The Bumble

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend by emailSend by emailPDF versionPDF versionShareThis

February 4

The Bumble

It’s that time of year! Come out and celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Super Bowl Saturday Bumble AND enjoy QOC’s Winter Meeting and Pot Luck Party! Thanks to the hard work and mapping skills of Nadim Ahmed, head Bumble David Onkst has a new addition to the Lake Frank map to use for this fun and crazy race. In addition to a Mass Start event for advanced courses, there will also be White, Yellow and Orange level courses available. PLEASE read the notes below for important details about the courses and the party.

IMPORTANT: Please do NOT bring dogs to the park. The County has posted a Blue-Green Algae ALERT for Lake Frank and Lake Needwood, which can be very harmful to dogs if ingested (drinking or licking paws); the concern for humans only appears to be if ingested in large amounts. Bumble courses will cross Rock Creek (which feeds into the lakes) so be sure not to splash water on your face or fall in and take a big gulp! Also, be sure to wash your hands after touching any clothing or shoes that may have gotten wet.

Registration and the post-race party will be in the White Oak Hall at the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center.

  • We have access to a full kitchen (fridge, stove, oven), but please bring any pots/utensils you may need for cooking. Also bring serving utensils for your dish.
  • NO alcohol is allowed at this facility; QOC will provide non-alcoholic beverages and paper goods.
  • NO dogs are allowed in the Smith EE Center.

Parking will be tight, so carpooling is highly encouraged and appreciated. There are a limited number of spaces at the Smith Center, but we have permission to parallel-park on both sides of Meadowside Lane (two wheels on grass; two wheels on road). PLEASE follow instructions from our parking assistants.

Because of the mass start we will open registration at 10:30am. Please be sure to arrive early to avoid a last minute rush.

Important notes:

  • Beginners are welcome at this event (just like at 99% of our events!)
  • Those participating on the Red or Blue-equivalent courses WILL need to have an SI-6 or newer e-punch to hold the high number of controls. These will be provided free-of-charge for those who own their own punch but need an upgrade and for the usual fee for those borrowing an epunch.
  • Beginner (White, Yellow) and intermediate (Orange) courses will have regular starts from 11:00am to 1:30pm.
  • The advanced (Beige, Brown, Mint, Green, Pink, Red, Blue) courses will have a MASS START at Noon.
    • Please be ready for the PRE-RACE briefing near the start at 11:45am.
    • Long pants/sleeves and gaiters are recommended as there are some "green" areas.
  • Everyone must be out of the woods and back at the registration/finish area by 3:00pm, which is when we begin picking up the controls.
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.

Looking forward to seeing you soon! Please feel free to contact the Event Director (link below) with questions.


Lake Frank, Lathrop Smith EEC, Rockville, MD (.)

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 your event.
ScheduleSaturday, February 4
10:30 am - 1:15 pm.: Registration Open
11:00 am - 1:30 pm.: White, Yellow, Orange courses can start anytime in this window
11:45 am.: Pre-race briefing for the Mass Start
12:00 pm.: Bumble Mass Start
2:00 pm.: Winter Meeting and Party Begins (roughly!)
3:00 pm.: All Courses Close: everyone to have finished and downloaded
5:00 pm.: Must be cleaned up and out, so all hands welcome to help around 4pm
Event Director:Heidi Onkst
Course Designer:David Onkst
Location Details

., ., ., ., ., ., .
Lake Frank
Lathrop Smith EEC
Rockville, MD
Google Map

From Washington Beltway (I-495): Take Exit 31 for Georgia Avenue; Travel North on Georgia Avenue past Leisure World; Turn left on Norbeck Road (Route 28); At first light turn right onto Muncaster Mill Road (Route 115); Travel 1.5 miles and turn left onto Meadowside Lane; Take the first right into the L.E. Smith Center parking lot.

From I-270 North: Take exit 8 for Shady Grove Road; Bear Right onto Redland Road; Cross Route 355; Turn right onto Needwood Road; Turn right onto Muncaster Mill Road; Cross Avery Road and turn right onto Meadowside Lane; Take the first right into the L.E. Smith Center parking lot.

Fron I-270 South: Take the exit for I-370 towards the Metro; Take the Shady Grove Road exit just before the Metro access; Turn left onto Shady Grove Road East; Pass Midcounty Highway and turn right onto Muncaster Mill Road; Cross Avery Road and turn right onto Meadowside Lane; Take the first right into the L.E. Smith Center parking lot.

Course Details.
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
Course Notes.

In addition to the regular beginning and intermediate courses, this event will also have one, single, very unique, “mass start” advanced course. Like last year, all of the advanced courses – Beige through Blue – will be rolled-up into one course/event. 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.

In addition to containing regular orienteering course legs, the advanced course will also have 5 windows that contain a number of controls. The windows will vary in size and control density, and each competitor, depending on his or her gender and orienteering level will have a handicap that will determine how many windows he or she must run. The level is based on the normal course he/she runs at local QOC Meets.

As per normal window rules, you must visit every control in the window, but the controls inside each window may be taken in any order the runner decides. Adding another twist, 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.

Wondering what a "window" on an orienteering course map is? See the diagram below. The key point is that after a mandatory numbered control (in this case, control 2), you can go to the three letter controls (A, B, C) in the boxed area in any order you like, before continuing on to control 6. Part of the fun is figuring out which way will be the quickest.Example of Window

The handicaps are as follows:
Bumble Course / Handicap (Number of Windows Required)
Beige (Brown – F) / 1
Brown (M) / 1
Mint (Green – F) / 2
Green (M) 3
Pink (Red – F) / 3
Red (M) / 4
Blue (M & F) / 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 5-6K, while those with the least favorable handicap might have to run upward of 10K. The rest will fall somewhere in between those distances depending on the choices they make. If racers select the course appropriate for their skill/fitness level, then everyone should conceivably finish at roughly the same time.

If you can’t make the 12:00pm mass start for some reason you can run the advanced course (according to your handicap) on your own just as long as you are finished by 3:00pm.

Mass start races provide orienteers with several different and exciting challenges than they normally encounter during regular individual courses (such as following other orienteers). So, we hope you’ll join us at this fun and unique event.

Lengths for non-advanced courses:
White: 1.9 km
Yellow: 2.4 km
Orange: 4.2 km

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.