Lake Accotink

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September 5

Final Update as of Friday evening: Conditions on the MTBO courses are fine, and the event is a go!

Event timing and course details for this Saturday event are now posted (see below). First off: 2 mountain bike orienteering (MTBO) courses, with registration from 9:45 - 10:45am, a 10 - 11am start window, and a Noon course closing time. Then it's time to start running or walking! Register for the white, yellow or 75 minute Score-O course between 11:45am - 1:15pm, start any time between Noon - 1:30pm, and make sure to finish and be back to download no later than 3pm. Score-O controls are worth 10 points each, and you'll have 20 points deducted from your total for each fraction of a minute you're over 75 minutes.

Special Review! Feel free to get tips and discuss MTBO in general and the courses more specifically with both course setter Victor Lin and with MTBO Team USA member Jeff Dickey (who'll be at the event pavilion around Noon).

Any youth or large groups attending this event should 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.

Note that registration for both events will be at the McLaren-Sargent Pavilion, accessed from the parking lot off of Heming Ave; driving directions are below.

Wondering what Mountain Bike Orienteering is about? Check out these videos (there are 3) from the Australian Orienteering Association:

The other two videos are here ('How To Navigate") and here ('Things You Need To Know').

If you don't want to click through to any of those at the moment, suffice it to say that MTBO is navigational racing on mountain bikes, in which each participant is given a map showing a series of checkpoints to be found in a designated order in the shortest possible time, with the choice of route between checkpoints left up to the racer. Success therefore depends on raw speed, of course, but also on the ability to read the map, make good route choices and execute them efficiently.

Rules for the MTBO event:

  • NOTE: The railway bed/track is out of bounds. Stay away from it.
  • Helmet use is mandatory.
  • Participants are required to stay within 10 feet of their bikes at all times while racing.
  • Participants are required to stay on trails, tracks, roads and fields. No short cuts through the forest.
  • Be aware that both courses require technical MTB riding skills and involve quite narrow, steep and rocky sections.
  • Participants must yield to horses and pedestrians, in accordance with park rules.
  • Alternative parking is available at the lower parking lot (7500 Accotink Park Rd,, Springfield), which is a short walk from the pavilion where registration will be.
  • Note: in case of rain and therefore poor trail conditions we may be required to cancel the MTBO event; make sure to check this website the day before the event for news. The foot-O in the afternoon will take place rain or shine.

    Map Boards Are Available! Buy your own map board in advance, or save shipping costs and have it hand delivered at this event. The AutoPilot map board (3 styles) can be purchased as described here, and we'll deliver it to this event. We may (no guarantees!) have some map boards to try out for free too - first come, first served, and if you break it, you bought it! AutoPilot map boards are the preferred choice of Team USA riders, and a portion of each purchase helps support Orienteering USA's MTBO Team as well.

    Special Entry Fees:

  • Member using their own epunch: $5 foot, $10 MTBO, $15 for both
  • Member renting an epunch: add $5 to above amounts (and use for one or both events)
  • Non-member using their own epunch: $10 foot, $15 MTBO, $25 for both
  • Non-member renting an epunch: add $5 to above non-member entry fee (and use for one or both events)
  • Juniors: $5/event plus $5 if non-member plus $5 if epunch needed
  • Donations to MTBO Team USA: Definitely accepted and encouraged! And yes, they are tax-deductible.
  • Location

    Lake Accotink Park, McLaren-Sargent Pavilion, Springfield, VA (MTBO + WY & Score-O)

    RegistrationNo advance registration required. Just show up and have fun!
    Start TimesYou may start your course at any time during the start window listed below for each event.
    ScheduleSaturday, September 5
    9:45 am - 10:45 amMTBO + WY & Score-O: MTBO Registration open
    10:00 am - 11:00 amMTBO + WY & Score-O: MTBO Start Window (start any time between 10 - 11)
    11:45 am - 1:15 pmMTBO + WY & Score-O: W/Y & Score-O Registration Open
    12:00 pmMTBO + WY & Score-O: MTBO Courses Close: All bikes must be off the course
    12:00 pm - 1:30 pmMTBO + WY & Score-O: W/Y & Score-O Start Window (start any time during this window)
    3:00 pmMTBO + WY & Score-O: W/Y & Score-O Courses Close (everyone must finish by 3pm)
    Event Director:John Baker
    Course Designer:Victor Lin
    Location Details

    MTBO + WY & Score-O, MTBO + WY & Score-O, MTBO + WY & Score-O, MTBO + WY & Score-O, MTBO + WY & Score-O, MTBO + WY & Score-O
    Lake Accotink Park
    McLaren-Sargent Pavilion
    Springfield, VA
    Google Map

    From the North or South: use I-495/Beltway exit 54AB/Braddock Rd/Rt 620, heading east on Rt 620/Braddock Rd as you exit. In ~0.8 miles, turn right on Heming Ave. In ~1.3 miles, turn right at the Lake Accotink Park sign and follow the park road to the parking area. The pavilion is up a small path starting at the far (west) end of the parking lot.

    Alternative parking is available in the lower parking lot (7500 Accotink Park Rd,, Springfield). It's a short walk from there to the pavilion where registration is located; follow signs or ask someone how to get to the McLaren-Sargent pavilion.

    Course DetailsMTBO + WY & Score-O
    Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
    White 3.3659
    Yellow 3.68012
    Medium Mountain Bike 717025
    Short Mountain Bike 5.410516
    Score Score 24
    Course NotesMTBO + WY & Score-O

    All courses: For those going off-trail, be aware that at this time of year some of the undergrowth can be thicker than mapped. All course maps are at 1:7500 scale, with 5m contours. MTBO and Score-O course maps are on legal size paper; W/Y are on letter.

    MTBO course notes: The start is near our pavilion. The MTBO courses include many sections of trail built by mountain bikers that are twisting and flowing. There are some short, quite steep trail sections. Mountain bikers with intermediate to advanced level technical skill generally find these park trails fast and fun; beginners may find these too challenging. Both MTBO courses have some tricky navigation in the intricate trail system. Several of the trails are blocked by fallen trees/logs, but you can lift your bike over all the ones seen so far; note that none of these are mapped, so don't speed around blind corners. Please also be courteous to hikers and other bikers.

    The MTBO map has been updated but there could well be even more trails that have disappeared or newly appeared. Additionally, not every trail was checked, so it's possible that a given trail could be blocked by a log (see note above; none are mapped). Ride only on roads, sidewalks, and trails; riding off-trail on grassy areas is not permitted.

    Foot-O/Score-O notes: The start/finish for all foot courses is a short (~300m) walk from our registration pavilion, and it is on the sidewalk overlooking the lake so that white and yellow courses don't need to cross roads on the course. There are 24 controls, and a 75 minute time limit. Each control is worth 10 points. Each fraction of a minute beyond 75 minutes incurs a 20 point penalty (so if you take 76 minutes and 30 seconds, you will have 40 points deducted from your score). About 5 or 6 controls are easy level navigation, and the rest are intermediate/advanced level, with most optimal routes involving going off-trail for some or all of the route. Hint to Score-O participants: make sure to have a watch or way to keep track of your time!

    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.