The beginners courses (white, yellow, and sprint) are CANCELED (they will be re-scheduled for later in the fall). The Urban Rogaine will still go on as scheduled.
Course notes for Sept 1, 2012 Urban Rogaine:
Mass start for all entrants at 10:00 AM. Maps handed out at 9:45, allowing 15 minutes to plan your route. Register by 9:30.
There will be both a 1½ hour division and a 3 hour division. Anyone finishing before 1½ hour will automatically be placed in that division. The course is doable on a bike, and there will be a separate bike division if anyone wants to ride. I would recommend a hybrid bike since Belmont's roads are notorious for bumps and potholes, and 7 of the controls are on dirt trails.
There are 40 controls (in honor of NEOC's 40th Anniversary), which can be visited in any order.
The shortest-route-possible to go to all 40 controls is on the order of 53 km, with 474m of climb, so nobody will be able to go to all the controls within the time limit.
Point values for the controls are the control number rounded down, so e.g., control 63 is worth 60 points. Total point value for all controls is 2040 points. The penalty for finishing over the time limit is 15 points per minute for the first 5 minutes, and 30 points per minute after that (seconds are rounded up).
The Clue Sheet gives a physical description of each control and a question that can only be answered when you have reached that location (e.g. “Telephone Pole #___, on W corner by house #14”) When you reach a control, you are to write on the Control Card the control #, the answer to the clue sheet question, and the time you arrived at the control. The time can be recorded as either absolute time (e.g. 10:23) or race time (0:23), just be consistent.
There are only 2 official water stops: (1) at the start/finish area, and (2) on the porch of my house, which is one of the controls on the map (#63). You may find water fountains at some parks (Fresh Pond), but the best solution is to take drinks and money with you. There are plenty of gas stations / convenience stores / pizza shops / etc. where you can buy whatever you need very quickly.
Everybody must carry map, clue sheet, control card, pencil, watch, and water bottle (it's going to be hot!). It is recommended that everyone also take a compass, an extra pencil, money, and a cell phone.
Map notes for Sept 1, 2012 Urban Rogaine:
The Suburban Rogaine map is an 11” by 17” sheet of paper with a scale of 1:25000 and 10 ft contours. It includes all of Belmont and Watertown, the eastern part of Waltham, and the western tip of Cambridge. You do not need to know the contours in order to navigate, but you may want to use them to determine route choice since there are some noticeably steep hills.
The map has a few non-standard symbols in the legend. Public schools are shown in orange. Private schools and institutions are shown in gray. This includes McLean Hospital; Fernald State School (which is largely shut down and feels like a ghost town); Brandeis College; Perkins School for the Blind; Belmont Hill School; and numerous small private schools. Town parks are light green. Conservation land is dark green. Cemeteries are gray with purple cross-hatching and are off-limits; please respect the dead. Golf courses are yellow with purple cross-hatching and are off-limits. Some conservation land has purple cross-hatching and are off-limits. You can run on the trails in Rock Meadow, but you are NOT to go off-trail.
Actually, you should stay on trails in all of the dark green forest land (Beaver Brook, Habitat, Lone Tree Hill, Stonehurst Conservation Land, Shady's Pond Conservation Land, Rock Meadow Conservation Area, Gore Place, Fresh Pond, Alewife Brook Reservation, etc.). The major trails in these areas are marked on the map; minor trails may or may not be on the map. They all have differing policies involving off-trail behaviour, so to make it easy for everyone to follow, we use the most restrictive rule, which is to NOT GO OFF TRAILS. This is especially important in Rock Meadow, where there are many open fields that would be tempting to cross. Those fields are prime nesting grounds and the town is very serious about the no-off-trail policy.
On the other hand, you can go off trails in town parks and schools as long as you don't run through a ball game or other activity. You can usually tell what is a town park by the mowed lawn and marked ball fields. Of course, some have fences around them - never climb a fence, only go through gates.
All private property is off limits! Stick to the streets and paths marked on the map. No cutting through resedential yards or climbing fences. Parking lots, such as at Shaw's, are ok; but note that many parking lots have fences surrounding them and may have extra security.
A commuter railroad passes through the middle of the map (purple line). Do not go anywhere near the tracks except to cross them at streets marked on the map.