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Course Notes

Night-O Event and Course Notes

Bill Langton, Course Setter

General Notes on venue

Since Rick did such a great job with his notes I will shamelessly steal them:

Cuivre River State Park is a geological oddity. Though 60 miles north of St. Louis, its terrain and ecology are similar to the Ozarks of southern Missouri. Due to an aggressive burning policy by the Missouri DNR, the mature oak forests are wide open while the emerging oak savannahs (more open woods) have underbrush.

In the white areas of the map the visibility is very high. The run-ability varies from fast to very fast. The variation depends on whether the underbrush consists of 'harmless' plants, blackberry canes, or multi-flora rose. Gaiters and leg coverings are strongly recommended. The footing is good, but still be careful due to dry leaves and small limestone rocks.

In an ongoing effort to convert oak forest to oak savannah, many 2-5 inch diameter oaks have been cut down. On this part of the map, this deadfall is only sporadic. Also, many 5-12 inch diameter oaks have been partially cut (for woodpecker habitat, I believe) - looks weird and dangerous.

Many reentrants are mapped with dry ditches which indicate at least minor erosion. These are mapped consistently though 'end of ditch' is often not blatant. Since there are very few rock features, small ones (at least 0.5 m) are mapped

Speed limit is 20 mph, but locals may drive faster - be careful.

Event Specific Notes:

RULE WAIVER NOTICE: The rules for competition courses (23.7) state that controls on similar features will not be placed within 100m of each other. A petition for 90m was filed with the rules committee and approved. All controls on clearly different features are still at least 75m apart. Since some areas have a lot of controls it is strongly recommended to CHECK YOUR CONTROL NUMBERS!

LOCATION and PARKING: For the Night-O we will be utilizing the beach 'complex' at the north end of the lake as the finish area and for parking. In the unlikely event that the beach lot fills to capacity, head on up the hill to the campgrounds.

ACCESS: The beach is on the road to the campround. There is an electronic gate on the beach/campground road near the junction with the main park road. The gate is open until 10PM. After 10PM a code is required to enter the area but the gate will open auto-magically for exiting vehicles.

POTTIES: Conveniences at the beach are limited to vault toilets, one per gender. We will supplement with at least one additional port-a-potty. Flush toilets, showers, and drinking water are available in the campground.

START AREA: The start for all courses will be approximately 1100m from the beach parking area with a climb, please plan accordingly. A toilet will be available near the start. The route to the start area will be marked with a combination of orange surveyors tape and chemical glow sticks.

WARM-UP and OFF-LIMITS: All terrain north of the boat ramp turn-off is OFF-LIMITS. An area of woods and trail near the Beach will be available for warm-up. Details will be provided on- site.

CLUE SHEETS: Clue sheets will be available at the 4-minute call-up.

BUGS: Contrary to Rick's claim, I HAVE found some ticks and plenty of chiggers on all of my recent visits to the park. Both seem to ignore deet at any concentration. Duct tape works well for removing chiggers. Mosquitos and Poison Ivy have been negligible.

VEGETATION: Enter medium green, dark green, and narrow vertical slash areas at your own peril. In my opinion, wide vertical slash is generally quite passable but you will likely need to pick your path as you go. Vegetation in the open areas varies dramatically in density and in height (up to two meters). In general, don't expect clearings to be fast and don't be surprised if you run across a turkey or two. I'll be surprised if you don't see at least one deer. The tall grass in the fields can be razor sharp on bare skin, avoid pushing it out of the way with your hands.

Course Specific

All courses:

  • share the same start location.
  • share the same final control. There will be a finish chute but it may not extend the entire distance from the finish to the final control.
  • will have at least one road crossing.
  • will have at least one control with drinking water available.

All controls will be marked with reflective tape. An example will be available at the Finish/Parking area.

Depending on the weather, the campground could be very busy. Please be respectful if/when passing through the campground areas.

White: Rule I.6.2 states that "Any routes or crossings which require marking to direct the competitor along a fixed route or direction, or to warn them away from a hazard, shall not be part of a Night Orienteering course. Exceptions to this rule shall be the start and finish chutes." Therefore, the start control for the White course will be at the end of a start chute marked by surveying tape and chemical light sticks. Please follow this marked route to the start control.

Green/Red/Blue: The wires from a power line have been removed but the poles remain. These have been mapped as black x's within a narrow clearing. The power cut is readily crossable but not so runnable.

