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SPRINT SERIES Yea or Nay
  • Topic created by Steve on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 11:16 am
    Steve Aronson (Steve)
    Steve
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    Although I have never been a fan of sprint races, I was in favor of this years Wednesday Night series in addition to our regular schedule. Now that it is over, I would like to see a discussion on it's future. Do you feel that we had a financial gain? Do you feel that we gained membership? Has the series depleted our supply of Event Directors and Course Setters? I realise that Nate and Sandy did most of the work, but what if they did one weekend event each? Were the competiters driving any distance to attend, or were they mostly local to the parks? Any less than 10 replies will be a disappointment to me, so pipe in your thoughts.
  • Reply by ErikEddy on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 12:29 pm
    Erik Eddy (ErikEddy)
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    yea. 

    It's a good summer format.  Vegetation and heat often make for less fun orienteering in the summer, unless you course set very well.  I enjoyed the fast orienteering and since it was on a weekday, it was a bonus.  I might not drive to run a yellow course on a Sunday but I'll take it on a Wednesday.  Norristown State Hospital was the highlight of the year for me.

    Now we are all prepared for Hawk Mountain and Penn State Berks sprints in November.

    Sandy/Nate wanted to do a weekday sprint series, not a standard weekend event, so I don't see how we lose ED/CS... we just gained 8 events.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Reply by DaveUrban on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 1:37 pm
    Dave Urban (DaveUrban)
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    Financial Gain to the club? -- I don't think that was a goal. Proceedes were to benefit US Team.
    New Members? -- This is not a "feel" response - we (DVOA) should be able to quanntify the numbers. 
  • Reply by kathyu on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 3:12 pm
    Kathy Urban (kathyu)
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    Yea. 8 x 2 sprints vs 2 Sunday events, count me in. But I know some club members are looking for a challenging long course. So they should step up and set courses. The typical weds meet had 25-35 unique entrants, most of whom ran both. It was generally the same people every time. They were also older and from not too far away. Many families are on the road at this time of year, and we were lucky with the weather. I did like the large scale map, and seeing a very familiar map from a new perspective. If my choice is sprints or nothing, I would vote for sprints. However, best would be a mix. But the course setter situation is problematical. Not every meet has to be 7 courses and require a dozen volunteers. KathyU
  • Reply by GlenT on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm
    Glen Tryson (GlenT)
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    Yea.  As Erik said, evening sprints are a great way to still do some orienteering in the heat and vegetation which summer brings.  And Sandy and Nate's idea to use the Series as a fund raiser for the US Team is a great way for the club to support the broader orienteering community (and directly benefit the club members who are also key members of the US Team).  I think we need to spread the load for next year's series so as not to burn out the organizers (I'm volunteering to course set for at least one of next year's events).  I'm not sure how far others came, but Janet and I drove roughly an hour each way for each event (we may not be typical). 
  • Reply by furlong47 on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 3:56 pm
    Julie Keim (furlong47)
    furlong47
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    I love the idea, but as someone who lives farther away and works on Wednesdays, this effectively meant that I did no orienteering all summer :( Could we maybe alternate them between weekday evenings and weekend days? I also don't like setting classic type courses but would be more inclined to set something for a sprint series, but obviously not if I can't get there to hang it. 
  • Reply by Sandy on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 5:16 pm
    Sandy Fillebrown (Sandy)
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    Be careful of setting up a false premise here.  If I hadn't been involved with the sprints I would not have done a regular event instead.  I did the short courses because I thought it would be fun and I wanted to support the US Team and weekday nights were more convenient for me so that's what I proposed and that's what I did.  

    If there hadn't been the Wednesday evening series, there is no guarantee that there would have been other events instead.

  • Reply by Steve on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 6:01 pm
    Steve Aronson (Steve)
    Steve
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    As a volunter operation, I would never turn down an offer, but as a club with limited resources I think it is vital that we all do what is best for the club. More volunteers would have made my comments moot. Anyway, the point of this thread is to encourage or discourage a repeat. So far I would say encourage. I also know that you considered doing a rogaine, which may have freed me up to do a regular event.
  • Reply by DaveUrban on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 6:12 pm
    Dave Urban (DaveUrban)
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    Yea!
  • Reply by scottthatcher on Fri Jul 21, 2017 at 6:56 am
    Scott Thatcher (scottthatcher)
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    YEA!  
    I think the sprint series was a great idea....  I would be willing to volunteer for at least one course setting / ED next summer and that would not deter me from setting a regular course in the normal seasons.   Although it was called "Sprint Series" it was a great introduction for beginners also.  One "white" Sprint should always be included for beginners  and the 2nd could be up to "Orange".  Similar lengths are ok also.   I tried to bring someone new everytime.  I always had to explain that its ok to hike it instead of running!   It also works good because a lot of people are busy on the weekends in the summer.

