and Orange came
back without too much muck on their shoes.
The same rains, unfortunately, have helped the mosquito population
finally bloom. Participants were motivated not to hang around too
long at the controls. Meets earlier this year have benefitted from
low mosquito population caused by
cool, dry spring.
Still, the nuisance of
thick poison ivy and ticks still seems to be at least a few weeks
Participants on the various courses each had their own challenges.
The White course kept folks on the trails, but they some of the
steepest terrain with which to contend (along the creek). Luckily,
enough trees have fallen across the creek so that kids (and some
adults) could cross without
needing to wade
through the ankle-deep water. A first time orienteer, Scott Chupack,
was able to blast through the 10 controls in less than 20 minutes.
(Sadly, Scott sprined his ankle when he went out on the Yellow
course later in the morning.)
The Yellow course took people into the trail network south of
the creek, and offered a choice of bushwacking or taking longer
(but easier) routes along trails. One of the controls was located
at the deepest, widest part of the creek, so competitors had to
look around a little harder for a log or a picnic bench to use
as a bridge.
The Orange course required some accurate off-road navigation,
since several legs did not have convenient, nearby trails. The
of the preserve made it difficult for some teams to keep track
of their location. This led to the typically large number
of groups who were unable to find all of the controls. Kyle McNerney,
in second place in the Junior Club Championships, had a fabulous
time of 46:49.
Competitors on the Green course got deep into the south part of
the preserve, which has the most open forest in the preserve. Recent
the park have also reduced the amount of underbrush. The vegetation
was still a challenge for competitors, however, as most legs required
at least some travel through the scrub to some very subtle features.
The Red course took competitors to some of the most challenging
locations in the preserve, including a 10-foot knoll in shallow
valley, and a saddle (low spot between two hills) with marshes
on either side. Only one person, Olaru Maricel, was able to complete
the course with an average speed faster than 10 minutes per kilometer.
(Typical running speed on pavement is 6-8 minutes per kilometer.)
Regretably, a control on the Green and Red courses was misplaced.
The control was about 60 meters west of the boulder marked as its
location on the maps. Luckily, most compeitors only had to spend
a couple minutes to find the control. Our apologies for the error.
The meet directors, Michael Collins and
Drew Bolda, would like to thank
all of the
handle the large crowds with a minimum of fuss.
Ray and Nancy Stoddard, Rachel Ashley, Annette Kandell, and
a couple unsolicited assistants kept registration moving smoothly,
explaining that, for at least one more meet, we wouldn't be collecting
money on-site. (Due to Cook County Forest Preserve District rules,
money cannot be exchanged within the forest preserve.)
made an emergency run to Kinko's for extra clue sheets.
and Larry Hundley helped out with the geocaching, and used the
GPS receivers to record perhaps the most accurate start and finish
times of any local orienteering meet.
Chris Edwards, Susan Wilson, Janet Century, and Howard Rothstein
checked the accuracy of the punches, and compilied the results.
Kyle Ryberg, Chuck Clark,
Hartline, Jim Gordon, Tom Nutt collected the controls in record
Thank you all.