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Event Update 5/4/2009:
The ground is soft from the rains, and everything is green. Some of the grass is a bit high, but nothing unwieldy. Poison oak is leafy and visible, and you'll encounter bits of it on the "Time Trial" and "End" courses. It's avoidable. I'll have dishwashing soap, and there are bathrooms and a water fountain at the gathering area. I wore shorts while vetting the courses, and wish I had pants! I made it through in my trail runners, but spiked shoes would have been better.
I'm excited about the courses, I think they will provide you with fulfilling training!
1. Trail Course - 8 controls, 1.4 km, 50 m climb
- like a white course, stays on the trails. Starts and ends at the
2. "Time Trial" Course - 9 controls, 1.3 km, 70 m climb - like a sprint course; the navigation is not too technical, but there's lots of changes of pace, direction, terrain. Designed to be run multiple times, as many as you wish. Try to improve your time; run with a partner; do as a memory; try it backwards, practice your terrain running. Remote start, come back to the gathering area on the "End" course.
3. "End" Course - 5 controls, 1.3 km, 50 m climb - like a middle course; map contact is a good thing! Takes you from the "Time Trial" finish back to the gathering area.
You'll get a 1:5000 map with the courses. I've made a few map corrections; vegetation is generally accurate, but don't expect perfection - it's helpful to use point features and contours for knowing where you are. I've removed a few trails, and made two indistinct. A playground has been added near a pool, and a few of the ampitheater parking lots have been converted into fenced off dog runs; I haven't mapped these carefully, but they're marked on the map so you won't be surprised.
All the training is up to you! Do what you like. I can advise you and help you with your training plans. With multiple people of varied paces showing up, perhaps you can practice a bit with a training partner.
Practice terrain intervals, downhill running, a short orienteering course - all will be marked on the map; use the map throughout your exercises. Middle distance guru Tero from France does more than 70% of his training with map in hand. Two courses - easy and intermediate. Try doing some of the courses as "memory" - without looking at the map. Courses are set in the southwestern part of the park with the ampitheater, monuments, and cascade. $5 / person, meet at "the meadow" starting at 6:00; courses close at 8:00 or when everybody's done, whichever is earlier. Social option nearby follows.
From Highway 13 in the East Bay (the Warren Freeway, between Highway 24 and I-580), take the Joaquin Miller Road exit. Go uphill (east) on Joaquin Miller Road for about 0.7 mile; the park entrance is on the left (look for the orienteering control bag). The cross street for the park entrance is Sanborne, the upper end (not the lower end with the gate). Park in one of the designated lots or on Joaquin Miller Road. The event center is in the meadow just below the road right at the entrance to the park.
The AC Transit 18 bus will take you to the top of Park Blvd., the next exit on Highway 13 to the north; walk or run about 1.8 miles from the bus stop using a map! That's as good as it gets. Perhaps carpooling from a BART station or designated pickup spot might work better.
Event Contact: Rex, 5 1 0 - 6 8 1 - 6 1 8 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joaquin Miller Park web page, City of Oakland