May 15-17, 2020 Garnsey Park

Mission accomplished. With help from Phil Hawkes-Teeter I finished a map of a new municipal park. Without a deadline somehow such tasks never get done, because of the desire for detail andperfection. The deadline of an event using the resulting map is a great incentive. Conducting even a local athletic event within the Center of Disease Control guidance is a challenge. In all we had 23 registered: 20 on line and 3 by mail; 18 finished (one of whom is a welcome ringer here from out of state because he can’t go home); a couple of newbies, who, with a “normal meet”, we would have convinced to do a white course; and this guy whose mother took a time stamped photo of him at each control. He finished the Orange in under an hour! [He also loves to XC Ski!]

Spacing competitors out by at least 30 minutes assured that we were not overloading the venue with people. Although too many registrants asked for Saturday mid day. Some adjustments had to be made.

I think the weekend went well.Two things I would do differently:
• I would not try to make the last control on each course so hard to find. As it turned out I saw a new footpath cut into the
“end of the ditch”. Where this footpath met the main perimeter trail would have been an excellent last control. Easy enough for novices to find and indistinct enough so the advanced have to think about it.
• I would not worry about a refreshment stop. Concern about sanitizing and refreshing it daily shouldn’t be required for a sprint event. But about a dozen water bottles were used, more than a dozen granola bars were consumed, and all the fruit roll ups are gone. The sanitary wipes were a good idea; were used, and nobody left debris/litter.

And five questions remain:
• There are at least three heavy iron fence posts out in the eastern panhandle that could make a catching feature, but where are they?
• How much of the light green (slow walk) should be changed to dark green (fight vegetation)?
• Is the 10 acres of adjoining Saratoga Plan property to the north worth adding to the map or is it more brush and wet land similar to the eastern panhandle of the existing map?
• When can I incorporate map tweaks suggested by participants?
• Can we do a ski orienteering event here?

Results. Several competitors provided interval times. I will post more complete results on

Tristan Smith 1:14:40
Doug Swank 1:29:15
Grant Staats 1:34:30
David Hartnett 2:30:00
Jeremy Colgan DNS
Gabor Bobok DNS
Robert Lange 1:04:33
Phil Hawkes-Teeter 1:09:54
Tyler Koziol 1:11:00
Sue Hawkes-Teeter 1:13:05
Bruce Shenker 1:15:44
Borton Group 2:43:00
Turnock Team 0:45:00
Amy Conway Bagnato 0:40:16
Miller Group Z 1:02:00
Team O’Grady 1:26:00
Miller Group M 1:48:00
Alison Barnes DNS
Carrie Buetow 0:39:00
Francesca Cowdrey 0:42:00
Nina Swank 0:56:00
Joanie Kraft DNF
Nolan Gillooley DNS

Clean Up? The ribbons/controls are all out there still, so the window for someone else to try it is still there. I did pick up the refreshment stop, because I am sick of sanitizing and refreshing it every morning. In fact I may not get out to pick up the controls until
Wednesday afternoon. At that point I am going to pick up as though I were doing the RED course just to see how long it would take a senior beyond his prime.
Seems like everyone who did it had a good time, enjoyed the birds (including a male turkey at 45), and the wild apple and other trees in full bloom. The mud has dried up somewhat although the light rain this morning will slosh things up again. Financially the
Empire Orienteering Club (EMPO) gained a couple of new members and several membership renewals and $125 in entry fee. But that will be fleshed out in a detailed report to our treasurer when we receive payment from the on-line registration folks.
Thanks to the Town of Clifton Park for permitting us to do this within the framework of the current pandemic. Thanks to Bill Jameson a former EMPO member who inspired me to do the map. Thanks to all my Bill Koch Youth Ski League families for rounding out a broad demographic of participants. Also thanks to my wife Barb who rolled her eyes every time over the last few weeks when I said, “I’m going up to Garnsey Park for an hour.”

Eric Hamilton, Meet Director