The first day of Spring 2005 saw over a hundred orienteers and
newcomers turn out for a "walk with a purpose" in Lincoln
Park. Despite promises of warm temps earlier in the week, Sunday,
March 20 dawned cool and cloudy...a perfect day for orienteering.
A brief mention of the event in the Chicago Tribune's
Friday Section "In/Out" column inspired many
newcomers to stroll over to the event which began at Ranalli's
Restaurant on Clark Street in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. As
a result, the
event enjoyed the heaviest turnout it has had in its 3-year history.
Michael Collins won the Long Course event by visiting 42 of the
50 controls within the 90 minute time limit and answering every
question correctly. Runner-up Kathy Bullard also visited 42 controls,
but omitted the high-value controls in the far north and east side
of the map. 2004 Club champ Maricel Olaru had the leg speed needed
to find 44 controls, but still struggling with English, he lost
24 points in eight wrong answers to fall to a third place.
On the Short Course, Milan Kratka found 24 controls, the same
as second-place Tim Urquhart. However, Milan was able to collect
points for the two controls east of the lagoon while Tim focused
on the lower-value nearer controls. That turned out to be all that
was needed to generate a three-point winning margin.
Long and Short
courses differed only in that the Short Course, at a time-limit
of 60 minutes, was a half-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 50 control features scattered along 2 miles of
Lake Michigan shoreline. Many Park features were not shown, including
the paths and sidewalks. 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, signs and
other Park landmarks. Competitors tried to find
as many of the features as possible within their time limit. At each feature
they attempted to answer a multiple-choice question about the item. Each
control was worth from 1 to 5 points, depending upon its distance
and difficulty, with
a total of 150 points for the entire course.
Point deductions could occur
for wrong answers and overtime. Controls which many found especially
- Control #3 was one of the 6" high markers designating
the ancient shoreline of Lake Michigan. However many ran instead
to the much larger Garibaldi monument which was 14 meters to
the northwest. Careful navigation would have shown that the Garibaldi
statue was too close to the edge of the hill to be the correct
feature. This mistake cost many people two points, plus a two
penalty for the wrong answer.
- The new rest room building at Belmont
Harbor (control #32) was oriented NNW instead of true north.
As a result, two faces of the
building had a northern face. We allowed either answer.
Roman numeral date at the Lincoln Memorial (control #41) was
incorrect on the clue sheet: we accepted any answer or notation
that indicated the person had visited this point.
- Three questions
were to count the number of holes bored into the iron posts at
the very end of the three Lake Michigan breakwaters.
Although two of them were very straightforward, the third iron
post had two smaller holes bored into a flange on the post that
were overlooked by several competitors.
- Question #124 asked
how many holes in a sewer grate on a long narrow strip of ground
between the lagoon and Lake Shore Drive
which contained many grates. However only one sewer grate was
within the circle. And the correct grate could be determined
across the lagoon to the large cement entrance gates for the
Amazingly nearly everyone answered correctly that Schiller's
1807 death was in the 19th Century, counted all 71 slots in the
fishing rod stand, and found the tree, loaded with bananas, growing
along Lake Shore Drive. For those interested, the "bananas" were
made and patiently tied to the maple tree by a local environmental
group as a warning about the coming effects of Global Warming....
One of the heartwarming stories that came out of the meet involved
Christopher Carlsen who drove down from Mundelein with his family
to try this new sport. Unfortunately a printing defect resulted
in a few clue sheets without control numbers, and Christoper received
one. Most participants quickly returned to the Start for a proper
clue sheet and a new start time. However, Christopher had never
orienteered before, and thought that matching the unnumbered clues
to the various mapped features was part of the challenge of orienteering.
with determination, Christopher patiently led his family around
Lincoln Park for over two hours. At each feature they tried first
to select the unnumbered
question which best fit that feature, and then the correct answer for that
question. And for 25 of the 28 features he visited, his technique was successful,
and he scored 68 raw points—as many as the Milan Kratka, the Short
Course winner! But unfortunately Christopher was 80 minutes overtime, and the
resulting penalty brought his net score down to zero. But congratulations Carlsens!
With such talent, we hope you'll be back for another meet later this