Monday, June 17, 2013

Barebone 2013

After taking a week off school for the HPP training camp in Cranbrook, I attended Barebones in Canmore. It was a great weekend full of types of races that I had never heard of before. I got to Canmore on the Thursday evening and stayed at the beautiful Alpine Club since I would be staying there for the Family Camp (and I am so thankful for being able to be a part of that at the last minute, as well as to those who gave me rides to and from Canmore and the individual races). Friday was a relaxing day spent watching movies until the Urban-O. One of the perks of deciding not to bring a laptop or an ipod charger was that I did pretty much no homework (and I’ve only just caught up, but that was mostly due to things I had been procrastinating on before my week off) and spent most of my free time reading.

In the evening was the Urban-O in downtown Canmore. It was based off of the game Clue (which I have never played). I’ll try to explain it, but it may get confusing. There were eight “rooms”, which were areas on the map in which you could “suggest”  to other players who committed the crime and with which weapon in the room you are currently in (unless you were suggesting to one of the “townsfolk” - aka volunteers, then you could suggest it was committed in any room). If the person you were suggesting to had a card (two of which each person received at the beginning – there are no cards for the elements of the crime committed), that person would have to show you only one (townsfolk would show all cards disproving) of their cards disproving your suggestion. I was glad that one of the cards I got was for a room that was kind of out of the way, so I knew I didn't have to go there, but I still spent a fair bit of time running to other rooms because there were so many that I hadn’t disproved. We had an hour to try and figure out the specifics of the crime before heading to the start/finish and making an accusation. I, and I think most people, just guessed, but several people/teams did get it right. I liked the event because it was fun trying to figure it out without the pressure/disappointment of feeling that it was unlikely.

On Saturday were the Setup, the Chase, and the THOMASS events. The setup was a sprint style (my race was 1.7km) event in Canmore for which the times were used to arrange the start for the Chase. Just before the start, I was told that the finish would be my second last control because there was a mother elk and her calf near the finish. My race went well, which was nice after a week of being challenged. Then, after noon, was the Chase event at the Canmore Nordic Centre (which was a busy place that day with both a running and a biking event taking place as well as the orienteering, but at least those were wrapped up by the time the THOMASS event started). With some exceptions, start times were 12:00 plus an individual’s time for the Setup. I believe the Chase was intended to be a middle style event (but being on course three, my race was only 1.9km). For me, it was an alright race, with a couple mistakes – thankfully the it-just-takes-longer type of mistakes and not the wandering-for-ten-plus-minutes mistakes that I sometimes make. Then we had lunch and awards (cookie medalsJ) in the Nordic Centre. Then there was the THOMASS, for which people were designated a handicap based on age and experience. This handicap determined how many controls you needed to do on the first side of the map before going to the finish (for that side) and flipping over the map for a 2.9km point-to-point course. I had to do four of the seven controls (#s 3,2,5, and 4 if you want to check them out at ), which was a good amount for me, especially considering the placement of the controls – I didn’t have to go to any far off ones. For the point-to-point portion, there were usually other people around the whole time, which I found made me really focus on my route choice compared to what others were doing. Thankfully, this worked out well for me, rather than distracting me too much, like in the case from control six to seven. As I was arriving at control six, I saw one person ahead of me heading to control seven one way, and another person another way. This caused me to see the higher trail, which I’m glad I took, versus the lower trail, in which case I would have had to climb back up. I quite enjoyed the THOMASS because of this and the controls in general.
In the evening there were speakers at the Alpine Club. Graeme Rennie spoke about his past JWOC experiences and Alix, Emma, and Darya spoke about orienteering in Switzerland last year. The presentations were good and reinforced a personal desire to go to Europe, both in general and for orienteering specifically. There was a large selection of dessert afterwards – there was always lots of great food at the Family Camp, always a highlight for any trip I take.

On Sunday was the Farsta (one-man relay) at Mt. Laurie. For those of us on the long course, there were three loops, each about 2km. Not everyone started on the same course, so it was interesting to see the stream of us start to branch off.  The maps were on a 1:7,500 scale, which was nice with the amount of contour detail on the map. It also probably helped make sure I didn’t have a race like last year at Mt. Laurie (but at least I knew I couldn’t possibly do as horribly as then). Generally, the race went well for me, with once again only a couple mistakes, plus a bit of lost time due to neglecting my compass and circling around while heading to the finish. The weather, though, was interesting. Partway through, I got soaked. I also had issues with my glasses falling off while I wasn’t wearing them, so I dropped them just past the control between loops, which I quickly regretted, worrying that someone would step on them – but they were safe when I finished. Yet near the end of the race I could have used them, although it wasn’t awfully bright. I liked this race because I got familiar with the terrain and specific areas of the course of my three loops, which boosted my confidence.

Overall, it was a great weekend, full of lots of orienteering and fun. On the way home, I finished yet another book, like the antisocial creature I am, before returning to a “normal” life consisting of the last homework assignments/projects of my high school career!

1 comment:

  1. Silken, fabulous post, a great recap of the barebones races. Thanks! And it was great to meet you.