Seneca Creek Smokey Glen

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December 9

Smokey Glen Welcome to the Mid-Atlantic Championships at Seneca Creek State Park at Smokey Glen Farm! This competition is between QOC, SVO, DVOA, and other clubs from the Mid-Atlantic region as we vie for the coveted Broken Compass Award. Everyone can participate, and your participation will help your club score competition points. In addition to the Championships, this event will also be an official Orienteering USA National Ranking Event. The times and format will be a little different than you are used to from other QOC events, so please read the following as well as the extensive course setter and venue comments carefully.

Pre-registration is now open. Guarantee yourself a map for the morning/classic course by pre-registering; payment will be collected at the event. Click here to register.

Courses will open at 9:00 AM with the last starts going off at noon. As always, everyone needs to be out of the woods by 3:00 PM so we can collect all of the controls before it gets dark. But you will want to plan to run on the early side, because in addition to the individual events, the Mid-Atlantics Championships feature team relays, which will begin at 1:30 PM. The relays are a lot of fun and a great chance to build camaraderie with your fellow QOC members. If you would like to participate in the relay, please contact Jon Torrance and he will register your three-person team or assign you to a squad. Relay course and map details are below.

The rules for the Mid-Atlantic Championships and the National Ranking Event (NRE) are a bit different than for normal QOC events. To score points on your individual course for QOC or any other club in the Mid-Atlantic Championships, you must choose either the course corresponding to your gender and year of birth according to the OUSA rules of competition or a more difficult course, i.e. a course for which you could, if you're an OUSA member, be eligible to compete in a US national championship (this is explained in greater detail after the course notes, below). However, this is only a consideration if you think you're likely to be one of the fastest five finishers, male or female, on a course. If that isn't you, simply sign up for the course you prefer for its length/difficulty - you'll still be contributing to your club's score just by taking part, as attendance figures into the Mid-Atlantics scoring, not just the individual course and relay results.

Once you have registered for a course (preferably online in advance) and paid, check in with the scorer’s table (Amy and Valerie) where you will be assigned a start time. You will then make your way to the start area, which is about 400 meters from our meeting site at Smokey Glen Farm. Volunteers will be at the start to give you the correct map and to make sure you are starting at the right time. Unlike our normal QOC events, studying the map in advance of your run is not permitted. The finish will be back at Smokey Glen Farm. Participants will have 3 hours to complete their course. The map scale will be 1:5000 for white and yellow and 1:10000 for all other courses.

You are strongly encouraged to pre-register for the morning/classic (NRE) courses in order to guarantee getting a map and make registration run more smoothly. Standard fees will be collected at the event. For those of you who haven’t previously been to Smokey Glen Farm, you are in for a treat. It is a large, heated indoor facility with clean restrooms and ample parking. Bring food, but no cleated shoes in the main building please. So plan on coming early, staying late and enjoying a great day of orienteering with your friends from QOC and other Mid-Atlantic clubs at the 2018 Mid-Atlantic Championships!

As for the relay, all maps will be 1:5000 scale, and there will be three courses/legs, with the following stats:

  • Beginner/Intermediate: 1.5k, 45m climb, 8 controls
  • Intermediate/Advanced: 2.4k, 70m climb, 9 controls
  • Advanced: 3.0k, 120m climb, 10 controls

The relay will be handicapped using the same point system and format as at the last QOC-hosted Mid-Atlantics in 2015,as explained in detail below.

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

Smokey Glen


Seneca Creek State Park, Smokey Glen Farm, Gaithersburg, MD (Mid-Atlantic Champs)

RegistrationGuarantee yourself a map by pre-registering here; payment will be collected at the event (cash only please).
Start TimesClassic course start times will be assigned at the event. Relay start will be at 1:30.
ScheduleSunday, December 9
9:00 am - 12:00 pmMid-Atlantic Champs: Classic Course Start Window
1:30 pmMid-Atlantic Champs: Relay Begins
3:00 pmMid-Atlantic Champs: All Courses Close
Event Director:Don Fish
Course Designer:Nadim Ahmed
Location Details

Mid-Atlantic Champs, Mid-Atlantic Champs, Mid-Atlantic Champs
Seneca Creek State Park
Smokey Glen Farm
Gaithersburg, MD
Google Map

From the North on I-270 (driving South):
Take exit 15A-15B to merge onto Maryland 118 south (Germantown Rd.) toward Germantown. Continue on Maryland 118 for 5.3 miles. Turn left onto Riffle Ford Rd. Continue for 2.3 miles. Smokey Glen Farm is on the left.

From the South on I-270 (driving North):
Take Exit 6B to merge onto Maryland 28 (Montgomery Ave.) Continue on Maryland 28 for 6.2 miles. Turn right onto Riffle Ford Rd. Continue for 0.7 miles. Smokey Glen Farm is on the right.

