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Discussion: 2014 U.S. Rogaine Championships results

in: U.S. Rogaine Championships;

Sep 8, 2014 2:53 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Get Lost!! is proud to have brought you a safe and fair event, its second 24-hour rogaine and third navigation race of 24+ hour duration. Each and every checkpoint was deemed fair and unambiguous, the map elicited no complaints, and navigation was quite technical. No dead trees or halogenated water were observed. Food was plentiful, with a choice of proteins and carbs at most times; the service culminated with free-range organic eggs for breakfast, complemented with pasta and a choice of pastries. Water stops were adequate and had water at all times. No injuries were reported, although several cases of heat exhaustion were seen, each one resolving before the participant left the site. Search or rescue operations were not performed.

Views of the desert hills were amazing, and night navigation was possible under a full moon without a headlamp. Terrain was friendly and mostly fast. Accurate and complete results were published when the last team finished, and a dignified award ceremony was held on time.

Top North American rogainers were present, although they chose not to contest the 24-hour division, perhaps due to incomplete recovery from the 2014 WRC, and focusing instead on the 8-hour division. Members of Teams MUV and Nightcrawlers each took home four Orienteering USA Championship medals for their performance in the 24-hour Open, Masters, Supervets, and Ultravets categories. These members: V. Glen Brake Jr. and Bud Laird; Eric and Mary Smith; as well as Peter Graube and Daniel Engovatov; and Brad and Yvonne P. Poe prequalified for the 2015 World Rogaining Championships in Finland.

These are the complete 24-hour results:

1. Offwidth:                       1190  1MO, 1MV

Peter Graube, Daniel Engovatov
2. MUV: 940 2MO, 2MV, 1MSV, 1MUV
V. Glen Brake Jr., Bud Laird
3. Team Tubac: 640 1XO, 1XV
Brad and Yvonne P. Poe
4. Nightcrawlers: 610 2XO, 2XV, 1XSV, 1XUV
Eric and Mary Smith
5. HalFastAsleep: 510 3XO, 3XV, 2XSV
Sue Kuestner, Gavin Wyatt-Mair


Detailed splits and routes, as well as results of the shorter events held concurrently, will be published tomorrow.

Those who came to the event seemed to greatly enjoy it despite the challenging afternoon heat. Those who weren't there, weren't there. Our next year's schedule includes another bid for U.S. Rogaine Championships, on the same September weekend after Labor Day. The event is planned at Henry W. Coe State Park in the southern reaches of the Bay Area, and the map is to Eurostandard. Our schedule for 2015 also includes the second-ever Adventure Trex, a point-to-point two-day stage race, on the November weekend of daylight time change, to be held in northern California redwoods. And our next plans for Panoche Hills include the third Adventure Trex in 2016.

Oh, and those target shooters? As expected through planning and outreach, no teams reported seeing any on the course, and almost all reported never hearing gunshots. Many thanks to those who expressed their concerns in advance of the event.
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Sep 8, 2014 3:42 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Here is the competition map. Mapped roads through private property were legal for travel.
Sep 8, 2014 4:23 AM # 
KyleRPeter:
Here is a playback of Andrew, TK, Galen & H., Thomas and friend, and me for the 8 hour...

http://labs.strava.com/flyby/viewer/#190907496,9dh...
Sep 8, 2014 4:46 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Very entertaining, Kyle! many thanks!
Sep 8, 2014 2:58 PM # 
sherpes:
Those who weren't there, weren't there.

that sounds almost Rumsfeldian...
Sep 9, 2014 4:55 AM # 
Offwidth:
That was a lot of fun, and thank you for organizing it. Excellent terrain, and night navigation could not be more enjoyable. Absolutely amazing experience.
And thanks to all the actually fast people for spending time at home, as now I can brag to my kids with two gold medals. :) Your loss.
Sep 9, 2014 5:47 AM # 
Offwidth:
P.S.. I think map would be nicer if printed at 1:20000 with no shading.
P.P.S. I think we should get away from the "rogaining" term; it is impossible to explain to anybody, it gets confused with hair loss drug, and just sounds too geeky to be popular. Lets call it navigation racing (as different from orienteering).
Sep 9, 2014 5:59 AM # 
buzzard:
great job, offwidth - it took a combo of skill, endurance, and careful attention to keep partners out of heat exhaustion. managing the heat effects on the team was critical strategy. we went through our first five liters each just before the first planned water stop, and dealt with my nearing heat exhaustion well enough to get back on my feet as the sun went down (allowing me to move away from the patch of shade at the cattle trough).

