We had a very dry Fall leading up to Columbus Day, but then it all
changed, and for three days we had plenty of rain. This was great for
the reservoirs (and maybe the ducks), but it made for some even more
challenging orienteering at John Boyd Thacher State Park on Columbus
Day itself. Thacher can be treacherous enough with its infamous
limestone potholes, cliffs, and deadfall; but the added factor of
slipperiness made for a stern test of one's ability to stay upright,
let alone navigate speedily around the course.
Nonetheless, several people turned in fine times, including several of our CNYO, AOK, and NEOC neighbors. Taking advantage of EMPO's holiday schedule, five Central New Yorkers, one Adirondacker and one NEOCer came to visit and compete with us, which helped make for a large and competitive field on the Green and Red courses. Despite the conditions, AOK's Scott Pleban was able to turn in a good time of right around 10 minutes per kilometer, and he blew away everyone else. Along with some of the other attendees Scott was using this event as a preparation for next weekend's US Long-O and Short-O Championships at Letchworth State Park, near Rochester. On the basis of his run at Thacher, he is ready.
The rest of the Red field was closely competitive, with new EMPO member Grant Staats edging CNYO's Peter Dady by 2:11 for 2nd with EMPO's Glen Tryson a scant 17 seconds further back in 4th.
The Green course produced an even bigger blowout, as Janet Tryson practically lapped the field; while over on the Orange it was a Sweet Time as Senior bested Junior. The Yellow course was a bit longer than the norm for that level, and the times showed it. But every starter finished, and all indicated they enjoyed it greatly. On the White and Yellow courses, the individuals were mostly faster than the Groups, which probably says something about the difficulties of group decision-making. But as on Yellow, everyone finished and had smiles on their faces at the end.
I'd first like to thank everyone for coming. It was an experiment to hold the event on Columbus Day itself, and while that prevented some from being able to attend, it made it possible for others; and considering the final turnout of 48 entries with 68 entrants, it must be considered to have been a success. The downside of doing on Columbus Day for me was that I had much less time than usual to get the course set up. My haste showed when I misplaced one flag (I couldn't find my previously hung ribbon and knew something was wrong, but just like when you mess up orienteering, I was trying to go faster than I could think, and I blew it). Thanks to Good Luck, and specifically to Barb Sleight, she was the first one to get to that control (the next to last), recognized it was wrong, finished, checked with me, and went back and fixed it before anyone else got there. And thanks to John Beatty for once again keeping me company and assisting in many ways at the Registration/Start/Finish area, and lugging water out to one water stop I hadn't gotten to yet. And finally thanks to those who helped pick up the flags, Bob Reed, Pam Flynn and Sue Hawkes-Teeter (who also gets extra thanks for putting up with me as the event approached and I went into my usual panicked/grumpy state because everything wasn't ready weeks in advance).
last updated: --Thu May 27 2004 07:58:28 PM EDT--