Course DetailsMid-Atlantic Champs
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.14511
Yellow 2.36010
Orange 5.214014
Brown 3.911011
Green 5.920013
Red 7.829017
Blue 9.834023
Course NotesMid-Atlantic Champs

Seneca Creek State Park Map and Course Notes as of 11/13/2018
• For all but the White, Yellow, and the Relay courses, there will be an approximately 450m walk to the start. Allow 5-10 minutes for the walk which takes one to the west side of Riffle Ford Rd. The White, Yellow, and Relay courses will start near the event center pavilion.
• Please don’t walk with metal spikes in the heated indoor pavilion.
• For safety and potential interference considerations, the Blue, Red, Green, Brown, and Orange courses will cross back over Riffle ford Rd. off-the-clock. This is accomplished by punching controls before and after the crossing. The road is not hard to cross. There will be no crossing guard. Competitors will have up to 3 minutes to punch the second control before continuing their course without their course time being affected.
• Seneca Creek State Park has basic ridge and valley terrain. Parts of the park are surrounded by suburban houses. The ridges form drainages into Great Seneca Creek which is un-crossable. The ridges tend to be low and straight. They tend to have few side reentrants. There are several flood plains where long ditches vary in depth. Together these features force many route choice decisions that will be crucial to winning runs.
• Side streams, areas of detailed ditches, and gullies are the most prominent navigation features in the forests. Clusters of rock detail exist too, but root stocks are the most common point features. Depending upon the nearby terrain, mapped root stocks may be as low as 1m.
• The main trail encountered by the advanced color and Orange courses is the Seneca Ridge Trail. It winds and contours around the ridges. It was designed for mountain bike cycling but it is also local favorite of long distance runners. Orienteers should watch for the occasional but fast moving cycling traffic.
• There is a variety of terrain in close proximity within Seneca Creek Park. Much of the land was once farmland. The newer the forest that’s grown in, the greener the area tend to be. Newer forests in the park tend to also change more dramatically from season to season. The different terrain lead one to using different navigation techniques. It may favor different competitor abilities and it may require adjusting one’s route choice decision rules.
• Mapped distinct slow run sections of forest tend to be places with blow-down deadfall, have bushes, or are places where succession with pine trees is continuing. A wet summer and fall has made bushy vegetation, taller and wider than it was. Several areas have been re-mapped for this (original mapping started in 2014 has been updated several times through now). Some loopy low vegetation has grown in. There may still be some areas that are slower than the map may suggest.
• The new terrain mapped in 2018, is used by the Blue, Red and Green courses.
• Where rough open terrain is mapped, heather and grasses may be tall enough to slow running speeds. The rough open symbol with widely spaced vertical green slash on the map reflects this. Two rough open fields on either side of a tall power line ride, may be thorny where mapped with dense vertical slash—these are best avoided. A rough open area used by the advanced and intermediate courses was once a shooting range. Some unmapped pavement for the shooting range is visible but most of it is covered over with grass. Structures for the shooting range, and most of the ruins in the area have recently been removed.

Smokey Glen Farm Map and Course Notes as of 11/13/2018
• The event center is located in Smokey Glen Farm (SGF). This is a private property adjacent to Seneca Creek State Park. Smokey Glen Farm is often used by corporations for private catered picnics, and for large family reunions. The farm is large enough to host multiple events simultaneously; each event area has clusters of small buildings and shelters. However, most of the SGF terrain is picturesque fast open rolling field, broken by a network of small roads.
• Conifer trees are farmed in SGF in some areas—mowing in the areas is done in parallel rows with the low trees and rough open grass strips in the space in-between. These farmed trees are mapped with the orchard symbol. There are additionally scattered distinct trees and bushes, as well as small streams on the property.
• The edges of SGF along the park, are mostly open hardwood forests. Some rocky areas can be found.
• There are many fences along the roadways inside SGF. Some are wooden with 1 slat, and are easy to duck under. Others with 2 slats are mostly thin and fragile, and won’t hold weight—please take care not to climb or break these. If needed, go under where possible, or around to an already broken spot. Some well-kept, and some old broken barbed wire fences exist within lines of trees. Though low, with the vegetation, the lines may be very difficult to cross. Simple rope and pole fences surround horseshoe throwing areas. An attempt was made to map all of these types of fences in SGF.
• A few buildings in SGF can be passed through. The buildings are used for dances, weddings and other paid events. Please do not pass-thru if wearing metal spikes since these will scratch the floors. No significant course advantage will be gained by passing through.
• Various picnic tables and equipment are scattered around some buildings. Since these are moved about, these items have not been mapped. Signs and the wires for zip lines are generally not mapped. Some signs are posted to keep different SGF guest parties apart. Orienteers may move about SGF anywhere except where marked out-of-bounds (for private residences), and so long as one is not destructive.
• The relay begins in a mass start on SGF. All 3 legs are on a mix of wooded, open and rough open terrain however, most of the terrain used is fast. Please see below for information about the relay team rules.