we never even saw you on the course, you really navigated well and kept yourselves productive, way ahead of us.

ultra technical area, very accurate map. IOF regs and IRF regs differ slightly on map scale, IOF states it should "usually" be at least 1/24,000, IRF requires it. since this is the only event in north america this year to pre qualify competitors for the WRC in Finland, i would say that T/D was in good form to stay within the IRF rule set.

fantastic night, no trees and near full moon, navigating some of the time with no artificial light at all. super event.
Sep 9, 2014 6:32 AM # 
tRicky:
What were the controls hiding behind if there were no trees?

Is 1:20,000 just wishful thinking? The rogaine rules I've seen say it can be anywhere between 1:24,000 to 1:51,000 or thereabouts (ours are generally 1:50,000 or 1:25,000 for 6hr events whereas our eastern counterparts tend to use 1:33,333).
Sep 9, 2014 6:54 AM # 
Offwidth:
Yes, wishful thinking. I was more commenting on shading. Very nice map as far as detail accuracy and fun, but a bit busy.

Controls had not been hiding. They had been exactly where indicated. Plenty of opportunities to get lost there without any silly tricks.
Sep 9, 2014 1:19 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
So the 1:30k choice was mostly because of printing cost limitations. At 1:25k it would be three pages, and with 29 participants, we had to count every penny. (No, we didn't print on a single sheet although we all know it's ghetto to have multiple pages and that there are plenty of technologies to print on a single page. See cost limitations.)

I personally like the shaded relief, and Daniel's comment is the first one I hear about its detriments. When I stand back from the map, the shading allows me to see the general shape of the terrain better, to discern the three or four major ridges and the dominating hills. We could have easily done the same USGS map without the shaded relief, and since Esri's shaded-relief layer data seems offline, that's perhaps the way we'll go in the future. And indeed we'll use unmodified USGS in the future for our first uses of large areas—the cost of making a lidar-based map from scratch is too high even where lidar is available.

Henry Coe's lidar effort has already been done and it will not be a first use of the map next year, but you will certainly see some new areas. We'll most likely print at 1:25k, no hill shading, on a single sheet if revenue allows.
Sep 9, 2014 1:38 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
A very small number of pictures have been posted.
Sep 9, 2014 3:52 PM # 
Offwidth:
I actually liked two sheets. As they both were in a map protector case, it was easy to flip, and they had enough overlap so as not to require flipping on a single leg, and it was easier to handle than one gigantic map requiring refolding.

My comment on shading was due to me, with pretty good night vision, having some trouble seeing minor features with a bright headlamp, reflective protector and kicked up dust in the air: additional contrast, or contours in lighter color would have been helpful. Not sure how easy (and cheap) it is to assemble the image from those layers. Not a real complaint, map was quite accurate, and had that hand drawn creative feel to it. And not more of unmapped roads than it was at the Worlds in Dakota, probably less (it was either shown or not, not just small part of it shown as it was there). If one gets lost on Panoche map, it is his fault.

Coe map is pretty much perfect IMHO and I prefer its vegetation color scheme.
Sep 9, 2014 4:45 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
We plan to do pretty much the same schedule at Coe. 4-hour division participants will be done before the worst heat, 8-hour people will have to deal with it, and 24-hour people should be smart enough to know what they are doing.

We also plan on setting up the remote aid. Perhaps the same restaurant schedule as this year, the main start/finish will be unattended while the remote aid is running through the night. This year's high at Coe for the first weekend of September was 82 F/+28 °C. Next year's event will be on that first weekend (CORRECTION: It is indeed the Labor Day weekend, not the one after it). It will still be warm, but not as warm as at Panoche, and there will be shade.
Sep 9, 2014 5:14 PM # 
bill_l:
Sounds great, wish I could have participated!

On the map, what's the green area?