COURSELENGTH (km)CLIMB (m)CONTROLS
WHITE2.12011
YELLOW3.05512
ORANGE3.3908
BROWN3.61159
GREEN5.015012
RED7.024513
BLUE8.428015

Saturday Middle Distance

Rick Armstrong, Course Setter

Cuivre River State Park is a geological oddity. Though 60 miles north of St. Louis, its terrain and ecology are similar to the Ozarks of southern Missouri. Due to an aggressive burning policy by the Missouri DNR, the mature oak forests are wide open while the emerging oak savannahs (more open woods) have underbrush. About 90% of the Middle Course map is white. The visibility is very high. The run-ability varies from good to very fast. The variation depends on whether the thin 1-3 foot tall underbrush consists of 'harmless' plants, blackberry canes, or multi-flora rose. Gaiters and leg coverings are strongly recommended - long sleeves optional. Thicker areas of blackberry and multi- flora rose are mapped 'wide slash green' - passable but nasty. The park presents a traditional Midwest ridge and reentrant system. However the steepness is less than other Missouri State Parks. The climb on all courses is about 2.5% as opposed to our usual 4-5%. The footing is good, but still be careful due to dry leaves and small limestone rocks.

As of mid-September, there were NO ticks, chiggers, or mosquitoes. That was unusual so early - they "shouldn't" return. Poison ivy is minimal but do not grab any vines. Most are grape but some are poison ivy. In an ongoing effort to convert oak forest to oak savannah, many 2-5 inch diameter oaks have been cut down. On this part of the map, this deadfall is only sporadic. Also, many 5-12 inch diameter oaks have been partially cut (for woodpecker habitat, I believe) - looks weird and dangerous. Many reentrants are mapped with dry ditches which indicate at least minor erosion. These are mapped consistently though 'end of ditch' is often not blatant. Since there are very few rock features, small ones (at least 0.5 m) are mapped.

Parking and Finish are in Camp Sherwood Forest in Cuivre River State Park - same location as the Friday Sprint. The woods and cabin areas around the parking lot are OFF LIMITS for training or warm-ups. From the parking area, Starts are a 700-meter flat walk along roads. The call-up line is the same for all seven courses. Clue sheets will be distributed at the 4-minute call-up (they will NOT be in the meet packet). The White/Yellow Start is on the east side of the road; the other five courses will cross the road to their second line and then proceed to their Start. All courses share the same final control. The finish chute will not extend all 60m across the mowed grass from the final control to the finish.

Orange through Blue courses: The wires from a power line have been removed but the poles are still there. They are mapped as black x's along a swath of yellow. The power line cut is wide and can be crossed readily but is not very runnable. Near the end of the course, you will cross the paved park road. Speed limit is 20 mph, but locals may drive faster - be careful. Consider a mapped distinct tree in a field to be "isolated and large" as opposed to the "largest tree in sight". Accurate orienteering will lead you to the correct tree. White and Yellow courses: The power line in this area has been recently cleared and rebuilt. It has wires, is very visible, and is easy to run or walk. It has been very dry - there will be no or very little water in the 'creek'. One leg of the Yellow Course has been flagged with orange surveying tape. There will be tapes at least every 10m - please follow them from one control to the next control. There is no road crossing for the White and Yellow courses.

ENJOY your run through our fast terrain, but pay attention to your map!

COURSELENGTH (km)CLIMB (m)CONTROLS
WHITE1.94011
YELLOW2.56012
ORANGE3.37513
BROWN2.97511
GREEN3.910011
RED4.511515
BLUE5.314016

Relay notes

Eric Buckley, Course Setter

While the woods are just as fast, the terrain at Creve Coeur Lake could not be more different from Cuivre River. There are no (as in absolutely none) contour lines in the main section of forest but the feature density is considerably higher than our typical open woods. In fact, the features are so dense that it could be very easy to mistake what feature the control is on. It may be officially on the east side of a rootstock, but it's probably also very close to an intermittent stream, a point marsh, and a pit. CHECK CONTROL CODES!

That said, if you are used to using contours as your primary navigation tool, this area will strike you as being quite bland. For this reason, parallel errors are to be expected. CHECK CONTROL CODES!

All teams except for 2-person White/Yellow will mass start together. There will be forking. Follow at your own risk. CHECK CONTROL CODES!

We previously published that teams would be allowed to run penalty loops in the event of a mispunch. However, that rules variance has been denied by the sanctioning committee. Therefore, a second of sloppiness could get an entire team disqualified for a mispunch. Don't do this to your teammates because, while I'll say it only one more time, your teammates will never let you live it down: CHECK CONTROL CODES!

This is a great spectator venue. You will be able to see your teammates in action at several points throughout the course. Because you will be looking at them from across a lake, binoculars will help considerably. We strongly recommend that each team have at least one pair. The last spectator control comes just a few minutes before the finish (on most courses, it is the penultimate control), so that's a good time to get your next runner in position. The GO control and run-in are common to all courses and visible from the exchange area.

