Nobscot BYOM, Sudbury, MA
April 4-12, 2020
Meet Director: Karen Yeowell
The challenge: How to have an Orienteering Meet during a pandemic with social distancing requirements, and still have fun in the woods?
Well, it couldn’t be a normal 1-day event. And no shared cookies or pretzels or fruit, or safety cards, or debating the best route choice afterwards. After much email discussion, it was decided that we could try setting up courses that would be left up for a week to encourage participants to go at different times, with the courses published online ahead of time, participants printing their own map, and thus Bring Your Own Map (BYOM) orienteering was born!
How about timing? Those interested could self-report their times, or even upload a gpx file to Routegadget. Maybe we could even test out Mark O’Connell’s newly written QR-code system (QRienteering™ perhaps?)—designed to run a meet without needing any equipment besides a smart phone (ideal for teaching beginners), and a BYOM event seemed like a good test case.
There were 55 QR-code starts, representing about 35 individuals, as several went out on multiple days and/or on multiple courses. Thanks to Jim P, we know there were an additional 17 who either self-reported their times or uploaded into Routegadget, for a total of 72 known starts. The known participants on Yellow and Orange all used QR timing, while 12/18 on Brown and 14/24 on Green used the QR timing.
Despite the lack of snacks and camaraderie, BYOM QRienteering did have some benefits. Having the courses set up for over a week allowed many to come back and do multiple courses or even the same course on multiple days. In several cases, folks did one course with their families and then came back and did a harder course on their own. And some chose to run in the sunshine, or in the rain, or even in the dark!
I am still perplexed as to what happened to control #221 (2nd control on Yellow). The flag/QR code vanished on Sunday. Lydia & I replaced the QR code on Monday, only to have the QR code and flagging tape vanish again on Tuesday. I replaced the QR code again on Wednesday, which then remained in place until we took down all the controls. Mark adjusted the results of all those who were affected by the vanishing control, and our apologies to all who spent time fruitlessly looking for a control that someone had taken.
I owe a huge thank you to Jon Campbell for updating the map and adding map improvements even as we were vetting controls. Thanks to the NEOC Board for brainstorming ways to have socially-distanced orienteering and to BSA Mayflower Council and Sudbury Valley Trustees for allowing us to leave controls up for 9 days. Jim Paschetto, as always, made the maps available on the website, kept up with all the changes (like adding an Orange course part way through the event), and dealing with results coming in 3 different ways. Thanks to budding webmaestro Mori, for putting the courses up in Routegadget. My kids, John and Lydia, were pressed into service vetting controls, testing the QR codes and hanging controls in the pouring rain while not complaining (too much!). And this event would not have been possible without the help of Mark O’Connell, who in addition to writing the computer code to handle QR-code timing, vetted the controls, as well as helped hang and take down the controls (despite having hung all the controls on Green, he still couldn’t run a winning time on the course!) Thanks to all participants who provided feedback both on the courses and the QR-code experiment.
I look forward to seeing everyone in person and eating snacks together once again.
View the splits here (courtesy of WinSplits). For the raw splits file, click NEOC.org menu Results>Raw Splits Files.
This event will be available in RouteGadget soon. Check back shortly.
This event is available in RouteGadget (in the Results menu) — share your route.
Names link to split times for runners who used QR-Code timing.
|3||Karen checking controls Wed||29:45|
|6||Kurt and Jackson Severance||41:33|
|9||Peter and Luke||48:39|
|11||Karen & Lydia||66:34|
|8||Sierra, Lily, and Tamara||144:18|
|Test Of Orange||DNF|
|Steve Fiedler, et al||DNF|
|7||Karen checking controls Wed||70:25|
|20||Jakob brandt utne||132:20|
|I’m gonna beat you||DNF|