For the past several years FLO has been opening the Fall season with an event at Rock Springs Run State Reserve, also coinciding with OUSA's National Orienteering Day. This year was no different, with an even larger crowd than usual. I counted 293 people altogether. A turnout like that suggests that our habitual concern as to whether we are over-using RSRSR is unfounded. It appears that the attraction of this venue as a no-pressure first-of-the-season training day for JROTC offsets the worry that it's a rather mediocre site in terms of 'sweet' orienteering terrain. So we happily continue and trust that we can still manage to find interesting control sites in upcoming events.
We used the 'usual' staging area near the horse barn again, saving the more novel and interesting western staging area along the paved road for next year. I only wish we'd had more first time entrants on the White course, since it is an ideal venue for introductions to the sport. So it was gratifying to see the giant group of 11 cadets from Boone High Scholl JROTC go out together on White. I wouldn't ordinarily encourage, or allow, that, but in this case and on this day, "the more the merrier".
Ray and I spent a day in the field last summer scouting the control locations and making map corrections in the vicinity of each control - a very limited and limiting strategy that continues to leave large portions of the map un-updated which some of you may have noticed. All we can hope for is that you all had fun and nothing was actually mis-placed. Someday we'll do a complete remapping of RSRSR, promise.
Results, except for Yellow course, reflected a challenging day in terms of both course design and weather effects. Yellow had 5 cadets in the 35 to 40 minute range, as planned. However, winning times on Orange of 71 minutes, Green at 105 minutes (Canyoneros was running a second course on the day on Orange, so discount his time) and Red at 85 minutes are a bit long-ish. I deliberately deleted the Blue course in deference to the heat, so evidently that was a good idea. The combination of heat plus lots of cadets with just a little experience led to an overall DNF rate of 21% for the day. That's about twice the rate I would regard as acceptable, but it was taken as a 'training' event by most JROTC units, so I won't obsess over that too much.
I will say that all those cadets who have now learned from these challenging courses should now be ready to step up to the next level of competition at the October Moss Park Training weekend, OR take on FLO's Moss Park courses directly on October 10. Hope to see you all there.
|Lake Mary HS||46:24|
|Lake Howell #1||48:20|
|Lake Howell #2||71:15|
|Lake Howell #4||73:23|
|DNF||Did Not Finish|
|DQ||Disqualified (Missed Controls)|
|OT||Over 3 Hour Time Limit|