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September 27

Patuxent Park trail Welcome to one of our least steep parks - with a relatively recently updated map, plan on celebrating National Orienteering Week by heading to Patuxent for this Sunday event. Event co-directors Jody & Cecilia Landers will have plenty of food and fun on hand, and course setter Nadim Ahmed will has designed an incredible number of courses: 12 if our count is correct, including a Goat! If you don't know what a Goat is, or even if you do, we'll explain it in a moment.

For the regular/classic courses (beginner/white through advanced/blue), register at the event anytime between 10:45am - 1:15pm, start any time between 11 - 1:30, and be back at the finish no later than 3pm. Orange through blue courses have a 350m walk to a remote start. The Goat has a mass start at 11:30am from a site near the registration area (near the barn).

Wait, there's more! We'll also have four, count them four, Extra Fun & Free Spectator Friendly Maze Courses, available from about 11:45am to 3pm:

  • Super String-O: Mainly for kids and kids at heart. Follow a string through a short maze to several controls. Test your speed e-punching, handling quick turns, changes in direction, and running around others. A fastest time of 1 minute is expected.
  • 1 Minute Score-O: Get as many controls as you can within 60 seconds. The person with the most controls, or all controls and the fastest time gets bragging rights.
  • Maze-O Course 1 and 2: Given a map, find your way to several controls through a short maze. Controls must be taken in order. A fastest time of under 2 minutes is expected.
  • 2 Person Cell Phone Maze-O Relay: Using your own cell phone (and service provider minutes), test your communication skills and patience with your teammate. From behind a blind, one teammate reads a maze map over a cell phone to another who follows instructions to get through the course (sending a map picture to your partner is not allowed). All controls must be taken in order. After the first partner completes the course, they hand off their team's single epunch card and exchange roles to complete a different course through the maze. The course are not the same as Maze-O Courses 1 and 2.
  • NOTE: In the maze, competitors may not reach over walls to punch a control. Controls utilize epunching. Competitors can get a printout of their overall time and splits. You can write your name and literally post these on a board for bragging rights, however no official results will be kept. There is no charge for these Fun courses, but you will need an epunch.

And for even more! Stop running for a moment and take a Fun Quiz: This multiple-choice and True/False test covers route choices (based on actual events), mapping facts, team knowledge, history and some rules just to please Ted.

And now for the Goat: The QOC Goat is styled after the most famous goat event in the USA — The Billygoat. Besides being a long race with a mass start at 11:30am, and mostly intermediate/Orange level controls (there are 1-2 technically difficult controls), there are a few twists. Competitors may socialize and/or follow others. It can be great fun to navigate in a pack; less experienced competitors often learn skills from better navigators this way. However, following may lead to trusting someone who makes a mistake, or trusting someone who is tricking you to beat you, or being left behind by someone who’s faster, and potentially receiving some ribbing from competitors and judges for a lack of self-confidence (the famous Billygoat race gives out infamous titles to the male and female who do the least navigating on their own). Another very important and fun thing about this race format is that competitors may skip any one control. Note that competitors must still complete all of the remaining controls found, in order. Lastly, there will be one forked leg (this can be selected as one’s skip if desired). Going to all controls is allowed but skipping one will shorten the overall distance. Competitors are given up to 3.5 hours to complete the course but all must be back to the start, finished or not, by 3pm.

New to orienteering? We will hold beginner clinics continuously during the event; just tell the friendly folks at registration if you'd like to be in one and they'll take care of you. Also, make sure to check out our Your First Event and For Beginners webpages, and if they don't answer any question you have, just use our Contact Us form and ask away!

Group Leaders: please see our For Group Leaders webpage and then contact the Event Director so your group can get pre-registered in advance.


