It was a cool crisp and sunny day at Hale Education center on Sunday. With the leaves off the trees the visibility was good, and the trails were slippery underfoot. Pia had done the hard work of setting a full set of courses – Short White to Blue, and put out half the controls in advance. Jon’s recent mapping work made for an accurate map and allowed Pia to give the Green, Red and Blue competitors some new terrain to explore for our final in-person event of the season and the finale of the Fall Points Series.
Around 90 people sampled the various courses, with the most popular being the Orange, Brown and Green. Hale Education is the kind of area that I think is well suited to the mid-distance Orange and Brown courses, in particular. A skillful course setter can design legs that push runners to skip the security of following trails and stone walls. In contrast, I find the multitude of cabins, yurts and associated trails make the shortest courses challenging due to the plethora of distracting features, while the regular interval of trails and walls mean that the longer courses can never be overly navigationally challenging.
Whether it was the high stakes of the Points Series or the cold air and good visibility, there were some fast runs out on the longer courses. However, the big talking point back at the arena was the Merchandise! We had the first chance to try-on the new NEOC orienteering kit for size. For more info on that see the NEOC gear shop.
As ever, NEOC events run on volunteer fun. A big thank you to the following: Pia & Jon for the Course and Map prep ahead of time. Mori for Livelox (check it out if you want to improve your route choice). Wendy, Brendan, Nadine, Nils and Terry on Registration. Mark and Mike on the computer, Jim, Karen and Philip for multiple roles and the perceptiveness to see the need before being asked. Channon for bringing flair and attention-to-detail to the NEOC O-kit, and last but certainly not least – the crew that picked up controls as the sun dropped and the wind picked up: Andy, Brendan, Nadine, Nils, and Terry. Several others of you offered to help and nothing makes a meet director’s life easier. Finally, thank you to Ranger Tom and Hale Education for the opportunity to enjoy their woods.
I hope to see you all again before long.