Lots of cadets. Lots of people. Lots of novelty. Lots of fun.
It appears to be over 400 people on hand, when we combine the totals for the FLO portion of the day's events with the high school JROTC cadets Training weekend activities going on at the same time.
Designing 13 courses for a single weekend is a challenge and once again, it proved to be a tad beyond me - I got a few controls and control descriptions mixed up, but evidently participants figured it out and no one complained. You'd think this would all be automatic by now, but its not.
The good news is that the Split Oak Forest management is new and understands orienteering and has essentially re-opened the Forest to our customary use, so Orange and Green and Red and Blue courses all enjoyed Split Oak.
The 'novelty' aspect of the news was the sudden discovery of the need to avoid all exchange of money within Moss Park. The system you saw, the honor system of mailing your fee to the FLO Treasurer, was in lieu of FLO setting up a Registration Station outside the park gate to collect money there. I surely did not look forward to having two separate booths to staff, since we're usually short on volunteers anyway. I hope no one was put out by this confusion - and I hope all the promised revenue actually shows up, too.
Ray Bruneau didn't fully realize he was volunteering to be the de facto Event Director, but Janet and I had committed to assisting at the JROTC Training event courses, so we tested Ray's patience once again. He came through like a champ, naturally.
But speaking of volunteers, during one of my Guided Walking Tours for cadets I passed by John Griffin, who had volunteered to help from 10 to noon or so. He told me they had all the help they needed so he had nothing to do. Too many helpers? Cool!
I think the biggest boost of help came from the Robinson High School moms who put in nearly a full day's shift at FLO registration: Debra Rivas, Michelle Keeler, Laurie Irons, and Fred George. We had some dads come over but I had no seat to place them, how often do we turn volunteers away?
Moss Park can be confusing for those not familiar with the weekend's activities, so we're happy to have heard no complaints. The weather was pretty nice - that is, not much over 90F at mid-noon. And the rain had let up for the previous week, so all the dire warnings from rangers as to how wet and sloppy things would be, proved groundless. We continue to get parties come out and attempt to conquer the BLUE course, never having finished a GREEN, they come trudging in at the 4 hour mark. We have a 3 hour time limit for safety reasons: the club exists for the education of all parties to learn and enjoy the outdoors being timely in finishing(exiting the woods) AND our pickup crew would like to finish up before dark-thirty. So, in the future, we may limit your choice of courses until we feel comfortable that you may ‘conquer’ any course.
The "Thank You's" that I know about are Ray Bruneau, Cheryl McDonough, Blaik Mathews, Michelle Dyke, those four(4) Robinson moms, John Griffin because he was there, Andie Wiler, Jerry Sirmans and Jack Cash.
JROTC Competition Notes
Your Course Designer is rather pleased with the Winner's times: Yellow was 29:54; Orange was 50:53; Green was 51:20.
Those are terrific times, in terms of the USOF guidelines, even after accounting for the relatively fast Yellow within Moss Park and the relatively stretched Orange and Green having to run the causeway over and back to Split Oak. Congratulations to those winners who earned well-deserved points in the 2014-2015 JROTC Points Standings being shepherded by Gord Hunter again this season.
Other non-JROTC readers of this Report should be aware that these three JROTC courses at Moss Park & Split Oak were run using a Mass Start, so those extremely narrow margins in finish times (15 seconds between 1st and 2nd then 2 seconds between 2nd and 3rd place on Yellow; 19 seconds between Green 2nd and 3rd place) reflect cadets running all-out, neck and neck, through the final controls into the Finish. I get goose-bumps just sitting here thinking about it - orienteering finishes like that are even more heart pounding than track and field or road race finishes due to the varied terrain,vegetation and footing involved!
I also note the male/female parity among the top finishers on the Yellow course, where 2nd place goes to FMMA Ashley Baez only 15 seconds behind team mate Jacob Austin. Very encouraging.
And on the Green I have to give personal shout-outs to, first, Sebastian Michko from Ft. Lauderdale for absolutely blasting the Green course, and to Wesley Strickland of Titusville who took 2nd place, after having just taken 1st place on Saturday on the "1 Kilometer" course with a time of, I think, 4:28, or something like that (and, not incidentally, beating my own time by just about 1 full minute!).
Well done cadets! We hope you can now put all that training to use in the trophy meet competitions that start next month.
|WNHS Black||180:30 OT|
|WNHS Grayson||191:30 OT|
|Mathews, B||210:14 OT|
|CF S&R||268:00 OT|
|DNF||Did Not Finish|
|DQ||Disqualified (Missed Controls)|
|OT||Over 3 Hour Time Limit|