    Do it again!
  • Reply by camperpat on Fri Jul 21, 2017 at 8:05 am
    Pat Burton (camperpat)
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    We would have liked to attend the sprints  but unfortunately,  work schedules and rush hour traffic were our determinng  factor.   But,   we usually dont run in the summer  so we would not have attended a weekend event either unless it was below 90 degees out.  
  • Reply by dmorgan on Fri Jul 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm
    David Morgan (dmorgan)
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    Yea for the Wednesday night series and double yea to Sandy and Nate.  I spoke to at least two "new" folks that were excited about the series; particulalry, because it was a weekday evening and did not interupting their weekend schedule. Both took children on the course(s). I also liked this past Wednesday's "2" course which I thought was more orange then yellow.  Course "1" could be beginners and "2" all others.
  • Reply by Tom-O on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 4:39 pm
    Tom Overbaugh (Tom-O)
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    Count me as a huge Yea!

    Sprints are the  perfect format for summertime orienteering.  In the past, we've had (in my opinion) too many regular events in the summer when the woods and weather can be very unpleasant.  Thanks to Sandy and Nate for all the hard work.  I am willing to set courses for a sprint next summer if the series continues.
  • Reply by Vadim on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm
    Vadim Masalkov (Vadim)
    Vadim
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    Yes for the Sprints, we need them.

    As for the format, making one course "white" like and another "orange", I disagree. Sprints are sprints, quick, fast, easy navigation, change of direction, etc. It's fun to run them. If there is a need for White course, design it from existing sprint controls and add if necessary few into the mix, but do not change the format and idea of sprint courses.

    If time permits, I would love to set sprint courses next year, but I will know it only next year.
  • Reply by Len on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 9:11 pm
    Len Policelli (Len)
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    Orienteering? What's that?
    I dont miss may weekend events but I have only been out once in May and once in June. I would have loved to run some sprints but being on the north side of the Lehigh Valley, the dirve time after work was just not practical and there are other commitments. 
    If this is carried forward next year I would propose the venues be split to different locations (assuming volunteers are available)
    I dont mind regular courses in summer but I'm a bit unusual. I dont mind heat and I've been know to run a course with Crocs as footware :) 
  • Reply by LarryG on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 11:49 pm
    Larry Geist (LarryG)
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    I do prefer the cooler evenings to hot Summer days, but logistically, there were only a couple of the Wed sprints close enough to consider on a work day.  As it turned out, I didn't make either of those, so a sprint-less Summer for me.  Maybe next time.
  • Reply by yoyonateo on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm
    Nathan  Ohrwaschel (yoyonateo)
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    YES! I would say the series was a success.  It was a very enjoyable experience to set courses and organize an event on a Wednesday night.  After getting permissions and designing the courses.  It only took me about 3 to 4 hours to set all the controls and get everything ready for registration.  I will for sure be setting some sprints again next summer.  I may not do as many sprint events as I did this year but count me in to do 2 or 3 sprint events.  I would even provide support to anyone who is willing to put on a sprint event. 

     

    Big thanks go to all those who volunteered 30 minutes of their time to help pick up controls, cleaning up, processing results, and instructing beginners.  It’s amazing the amount of support I got week in and week out to help. 

     

    I do like the suggestion to do some of the sprints on a Saturday or Sunday morning.   I knew when I had the idea to do the series that not everyone would be willing to or able to attend all the events.  I was okay with this knowing that we have dedicated orienteers within the area that we set the courses.  Also, this was an experimental format that turned out to be a huge success and should be something the club aims to host every year. For future years, I hope more volunteers expand the series to other parts of DVOA Land such as the Lehigh Valley and NJ.  It’s not unrealistic to have an event in PA and an event in NJ on the same night.

     

    I am unfortunately unable to set many events on the weekends since I work two jobs and time is limited in my life.  Which is why I opted to set up events during the week.  This allowed me to work a half day and then go out and volunteer for the club in the afternoon.  I am very thankful of my new company for allowing me to organize these events and give me the time that was needed to make this commitment. 

