On family trips, I would state, “I know a shortcut” and then begin a new way to a destination.  Over the years, the family started to cringe more and more when they heard the feared, “I know a shortcut.”  I’d like to share this experience with my orienteering friends.

On Sunday, April 17, 2011, we will use a 1:5000 scale map to sequentially find 10 controls that will take us the width and breadth of Greasewood Park.  The course is set out to a length of about 4.5 km, and the controls are set at the orange level of difficulty.  If you register to run competitively, the total time that it takes to correctly visit all of the controls in a sequence (#1 to #10) will determine the winner.

However, you may be able to reduce substantially the full 4.5 km that you will need to travel.  Along most of the legs, but not all, will be “short-cut” controls.  These will be placed low to the ground, and very close to the straight line from one control to the next.  They will not be marked on the map.  The idea is to select the “beeline” option in determining your route.  If you are close enough, you will run across the short-cut control.  Then you can locate yourself on your map, and proceed to the next numbered control.  The short-cut control will have the same ID letters and punch pattern as the destination control, so punching the “short-cut” control will count the same as punching the original control that you were heading to.  If you are a fast runner, you may want to choose to ignore this “short-cut” malarkey, and just blast on past those with their noses to the ground.

If you just want to get warmed up for the featured run, then you can do the beginner’s course which will be a couple of kilometers on the same map along the trails and washes of Greasewood Park.

There will be no water along the courses, so bring a water bottle, and you can replenish at the registration table.

The meet director is Mike Thompson.  Call Mike at (520) 743-8161 or email him at oclubmike (-at-) gmail (-dot-) com if you have questions about this meet.  Please offer to help out with registration, timing, or control retrieval.


Greasewood Ramada and Vicinity
Picnic Ramada and Vicinity at Greasewood Park (Oblique Aerial Photo From Pima County Pictometry Project)

Directions:  From I-10 in Tucson take Speedway Blvd. for 2.2 miles to Greasewood Road.  Turn left at Greasewood.  The entrance to Greasewood Park is the first road approach that you come to on the right.  The trip time from I-10 and Speedway to the event site is about 10 minutes.  Vicinity Map

Fees:  All courses:  $5/individual, $8/team for members of any recognized orienteering club.  $10/individual, $15/team for nonmembers.  Compasses rent for $1.  Safety whistles sell for $1.  Every person, all courses, all meets is required to carry some type of safety whistle.

Friend-For-Free:  Members may invite one guest for free to this event.  To print a voucher and for details and restrictions, click here.

8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  Registration.

8:30 am Beginner's clinic

9:00 a.m.  Courses open.
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Route choice reviews.
1:00 p.m.  Courses close.  Everyone must be back by then.  Begin control retrieval (orienteering practice).

Check-In:  To insure that all are safe, everyone, whether finished with the course or not, must check in formally at Start/Finish before courses close and before leaving the meet site.

Newcomers:  Go directly to Registration.  Ask for instructions and introductory information.

Route Choice Reviews:  Orienteers love to talk about alternate routes and their advantages and disadvantages.  If you would like to discuss your choices after you do the course, there will be advanced orienteers near the Start/Finish area who would enjoy going over your route with you.