On the screen I like the shading. Don't know how I'd feel about it at night.
Sep 9, 2014 6:04 PM # 
eldersmith:
I don't know why the attendance was so low at Panoche Hills, but it does seem a waste to have had so few people take advantage of such a well organized event at such an interesting venue. Was it just too near in time to WRC? Price too high (by price meaning price including travel for people coming from a distance, but maybe mostly entry fees for locals)? Conflicts with other events such as adventure races either this weekend or within a couple of weeks? Concerns about heat at this time of year? Events too clustered timewise or spatially in the US and Canada this year, with 4 of the 5 standard 24-hour rogaines this year being in the "west" (at least from an east coast perspective) and all within about a 3 month total timespan? Not enough advertising, or not early enough advertising, or advertising in the wrong places? Other reasons? It might be useful for rogaine organizers in general to know why people who often attend more than one rogaine a year happened to skip this year's US Champs. Maybe something can be done to help the sport grow, rather than wither away!

Related to the mapping comments: I suspect the shading is somewhat a matter of personal preference, and perhaps experience in using it. I personally don't like the relief shading much, because of a loss of contrast between the white background and the contour lines--I just find it a lot harder to sort out the contour lines, especially in the early evening and early morning hours, but to some extent all during the night hours with the headlamp for the map reading. I've had more of a problem with it on maps with light green or yellow shading on them for vegetation, since during the night I have occasionally mistaken the relief shading for one of the vegetation colors, with sometimes unpleasant consequences.

I don't know if the graphical data came in a form that was in a separable layer from the UTM grid, but I would have been a lot happier without the presence of that other grid sitting there at about a 10 or 12 degree offset (and with a much closer line spacing, so that at a random spot on the map it was more likely to end up lining up the compass needle on the wrong one. In this very open area, it was often very convenient to check on location by looking at the bearing to a distinctive point at some distance over on the next ridgeline, or perhaps at a big bend in a reentrant. It turned out to be less useful to us in a couple of cases where we got caught out by the extra grid during the first few hours of the event (by later on we were double and triple checking which grid line we were using). I didn't really see the point of this extra grid unless one were setting up a different style of event in which GPS use was explicitly allowed.

Again, I'm not sure how separable the information was in the source data, but it would have been nicer for me if the contour lines could have been in brown rather than the same black used for tracks or roads, since there were several tracks (generally the single dashed line ones) that would have been more useful to us if we had noticed them on the map (or at least noticed them sooner), where the background of black contour lines tended to camouflage them. Again this may have mostly been a problem for older eyes, but the (disappointingly small) turnout for the 24-hour hour version of the event turned out to be largely on the over-45 side (although this might likely not have been anticipated at the time of making the map).

The weather was a lot hotter than we were able to perform well in, but we knew before the event that this was likely to be the case. It was nonetheless a trip that was well worth taking, as we also knew was likely to be the case after having attended two other previous 24-hour or longer events that Vladimir has put on. The area was very interesting, and in its own way quite beautiful. The course was very challenging, not just physically because of the heat, but because of the rather intricate contour detail. The overall scale of features on western US and Canadian maps is so different from what we normally experience in the northeast that we still seem to be having a lot of trouble making correct interpretation of features on these maps with contour intervals ranging from 10 to 30 meters. This time, however, we at least seemed to finally be getting much better in tune with the map for the last eight hours of the excursion. I hope this will carry on into future forays out west, both in events such as recent ones in Washington and California where the contour information has been very accurate, but just on a different scale from what we are used to seeing, and in other rogaines where the actual map is provided on a rather more generalized level but we have in the past still suffered from not really ever becoming very comfortable with the map because of the displacement of the vertical scale from what we are used to working with!
Sep 9, 2014 6:42 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
There were three "extra grids" at the (negative) 12-degree offset from magnetic. Two of them (sectionals and a kilometer grid) are inseparable from the source data. The third (blue lines) was added by us, and it is exactly the NAD83 UTM grid. It's in blue to tell it from the other two. The goal is to have some kind of kilometer grid in order to be able to easily estimate distances. If it has to be there, we may as well make it a UTM grid. North lines (not a grid, only vertical lines) were spaced one mile apart, and also provided a sense of scale.

Indeed the goal is to use a standard symbol set and a Eurostandard map, but given the attendance and the budget, all we had money for was to use an off-the-shelf USGS. As I mentioned, given the finances, things will stay this way in the future—first uses of a large area will use USGS. Making the lidar-based, OCAD-drafted Henry Coe map almost killed us financially. But it's there to be used next year!

