[Empire Orienteering Club]

Colonie Town Park
May 23, 2004

White Course (12 Controls)
Ann Christoffel family (3) 40:52
John Tessolecki family (4) 89:38
Zdunczyk kids & friend (3) 135:46
Marci Kolyvek HFA
Koppany Kolyvek HFA
Yellow Course (19 Controls)
Tom Fitzgerald/Colin McLean HFA
Zdunczyk adults(2) HFA
Orange Course (20 Controls)
Bob Goodwin 97:38
Stefan Bagnato/Amy Conway 144:28
Krista Canham family (4) 164:15
Green Course (18 Controls)
Greg Tryson 66:30
Janet Tryson 81:28
Bob Lange 84:57
Eric Hamilton 111:10
Sue Hawkes-Teeter 136:53
Red Course (22 Controls)
Laszlo Kolyvek 65:20
Glen Tryson 72:46
Phil Hawkes-Teeter 81:26

Preparation for the May 23rd orienteering meet at Colonie Town Park began a few months prior to the event, primarily including the tasks of course design and field checking. I visited the park in early April when visibility in the woods was clear; an ideal time to observe the fine detail of the landscape of the park.

Designing courses for the meet in this relatively small park, which is well-known to some and yet which might be completely unfamiliar to others, posed a bit of a challenge. My intent was to create courses that would be enjoyable, promote learning, and provide participants multiple controls with which to practice orienteering skills. And I believe that goal was achieved. However, in hindsight, my course designs may have been a bit too ambitious, particularly for the beginner levels. Although the course lengths fell within the recommended guidelines, the greater quantity of controls and longer legs in a couple of instances were problematic for some. A significant increase in vegetation growth compared with that of early April may have further added to the challenge for the orienteers.

In general, these obstacles did not diminish the exuberance of the participants. Probably most notable was the enthusiasm with which Allison and Sarah Zdunczyk, and friend Denise returned to the finish area in eager pursuit to obtain tips on how to find the elusive Control #5 on the white course. With a little assistance, they reconnoitered and ultimately successfully completed their course. Marci and Koppany Kolyvek each departed from the start with energetic excitement and both boys put forth valiant efforts on the white course. Young Colin McLean guided by Tom Fitzgerald navigated to multiple of the 19 yellow controls. And Kevin and Jason Tessolecki, under the direction of their parents, reinforced some of the compass and map-reading skills that they learned about in home school class as well as at the Kinns Road meet earlier this year.

Stefan Bagnato and Amy Conway took the prize for selecting what I would consider the best route choice during their 20-control Orange Course. While traversing southwest from control 12 to 13, they navigated past the concession stand where they stopped and purchased ice cream sandwich(es)! Now how much better does it get than that on a warm, sunny afternoon? Well, some folks were eyeing the swimming pool... but ultimately decided not to follow that route choice.

The weather did (surprisingly) cooperate, providing sunshine and 80 degree temperatures despite a potentially rainy forecast. And the park itself welcomed us with pleasant natural surroundings. The bullfrogs were loudly croaking at the southwest end of the large pond and countless inchworms were posing as budget travelers, hitching free rides cross-country on every orienteer's clothing.

Many thanks to all who attended this event and to those who helped me with control pick-up: Phil and Sue Hawkes-Teeter, Koppany, Marci, and Laszlo Kolyvek.

-- Robert Reed

last updated: -Tue Jun 08 2004 02:33:19 PM EDT-