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October 23

Patuxent Park trail Welcome to one of our least steep parks! Event director Dan Do will have plenty of food and fun on hand, and course setter Nadim Ahmed has designed white through red courses plus the increasingly popular 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/red), 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. The Goat has a mass start at 11:00am from a site near the registration area (near the barn).

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 11:00am, 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 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.

Note to all orienteers: While out on your course, you may encounter control bags that were hung not for today's QOC event but for a scout event next weekend. Please do not move or remove these controls, which are not in any case marked on your QOC-issued map and do not have e-punch boxes. QOC bags have a blue stripe (and an adjacent e-punch box). Check carefully the locations and codes for the controls on your course!


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

RegistrationNo advance registration required. Just show up and have fun!
Start TimesThe Goat mass start will be at 11am. White through Red courses may start any time between 10:45am - 1:15pm.
ScheduleSunday, October 23
11:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic + Goat:
Event Director:Dan Do
Course Designer:Nadim Ahmed
Location Details

Classic + Goat
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.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link

Course DetailsClassic + Goat
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.82510
Yellow 2.8259
Orange 59014
Brown 3.4858
Green 6.314516
Red 7.919020
Goat 12.228525
Course NotesClassic + Goat

Some of the areas immediately around the event arena have changed and the map doesn’t reflect this. A line of trees was taken out behind the registration pavilion and replace with small single trees. Fencing around a maintenance area had partly been removed. A mapped fence corner is now only a fence end (please stay out of the maintenance yard near the very large Riverside Field).

Some courses will cross Riverside Field where corn has been harvested. Corn stalks remain and may impede a runner in some places more than others. Many of the grassy open areas across the park have been mowed, making the mapped open ground actually open rather than rough-open, as it has been in many years. This includes at least some parts of the Nike missile fields in the far northwest of the map.

Three weeks prior to the event, the forest looked pretty nice overall. Marshes had little water and the small and mid-size streams were dry. That changed with cooler and wet weather and is expected to be somewhat normal at event time. The map is starting to show some age regarding vegetation mapping in some areas. Fortunately most of changed areas that are mapped green have improved. Only a few places where there are fewer fast-run mapped areas, have deteriorated. The forest understory is generally open. Areas mapped green are often runnable. Some areas of invasive ground plants may slow one down but these are not prominent. In some places grasses and leaves obscure forest trails making them more difficult to read. One trail mapped as intermittent has practically disappeared but optimal routes do not use it.

The QOC Goat mass start will be at 11am. The course will be printed on both sides of the paper and there are essentially 2 loops going out and returning to the start area. This allows for a good refreshment/snack break a little past midway. Those training for other long Fall season races like the SVO Susquehanna Stumble should consider doing the QOC Goat to help get ready.

And as also noted above: While out on your course, you may encounter control bags that were hung not for today's QOC event but for a scout event next weekend. Please do not move or remove these controls, which are not in any case marked on your QOC-issued map and do not have e-punch boxes. QOC bags have a blue stripe (and an adjacent e-punch box). Check carefully the locations and codes for the controls on your course.

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.
  • If you have access to a smartphone, you may become a member at the event by joining online via this webpage (which also explains the member benefits). Membership is completely optional. If you wish to join or renew, we strongly recommend joining (or renewing) online before the event rather than at it to save time and because it's easier.
  • 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.
  • Former QOC members who have let their membership lapse pay non-member fees.
  • 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.