Urban Wild headerChinatown

Urban Wild Roundup: Sunday, Feb. 21! Classic Oakland

What is it? A fun map race exploring the neighborhoods, parks, business districts, and landmarks of Oakland from downtown to the Fruitvale district. Use your two feet, your wits, a custom-made adventure map, and maybe your bike to go for the gold! Race solo (Hopscotch only) or in a team!

Which course will you do?

The Duathlon
about 36 km distance
2:30 winning time?

9:30 Mass Start, be registered by 9:45! (teams of 2 or more!)
Stages: 1. Scatter on foot, 2. Bike (about 27 km), 3. Final push on foot
Team prizes: $125 1st place, $100 2nd place, $75 3rd place.
Registration fee per person: $25 by Feb. 14, $30 by Feb. 18, $40 after Feb. 18.

The Foot Soldier
chart your own course!
up to 32 km distance

9:30 Mass Start, be registered by 9:15! (teams of 2 or more)
36 checkpoints to find, 10 points each, 4 hour limit, penalty if overtime
Registration fee per person: $20 by Feb. 14, $25 by Feb. 18, $35 after Feb. 18.

The Hopscotch
chart your own course!
up to 32 km distance

11:00 Mass Start, be registered by 10:45! (solo or team)
36 checkpoints to find, 10 points each, 2 hour limit, penalty if overtime
Registration fee per person: $15 by Feb. 14, $20 by Feb. 18, $25 after Feb. 18.

statueThe Map: Exclusive, custom-made 1:15000 scale adventure map by terraloco with 10 foot contours on 11 x 17" paper. Clear plastic map case provided!

Mandatory gear! 1. cell phone2. two pencils3. helmet, bike lock (if biking)

Other details: Water and snacks at event center - duathlon course visits the event center twice. Or take some to go. Checkpoints are pin-punch or Q&A, passport card provided. No bushwacking necessary, shorts are good if weather allows. Rain or shine, let's do this! 9:00 Registration open, 1:30 Courses close. In addition to Duathlon money prizes, all courses will have awards certificate winners. Pizza social starts at 1:00 - $3.50 per Zachary's slice - mix and match stuffed, medium, sausage and bell pepper with thin, large, Mediterranean (pepper, olive, artichoke, feta, jack) - specify when preregistering.

Directions: From either direction on Interstate 580, take the Grand Ave. exit and turn right onto Grand Ave. Take Grand Ave. about 1/2 a mile to Perkins Street, then turn left at the next opportunity on Bellevue Ave. (You already passed the other end of Bellevue, which intersects Grand twice.) You can park nearby for free, or turn left on Bellevue Ave., pay $3, and drive about 0.4 miles and turn right and park right at the Sailboat House. Registration is inside the Sailboat House. Address: Lake Merritt Sailboat House, Bellevue Ave., Oakland, CA 94610. BART: 19th St. Bus: AC Transit line NL or 12.

Registration: Preregister at terraloco.com - preregister individually, declare your team if you have one at event day registration. No commitment to show up, but this locks in your price and optional pizza - see the rates above. Since Oakland forbids money exchange at the event site, you will receive an invoice by email to pay by Google Checkout or by sending a check. Receipt of payment confirms your entry. Refund policy: Once you look at the course map at the event, there are no refunds. If you don't show or decide not to participate for whatever reason, you will be sent a refund for your entry fee (minus a small processing fee if Google checkout was used.)

Event Contact: Rex, 5 1 0 - 6 8 1 - 6 1 8 1, rex@terraloco.com, website terraloco.com

Event notes published Thursday, February 18th: (go to top of page)

Weather: Current forecast is rain likely, 60% chance, high of 59. Event happens rain or shine. The forecast can change, and it's worth checking the morning of - type in the zip code 94610 for a local forecast at http://noaa.gov. Fortunately, the event center / registration / aid station is all indoors!

Large, clear, plastic cases are provided to keep your maps and question & answer sheets safe from the elements.

Gear: There is a fair amount of non-pavement on this course. Shoes can thus get wet! Unless you have waterproof or water resistant shoes. Wool socks aren't a bad idea if your feet can get wet, especially if on the 4 hour tour.

