• Fall orienteers tackle wet, brushy courses

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  • Connie Carpenter | Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series
    After a night of thunderstorms and pouring rain, orienteers found overcast skies and damp conditions at the at fall orienteer meet Sept. 28.
    Solo competitors, two-person teams, Scouts and family teams huddled around course maps and debated route choices that best favored a smooth run over damp terrain conditions. Racers considered several major factors while developing their attack plan. The longer courses consisted of various terrains to include the wet woodland trail system, sidewalks, parking lots, and low vegetation.
    Racers debated whether to choose fast road shoes or slower, waterproof trail shoes capable of handling mud and slippery rocks. Additionally, the extended summer temperatures led to higher than normal vegetation in the trail system.
    Participants had the option of either using a longer, indirect method by exclusively using the trail system to each marker or a shorter direct route of bushwhacking across wet sections of prairie fields.
    Sandy Beverly described her attack plan as “straight-up navigation.” The orienteer placed a priority on navigating the most direct route with the recognition that bushwhacking often reduces speed, increases time, and brings stinging nettles and clinging thistles.
    The seven-mile Olympic course presented the greatest challenge and the most interest as seven solos and eight teams chose to capture 18 markers scattered across main post and the trails system.
    Edwin Callahan chose the shortest distance, direct route as a priority in his attack plan. He fought through heavy vegetation and wet fields consuming energy and valuable minutes. His plan proved successful as he topped the leader board securing 18 controls in on hour and six minutes.
    Beverly’s strategy also drew success as she led her division and placed third overall clearing the course in 1:12.
    Family Team Cardinals — Chris, Kathy, Michael and Elizabeth Pegg — used a blended approach of short bushwhacks with longer trail runs. Team Cardinals led the family division clearing the course in 2:21.
    The sprint course consisted of 12 control points placed at landmarks, buildings and terrain features encompassing spurs 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.
    Father and son team Michael and Ethan Waller focused on the use of compasses and terrain features as they traversed the course. Team Waller cleared the course capturing 12 markers in 2:37.
    Family team Mack Attack — Brian, Lydia and son J.T. — reversed roles as J.T. served as the primary navigator guiding mom and dad to course markers. Team Mack Attack found 11 controls in 1:12.
    Junior orienteer Stone Roberts topped the leader board securing 14 markers in 1:30 while Team Star Wars — Kurt and Calvin Roberts — placed second with 12 controls in 1:22.
    Page 2 of 2 - Newcomers Team Dogwood — Dan, Josie, Eloise, Isadore, Martin and Joseph Werkowitch — navigated to first place in the introductory course locating seven controls in 1:30.
    The Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series continues with the Great Pumpkin Orienteer Meet Oct. 26 starting in the parking lot south of Gruber Fitness Center. Cost is $15 per racer or $35 per family. Cost includes orienteer maps, finisher awards and post-race refreshments. Same-day registration is 8-9:30 a.m. and racers can start anytime during this period. For more information, call (913) 683-5634, e-mail ftlvadventure@gmail.com or visit www.ftlvadventure.com.
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