Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Early Orienteer Dick Adams Passes

in: Orienteering; General

Sep 15, 2022 9:55 PM # 
Dick Adams ,as the first USOF president, helped us set up the Oconee Orienteering Club (later morphed into the GAOC) in the 70's. He even attended our first "A" meet on a B&W map at Hard Labor Creek State Park. He moved to Oconee County in 2001 and started back orienteering with us and enjoying the enthusiasm of the JROTC orienteers. He'll be missed at our meets.
Life and Times of Dick Adams
Sep 15, 2022 10:44 PM # 
I am so sorry to hear the news about Dick Adams. He was very instrumental as President of USOF (now OUSA) in the early years of development of orienteering in the US.

I have a memory of him at the 1976 World Orienteering Championships (WOC) in Aviemore, Scotland. The day before the Relay, Dick sprained his ankle badly. There was no way he could run the next day. What a disappointment it would be to the other three members of the US Men's Team if they couldn't go out!

So Dick was put in as the fourth or anchor leg of the team after Peter Gagarin, George Tuthill, and Dick Hawkins (Can't remember if that was the correct order.) The mass start occurred, with the second and third leg runners subsequently going out. Then when our third leg came in, there was Dick standing in the transition zone, with his USA O-suit on, waiting for the tag. Never mind that his foot was in a huge plaster cast!

He received the tag, grabbed his map, hobbled across the open area, and disappeared into the woods, to the cheers of all present. Never mind if he returned shortly thereafter, checking in at the finish for the team as DNF. He had done his best, and the others had gotten to run.
Sep 15, 2022 11:13 PM # 
Sharon, that's a great memory!
I don't know if I ever met Dick, but I certainly heard about him. Sad to hear of his death.
Sep 16, 2022 12:53 AM # 
Thank you for posting. Of course in the 1970s I knew Dick and the rest of the US Marine, Military and National teams. It was hard to not envy how the Marines had so much time to devote to orienteering and physical training. There were a few we could tempt from the straight and narrow but not Dick. He was all business and was an inspired choice for USOF (O-USA) when he became president.
In the decades since the 70's I sometimes wondered what had become of Kip and Ned and Thom and Jerry and Dick and Bob and the others and one time somewhere Dick was entered in the same event and the same class as me but he DNS'd. We did not meet up. So it was very fascinating to read about the last 50 years of Dicks life, how he became a 'double doctor' and in doing so had lead a very full and rewarding life. The slide show accompanying the notce certainly reinforced that impression. Thank you for sharing. Neat story, Sharon.
Sep 16, 2022 1:08 AM # 
Thank you, Bill, for the news about Dick. He was a really fine person. I think the last I saw him was in the late '70s. I didn't know he had continued with orienteering. I'm sure that for him, as for many of us old-timers, it brought him a lot of pleasure and, in helping with the sport, a sense of connection. As I said, he was really fine person. And so nice to see the photo -- these many years later, he looks just the way I remember him (except for the uniform, that is).

I first met Dick at an A meet in Athens, Ohio, in the spring of 1973, and saw him frequently during the 70s, especially in Scotland for the 1976 World Championships, where he was both team member and team leader. We were there for the better part of two weeks and he had done all the organizing. He was a natural leader, one of a bunch of Marine officers who contributed greatly to USOF in its early years.

To Sharon's story of the WOC relay I would just make a slight change -- Bob Turbyfill ran first, I was second, Dick Hawkins third. (Some years ago I wrote a story about that day.)
Sep 16, 2022 8:34 PM # 
Thank you, Peter, for setting my memory straight. Of course it was Bob Turbyfill, not George Tuthill, who went out first, followed by Peter Gagarin, Dick Hawkins, and then Dick Adams. I apologize to Turby, who had also been on the very first USA Team (men only) at the previous 1974 WOC in Denmark, along with Dick Adams, Don Davis, Kip Sturdevan, and Thom Keene.

George Tuthill (along with wife Jenny) was on the subsequent USA WOC Team in 1978 in Kongsberg, Norway (along with Dick Adams, Dennis Holloran, Peter Gagarin, and Steve Tarry.)
Sep 17, 2022 2:42 PM # 
I don't think I ever met Dick, but it's always interesting to hear about the early years of USOF and especially the early national teams. Looks like there are several O-photos in the photo montage video on the memorial link. Might be some other recognizable folks in these. In particular at time marks: 00:36, 4:17, 5:45, 6:05, 7:55, 8:12, 10:30. Apologies if I miss-identified any of these. Maybe Gord, PG and Sharon recognize some of the people and locations in the photos.
Sep 17, 2022 4:02 PM # 
Coming into the picture a hair later than the above memories, my main memory of Dick is of him presenting the results of his physio training research (dissertation?), probably at a USOF convention.

The main subject was interval training, and the relationship of recovery time to the length of the interval, and the resulting benefit to endurance performance.
Not surprisingly, the shorter the interval, the more critical, and shorter, was the optimal recovery time.

I certainly don't remember the details, but my main takeaway was that after the approx 4-5 minute interval length, the recovery time didn't matter much, a practical concept that I applied throughout my training.
Any trace of his research still around?
Sep 19, 2022 2:35 PM # 
When Dick was at BU, he was a member of NEOC. I met him when I volunteered to work at NEOC's A meet, I think in 1982 at Powissett Peak (I was assigned parking!). We had a big meeting of all the workers, probably at Dick's house a few weeks before the event. I was impressed by the organization and work that Dick oversaw as Meet director. I never saw him much in the woods, but I know he was a formidable competitor to which I aspired.

This discussion thread is closed.