     

    An example of a club that does a whole summer of sprint events that have become very popular is Orienteering Louisville ( http://olou.org/schedule.html  ).   This is essentially the club I got the idea from.  They started doing the sprint series about a year ago and now they are averaging 30 to 60 people at an event every Tuesday.  I think DVOA could get numbers north of 45 people per event to come out with a consistency of events throughout the summer.  It’s a lot of work for one person to do but as a club I believe we can host 12 to 16 summer events a year.   

  • Reply by polinkov on Mon Jul 31, 2017 at 7:01 pm
    Mark Polinkovsky (polinkov)
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    The Sprint Series is a great idea!  In Brisbane, Australia, they had a similar weeknight orienteering series around the city.  Also, the San Diego club has just started putting on a similar event.  It's nice because the planning and setting is easier than a traditional meet, and still gives people the chance to work on their running and fast map reading skills without the risk of messing up on a tough course in the middle of the woods.  Also, it's perfect for attracting new people to the club, because the orienteering is "easy" and the courses are short.  When there's no running into spiky bushes or getting lost in some ravine, beginners can focus on getting their fundamental skills down.  Maybe advertising at running stores, or as training for marathons/5k's would be good?
  • Reply by bobburg on Mon Aug 7, 2017 at 3:26 am
    Bob Burg (bobburg)
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    I love the basic premise.

    But it was very simple for me.  I work almost every Wed in Wilmington until after dark.  Even on the occasional Wednesday I'm not in DE, I've got a one to two hour drive to all of the venues....for a 25 minute course or two.

    Having the series always on one particular night is a convenient way for everyone to remember which night it is. But if someone has a weekly committment that night, that eliminates them.

    For health reasons, I was totally out of the loop from Easter Batsto through May, or I would have offered one evening on a map near Ft Washington I have yet to finish, but which will be ready (and perfect) for next year's series.

    A NJ venue would be nice, but I fear given the drive time in rush hour that we would have 11 people show up.  But more diversity would be great, e.g. Tyler State Park, Brandywine, etc.

    And then, personally, since summer temps do not affect me, I really miss regular summer events when I can run a full length course, still my favorite in ANY weather.  But I acknowledge I'm in a small minority on that one.

    Yet despite all this, I definitely vote "GO FOR IT!"  Anything that can bring people to summer events sounds great to me.  Just please consider not having every event on the same weekday evening....maybe a 4 Wed and 4 Tues series?  
  • Reply by Nancy on Sun Aug 13, 2017 at 12:17 pm
    Nancy Sharp (Nancy)
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    Back to Steve's question at the beginning of this thread: the summer sprints were not intended to gain new members nor to raise money for the club. 

    In discussing these events, we (a couple of folks who got together to talk about holes in the 2017 schedule) wanted to consider ways to get more people in the woods. 

    The sprint series was not intended as an "either-or" situation (Weekday vs. Sunday). We had no one volunteer to set courses for regular events on Sunday.

    We know summers can be difficult, both in the challenges the vegetation and temperatures present as well as the amount of time to pull off events. We were also looking for a format that could lend itself to training opportunities. A weeknight sprint event seemed ideal; we picked Wednesday just because it fell in the middle of the week (hump day). As far as location, we were looking for venues central to the core of the club's territory to attract the most people to come to the series. Lucky for the club, Sandy and Nate stepped up, with a little help from their friends. 

    In this post and previous discussions we've had people volunteer to run events next summer. Whether they choose sprints or more traditional format is up to them, as is the location of the park they want to use (with the caveat that we must get permission from the parks!).

    If you are interested in being a course setter for an event next summer, please let Ed Scott, our schedule coordinator, know, so that he can add you to the 2018 schedule.


  • Reply by KathleenG on Tue Aug 15, 2017 at 10:16 pm
    Kathleen Geist (KathleenG)
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    As Larry already said, work schedule and distance kept us from doing any of the sprints.  Just can't get there on a weeknight.  I don't have the option of taking off work early.  Also, Larry's basic rule is that time in the woods must be greater than the time in the car.
  • Reply by Steve on Wed Aug 16, 2017 at 7:33 am
    Steve Aronson (Steve)
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    First O: 1993
    I settle for time in the car ONE way
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