The Golden Gate Getaway, November 7th through November 15th, 2009

Golden Gate Getaway: program | blog | register | postcard front / backflyer | terraloco home

Program Contents: Schedule | Costs & Registration | Sprint Finals format | Housing & Transportation | Socials & Activities | Credits | Contact

11/6 update: The newest version of the Quick reference guide has the latest updates - the Saturday sprint finals dinner banquet price and menu, souvenir poster print, sprint finals awards, Pt. Bonita directions, course setter's notes  - all along with the  typewritten directions and helpful notes.

Also updated: the Google Maps page with all the venues, dates, and times for the training camp and sprint finals. You can create customized directions very easily in advance, or do it from your phone "on the fly." 

What is it?

Simply the best week of North American orienteering events ever... held in November. And we're aiming to offer one of the best weeks ever, but we'll defer judgment until we've put on the show. It features BAOC's O in the Oaks '09 A-meet at Pacheco State Park and the unofficial North American Sprint Series finals in San Francisco, presented by terraloco and Get Lost!!. The amount of orienteering is comparable to the Rocky Mountain 1000 day. We've put a decidedly California spin on it: the Golden Gate Getaway.

November? Yes, November. Northern California is beautiful in early November! It usually doesn't start raining until later in December, daytime highs are in the low 60's, and San Francisco itself is warmer than you'd usually find it in July or August with all that fog. And without the fog, you can see the majestic beauty of San Francisco and the Golden Gate from Pt. Bonita with crystalline clarity.

Not only is the timing of this week rather unusual, but so is the overall format of the week. Unusually enticing, we're hoping. It begins with classic orienteering in a classic central coast venue: Pacheco State Park, with its gently rolling hills and runnable oak forests and meadows. The getaway culminates on the following weekend with the sprint finals, a series of 5 sprint courses at stunning Pt. Bonita on the Marin coast, San Francisco State University, and the mixed woods and park terrain of McLaren Park. In between is all the fun and training of a 1000 day, with a mix of classic and urban training venues designed to provide aesthetic enjoyment as well as damn good training. Social opportunities will be provided throughout, and feel free to pick and choose what you want to do so that you can explore and have some fun in the Bay Area.

The Pie in the Sky

We want to showcase orienteering to the world, right here in one of the hotspot cities of the planet. An all-points bulletin will be delivered to local media. We're planning to document the experience with a DVD. The venues are scenic and large sections of the courses will offer spectator access. Hopefully, we'll draw some numbers to show what an interesting spectacle an orienteering competition can be. Our goal is to provide a celebration of the sport for all to enjoy: competitors, recreational participants, juniors, spectators, friends, the media, and the general public. "Check out how exciting this is!" And the accessible sprint format will serve the purpose nicely.

What's the latest?

The blog,, will be updated with all the latest photos, map samples, meandering thoughts, and concrete developments of this unprecedented week. Feel free to tune in from time to time. The essential information will be updated here; read the blog if you want some more in-depth thoughts about the events.

What's the schedule?

Go to the schedule page or the schedule page to get more information about any of the events - clickable links have program information, details, and directions.

The A-Meet
Saturday and Sunday, November 7 and 8: BAOC O in the Oaks '09 A-meet, Pacheco State Park - classic orienteering courses in the wonderful, oaky hills of the central coast.

The Training Fun
Monday, November 9: Morning Golden Gate Goat at Golden Gate Park, followed by Stanford sprints in the afternoon by Eric Bone / MerGeo.
Tuesday, November 10: Magnus Johansson presents morning intervals in Old Oakland and a chasing sprint by Lake Merritt; in the PM, train in the rocky woods of Morgan Territory.
Wednesday, November 11: Merritt College mass-start motala in the morning, and afternoon sprints at U.C. Berkeley by Ben Legg.
Thursday, November 12: Dennis Wilkinson's breakfast run in Palo Alto starting from Hobee's, and taste our best redwood terrain later at the Joaquin Miller sprints by Jonas Kjall.
Friday, November 13: Optional San Francisco street course around Buena Vista Park and Twin Peaks - self service - no event crew - get map ahead of time.

for the underlined venues, Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, and Joaquin Miller, we are including these in the sprint series tallies.

