Map Navigation Training, Lakewood neighborhood, Sunnyvale, Wednesday 8/19/2009

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Event Update posted 8/17:

Suburban neighborhoods, office parks, neighborhood parks, greenbelts, a community college, and shopping centers offer an interesting, lively mix for an evening run on a brand new 1:10000 map of northern Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. Join us at Sports Basement, and snack and use your 20% shopping discount when you're done with your run. Free event!

Note: Sunnyvale Baylands was advertised as part of the itinerary; turns out that the neigborhoods in between the rest of the map and the baylands are comprised of three trailer parks which don't allow visitor access. The interesting, circular street patterns of those trailer parks were part of the attraction in mapping this area, but I didn't find out about the limitations on access until I hit the pavement with my mapping clipboard. Also, the mapped area as it is now fills an 8.5 x 14 sheet of paper.

I've set up point to point courses rather than a score course, so you get to visit the checkpoints in a set order. Legs between each checkpoint have been designed have interesting route choices, to keep your mind active in between the oases of high detail on the map. You'll be looking for a little flag in the ground, about 18 inches high, colored yellow, green, or blue.

All 3 courses have minimal "climb" as there are no major landform features in this area. There's a remote start and finish, each the same for each course. This adds 2 miles distance to all of them (perfect for a "warm up" and a "cool down.") Simple directions will be given from the store to the start and back from the finish. They're not too complicated.

Long Course: 17 checkpoints, 9.0 km distance (not including distance to the start and back from the finish.)

Medium Course: 14 checkpoints, 7.0 km distance (not including distance to the start and back from the finish.)

Short Course: 11 checkpoints, 5.1 km distance (not including distance to the start and back from the finish.)

Careful out there! Put that map down and look both ways when crossing streets and roads. Safety first. Not a good idea to read a map while crossing a street. The course avoids the major thoroughfares. When crossing Lawrence Expressway, the best route uses the pedestrian footbridge marked on the map. So you don't have to wait 10 minutes to cross like you do at one of the stoplights. Traffic is speedier, but not that heavy, by the AMC Mercado theater and the church and some of the areas around the office parks.

Original Announcement:

Enjoy a tour of the Lakewood neighborhood in Sunnyvale and surrounding areas like the Sunnyvale Baylands park and Mission College, all on a new 1:10000 orienteering map. The neighborhood streets have interesting patterns which will provide nice route choice challenges, and the parks and community colleges will change up the pace with more checkpoint picking opportunities. See the Map of the Lakewood area with Sports Basement, Lakewood Park, Sunnyvale Baylands, and Mission College tagged.

A score course is offered. About 15 to 20 checkpoints will be marked on your map. Expect to cover 5 km to 10 km distance, depending on how many of the checkpoints you set out to find.

Sports Basement is kindly hosting this free event, and you can enjoy a 20% shopping discount on sporting goods, shoes, and sports accessories. The event opens at 6:00 inside the store. For folks new to orienteering and running with a map, we'll have a clinic at 6:15. Aim to finish by 8:00 to give yourself time to visit with people, enjoy refreshments, and do a little shopping if you like.


The address of Sports Basement's Sunnyvale store is 1177 Kern Ave. Exit US Highway 101 at Lawrence Expressway and head south. Make the second right turn at Kern Ave.

Public Transit:

From the Lawrence Caltrain Station, it's about a mile walk or jog north on Lawrence Expressway to Kern Ave - make a left, and you'll see the Sports Basement warehouse. Careful with traffic crossings. VTA buses also route near the store - see VTA's website to plan your trip.

Event Contact: Rex, 5 1 0 - 6 8 1 - 6 1 8 1,