Major Championships Near Home
This year the "Main Events" are in the Northeast. First the North
American Orienteering Championships will be held in Harriman State
Park, in the Hudson Highlands just below West Point.
Simply put, this is always a fine event, and we can expect a major
effort by our Canadian neighbors to break the long running string of
the host country always winning the Continental Title. Having just
returned from the Canadian Championships at Fundy National Park in New
Brunswick, I can tell you that the Way-Up North Orienteers (WUNO, not
UNO) are more than ready to knock us off. We pretty much had our
clocks cleaned in quite a lot of categories. But you know where we
still excel? In the younger and mid-life-crisis categories. And for
the Continental title, all categories count, not just the Elites. So
think about making this your one big trip in the Fall, and contribute
your efforts towards putting the US back on top. Plus, the lower
Hudson Valley is beautiful at the end of October (a bit past peak
foliage colors, but very colorful and OPEN woods for running). As the
Schedule shows, there are some
mid-week events after the North Americans, of which one is also quite
close by, in Connecticut. If you can manage a day off from work and/or
school, this should be another high class event.
But after all that, the big enchilada comes along with the US
Championships at the start of November (my favorite month; of course,
besides great O-ing it happens to include my birthday, along with two
national holidays, and one more for NY State workers). The North
Americans will draw a lot of Canadians down, but the US Champs will
draw even more folks from the Mid-West and West Coast. It's a little
further down to the Delaware Valley than it is to the Hudson Valley,
but it's still easily doable after work Friday evening (if not very
early Saturday morning). I'm particularly partial to this setup
because my greatest orienteering success was finishing "in the money"
in 3rd at the US Champs held by DVOA in 1993. I've finished 2nd in
both the US Short-O and US Long-O since then, but never done better
than 4th in the true US Champs again. So come on down, and help EMPO
put some more numbers up on the leader board.
Speaking of EMPO, our own schedule has a number of fine venues lined
up for this season. We are trying to continue our move to "everything
on a color map" by updating the map of Five Rivers Environmental
Center for the first meet in September. We never managed to work out
the "Middle School Championships" aspect of it, but bring all your
School kids, Scouts, Grandparents, toddlers, et al, anyway. No one can
get lost at Five Rivers, no matter how hard they try. But fortunately
the map update has added some new territory and some new features,
which should allow for a fuller range of courses than we have tried on
the last few outings there.
Probably the Club's best map is Grafton Lakes. A few years back part
of the map was ruined for us when the land was logged, but all the
critical area around the lakes themselves is still great for running,
and wonderfully well mapped. If you've been there you know just how
good this can be; and if you haven't, you owe to yourself and your
near-and-dear to get out there. Columbus Day in Grafton should be
spectacularly beautiful, so if you don't have it as a Holiday, plan
now and TAKE THE DAY OFF! Our Columbus Day treat two years ago brought
a lot of neighboring club members (CNYO & NEOC), so come join the fun.
Finally, we have the Club Champs in November in Niskayuna. It's
usually fast going there, though we have had a couple of US Champions
fail to even finish, proving once again that "on any given Sunday?"
Look forward to seeing you here, and all season long.