Need: ___ Cell phone (for safety / emergency) ___ Pencil for recording answers. That's it. Recommended: ___ Change of clothes and shoes. I don't believe a compass is absolutely necessary, but bring your own if you'd like to use one.

Biking gear - duathlon participants: Making the map, I've biked these streets through and through, just making sure I didn't miss any secret passages or cool features. And some of those roads sure are roughly paved. You're also dealing with elevations from sea level to over 300 feet, thus, some routes you may use with your bike will have a steep grade. So choose your bike / wheels / tires / gearing accordingly. Also, for some checkpoints, you might nominate a teammate to go in without the bike, or portage your bike through the staircase to get the checkpoint and carry it to the top to go on to the next one.

___ Helmet and ___ bike lock are mandatory. The duathlon has 3 stages, the bike being the middle stage. You'll lock your bike before departing, then return to the event center to grab it for the 2nd stage, and then lock it back up before going out on the 3rd stage.

Aid: Fruit (probably bananas) and granola bars and water will be at the event center . You shouldn't have to carry food or water, but you're welcome to do so, including grabbing something to go.

Hazards: Traffic is the main hazard. It's best to go with the flow - making smart route choices is more important than beating lights or bending the laws of traffic. If you get caught up and have to wait, it's a good opportunity to study your map and revise your plan for getting the rest of the checkpoints. Be safe out there. Watch very carefully, and make moving safely your first priority. You can choose routes that are smoother, some streets have more stop signs, or more lights, or long lights. (The intersections in Chinatown have long pedestrian crossing signals to accommodate the higher flow of pedestrians. One of the checkpoints is in there!) I think all this advice applies to pedestrian participants as well as those doing the biking part too.

I'm not a local - how do I know which streets are better for biking? (It has useful information for pedestrians too - busy streets!) There are some online maps you can study. The area of the course is roughly between 580, 880, 980 and 35th Ave - some of it crosses the 580 and 880 freeways, but it never strays too far from that core area.

Map fragments with the parts of the course area:

If you want the whole map (http://www.ebbc2.ebbc.org/maps/map.html) - you can find out how to get it here: http://www.ebbc.org/maps/ - they have links to bike shops that sell it. You're welcome to bring any maps you wish to this event. If you don't want to carry two maps, you can certainly take a little time at the event center to mark up your course map with the bike routes you want to take (or avoid.)

Social: Everyone's welcome to mingle until 2:00, when we must vacate the event center, and if the weather's clear enough, you're in a great park with picnic facilities nearby and nice places to hang out. If you ordered pizza slices on the preregistration form, they will be available at 1:00 in the event center. Award certificates and announcement of cash prizes (which will be delivered later, as per city rules) will be presented during the socializing time after participants are back.

Registration is open in the building at 9:00. I'll be at the building by 8:30 in case it's open a little early, and I'm happy to register you outside. Teams will be declared on a signup sheet at the event center after you sign your registration forms. Course briefing will be at 9:15 for the 4 hour and duathlon participants (followed by a 9:30 start,) and then again at 10:45 for the 2 hour participants (followed by an 11:00 start.)

Course Information: All courses share all the same checkpoints. Some are "question and answer" with a question about some feature of the place you are visiting, for example, you might be asked what is the 3rd word on a distinctive, large, prominent sign. Some have an orange and white marker bag hanging from an object or on a stand, with a pin puncher inside, used to punch an area of your question sheet - each puncher has a unique dot pattern.

For the duathlon, these checkpoints are separated into 3 distinct groups for each stage; for the 2 and 4 hour foot courses, you can do them in any order. How will this work? There are 3 question-and-answer / punchcard sheets for each stage, and the duathlon participants will get them one at a time as they complete each stage. Everybody else gets all 3 Q&A sheets when they start.

All checkpoints and their codes will be printed on the 11" x 17" map; these codes will be referenced on the three Q&A sheets. There are two areas with a high concentration of checkpoints, and you will receive a 1:5000 blowup of those areas on the reverse side of the main map.

