Wheaton Regional Park

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February 2

Wheaton in WinterWelcome to Wheaton Regional Park, and a newly updated map along with an interesting set of course challenges!

We will be meeting (indoors) at the Train Station room on the west side of Wheaton park (directions below), and the event will feature courses designed by David Onkst. Beginner (White, Yellow) and intermediate (Orange) courses will have regular starts from 11:00am to 1:30pm. The advanced (Brown, Green, Red, Blue) courses will have a MASS START at Noon, which will be lots of fun! Course notes are below. Registration will be from 10:45am to 1:15pm. Everyone must be out of the woods and back at the registration/finish area by 3:00pm, which is when we will begin picking up the controls. Dogs on leash are welcome, and Wheaton also has a half-acre fenced-in 'Dog Park', located on the other side of the park.

UPDATE: Because of the mass-start for the advanced courses, we are asking all attendees for non-binding, courtesy/simple PRE-REGISTRATION, which will allow us to get participants into the e-punch system ahead of time. No online payment is needed; just email your name and intended course to Heidi (click on her name). (You will still need to check in at the registration table when you arrive to pay your meet fee.)

Any youth or large groups attending, please contact the Event Director so that we can coordinate pre-registration for your group; the group registration and waiver form is part of the information on our Group Leaders page.

Panera Bread Post-Race MeetUp Spot: The nearby Panera Bread cafe seems like a fine spot to go over your route choices! It's located (here) less than 2 miles south of Wheaton Park in the Wheaton/Westfield Shoppingtown mall near University, Viers Mill and Georgia Ave.

Nearby Attraction:

Brookside in winterBrookside Gardens. Information Line: 301-962-1453. Admission to this 50 acre public garden is free, the Visitors Center is open 9am - 5pm, and there's a miniature train exhibit in the South Conservatory (open 10-5). Note, though - no pets are allowed.


Wheaton Regional Park, Shorefield Area, Train Station Party Room, Wheaton, MD (Classic Orienteering)

RegistrationNo advance registration required; however, to help things run smoother given the mass start, please email Heidi your name and likely course ahead of time. Payment will be at the meet.
Start TimesYou may start your course at any time during the start window listed below for your event.
ScheduleSaturday, February 2
10:45 am - 1:15 pmClassic Orienteering: Registration window
11:00 am - 1:30 pmClassic Orienteering: Start window
12:00 pmClassic Orienteering: Advanced course mass start
3:00 pmClassic Orienteering: Courses close
Event Director:Heidi Onkst
Course Designer:David Onkst
Location Details

Classic Orienteering, Classic Orienteering, Classic Orienteering, Classic Orienteering
Wheaton Regional Park
Shorefield Area, Train Station Party Room
Wheaton, MD
Google Map

From I-495 take Exit 31 for Georgia Avenue/MD 97 North. Follow Georgia Avenue north for almost 3 miles, then turn right onto Shorefield Road. Continue on Shorefield Road until you reach the parking area. Registration will be just beyond the south end of the parking lot, in the Train Station Party Room (near the Carousel).
Course DetailsClassic Orienteering
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.411
Yellow 3.311
Orange 4.210
Beige 4.69
Brown 4.912
Mint 5.417
Green 5.621
Advanced 00
Red 626
Blue 6.632
Course NotesClassic Orienteering

Many of us love celebrating Super Bowl Weekend (and it should be extra special this year when our Baltimore Ravens trounce those West Coast 49ers :-) and this SPECIAL SATURDAY EVENT at Wheaton will help you kick off the good times. In addition to our regular beginning and intermediate courses (White, Yellow and Orange – see course length at end of notes), this event will also have one, single, very unique, advanced course. Because Wheaton has become very common orienteering ground for many of you, I wanted to provide you with some interesting twists this time out. All of the advanced courses, Brown, Green, Red and Blue, will be rolled-up into one course/event--“The Super Bowl Saturday Stumbling Wheaton Goat”--and run as a mass-start at 12:00 PM (please be ready to go and assemble at the starting line at 11:45 AM for prerace instructions). If you fear you won’t be able to keep up with the speedsters, don’t worry, there will be several twists to level the playing field among the regular color courses.