In regards to "clustered events", we picked time slots for our events after a very long consideration. We intend to keep these events in these slots: first weekend of September and, in the future, second weekend of January for 24-hour navigation races (OK I'll bite); and the November weekend of time change for the Adventure Trex point-to-point race. This scheduling has been highly optimized against known conflicts and no further optimization is possible.
Sep 9, 2014 6:51 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
The yucky-green area is the extent of the impact area of target shooters' bullets, with some margin, using known legal firearm types and all known shooter positions. Participants were strongly advised not to enter it until dark.
Sep 10, 2014 12:43 AM # 
kadley:
Sorry not to have attended -- still in rehab from leg injury. Got to agree with Eric looking at the map. There's too many lines. I'd rather see a blue one km grid at magnetic N, no UTM and no black mile mag N lines. The others I understand you're stuck with. Altogether a fine map as usual.
Sep 10, 2014 11:53 PM # 
Tooms:
29 participants - what was the entry fee? And I understand the event was more of an 'investment' or showcase for a future better attended evdnt(s).
Sep 11, 2014 12:37 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Fees are on the webpage under "Entry and Registration".
Sep 11, 2014 12:57 AM # 
tRicky:
Tooms can't be bothered following links.

Tooms, it was like a thousand dollars per team or something, or if you can understand the below:

24-hour events Individual Team
Enter and pay on or before Tuesday 05 August $139.00 $269.00
Enter and pay on or before Monday 18 August $159.00 $309.00
Enter and pay on or before Monday 25 August $179.00 $349.00
Enter and pay on or after Tuesday 26 August $209.00 $409.00

I imagine the high price was for the bonus opportunity to get shot on course.
Sep 11, 2014 1:09 AM # 
Offwidth:
WTF are you talking about? What thousand dollars? It was $269 for our team (same for any size of team), or $135 out of my pocket, and we have not heard a single shot or been in any area that had ever seen any such activity, plus it is trivial to see people in an open area. Unlike active hunting forests were competitions are regularly scheduled. And Panoche hills are visited by normal, law abiding people, not armed marijuana growers in Sierra Nevada or local foothills where many adventure races happened.
You are more likely to get shot in Oakland during some street scramble.

No speeding ATVs, or barbed wire hidden in grass, or rockfall, or tweekers, or noxious fumes, or snakes, or poison oak, or buffaloes, or roaming idiots of any kind either. Last one somewhat debatable, but anyway...
Sep 11, 2014 1:56 AM # 
jjcote:
He was translating to Australian dollars.
Sep 11, 2014 2:11 AM # 
tRicky:
Forgot to put my post through the Aus->US translation service to cut out the gibe for the locals.
Sep 11, 2014 2:46 AM # 
afsheen:
Gibe? Is that a real English word?
Sep 11, 2014 3:21 AM # 
tRicky:
Now I don't know if you're gibing me or not.
Sep 11, 2014 4:36 AM # 
jennycas:
On the one hand, $140/head is twice as expensive (in raw dollars) as the last 24-hour rogaine I did in South Australia, and I'd certainly refuse to pay that amount at a state level event.

On the other hand...29 participants? That's less than 15 teams. We'd cancel an event with such low entries, for sure. How can you possibly hope to recoup your costs no matter what you charge?
Sep 11, 2014 5:01 AM # 
Offwidth:
It is California. Everything is twice as expensive.

Have you seen prices on those mud wallowing events?

I think it is cheap for a full day of quality entertainment. Three weeks back I paid $800 in entry, air fair, rental and motel for a trip to South Dakota, which frankly did not have notably better production values despite ten times the crowd.

And big thanks and props to Vladimir for not canceling. I hope good karma will pay off to him.
Sep 11, 2014 5:17 AM # 
tRicky:
Yeah but you added on all your incidentals for that trip. I might as well just say the last rogaine I did cost me $28,000 in mortgage payments because I had to live somewhere in the lead up.

