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Join for 2020
Join for 2020
alertNEOC's events have changed to a Bring-Your-Own-Map format for
the immediate future. See details.

Coming Events

NEOC: Wanderings - BYOM
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From Saturday, September 05, 2020
To Sunday, September 13, 2020
Wanderings map, including Belmont, Lexington, Waltham and Watertown
Special Courses:
Foot and bicycle event in Belmont/Lexington/Waltham/Watertown area
Event Director:
Jim Crawford
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sept 9: Wanderings is still available through Sunday Sep 13. Send me an email (see below) if you need the maps.  16 people have finished and sent me their results, while a couple dozen more have gotten the maps. Even if you don't want an official score, I would appreciate an email from all who went out so I know how many actually participated.

The maps and controls are set for the 9th running of Wanderings. This event is only open to NEOC members (for insurance reasons). Please send email to me (the meet director) to pre-register all who plan to run. I will then email you the maps and clues, etc. on Friday, 9/4 (or if you email me after 9/4 I will send them immediately). Below are the course and map notes.

Course notes for Sept 5-13, 2020 Wanderings BYOM:

This year takes us to Winchester and surroundings. Due to Covid-19 we will not have a mass start, nor any on-site registration. However the course itself is just like previous years. Note the BYOM changes in items 1-4 below.

  1. Only open to NEOC members. Half-year NEOC membership is $20/individual, or $30/family, and provides the necessary waiver for insurance purposes.
  2. Maps in PDF format will become available on Friday, Sept 4. This is a BYOM event, so you will need to print the map and clue sheet yourself. Since the map is 11” x 17”, you can either take it to a copy place, or I will also provide three 8 1/2 x 11” overlapping PDF files which can be printed on your home printer. There will be a fourth PDF file for the 1:7500 areas.
  3. You will be responsible for timing yourself. There will be no electronic punches, nor will there be QR codes. I encourage entrants to record a GPS trace of your route (via Garmin watch, GPS tracker, or cell phone app), and send it to me so I can get split times and verify controls.
  4. When you finish, email me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) your answers (or a photo of your answers) with your timing and your GPS route if available.
  5. Five divisions: 1½ hr foot 3 hr foot
    1½ hr bike 3 hr bike
    4½ hr combo (bike 3 hr, run 1½ hr)
    I recommend a mountain bike since the roads are notorious for potholes and 5 controls are on dirt trails, (I use a road bike and walk the rough trails when I set the course, but I also got a flat tire from a pothole on one of Medford's streets). In past years cyclists have used both road bikes and mountain bikes.
  6. 56 controls total, optimal route about 50 km with 2100 ft of climb. Controls can be visited in any order. 15 of the controls are within 1¼ km of the start. No extra credit for going to the same control twice. Part of the combo challenge is to decide which controls to avoid on the bike in order to save controls doable on foot.
  7. Point value for a control is the control number with the 2nd digit set to 0, so e.g., controls 21, 23, and 27 are all worth 20 points. 2630 points for all controls.
    Foot-O 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 down).
    Bike-O penalty is 30 points per minute for all late minutes. In the combo division, you can receive penalty points in both the bike phase and the run phase. This year there are no special controls giving bonus points.
  8. 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”) When you reach a control, write the answer on the clue sheet or a separate paper of your own making. As in the past, I will put paper control flags on the telephone poles.
  9. There are no official water stops, so you should take drinks and money with you. There are plenty of convenience stores / pizza shops / etc. where you can buy drinks very quickly.
  10. Everybody must carry map, clue sheet, control card, pencil, watch, and water bottle. Runners should also have a compass. It is recommended that everyone also take an extra pencil, money, and a cell phone.
  11. Cheating not allowed: no use of cars, buses, or trains; no assistance from GPS or Internet, although if you are not a serious competitor, do whatever helps you enjoy it!
  12. Finally, be Safe! Some of these roads have many cars, or speeds up to 50 mph. Its better to brake and stop than hope there are no cars coming.

Map notes for September 5-13, 2020 Wanderings:

  1. The Wanderings map is 11” by 17” at a scale of 1:25000 and 10 ft contours. It includes all of Winchester and parts of Arlington, Belmont, Burlington, Lexington, Medford, & Woburn..
  2. The map has a few non-standard symbols in the legend, so make sure you study it. Cemeteries, Golf courses, farms and some conservation land are all off-limits, and indicated by purple cross-hatching.
  3. You should stay on trails in all of the dark green forest land. Major trails in these areas are marked on the map; minor trails may or may not be on the map. They all have differing off-trail policies, so to make it easy for everyone to follow, we use the most restrictive rule, which is DO NOT GO OFF TRAILS.
  4. 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.
  5. All private property is off limits! Stick to streets and paths marked on the map. No cutting through residential 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.
  6. A commuter railroad passes through the map (purple line). Do not go anywhere near the tracks except to cross them at streets marked on the map. Likewise for Route 2, I-93, and I-95 / Route 128.

7. There is a separate 1:7500 orienteering map of Brooks Estate and Winchester Center. For this event, the Brooks Estate area is off-limits to bikers. Stay on trails. Controls have streamers with a letter for the answer written on them. The northwest entrance to the park is hard to see from the street. I would suggest using the entrance 1 block to the southwest, or the northeast entrance. The Winchester Center controls between #11 and #17 are also off-limits to bikers.

Call my cell phone for orienteering emergencies. REAL emergencies call 911 -Jim Crawford 617-913-9303


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