As the event’s name suggests, I have borrowed various elements from both the Susquehanna Stumble and the Billygoat, two of the country’s most well-known orienteering mass start races. This meet’s advanced course, in addition to containing regular orienteering course legs, will also have 5 windows that contain a number of controls. The windows (the Susquehanna Stumble’s influence) will vary in size and control density, and each competitor, depending on his or her gender and orienteering level (the level is based on the normal course he or she runs at local QOC Meets), will have a handicap that will determine how many windows he or she must run. As per normal window rules, the controls inside each window may be taken in any order the runner decides. Adding one of the Billygoat’s elements to the race, each competitor, depending on his or her handicap, will be able to determine which of the windows he or she wants to run. For example, if the handicap is 3 windows, the competitor can decide which 3 of the 5 windows he or she wants to include. Suffice it to say that some windows are very small and only have a few bags, while others are much larger and contain multiple controls.

The exact handicaps, as they currently stand (although I reserve the right to alter and tweak them as I’m finalizing the courses over the next week), are as follows:
Normal QOC Course -- (Gender) -- Handicap (Number of Windows Required)
Brown -- (F) -- 0
Brown -- (M) -- 1
Green -- (F) -- 2
Green -- (M) -- 3
Red -- (W) -- 3
Red -- (M) -- 4
Blue -- (M) -- 5

The advanced course length for each runner will vary based on his or her handicap and what windows he or she decides to run. Those with the most generous handicap should only have to travel approximately 4.5 K, while those with the least favorable handicap might have to run upward of 8 K. The rest will fall somewhere in between those distances depending on the choices they make.

If you can’t make the 12:00 PM mass start for some reason (although I hope you’ll be able to participate and get in the spirit of the event), you can run the advanced course (according to your handicap) on your own just as long as you are finished by 3:00 PM, when we will start picking up controls.

Additionally, it is important to note that club member Nadim Ahmed has spent a great deal of time updating the Wheaton Map over the last several months, and the results looks great! So, when you see Nadim, be sure to thank him.

This event promises to be quite fun and unique. Mass start events provide orienteers with several different and exciting challenges than they normally encounter during regular individual courses. So, we hope you’ll join us at this interesting Saturday event and include it among your Super Bowl Weekend festivities. Oh, and by the way, for those of you who know a little something about the regular Billygoat’s traditions, I might just be awarding some style points to someone if I’m so moved—HMMMM!

Lengths for non-advanced courses:
White 2.4 km
Yellow 3.3 km
Orange 4.2 km

Finally, please be sure to check the website closer to the event for a few more additional course and map notes.

Entry FeesIndividual Entries

Non-Member: $10/adult, $6/junior (under 21 years old)

Member: $6/adult, $4/junior (under 21 years old)

Team or Group Entries

Participants are welcome to compete together as a single team entry. Teams containing one or more nonmembers are charged the nonmember individual rate. Teams containing one or more adults are charged the adult individual rate. For teams to receive member or junior rates, all members of the team must be members or juniors, respectively. Each extra team map beyond the first is an additional $2. Individuals or teams desiring to compete on a second course can do so for a reduced fee of $2/map.

Important Notes
  • At the event, we can only accept payment in cash or check; online, you may use a credit card or PayPal account.
  • Most of our events use electronic timing. We will provide you with an electronic timing chip (aka e-stick, finger dibber, or SI-card) for free if you don't own one. Loaned e-sticks that are lost incur a $40 replacement fee.
  • Compasses are available at no charge, but if lost incur a $15 replacement fee.
  • Please provide collateral (driver's license or car keys) when borrowing a compass or e-punch.
  • For additional safety, whistles are available for sale at $1/each.
  • Free beginner instruction is always available - just ask at the registration table.