Our rogaines are $35 per head but then we have many more people doing them and we've been doing them for a long time so it's possible to get the costs down. At that cost we get all the social participants to come. If ours were twice the price, we'd lose many participants and events would only cater for the 'elite' crowd.
Sep 11, 2014 5:17 AM # 
buzzard:
tRicky and jennycas: without malice or intent, you are demonstrating a lack of understanding of how things are done outside your own part of the world. Australians sometimes describe themselves as "straight talkers" who may present to others as speaking too bluntly or "out of turn". Having been to your country, i have to say that i did not find this to be true - people down under were pleasant, cooperative, enthusiastic, and outgoing. differences of opinion were expressed, but in a non confrontational manner.

there are very good reasons why an event would be held despite low enrollment in our country. you may not know what they are, but rather than dialogue on a (tRicky) inability to do basic math, or a (jennycas) comparison to "how we do it here" , i would suggest that you reflect a bit on how the world is a very diverse place, and different is not wrong.

T/D put on an excellent event, without expectation of covering costs, and with commitment to support those who wished to participate and had already purchased non refundable airfare and hotel costs. the attendees included several of the top USA competitors and three of the OUSA rogaining committee members were present. Besides the WRC, it was the only event held in North America this year prequalifying for the Finland WRC. We are a large country, but the statistics for rogaining here are roughly 1 in 1 million citizens participate in the sport (250 - 500 out of almost 400 million). low enrollment in events here does not mean the same thing that it does in Australia, and cost comparisons across continents is probably meaningless.

This isn't Australia. your comments are often interesting and informative, but put a little thought into your audience and how you present, many thanks.
Sep 11, 2014 5:22 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
No, we are not canceling a national Championship. People got qualified for the 2015 WRC who otherwise didn't, and medals got awarded. We are proud of delivering consistent quality.

Our pricing is par with Seattle and Quebec. Some other organizations have a lower cost structure because, for example, permits are $50 and gasoline for course-setting trips is donated by volunteers. We don't enjoy this luxury. We are a nonprofit, but our members and directors cannot subsidize the recreation of others in the long run.

Final results are posted. Splits, route analysis, and photos are coming soon!
Sep 11, 2014 5:23 AM # 
tRicky:
Mother Buzzard - you missed my attempt at basic sarcasm in my costing post (I stick the word 'like' in front of anything when I'm like totally not being serious, just as a mockery to people who use it constantly).

I'm not bad mouthing T/D - I think it's great that someone would willingly sacrifice time, effort and money to bring new sports to the States. It's just comparably it seems very high priced but then you have to start somewhere. I have no idea how much rogaines cost in West Aus 'back in the day' becuase I was not around but due to economies of scale and the fact we had so many keen and enthusiastic people (volunteers) to support it, we've managed to put on so many successful and low cost events. I hope that one day all of T/D's efforts may produce similar results because it's a great sport that many more people should get involved in.

Oh, we also don't have to pay for forestry permits so I imagine that is a huge factor in the lower prices.
Sep 11, 2014 5:41 AM # 
buzzard:
tRicky, perhaps sarcasm is not the best approach.

In Sydney, I paid $7 for a Starbucks that cost $3.95 in the USA. It was a good drink. It seemed like Australians were paying way too much for it, but the realities of foreign interest licensing, transportation, tax differences, and market opportunity impact on profit margins makes it unreasonable to compare Starbucks to Starbucks.

Hopefully I am not stifling your or jennycas's contributions (unlikely that you would be stifled), I am just trynig to advocate for some understanding between continents.

thank you for recognizing T/D's efforts, without leaders like this, the sport will not develop. the development will be different, look different, and end up different than in other parts of the world, that is what I am trying to convey, with limited skillfulness.
Sep 11, 2014 5:53 AM # 
jennycas:
Although there are many of us who, just because we like orienteering/rogaining so much, would put on an event almost even if we were the only ones who turned up, admittedly in Australia we do have the luxury of an economy of scale when it comes to rogaining.

