Hemlock Overlook

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February 2

The BumbleWOW, this is one heck of a day to celebrate……it’s Groundhog Day, it’s Mid-Winter Day (winter is half over!) and it’s the 7th annual Super Bowl Saturday Bumble. Come join us in Hemlock Overlook Park for a great day in the woods followed by QOC’s Winter Meeting and Pot Luck Party where we will celebrate volunteers, hear about upcoming events, and have some fun giveaways generously donated by REI.

To honor Punxsutawaney Phil, everyone will have to run their course again, and again, and again – ha ha, just kidding! We will have fun navigating great terrain and sharing great food. In addition to the Bumble Mass Start event for advanced participants, White, Yellow, and Orange level courses also be available. PLEASE read ALL notes for important details about the courses and the party.

Registration, downloading, and the post-race party will be in the LODGE thanks to our wonderful partnership with Adventure Links! And, we have been given permission to park in a few new places this time so we will have parking marshals to provide guidance. Of course, carpooling is always encouraged and appreciated. Please click here for a LOCATOR MAP.

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

Important notes:

  • Beginners are welcome, as always, and instruction will be available.
  • White, Yellow, and Orange courses will have regular starts from 11:00am to 1:30pm.
  • Advanced courses will have a MASS START at NOON. Please be ready for the PRE-RACE briefing at 11:45am at the Start location. Clothing drop for mass start; clothes will be available for pick up in Lodge.
  • Everyone must be out of the woods by 3:00pm, which is when we will begin picking up controls.
  • No spikes allowed in the Lodge; doggies are welcome in the building (not the kitchen) and in the park (on leash).
  • Restrooms available in Lodge but PLEASE do not come in with muddy shoes. There are much larger bathroom facilities located in the Bathhouse (which is closer to the start!)
  • Bumble prizes awarded (mass start only):
  • First male and first female competitors to cross the finish, regardless of course.
  • Fastest male competitor on Blue and fastest female competitor on Red
Potluck! Please bring a dish to share for the pot luck party!
  • We have access to refrigeration. Feel free to bring cold items in when you register or keep them in a cooler or car (will most likely be chilly weather!)
  • We do NOT have access to a stove but can easily accommodate crock pots!
  • Please bring serving utensils for your dish.
  • Alcohol is allowed so feel free to bring your fav beer or wine; QOC will provide non-alcoholic beverages, cups, utensils and paper goods.
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.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon! Please feel free to contact the Event Director with questions.


Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, Hemlock Pavilion, Clifton, VA (Bumble & Winter Meeting)

RegistrationNo advance registration required. Just show up and have fun!
Start TimesStart any time between the specified times (usually 11am - 1:30pm).
ScheduleSaturday, February 2
10:30 am - 1:15 pmBumble & Winter Meeting: Registration open
11:00 am - 1:30 pmBumble & Winter Meeting: White, yellow, and orange courses: start any time in this window
11:45 amBumble & Winter Meeting: Pre-race briefing for Mass Start / clothing drop available
12:00 pmBumble & Winter Meeting: Bumble Mass Start
2:00 pmBumble & Winter Meeting: Pot Luck Party Begins (2pm-ish); Winter Meeting sometime during the festivities
3:00 pmBumble & Winter Meeting: All courses close – everyone to have finished and downloaded
4:30 pm - 5:00 pmBumble & Winter Meeting: Clean up and depart; feel free to help out!
Event Director:Heidi Onkst
Course Designer:David Onkst
Location Details

Bumble & Winter Meeting, Bumble & Winter Meeting, Bumble & Winter Meeting, Bumble & Winter Meeting, Bumble & Winter Meeting, Bumble & Winter Meeting, Bumble & Winter Meeting
Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
Hemlock Pavilion
Clifton, VA
Google Map

From Clifton VA, take Main Street (route 641) south for 1 mile. Then go right onto Yates Ford Road and drive to the end (about 2 miles). Note: Please drive carefully along Yates Ford Road - it is narrow in some places, and one section has a 15mph speed limit.
Course DetailsBumble & Winter Meeting
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 1.95015
Yellow 2.87011
Orange 4.716011
Brown 3.512
Short 7
Green 5.517
Red 722
Blue 927
Course NotesBumble & Winter Meeting

General Notes: (check back for these closer to event day!)

Bumble Notes (advanced courses):
In addition to the regular beginning and intermediate courses, this event will also have one, single, very unique, “mass start” advanced course. As in past years, all of the advanced courses – Brown 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.

The advanced courses comprise a first and last control and 5 windows that contain 5 controls each. Like last year, there will be NO controls in between windows. The windows vary in size, 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. To have the most fun on the course, we recommend that you select a level based on the normal course you run at local QOC Meets (not necessarily your IOF age group; YES, this means some of you should run up!)

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. And because there are no mandatory controls in between the windows, you can choose the order to run the windows in if you have two or more windows.

So the race will go like this: The mass start begins and everyone runs to the FIRST control (mandatory). Then each competitor selects which windows he/she would like to visit (and in which order) based on their handicap. You then must complete all of the controls within a window before continuing. When you have completed all of your chosen window(s), you then must visit the course’s LAST control (mandatory) before heading to the finish where you will punch the finish box. Part of the fun is figuring out which way will be the quickest based on your physical and navigation strengths.

Example of Window A sample window is shown at right.

Bumble Course / Handicap (Number of Windows Required)
Brown / 2
Green / 3
Red / 4
Blue / 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 3.5k, while those with the least favorable handicap might have to run 9k or more. All others will fall somewhere in between depending on route choices. If racers select the course appropriate for their skill/fitness level, which should be your usual O-course (again, no need to run your IOF age group, run up and enjoy more of the course!), 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.

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.