The Sprint Series Finals
Friday, November 13: The afternoon prologue at Point Bonita, Marin headlands, overlooking the ocean, the bay, the Golden Gate, and San Francisco. Stunning.
Saturday, November 14: Two morning sprints in the detailed campus terrain of San Francisco State University. Best arena ever! You get to watch.
Saturday, November 14: An afternoon sprint in the mixed woods and park terrain of McLaren Park. We're staging it for a nice sunset across the cityscape.
Sunday, November 15: The finale sprint at McLaren Park. And the awards ceremony.

Detailed Sprint Finals Schedule
02:00 P.M. Registration open, Pt. Bonita
02:30 P.M. Starts open, Pt. Bonita
04:30 P.M. Last start
05:00 P.M. Courses close
11:59 P.M. Seeding posted for Saturday's competitive sprint finals heats (does not apply to recreational participants)
08:00 A.M. Registration open, San Francisco State University
09:00 A.M. Long course 1 competitive starts - set order, groups of 4 - 2 minute intervals
09:20 A.M. Long course 1 recreational starts - first come, first served - 1 minute intervals
09:30 A.M. Short course competitive starts - set order, groups of 4 - 2 minute intervals
09:50 A.M. Short course recreational starts - first come, first served - 1 minute intervals
10:15 A.M. White course competitive starts - set order, groups of 4 - 2 minute intervals
10:25 A.M. White course recreational starts - first come, first served - 1 minute intervals
11:00 A.M. Long course 2 competitive starts - set order, groups of 4 - 2 minute intervals
11:20 A.M. Long course 2 recreational starts - first come, first served - 1 minute intervals
12:00 P.M. Courses close
02:00 P.M. Registration open, McLaren Park
02:15 P.M. Recreational starts, all courses - first come, first served - 1 minute intervals
02:45 P.M. White course competitive starts - set order, groups of 4 - 2 minute intervals
03:15 P.M. Short course competitive starts - set order, groups of 4 - 2 minute intervals
04:00 P.M. Long course competitive starts - set order, groups of 4 - 2 minute intervals
06:00 P.M. Banquet dinner, San Francisco at
Delancey Street Restaurant.
08:00 A.M. Registration open, McLaren Park
09:00 A.M. Short course final competitive starts - set order, groups of 4 - 2 minute intervals
09:30 A.M. Long course final competitive starts - set order, groups of 4 - 2 minute intervals
10:00 A.M. White course final competitive starts - set order, groups of 4 - 2 minute intervals
10:15 A.M. Recreational starts, all courses - first come, first serve - 1 minute intervals
11:00 A.M. Awards ceremony
12:00 P.M. Courses close

What are the costs? How do I register?

Advance registration for the O in the Oaks A-meet at Pacheco State Park is now closed. For this event and the training camp you will now have to register and pay at the events.

You may still register online for the North American Sprint Finals - competitive or recreational. Link: Sprint finals registration.

See the prices for all events at the A-meet web page. Recreational registration for the sprint finals is cheaper: It's $10 per venue per day for adults, $3 for students and juniors. For both venues on Saturday there's a package deal of $15 for adults, $5 for juniors or students. Training events are $5 each, $3 for juniors and students. Here is the registration form and waiver for sprint finals and training events. 

See who's coming. I will post here the names of anybody who signs up for the sprint finals in the competitive division, since they won't go in the official Golden Gate Getaway registration system, which has closed. As of 11/6, these are: Clare Durand (long), Dean Sturtevant (short.)

BAOC Juniors who are entering this as a COOL event should not register as recreational. Your season pass covers your entry fees. M/F 10/12 classes should select the White course. Older juniors should select the Long course.

If you have any questions, contact Rex by email at or phone at 5 1 0 . 6 8 1 . 6 1 8 1.

How will the sprint finals work?

We will have 3 courses at each of the sprint finals events - white, short, and standard sprint.  The white, following the USOF course guidelines, will be for juniors in the 10 and 12 year classes, length about 2.0 km. Older juniors can register for the standard sprint. Each standard sprint course will be 2.5 km to 3.0 km in length, with the exception of the two courses at San Francisco State, which will total about 2.5 km to 3.0 km. The short versions will provide the same technical challenge with reduced length and physicality. Expect interesting courses with lots of quick decision making, obstacles, detailed map reading, changes of direction, and  butterfly loops.

You may do the courses recreationally, with individual starts and a separate results listing. Enjoy your course at your own pace, and this will allow you the opportunity to watch the finals competition. We're setting up an arena at each staging site.

