We had a HUGE turnout for our inaugural Jubilee Rogaine event. Thirty-eight (38) people participated in the rogaine, and forty-four (44) took part in the regular event. For the rogaine, we had a lot of participants from the Chicago area, St. Louis and Iowa as well as some of the usual local suspects. For the regular meet, we had a huge turnout from the ROTC, both from Peoria District 150 and the Pekin District, as well as some newcomers to the sport. We truly appreciate you all coming out and we hope you had a good time!
A rogaine format orienteering event uses a map marked with controls that can be visited in any order, which is the main difference from a regular orienteering event. There is also a time limit, and in this case it was six hours. Some events are designed so that at least a few people will clear the course, while other events are designed so that it is impossible to get all of the controls. In this case, I was expecting a few people to clear the course, and was hoping for the first finisher to come in the 4 to 5 hour range.
The weather was not cooperating at all at the start of the day. It started raining around 8:30 a.m. as people were getting themselves ready and we were handing out the rogaine maps. At the start and for about an hour or so after it poured down rain, and everyone and everything was getting soaked. I don't think the runners minded it as much as we did, trying to keep everything in the shelter dry. Oddly enough everything got wet, even the things that were underneath the shelter.
At 9:07 am I said a few last words and then we started the rogaine. All the racers were given two maps and could plot their routes on both maps prior to the start. However, they could only use one map at a time. When they had punched all the controls they could on the map they chose to start with, they were to return to the start/finish to download their results, pick up their second map, and set off again.
I knew that David Frei would be the person to look out for since we race against him a lot and I know he is an extremely good navigator and good runner. But we also had a few folks that I knew could give David a run for his money. He probably knew it too because just as I was thinking that someone ought to show up for the second map David comes running in. He cleared the first map in 2 hours and 16 minutes! Right on time!! Since the north and south courses were very equal in length I was expecting both maps to take about the same amount of time for most people, if they decided to try to get all the controls. That would mean that David should finish in about 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Only some 25 minutes later Rachel Furman comes in and makes a very quick transition to her second map. David had chosen the northern map first and Rachel had apparently chosen the southern. So if there was any discrepancy in the two courses it was still impossible to say which would be the faster one. Not 20 minutes after Rachel came in Scott Fredrickson comes in for his map change. He did the northern map first so that tells me that David had done a real good job on his first map, putting 30 minutes on Scott already.
Less than 10 minutes behind Scott is the group of Ron Stonitsch and only a few minutes behind them is Victor from Chicago. Everyone except Rachel of these early people had chosen the north map first. It really made it difficult to tell which map was faster, but it sure looked like the north one might be. Then again, most people started on the north map too so it was really difficult to tell what would happen from here on in.
After Victor we had Bryan Neuheis come in, and he was the first person to skip controls on his first map. This can be a very, very smart move and we would see where it would place him in the end. Bryan was followed by Mike Contratto, a fellow IRVOC local and he had gotten all the controls on the northern map. Again very interesting to see how this would all turn out! Then we had three people/groups who came in from the southern map, with all controls, within 20 minutes of each other, Matthew Rowan, Sabina Hlinenska and John Roxworthy. In the middle of this mix was the group with Greg Garnett, who had gotten all the northern controls but he had told me earlier that they would not be able to stay for the entire event so I figured they would not be in the running for the top spots. April Hernanns' group also came in around this time, from the north map with a fair amount of controls collected so we couldn't count them out either. About at the same time we had the Sonas come through, in from the north map with 17 controls collected. Depending on how things worked out they could be doing very well in the end. We were now about 4 hours into the event.
As the clock passed 4 hours and 30 minutes of racing time we all started looking out for our first finisher. Who would it be?? Would David keep his lead or had Rachel or Scott passed him? And we couldn't count out Victor or Ron’s group either. At 4 hours and 36 minutes of racing David comes charging in, winning the inaugural Jubilee Rogaine! He spent 2 hours and 16 minutes on the northern map and 2 hours and 19 minutes on the southern. A very even split and a very, very good overall time! If it hadn't been exciting to start with it was really heating up now! Scott and Rachel were on different maps and they were very close together coming in to the map exchange, plus Victor and Ron just a few minutes back from Scott at the exchange.
It was over an hour before we had our next finisher with all controls, Rachel Furman! She finished in 5 hours and 41 minutes and had lost a little bit of time to Scott, who came in just 9 minutes later! But in the end it was enough for a great second place and a well deserved third to Scott. These three ended up being the only people who cleared both maps, congratulations! (Made it easy for me to determine first, second and third place, so thank you ). :-)
In fourth place we had Victor Nikolenko from Chicago, finishing in 6 hours and 1 minute (keep in mind that we had everyone start 7 minutes late so he was within the 6 hour mark with 40 controls total (out of 44). Fifth place went to the group of Ron Stonitsch in 5 hours and 49 minutes with 39 controls total. Bryan Neuheis and Matthew Rowan came in right around 6 hours with 39 and 38 controls collected, respectively.
We had most finishers coming in just around the 6 hour mark, with varying number of controls collected. By now the weather had become very nice – sunny but not too hot. A bit humid due to all the rain in the morning but all in all a pretty good day for a rogaine event! I hope everyone had a good time and will be back for future rogaine events that IRVOC will host (I will make sure there will be more :-) ).
While the rogaine event was going on we also had our regular o-meet. We had white, yellow and orange courses for people to choose from for their preferred difficulty and length. There were four starts on the white course, five on the yellow and six on the orange. Orange might have been a bit on the tricky side, but I had tried to set the controls with good catching features and hand rails to guide people to them. Same story for the yellow course. We had nobody finishing either of the courses unfortunately and I will take the blame for that. I will make the courses a bit easier the next time around. All four groups on the white course finished though and seemed to have had a great time out there.
So again a HUGE thank you to everyone that came out, it meant a lot to me to see people enjoying the event! Hopefully we will see some of you at the Adventure-O on May 5th and if not maybe at a future IRVOC event.
I also need to thank Marvin Doyle, Bev Enslow and Elijah Sansom for helping out with running the meet. It would not have been possible without their help, not possible at all! So thank you so, so much! Also thanks to Tom Hintz for allowing us to use the park for this event. Jubilee is one of the best parks I have ever been to and we are very appreciative of being allowed to use it for orienteering events. Also, Sabina Hlinenska, Dylan Hayden, Bev Enslow and Rachel Furman helped pick up controls after the event and it was very much appreciated.
Another huge thank you to SLOC and Bill Langton for lending us control units and rental SI sticks for the event. Again it would not have been possible without their help!