• Adventure racers scour post for controls

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  • Connie Carpenter | Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series
    Young and senior orienteers were greeted by cool fall temperatures and a slight drizzle at the Leap Into Fall Orienteer Meet Sept. 29.
    Solo competitors, two-person teams and family teams gathered around the registration table debating course options and determining which route best favored their orienteering skills and their young family members’ introduction to the sport.
    As part of the adventure, the event also featured painted river rocks placed at different locations on the course. Participants had the opportunity to grab a rock and to place the stone at another location. By the end of the day, 20 inspirational rocks took flight to new destinations and adventures.
    The sprint course consisted of approximately three to six miles of trekking with 14 control points placed at historical landmarks and at terrain features such as spurs, trail intersections and vegetation boundaries. Orienteers had the option of capturing additional controls for bonus points.
    For many teams, the event offered their first experience in orienteering. Family Team Haith fielded a three-generation team consisting of visiting grandmother Annette Dudukovich, mother Kim Haith and daughters Lauren, Mackenzie and Caroline. Despite the misfortune of losing their race passport early in the event, Team Haith creatively constructed a new passport and successfully captured eight controls in two hours.
    Rookie Team Double C — Carrie Gooding and Cathy Massey — excelled in reviewing the orienteer map and in conceptualizing an attack plan. Versus trekking up and down hilly terrain, Team Double C read the map’s contour lines and traveled via ridgelines and direct routes. Double C’s effective strategy led to a second-place finish with a capture of 15 controls in 2:33.
    Veteran family Team Shaw — Mike, Victoria and Viktor Shaw — topped the sprint leader board clearing the course of 16 controls in 1:41.
    The Olympic course presented the greatest challenge with controls scattered from the eastern heritage trail to the western woodlands trail system. Participants also had to traverse through “fight” and higher elevations while trekking to Fort Sully’s earthworks. In orienteering terms, fight is described as heavy vegetation such as bushes, downed trees and limbs, thorny vines and occasional poison ivy.
    Several male and female solos competed to trek over 10 to 12 miles of terrain. Former West Point orienteer Matthew Sherburne leveraged his navigational technical skills and attack planning in clearing the course in 1:41 and securing first place.
    Master orienteer and septuagenarian Reta Roe took first place in the female division securing 20 controls in three hours.
    Team Geddings — Stephanie and Larry Geddings — punched 17 controls in 2:45.
    The Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Adventure Series continues with the Great Pumpkin Orienteer Meet on Oct. 27. More adventure series event information can be found at FTLVAdventure.com or (913) 683-5634.
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