All the maps will be staked to the ground in the exchange area face down by bib number. When a runner comes into the GO control, the next member of the team should enter the exchange area and stand next to their map, but not pick it up. The clue sheet for the map will be attached to the map. This may be picked up before the tag, but not brought out of the exchange area or shown to other competitors. No other teammates are allowed in the exchange area, but they may stand along the chute between the finish punch and exchange area to help point the incoming runner to their next teammate. The incoming runner must punch the finish control prior to entering the exchange area and tagging their teammate. Once the tag is made, the next runner can pick up their map and start their course. The outgoing runner does NOT have to punch the start control (in fact, they won't be able to because there won't be any start control, so don't bother looking for one).

After tagging (or, in the case of the final runner, simply punching the finish), the incoming runner should proceed immediately to download. While we will publish adjusted splits after the fact, all splits will be given assuming the mass start time. You can subtract off the finish split from the teammate who tagged you if you want to correct your first leg split yourself.

All teammates will be given the opportunity to run their course even if an earlier teammate fails to complete their leg. However, they will have to wait for the delayed start so they don't interfere with teams still vying for a championship. Any runner who has not received a tag from a teammate by the time of their delayed start may start without being tagged. This is optional, but recommended. The delayed start schedule is as follows:

  • Leg 2: 11:30 AM
  • Leg 3: 12:30 PM
  • Leg 4: 1:30 PM
Any team not finishing leg 4 by 3PM is overtime. There is effectively no time limit for White/Yellow teams or solo runners. If they want to take until 3PM to finish, that's fine with us. In all cases, however, please do check in at the finish by downloading, EVEN IF YOU KNOW YOU DNF'd. It's rather hard to imagine needing a search party in a park this small, but stranger things have happened.

Just in case you didn't see it in the revised map notes, the contour interval is 5m, not 2.5. Most courses only cross one contour line anyway, so it doesn't much matter, but we thought you might want to know. There are a few distinct elevation changes in the 2.5m range that are indicated with form lines.

Also from the revised map notes, the park is letting the grass get REALLY long in spots. The map has been updated to show the running speed as open or dense slash. The dense stuff is nearly impassible and should be avoided. If this was standard point-to-point orienteering, I'd just move the start to avoid it, but since relay legs are necessarily loops, you'll have to go through at least a bit of slow stuff at the beginning of your course. Don't get discouraged; it's only a few hundred meters in the fields and then you are into some very fast woods for the rest of the course.

Team roster forms will be included in all race packets. One FINAL roster needs to be submitted for each team (including solo "teams") NO LATER THAN 4PM Saturday (at the Corn Maze). Please don't ask us to budge on this one. Rushing the process of getting teams properly assigned to courses/bib numbers invites mistakes that could compromise the entire championship. Relay bib numbers will be distributed at check in Sunday morning. One member from each team should pick up the numbers for the entire team. DO NOT WEAR YOUR NUMBER FROM FRIDAY/SATURDAY!

Finally, after you run, feel free to hang out and enjoy the food and beverages offered at the Lakeside Cafe which is right next to the finish. We have a bunch of seats reserved on the patio. They are happy to move us inside if the weather warrants, but please remember to change out of your spikes if going inside. They start serving both breakfast and lunch items at 11AM. Awards will be presented no later than 3PM. We'll do them sooner if we can.

COURSELENGTH (km)CLIMB (m)CONTROLS
WHITE2.7012
YELLOW3.2010
ORANGE3.7012
BROWN3.8013
GREEN4.4015
RED5.7019
BLUE6.91021

Sprint

Eric Buckley, Course Setter

The sprint will be run on an enlarged version of the ISOM map with no other modifications. As such, all notes pertaining to the map and terrain for the night and middle apply, except for the scale, which is 1:5,000. I won't repeat them here. All features except buildings and high fences are crossable.

The sprint start and finish is in Camp Sherwood Forest, in the northern portion of the park. Ordinarily it would be faster to come in from the north on Highway KK, but that route is closed due to bridge repairs. Thus, you will need to come in through the main (southern) entrance of the park. While it's somewhat tedious to drive the length of the park at 20 miles per hour, you are well advised to observe the speed limits. The park roads are patrolled and the fines are steep.

There are no assigned start times for the sprint. After collecting your race packet, get yourself ready to run and present yourself at the start to receive the next available slot. Clear and check SI units will be at the start (only).

In typical sprint fashion, courses are set so routes using trails and open areas are generally favored. However, expect to do some running in the woods. While vegetation is reasonably open, minimal leg protection is advised.

Download is near the finish. Please download immediately upon finishing since we'll need to move the computers to the night venue as soon as the sprint closes.

COURSELENGTH (km)CLIMB (m)CONTROLS
BEGINNER0.9158
BROWN/GREEN1.7459
BLUE/RED2.26011

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