Therefore I am curious as to what is considered the break-even point in a US rogaine, because I have been watching numerous discussion threads about what I, from an Australian perspective, consider to be low numbers and high prices - over a number of years now.
Sep 11, 2014 6:24 AM # 
buzzard:
i don't know the figures on that, perhaps somebody can share. We get a big break on our liability insurance, courtesy of the support from Orienteering USA. But, we have per cap levies, permit fees, access fees ($2 per person at WRC due to a single trail fee), vehicle access fees, printing costs, food, rental SIcard/ download units/shipping or transport costs of control flags/stands/tents/, botttled water or container rental - the list of costs is extensive. Volunteers are hard to get. I think that fewer than five peoplewere involved in putting on the recent event.

sponsers help defray some of the costs. I don't know if Australia has the same situation as we do, but some states here have simply outrageous fees for setting foot on public lands. a planned event in a nearby state did not happen because the government was going to require a per person fee that was as high as the total event fee that tRicky quoted for WA events.

every place is different.

at an event in Argentina a few years ago, my team had to come up with an additional $400 US in fees, in cash, at registration. wow. not planned. plus, the airline schedule change was not published, so we had to buy new tickets (almost $1200) to get home.

i don't know if there is any way to make reasonable cost comparisons across continents and cultures, but i do know that volunteers are the heart of the sport here.
Sep 11, 2014 6:37 AM # 
Offwidth:
This particular event was $40 for the 4 hour option, which was probably the only prudent choice for anybody new to the sport. Even many regulars got challenged in the afternoon. Cost of entry fee is most certainly not a barrier to entry at this level. You can not get any form of interesting weekend entertainment for less. Even sitting home munching on twinkies, it will take a lot of twinkies.
Sep 11, 2014 7:08 AM # 
tRicky:
Heh, I help organise (MTBO) events all the time that barely anyone turns up to! That's why it's good that every now and again (e.g. our recent rogaine) we do get the numbers and positive feedback to make it worthwhile.

I guess we are lucky here that we don't have to pay exorbitant park entry fees and we have plenty of places we can use but then there are others where it's like bashing your head against a wall to get approvals - I've been working on approvals for our next event for the past nine months with limited success.

p.s. paying any amount for coffee is paying too much.
Sep 11, 2014 7:20 AM # 
tRicky:
To be fair though, I can't even begin to imagine how much the WRC 2016 in Alice Springs (central Australia) is going to cost to participate. It is in a remote location and participants will have to shell out loads for airfares as well as entries to cover the cost of map data. I will still be there.
Sep 11, 2014 7:23 AM # 
shanel:
Oh tRicky, please be there with me ;) ... no MTBO that weekend?
Sep 11, 2014 7:52 AM # 
tRicky:
It's locked in. Don't know who I'm doing it with yet. Promise I won't clash the MTBO calendar.

Whose turn is it to get sick/injured on this one?
Sep 11, 2014 8:02 AM # 
tRicky:
Oh hell, you're not going to believe this:

World Rogaine Champs, Finland: 22-23 August, 2015
World MTBO Champs, Czech Republic: 14-23 August, 2015

World Rogaine Champs, Alice Springs (Aus): 23-24 July 2016
World MTBO Champs, Portugal: 24-30 July 2016

Who the f**k schedules these things? WMTBOC is NEVER in July, except when it needs to be to conflict with something else I really want to do.

(sorry for derailing the thread by the way; I blame Shane)
Sep 11, 2014 11:26 AM # 
blairtrewin:
Another thing which differs a fair bit across countries is that not only does event size give you economies of scale, but so does the number of events you run. Most of the Australian state rogaining bodies would run 5-10 events per year, whereas I get the impression that in North America few clubs/other organisations would run more than one. That gives you more events to defray your organisational fixed costs across; I also imagine, though I've never been involved in rogaining administration, that there is a certain amount of cross-subsidy between events, as some events (e.g. shortish metropolitan events) are relatively cheap to run.
Sep 11, 2014 1:59 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Well, we had to kill (postpone?) our metropolitan events because there was no way they were paying for themselves. Wilderness events are close to break-even, but we didn't feel that we were offering a quality product without an indoor assembly location, and those cost money, at SF Bay Area market rental rates. And the bigger the crowd, the larger the needed space, and so there is not really an economy of scale. And as people balked at paying what was a $25 average entry fee, most of which went to venue rental, we stopped.
Sep 11, 2014 2:16 PM # 
tRicky:
An indoor assembly, for an outdoor sport? I don't understand.
Sep 11, 2014 2:22 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
We have rain in San Francisco, and when we don't have rain, we have wind. We aren't allowed to set up canopies at most of our urban locations. And staging out of a parking lot is ghetto, as they say. An indoor location gives people a chance to plan their routes alongside everyone else, and to enjoy their post-race snacks alongside everyone else.
Sep 11, 2014 3:15 PM # 
sherpes:
To save on the indoor rental, you could make an alliance with a large eatery/brewery, like most of these commercial urban races do. Free space, owner gets a load of customers on an otherwise very quiet Sunday morning.
Sep 11, 2014 3:19 PM # 
buzzard:
quote from Mark Twain - "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco". indoor venue is necessary.
Sep 11, 2014 5:39 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
You know, we like to snottily think we are a bit ahead of the rest in California, and often hard evidence shows that we indeed are. It's hard to run a business in California; things are very competitive. If you have a "large eatery/brewery" and you have free space just sitting around with no use, you will probably go bankrupt shortly, because your competitors are utilizing that space and it helps their margins. Those large eateries serve breakfast on Sundays, they have hired an expensive breakfast chef so that space wouldn't sit idle, and would certainly rather not have their paying guests disturbed. Smaller eateries can indeed be available, but come with all sorts of strings attached, most importantly that they are small.

