Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Orienteering Mini-report: Poplar Creek in NW Chicago Suburb (9-23-12)

This report is likely not so mini.

So, this is my 4th time to be at this place. I knew that this place is easy.  I knew that this place is quite far away from Chicago (>1 hour away).  I knew that almost 4 years ago, I did my first orienteering in the US here.  So why should I come back?

Well, this time, we had one of the largest group of people going (7).  My roommate was thinking about going, but he could not because of injury.  It is always fun to bring a group of people to do something, right?

Also at the event center, I saw many familiar faces coming back.  There is Rich, who is the senior of the CAOC.  There is Maricel, who is always the fastest runner in the club and is a goal to aim if I want to go very competitive (comparable to Gerald in HK).  There is even Kevin, who is a very competitive orienteer from Wisconsin.  He set an orienteering training camp in Wisconsin last year.

Those CAOC regulars talked about the next week's trip to Yankee Springs in Michigan, and I will go.

Back to my friends, Marco, Feiyin, and Ramreddy joined the orienteering event again.  Marco and Feiyin can now do orange (intermediate) course alone.  Ramreddy even did a green (short advanced) course!  Then, we had three first-timers.  Boonchong and Xinyu decided to do a yellow (beginner) course together and then orange.  Tatyana, who had some experience in orienteering before, did an orange course alone.  After everybody left, I started myself the red course.

Poplar Creek has a lot of open land, and many places in the map are easy to run.  I saw a dead, headless deer on the way to one control. Then, I saw Ramreddy when I went to another control.  Somehow I felt like I should give him a hint, and turned out that he needed it, since he did go too far away from his control.  Then, I met several people along the course that I knew.  I even saw Rich several times.

When I came back after slightly more than an hour, I was glad that several friends were back.  Tatyana was already back from an orange course, and I was sure that she could try a green course.  Boonchong and Xinyu were also back from a yellow course, and they were ok to do an orange course.  I decided to go with them.

Not too sure if I had given too many hints, but I tried not to say too much to Boonchong and Xinyu about how to find the control.  Hopefully they also got the idea that finding a control is skill and not luck.  I also met Jeff in the course and we talked a while about how to give instructions on orienteering.

After finishing the orange course, Tatyana joined me to pick up some controls, since it was already 2:30pm and CAOC started to pack.  After the control pickup, our group had a picture with a control (see below).

We went to a buffet place called "Sweet Tomatoes" after orienteering.  This restaurant is pretty vegetarian friendly. It was good to hear that everybody finishes their course(s).

Along the way back home, Xinyu tried to wake me up during driving by talking about the possibility of setting up an orienteering club in UIUC.

After going home, I was very tired.  My roommate wanted to eat, though. I brought him to Courier Cafe and I got a banana split dessert.

I cannot wait next week for one of my featured orienteering event of this year -- Yankee Springs, Michigan.  I have heard legends of this place from Rich a lot.

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