Connie Carpenter | Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series
Teams of family orienteers encountered unusually high temperatures and hints of fall foliage at the fall orienteer meet Sept. 26.
After securing their orienteer maps and race passports, nine teams of family members distanced themselves around the parking lot and grassy areas as they debated capture plans, loaded strollers and leashed excited family pups.
Racers considered numerous factors while selecting their attack plans. Their three choices included a long Olympic course consisting of the heavily wooded southern woodland trail, an intermediate course containing urban terrain with some vegetation areas, and an introductory course having treks over level urban terrain.
Seven families chose the intermediate course factoring in the shorter legs of the younger orienteers and the all-terrain capabilities of strollers and striders. The course consisted of 12 control points placed at landmarks and terrain features including spurs, creek beds, and vegetation boundaries.
For many teams, the event offered a first experience in orienteering. Team Haus — Beth, TJ, Mary, Conner and John Hausauer — and Team Tucker — Jason, Meagan, Clayton and Colton Tucker — paired up to familiarize their family members with navigating to points via terrain features. Using his fingers to demonstrate a land feature, dad Jason Tucker showed the young orienteers how a spur represents a thin, horizontal section of land that projects forward while the terrain surrounding the feature drops vertically on each side.
Teams Haus and Tucker captured nine controls in 2:15.
Team The Show — John, Joy, Aiden, Ethan, Gavin and Evelyn Thomas with dog Maximus — and Team Murray — Angie, Wyatt, Ellie and Molly Murray — formed a semi-organized platoon of orienteers and strollers as they crisscrossed over the urban frontier. The teams secured 12 controls in 1:36.
Team Hanley — Brian, Melissa, Brendan, Sara and Avery Hanley and dog Cooper — demonstrated their strong technical skills and teamwork topping the intermediate division by securing 15 controls in 2:12.
Team Howl — Kristopher, Julie, Alexandrea and Elisabeth Howell and dog Nutmeg — conquered the rugged six-mile Olympic course punching 18 navigational controls in 2:24.
Team Mungo — Chris, Melissa, Thomas and Gregory Thornton — cleared the introductory course of six markers in 1:21.
The orienteering series continues Oct. 31 with the Great Pumpkin Orienteer Meet starting at 8:30 a.m. at Gruber Fitness Center parking lot. For more event information, visit FTLVAdventure.com or call (913) 683-5634.