Those "commercial urban races" in our area use one of a very small number of locations, like a local chain of sporting-good stores that were designed with accommodating races and social gatherings in mind. We use these, too, and these are the only free spaces we get. If we limit ourselves to these venues, we are left with two or three Street Scramble areas out of 13 or so we developed in the past four years.

Suggestions are of course welcome, but it's not like we haven't had experience dealing with things.
Sep 11, 2014 7:03 PM # 
Pink Socks:
We aren't allowed to set up canopies at most of our urban locations.

Interesting. Are these locations public and have regulations against this?

Many Street Scrambles in Seattle have indoor assembly spaces, such as churches or community centers. But others have completely outdoor assembly areas. Fremont, Gig Harbor, and U-District come to mind, and all have been multi-year venues, and in late September, May, and April respectively, so not guaranteed to have dry weather. All of those have had canopies, though (for registration tents, not for assembly underneath).

We had to kill (postpone?) our metropolitan events because there was no way they were paying for themselves...

These are the only free spaces we get. If we limit ourselves to these venues, we are left with two or three Street Scramble areas


2 or 3 is better than zero. I might approach these limitations by focusing on those few areas each year (better marketing, better user experience, better event status), and then add-in barebones events (minimal staging for start/finish) for the die-hards (ALL the orienteering!) who are the most price-balky.
Sep 11, 2014 8:08 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Yes indeed, so terraloco is proceeding with its events at the low-cost or free staging areas. These events serve some of the demand. Get Lost!!'s model is oriented towards a wholesome user experience on par with trail runs, which at this time cannot be offered in urban settings, only in wilderness ones.
Sep 13, 2014 2:11 AM # 
gruver:
The bare-bones style works well for urban rogaines around here (41 degrees south and a reputation for boisterous weather). I agree there's a different market for a premium experience, that's a different style on a different frequency.
Sep 13, 2014 2:33 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
The largest attendance groups at our urban events were these: First- and second-timers, non-orienteer regulars (who can further be subdivided into trail runners and rogainers, but the behavior of trail runners and rogainers is pretty much identical), and orienteers. Roughly 60%, 20%, 15%, with the remaining 5% being adventure racers and such.

Bare bones did not work and will not work for most first-timers because bare bones is not the state of the outdoor event market in California. People go to a trail run, they expect a shirt and a meal. People go to a novelty event where they flip fishes and do riddles, they expect a trophy and a beer. And, looking at another series in the area which is much more bare bones, I don't see many/any second-timers, and we saw at least some. Bare bones would work perfectly well for orienteers, and our regulars pretty much didn't care. So, by offering a bare-bones product, we'd perhaps produce sustainable series, but for a much smaller number of people than we did attract—perhaps half. This isn't and wasn't our mission.
Sep 22, 2014 4:45 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Well, sorry it took so long, but the splits are now posted, with links to route maps many thanks to Brian Moore. I still hope to get RouteGadget up, if only to figure out the non-Java interface before our other events. The delay was partly because I couldn't figure out how to export the splits from MeOS and ended up typing them from a screen (the screen output isn't copy/pasteable).

But the major reason for the delay is that I ended up with most of CP pickup myself, and a few are still out there. If you like pomegranates, I can match you up with a very scenic day hike; temperatures have now dipped into mid-80s!

This discussion thread is closed.