Connie Carpenter | Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series
Orienteers celebrated spring-like temperatures and bright sunshine March 7 as they navigated to assorted markers across the northern portions of the installation and along the west land trail system.
The trail system was particularly inviting with budding green vegetation and recently groomed trails by the 1908 Trail Run volunteer team.
The orienteer meet offered two divisions — a four-mile sprint course and an eight-mile Olympic course. The 13-control sprint course’s urban setting and intermediate-level of navigational skills proved beneficial for families with strollers, children on bikes and an excited 12-year-old dachshund ready to romp.
The 20-control Olympic course required an increased level of orienteering skills as racers trekked north on Sherman Avenue and hiked into the western, multi-use trails.
Several experienced solo orienteers and two-person teams pursued the challenges of the Olympic course. Team Motions in Limine — Cristy Molzen and Phillip Gragson — formed their attack plan based upon clearing the course while also exploring the installation’s historical landmarks and buildings. Team Motions in Limine cleared the course in two hours, 58 minutes.
In preparation for an upcoming land navigation event, Robert Pechk developed an attack plan that stressed his orienteering skills, maximized distance and strengthened his endurance. Pechk wore a fully-loaded rucksack and crisscrossed the courses using a topographical map and captured markers in a sequential versus tactical order. He achieved 20 controls in 2:27.
Team Rural Runners — Debbie Van Laar and Amy Joyce — chose a counter-clockwise attack approach securing controls located in the higher elevations and then dropping down into the cantonment area for lower level captures. Team Rural Runners completed the course in 1:47.
Solo orienteer Edwin Callahan posted the top score clearing the course in 1:17.
The sprint course was fiercely contested among six family teams.
Team Superwomen Plus Mom and Dad — mom Nicole, dad Gary, and daughters Mara, Katelyn, Kaia and Greta Lysaght — set a brisk pace clearing the course of 13 controls and topping the leader board in 1:50.
Son Calvin Roberts served as the primary navigator for Team Star Wars and led dad Kurt across the urban course. Team Star Wars cleared the course and closed in on the finish line missing first place by three minutes.
Newcomers Team Ruhnke — dad Joseph, mom Nina, daughters Allison and Lisa, plus their small but mighty dachshund — trekked the four-mile course securing 12 controls in 2:58 to take third in the family division.
The adventure series program continues April 11 with Bing-O Orienteer starting at 8:30 a.m. in the Gruber Fitness Center parking lot. For more information, visit FTLVAdventure.com or call (913) 683-5634.