Linne Woods
12 December 2010

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This Sunday’s event was the club’s traditional quick run before the AGM, and the first event in the winter Madnaess series of events. (For those who are not familiar, the Madnaess events are sprints with a mass start and age/gender handicaps designed to give everybody a equal chance at finishing first.)

The day did not begin well, as the gates to the forest preserve were closed early in the morning. The Forest Preserve folks could not believe we were still on with our event, and it took several phone calls and some convincing to get them to show up and open the parking lot. Luckily, this did not affect control setup, as David Yang set half of the controls on Saturday, and the other half early on Sunday after leaving his car at a restaurant across the street. By the way, he is the first course setter I have worked with who refused any help with controls, allowing me to show up at a very reasonable time of 8:30 and occupy myself with the setup of start/finish area. This mostly involved wrestling with a giant tarp which, after a few false starts, was finally secured to the shelter posts, giving us some protection from the wind. After all the boxes and barrels were propped against the tarp, David, Kathy Bullard and I were ready for the crowds.

Considering the small size of the map, and the inconvenience of handling volunteering tasks in December, I decided to keep the crew to an absolute minimum. My wife helped me make that decision, as she bid me farewell on Sunday morning after declining to come with. As I was devising clever ways of handling registration and start/finish at the same time, Kathy showed up to help and basically took over both areas. In the end, things worked out well, as the 57 Navy JROTC cadets and their leaders braved the snow, cold, and wind, and pretty much managed themselves.

The Madnaess runners seemed to enjoy the woods and the course very much. David’s “huge” Madnaess box (an area of the map where controls can be taken in any order) proved to be very well-designed. Joe Sackett reported that, upon reaching the “box,” everybody took off in different directions. The first person across the finish line was Chris Svoboda, followed by several very spirited sprints. Of course it helps that, due to his advantageous age, Chris was allowed to skip all controls but one (just kidding). Well done, Chris—that’s an excellent start for the defending series champion.

After the run, a number of people helped with control pickup, allowing us to wrap up by 11:30. Some people went to Pita Inn for a well deserved food, warmth, and good conversation. Considering the whole event lasted for only a couple of hours, and the run itself for only 20-40 minutes, the energy level and emotional intensity was incredibly high. That’s the magic of being outdoors in winter. It’s not easy, but well worth it. If you have never been orienteering in winter, I would encourage you to come out to the next Madnaess run on January 9th at Swallow Cliff.

Huge thanks to David and Kathy, and all who pitched in with control pickup: Oivind Naess, Maricel Olaru, Jim Gordon, Heather Kluch and the rest of Team Fat Otter, Rod McLennan and the rest of Team Frozen Otter, and Rich Gaylord.

Victor Nikolenko, Meet Director
David Yang, Course Setter

White Course
1 Justin Andre   32:00
Orange Course
1 Team NRE   34:00
2 Drei Reese   54:00
3 Just Life   54:00
Madnaess Course (points, time)
1 Chris Svoboda 25 20:05
2 Michael Collins 24 20:09
3 Maricel Olaru 23 22:41
4 Charlie Shahbazian 22 22:42
5 Joe Sackett 21 26:20
6 Jim Gordon 20 26:25
7 Oivind Naess 19 27:28
8 Sam McAleese 18 33:25
9 Tonya Kuzmis 17 36:52
10 Peter Friddle 16 37:15
11 Fat Otter 15 49:40
12 Frozen Otter 14 49:55
13 Tracy Hixon 13 50:50
15 Ksenia Astrelina 12 59:30
  Eric   DNF


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