Connie Carpenter | Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series
The Great Pumpkin Orienteer on Oct. 31 featured fall colors, light winds and sunshine, setting the perfect conditions for 16 family teams to navigate urban and trail terrains.
The event offered three courses designed to match the orienteers’ skill levels and to accommodate all ages. Competitive teams sought to develop an attack plan that captured controls in a sequential pattern minimizing time and distance. Other participants chose to take a leisurely walk with family members through the post’s autumn splendor.
The one solo competitor, Hannah Love, sought to improve her navigation skills as a new member of the Leavenworth High School Junior ROTC Raiders team. Love and dog Cody secured 10 controls in 57 minutes.
Orienteer courses specify distances using “as-the-crow-flies” measurements. While the Olympic course listed the distance as approximately eight kilometers, the actual distance depended upon the orienteer’s attack plan. In developing their attack plans, orienteers’ choices included following trails, using a hybrid hardball and trail running route, or bushwhacking through vegetation and woods.
Family Team The Show Plus — John, Joy, Ethan, and Gavin Thomas, with Wyatt Murray and dog Maximus — leveraged their team’s strengths of excellent terrain recognition, map reading and high spirits to propel them to the top of the Olympic leader board clearing 16 controls in one hour, 47 minutes.
Both the five-kilometer intermediate and three-kilometer introductory courses proved competitive with seven family teams in each division.
Team Hanley — Brian, Melissa, Brendan, Sara and Avery Hanley with dog Cooper — applied their winning attack plan to secure the top spot in the intermediate division by capturing 13 controls in 1:13.
Armed with a compass and binoculars, father-and-daughter Team Bogle-inski — Everett and Claire Bogle — followed closely behind, snagging 13 controls in 1:44.
Newcomers Team Conrardy — Peter, Rachel, Charlotte, Abigail and Evelyn Conrardy — joined forces with Team Montazzoli —Matt, Jane, Helen and Tess Motazzoli — to form a dynamic team of girl power as the young daughters romped through the terrain on the introductory course. Both teams secured seven controls, topping the division.
Team Eshelman — dad Erich, mom Diana, grandma Evelynne, son James and dog Lola — introduced the newest member of their team, 1-month-old Olivia, to the sport of orienteering. The three-generation team scored nine controls in 1:43.
For more event information, visit FTLVAdventure.com or call (913) 683-5634.