Connie Carpenter | Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series
Cool weather and sunshine set the perfect conditions for the Great Pumpkin Orienteer
Meet on Oct. 16 and allowed new and returning participants to enjoy the outdoors.
The event offered three courses — introductory, intermediate and Olympic — designed to match the orienteers’ skill levels and to accommodate all ages and families. Competitive teams sought to develop an attack plan that captured controls in a deliberate pattern, minimizing time and distances between controls. Other participants chose to take a leisurely walk with family members, taking in the autumn splendor and the post’s historical locations. Both the two-kilometer introductory course and the five-kilometer intermediate course proved competitive with several family teams in each division.
Orienteering is a great sport for family teams as members young and older have the opportunity to contribute toward finding and punching navigational controls. Moms and dads often served as primary navigators with younger members scanning the horizon and dashing toward controls with teams’ race passports.
The introductory course was competitive with newcomers Team Stiefunter— Thayne, Megan and Aisling Stiefunter— and veteran orienteers Team Conrardy— Peter, Rachel, Charlotte, Abigail and Evelyn Conrardy — developing identical attack plans. Each team captured eight control points but Team Stiefunter edged out Team Conrardy by 24 minutes to top the introductory division in 58 minutes. Team Swanson — Ben, Stephanie, Soren and Eva Swanson — joined Natalie Richardson and dog Sully in securing 13 controls and topping the five-kilometer intermediate division in one hour, 22 minutes. Two-person Team Rebel Alliance — dad Edwin and son Nathaniel den Harder — set a scorching pace placing third as dad sprinted and son bicycled over various ter-rain snagging 11 controls in 48 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 was dependent upon teams assorted attack plans. Newcomers Team Warriors Rip — Mark, Anna, Chris and Elodie Klink and dog Daisey — developed a streamlined, competitive plan crushing the 18-control course in 1:38. Team Mark’s Marauders —
dad Drew, mom Lauren, and sons Matthew, Mark and Luke Holder — used a cloverleaf
pattern to divide the course into two sections and cleared the 18 controls in 2:04. Team Haven — Michael and Lisa Suggs— chose a leisurely pace, as they hiked between controls. Team Haven topped the two-person division clearing the course in
The orienteer series continues with the Gobbler Orienteer Meet Nov. 20. See https://www.ftlvadventure.com for more information.