Looks like 109 total starters, counting Rodney Count's Deputy Sheriff Dog as a starter (and why not?) Toby Henson's Titusville JROTC ran a parallel table for JROTC competition with a reported 63 starters. All in all a fair turnout for a hot 85F+ May 1 with threatening thunderstorms in the forecast and rain most of the night, though far below our recent averages of 250+.
We had a really good response to our calls for helpers, making the work go easily. Promptly at 8:30, Jonathan Linforth, Arild Orsleie, Russ Steinke, Bill Barolet and the whole Titusville JROTC arrived for set-up. While Arild and Russ and I set controls, the rest arranged the equipment in two registration tables and two start/finish tables in the shade of the trees - and in the shade of two magnificent tents by T'ville.
And yes, we knew Start/Finish was in a different location than shown on the map. The piles of dirt obstructing the usual shady spot necessitated a change. We judged it to be inconsequential since we were in a line of trees paralleling the road with only Yellow course likely to be confused (it was hoped) by putting their first control much closer than the map would indicate. Field and fences and driveways were so prominent we figured hardly anyone would notice the shift.
By the time I returned from control setting, my wife Janet had arrived with Andy Holman and Ray Bruneau to help also, along with Event Coordinator Derek Bohn. So then with Jonathan running the JROTC start/finish along with one of the T'ville Moms and Russ filling in on the FLO start/finish after Andy's shift, Tami Jicha showed up to help and we had nothing for her to do but go out on a course and enjoy the day. Thanks to all.
Enjoying the day was easy for everyone. The weather people were wrong about the rain, though the humidity was 'seasonal'. Janet and I enjoyed a white course walk with mini-greyhound Nigel, who got pretty hot & tired in the "Big Field" that served as the main reference for white & yellow courses. I saw some high school kids run in looking as though another mile would have done them in with heat stroke but the smiles were still huge. My jaw dropped when Bret Barker told me his heart rate was still 133 a few minutes after he finished his run, but not to worry because it had spiked in the 170's out on the course. Ah, summer in Florida! Maybe we won't give you a Red course in May anymore, but then Chris Johnson blasted the Red course, then copied every other control we had so he could run to them too, just training for the Coast to Coast AR next month. Made me tired just hearing it.
I was pleased to see only a few DNF's in Derek's results. That meant all our little tweaks and finagling of controls did not adversely affect too many of you. I moved two orange controls during the event and Arild moved a yellow control he had second thoughts on - but then we moved it back again later. There is a variation on this theme that has been tried as a novel form of O', called "Fourth Dimension O'" in which several controls are moving on a fixed schedule during the event and you have to be aware of when you will be approaching them to know where they will be. Ours of course was not 'deliberate'. Just trying to get it perfect. The JROTC's were concerned because they had trophies on the line, but I gather all was smoothed over. We apologize for any confusion. Speaking of JROTC, Toby Henson of T'ville headed up the effort to make this event the inaugural Annual Trophy series for JROTC. This was the 2004 Championships (I think). If enough high schools agree to participate they will use the Sept throug March FLO events as Qualifiers for the Annual Championships to be held in April of each year. Thus, the HS champs would follow the school year rather than the FLO calendar year, as we have been doing.
I have to mention the fact that you all just competed on the first of several updated maps, fieldchecked by Dick Detweiler of the Rochester Orienteering Club, who had stayed with us for a month this past Spring. If you're familiar with RSRSR, you may have noticed several major changes in the map. Heck, if you're familiar with RSRSR you noticed the devastation caused by the park's attempts to control pine beetle infestations. The map changes were necessary. Much of the white woods adjacent to Ethel Cemetery has disappeared. The big bad green triangle along Ethel Road (the dirt road you drove in on) is still a big green triangle, but now the green junk is 5 feet high and rubble-strewn (but passable, I found). The red and green courses visited the area west of the paved entrance road where now is shown only six gradations of palmetto vegetation symbols, modified from the original and much-celebrated dozen or more variations in palmetto mapped by Malcolm Adams in 1997. It always reminded me of Eskimos having 50 words for snow - Floridians may need twelve symbols for palmetto! Little navigational challenge was presented to red & green in those areas, so the jury is still out regarding Dick's minimalism versus Malcolm's rigor.
Speaking of the green course, it was fun to design a 5.5 km course with only 5 controls. Several competitors did a double take, thinking they'd been handed the wrong list of control descriptions. Legs were 0.9, 0.9, 0.8, 1.6, 0.7 and 0.6 KM in length. I smiled the whole time designing it. I hope you all smiled doing it. Red was about as long as we dare to set a course at this time of year. I only let it go that long because almost 3 KM of it was on trails and almost another 2 KM was in mown fields. Less physically demanding than, say, an Ocala forest red course, but I'd bet it didn't feel that way while you were out there. As course designer I am very pleased to see the winning times on White (34:38), Yellow (44:18), Green (62:43) and Red (68:57) These are almost exactly what I had in mind. I think Brown, with a bigger field would have had a 45-50 minute winner, but if Walenty Prytulo wins Orange (as he usually does) with 76:25, it means it was a bit too rough. In fact as Janet and I were walking the white course, we were a little surprised to see how much trouble White & Yellow people were having, even with the Big Field as a gigantic handrail. I spoke later with one group who actually wound up east of the horse barn. The course-setter's mantra is 'never underestimate the creativity of dis-orienteers'. We invite competitors from each course to share their experiences, good and bad, in this forum, for the benefit of all. Lately we've had lots of people say how much they enjoy recent personal stories, so lets hear from you. Congratulations to all, for braving the heat. See you all at the next event!
|GS Troop 329 #2||48:12|
|GS Troop 329 #1||55:15|
|Zajac & Gruzsauskas||60:05|
|Melissa Fry & Co||65:05|
|GS Troop 329 #1||80:40|
|BS Troop 723 #3||93:52|
|BS Troop 723 #2||123:05|
|Troop 329 #2||DNF|
|Bob Bates & Co||110:55|
|Kimberly & Scott Mowry||123:05|
|The Little Family||124:14|
|BS Troop 723 #5||126:55|
|Hawkins & Lunt||139:35|
|BS Troop 723 #4||DNF|
|BS Troop 723 #1||DNF|
|Mark & Abby Rosenberg||116:58|
|Dwayne & Lisa Jenkins||131:44|
|Torres & White||OT|
|DNF||Did Not Finish|
|DQ||Disqualified (Missed Controls)|
|OT||Over 3 Hour Time Limit|