Mid-Atlantic Championships Club Competition Scoring

The coveted Broken Compass Award will be awarded to the Mid-Atlantic eligible club with the highest number of points, awarded as follows:

Attendance: 200 x (club members participating/total club membership) - maximum 200 points possible for each club.

Individual Courses: separate points for top championship eligible (by OUSA rules (here and see below) and Mid-Atlantic club membership) male and female finishers on each course as follows, for a total of 398 points at stake.

White -  M/F 1st through 5th- 10/8/6/4/2 pts - 60 points at stake
Yellow -  M/F 1st through 5th- 10/8/6/4/2 pts - 60 points at stake
Orange -  M/F 1st through 5th- 10/8/6/4/2 pts - 60 points at stake
Brown -  M/F 1st through 5th- 10/8/6/4/2 pts - 60 points at stake
Green -  M/F 1st through 5th- 10/8/6/4/2 pts - 60 points at stake
Red -  M/F 1st through 5th- 10/8/6/4/2 pts - 60 points at stake

There will be no separate male and female points for the blue course, points will be awarded to top finishers' clubs as follows:

Blue -  1st through 7th - 10/8/6/5/4/3/2pts - 38 total points at stake

Note: only people running the appropriate course color for their competitive class according to OUSA rules (or running up on a harder course), and running on behalf of a Mid-Atlantic club of which they are a current member count for scoring purposes on each course - all others are invisible to the scoring system and can neither score points themselves nor prevent others from scoring points by finishing ahead of them. Also, if anyone runs more than one course, only the first one they run counts. To keep the burden of computing the scores manageable, it is each competitor's responsibility to make sure the results list them as competing for the correct club and in the correct competitive class. All are encouraged to pre-register in order to minimize the burden on the timing/results volunteers.

Relay: 1st through 10th- 60/50/41/33/26/20/15/11/8/6pts -  270 points at stake

Relay Details: The relay will have three legs so forming a relay team requires THREE (3) orienteers. Anyone can form a team and a club can enter as many teams as it likes. There will be three classes of relay teams: 3-point, 6-point, and 9-point, according to the total points of the three team members. A team with 3-5 points counts as a 3-point team; 6-8 points counts as a 6-point team, and 9 or more points counts as a 9-point team. Only teams with members all belonging to the same Mid-Atlantic club can score points; other teams are invisible to the scoring system. Teams with fewer than 3 points can be formed, if desired, and will be treated like 3 point teams except for being ineligible to score points.

There will be a “chasing” start. 9 point teams will take part in the initial mass start, 6 point teams will start 7 minutes later, 3 point another 7 minutes after that. There will be mass starts for 2nd, and 3rd leg orienteers who haven't already been tagged ~15 minutes after the lead runner on the leg in question starts. We will count each runner’s full time in the result. All classes of team are part of the same competition, i.e. the first 10 club teams whose third leg runners finish, with no one on the team mispunching, are the ones that earn points for their clubs.

Below are the rules for calculating team member points according to age and gender.

- Ages 17-20 or 35-49 receives 1 point
- Ages 15-16 or 50-59 receives 2 points
- Under 15 years of age or 60 and older receives 3 points
- a female orienteer receives 2 points in addition to any age points

There will be no charge for entering relay teams, provided all the team members ran an individual course. Anyone who didn't will be charged as for an individual race.

Individual OUSA Championship Classes
White F-10 F-12 M-10 M-12
Yellow F-14 M-14
Orange F-16 M-16
Brown F-18 F55+ F60+ F65+ F70+ F75+ F80+ F85+ F90+ M65+ M70+ M75+ M80+ M85+ M90+
Green F-20 F35+ F40+ F45+ F50+ M-18 M50+ M55+ M60+
Red F-21+ M35+ M40+ M45+
Blue M-21+

Non-Championship Competitive OUSA Classes M/F White M/F Yellow M/F Orange M/F Brown M/F Green M Red

Age class ranges are indicated by a "-" and/or a "+".  A "-" before the age means "and younger"; the "+" after the age means "and older". Age is assessed based on year of birth only, i.e. all individuals born in the same calendar year are considered to be the same age, regardless of what month and day they were born. Gender classes contain M for male and F for female.  Classes containing the course color are open to any age. Classes containing M/F are open to any age or gender.

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
  • If you wish to become a QOC member you should join online in advance 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) can be purchased from online vendors 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.