For ranking of results, number of checkpoints found is the first criterion. If there's a tie, then the person / team who finished earlier wins the tiebreak. All checkpoints will have the same value - 10 points each. Each course has a time limit - 2 or 4 hours - the duathlon time limit is 4 hours. For each minute you are overtime, your team will lose 10 points - 1 second over counts as a full minute, or full 10 points. So if you arrive back at 1:01:01 from the 2 hour course, you will lose 20 points. The 4 hour courses close at 1:30, but you may finish as early as you wish on any of the courses.

I think it will be a challenge to get all checkpoints even for the duathlon participants. The best team might not get all the 2nd stage bike checkpoints, but save time to grab the 8 or 9 checkpoints closer in on the 3rd stage.

Go to the correct "boat house!" There's another old boat house that was renovated recently and became "The Lake Chalet" - that's on Lakeside Drive, and that's not where you want to go! You want to be at the Lakeside Park Sailboat House, which is accessible from Grand Ave. Coming from 580, you must turn left the second time you intersect Bellevue Ave. (it makes a loop with Grand Ave.) If you're driving, it will probably cost $3 at the booth, but this is the only way to park in the lot next to the Sailboat House - which is the very first right turn you can make off of Bellevue in Lakeside Park. If you don't mind parking a little farther for free, try turning on Perkins St. and parking near the corner of Perkins and Bellevue. It's less than a 400 m walk up Bellevue (going against the one way traffic) to the Sailboat House (first lot on the left.) Complete directions, and transit options, are further up this page!






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Street event? We had folks crashing through blackberry bushes. It can get wild. And very fun out there - lots of interesting stuff to encounter while choosing the best routes and overall tour. My favorite was one of the less visited sites in Jingletown, a mosaic-covered building with a birthday cake silhouette in a boarded up window. Routes varied! Getting all of the 35 checkpoints in the allotted time was not trivial, but definitely doable.

The drizzle did not deter the determined duathletes. Nor the foot soldiers. Nor the hopscotchers. Although, some may have returned a little earlier from their tours than they normally would have. I am glad one of the teams found all the checkpoints, that's quite an accomplishment on such a day with the hybrid orienteering / USGS map. Oakland's topography also significantally contributed to the challenge - those mole hills can be quite steep.

The aforementioned team of Svetlana Dubenko, Steve Robinson, and Jeff Hartnett brought home the gold ($125) with their inspired performance, followed by two veteran foot soldiers from BAOC with the silver and bronze - Gavin Wyatt-Mair ($100) and the blackberry wrangler Bud Laird ($75.) Steve Gregg and Penny Demoss only went out for two hours and weren't too far away from the 3rd place point total... except you have to see the map to understand. 16 of the checkpoints and a few here and there are in an easy loop - then as you get more checkpoints, they get more spread out and harder to get.

We replenished ourselves with Zachary's pizza slices in the warmth of the second story of the sailboat house, overlooking the heart of the city surrounding Lake Merritt. A nice finish. Thanks to all the participants for great spirit! Bud Laird pitched in to help set up signage in the beginning, and many hands helped take things down at the end. Special thanks to Benjamin Chan for delivering our pizzas.

Results - 4 Hour Duathlon

1. Svetlana Dubenko, Steve Robinson, Jeff Hartnett, 350 points, 217:56
2. Monkeys 190 points, 203:52
3. Gustavo Cota 60 + ? points, 257:00

Results - 4 Hour Foot

1. Gavin Wyatt-Mair, 300 points, 216:30
2. Bud Laird, 280 points, 237:50
3. Greg Favor, 270 points, 198:22
4. Linden WIllis-Kilgroe and Amara Nance, 260 points, 226:20
5. Brian, Terrin Spray, 190 points, 196:05

Results - 2 Hour Foot

1. Steve Gregg, 250 points, 114:01
2. Penny DeMoss, 230 points, 105:14
3. Vicki Woolworth, 200 points, 110:35
4. Jim Fish, 160 points, 75:00

Results - 2 Hour Bike

1. Paul Polewaczyk & Jennifer Cavenaugh, 210 points, 120:18