Patuxent River Park, Barn parking area, Upper Marlboro, MD (Classic + Goat + More)

RegistrationNo advance registration required - Just show up and have fun! Goat runners must register in time to be ready for their 11:30am mass start.
Start TimesThe Goat has a mass start at 11:30am. You can start any time between 11am - 1:30pm for the white through blue courses, and the short fun/maze-O courses will be available from 11:45-3pm.
ScheduleSunday, September 27
11:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic + Goat + More:
Event Director:Jody Landers
Event Director:Cecilia Landers
Course Designer:Nadim Ahmed
Location Details

Classic + Goat + More
Patuxent River Park
Barn parking area
Upper Marlboro, MD
Google Map

From the MD. Rt. 4 Capital Beltway exit, head south/east on Rt. 4 for 3 miles. Exit onto Woodyard Rd (Rt. 223) south. Immediately turn left at the light onto Osbourne Rd. After 3 miles you'll reach a traffic light and a junction with US Rt. 301. Turn left on 301 then immediately turn right at the next light onto Croom Rd. (Rt. 382). Signs for Patuxent River Park begin at this turn. After 3.5 miles, turn left on Croom Airport Road and continue for 2 miles to the park entrance, passing the junction with Duvall Rd. on the way. At the park entrance, continue straight towards the Group Camp Area (do not turn left towards the park's visitor center). Turn right onto the driveway leading to a barn and picnic pavilion when you reach a large field on the right hand side of the road. The parking, registration, start and finish areas are shown below on the arena map.

Alternatively, from the Capital Beltway (I-495), take Exit 11A, (Pennsylvania Ave), Route 4 east for 8 miles. Take Route 301 south for 1.7 miles. Turn left on Croom Station Road and continue for 1.6 miles. Turn left on Croom Road (Route 382) and proceed for 1.5 miles. Turn left on Croom Airport Road and proceed to the park entrance as described above.

From the junction of Route 50 and Route 301, take Route 301 south for 15 miles. Turn left onto Croom Station Road and go 3.5 miles before turning left again onto Croom Airport Road. Follow it to the park entrance and proceed as described above.

Course DetailsClassic + Goat + More
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.04108
Yellow 2.781510
Orange 4.97511
Brown 4.21009
Green 5.91059
Red 7.517012
Blue 9.323017
Goat 11.925523
Course NotesClassic + Goat + More

Map Scales: 1:5000 for White and Yellow, 1:10000 for Orange through Blue and for the Goat.

White and Yellow courses have the option of crossing the Croom Airport Field which is now mostly farmed for corn. The corn has been harvested but the dried-out cut stalks remain. Many of the corn stalks are stiff and will impede running.

To get to the start for the white through blue courses, follow the streamers/flags for ~350m from our event center (the pavilion near the barn). This may take people up to 5 minutes if walking slowly. Competitors will self-start.

Three weeks prior to the event, the forest looked pretty nice overall. Marshes have water in them but are drier than usual. The forest understory is generally open. Areas mapped green are often passable. A few areas with grasses exist and these will slow one down. In some places grasses obscure forest trails making them more difficult to read. The worst of the grasses are at the Nike missile fields in the far south of the map. The field edges there are out of date and the grasses that remain are rough open with thorns. The map is starting to show some age with vegetation in some other areas not accurately reflecting reality. Fortunately most of changed areas that are mapped green have improved, whereas there were fewer fast-run mapped areas that have deteriorated. One area that did change is on the drive-in toward the event center (Croom Airport/barn area) where road maintenance crews have cut trees along the road and left debris. A new intermittent trail has been found and added to the map for advanced courses—it is not necessarily mapped to the same standards as mapper Dave Linthicum applied to the rest of the map.

Entry FeesIndividual Entries

Note: juniors = under 21

Club Member, adult Club Member, junior Non-Member, adult Non-Member, junior
Epunch Owner $5 $5 $10 $5
Epunch Borrower $10 $5 $15 $10

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.
  • You may become a member at the event or by joining online via this webpage (which also explains the member benefits). Membership is completely optional.
  • Most of our events use an 'epunch' timing chip for electronic timing. Individuals or groups without their own epunch pay a higher entry fee (see above), which includes the loan of an epunch for that event. Loaned epunches that are lost incur a $40 replacement fee. Epunches (also known as SI-cards or finger sticks) are usually available for sale at each event as described here.
  • 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 epunch.
  • For additional safety, whistles are available for sale at $1/each.
  • Free beginner instruction is always available - just ask at the registration table.