The competition is open to anybody as well. After the solo prologue at Pt. Bonita on Friday, which helps with seeding and is not mandatory, the competitive class events will have "mini mass starts" on Saturday. Groups of 4 will run together, and your placement in the group is used to determine how you advance in the tournament. You'll get a different group in each round.

Competition details are being developed, and are similar in nature to the sprint finals of recent years past - consult the Sprint Series website for the history. The most current available information is contained in this discussion thread on Attackpoint; it won't be radically different from what you see there.

And the awards are being designed and created by Benjamin Chan. A Golden Gate Getaway commemorative poster print featuring a beautiful visual iconographic design will be made available for sale to anybody; the top 3 in each division will receive a complimentary print. These will be nice - Ben is a pro artist. And first place in each division will get a print made on sturdy block of wood. It'll look real good. Stay tuned for a visual preview of the design.

Where do I stay? How do I get around?

We have negotiated a good rate with the Hotel Whitcomb, which has nice rooms and sits in a stately, historic building literally on top of the Civic Center BART subway station on Market St. in downtown San Francisco. It is very conveniently located for attending the events. The group deal is $65 per room per night for 1 or 2 people, $80 for 3 people, and $95 for 4 people, plus taxes. Youth 17 and under are not charged with their family, but rollover beds are an extra $20 per night.  Make reservations with Maria Bernard, the sales manager, rather than the front desk. When corresponding with Maria, mention the Golden Gate Getaway or Rex Winterbottom / terraloco to get the deal. Her email is, and she may be reached by phone at 4 1 5 . 4 8 7 . 4 4 6 2. Nov. 4 is the cutoff date for this deal.

If you're looking for very inexpensive accommodations, San Francisco has quite a few hostels where you can book your spot for about $20 a night, you can look them up at Hostelworld. Make sure to expand the search to include all housing options, they also include small hotels, and read carefully the details about location (and proximity to transit) and also user ratings.

Once your return from Pacheco State Park, you might not need your rental car - almost all the training sessions are transit accessible. The ones that aren't, like Morgan Territory, will have transit pickup spots and carpool spots, and we will coordinate rides so everyone can get to those kinds of places.

Pt. Bonita is the only sprint finals site without easy transit access, and parking is limited, so we're asking everybody to carpool. Contact Rex and he will help coordinate this.

What's the party schedule? And what are some fun things to do?

Yes, there will be socializing! Participants are invited to attend any or all of these functions. See the quick reference guide for the details... and call Rex if needed to find the group.

Monday, November 9: Dinner in downtown Palo Alto
Tuesday, November 10: Dinner at
Zachary's Pizza in San Ramon... incredible Chicago-style pizza!
Wednesday, November 11: Dinner at La Val's Pizza in Berkeley, where
CHAOS is hosting their "meeting" (they are hosting the U.C. Berkeley event for us.)
Thursday, November 12: Dinner and... if you're up to it... a movie at the
Grand Lake Theater - a palatial, art-deco theater in Oakland
Saturday, November 14: Banquet in San Francisco at
Delancey Street Restaurant.

And feel free to start some parties of your own. The Bay Area has great live performance venues and exciting things happening every night of the week. The San Francisco Bay Guardian, East Bay Express, and San Jose Metro are accessible online, and free in newsracks when you get here. The San Francisco Chronicle's online content is free to browse as well.

During the day, there are many wonderful places to visit. Cities like San Francisco and Oakland are rich and historical, and just walking around the city can provide an interesting outing. Oakland's Chinatown is the real thing. Also good for walks: the Stanford and U.C. Berkeley campuses. Recommended museums include the fab new Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park (a good place to visit after the Wednesday event,) San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art, the Oakland Museum, San Francisco's Exploratorium, the U.C. Berkeley Botanical Garden, and San Francisco's De Young and Palace of the Legion of Honor art museums.

Staff - Training and Sprint Finals

See the BAOC event page for O in the Oaks '09 A-meet staffing information.

Committee - Jeff Lanam, George Minarik, Alex Finch, Nick Corsano, Steve Beuerman
Registration - Marsha Jacobs
Primary Event Directors - Alexei Azarov (Get Lost!!), Vladimir Gusiatnikov (Get Lost!!), Rex Winterbottom (Get Lost!! and terraloco)
Primary Course Setters - Alexei Azarov, Vladimir Gusiatnikov, Rex Winterbottom
Sprint Series coordinators - Cristina Luis, Kris Beecroft
Guest Trainers and Course Setters - Eric Bone (
Meridian Geographics), Ben Legg, Magnus Johansson, Jonas Kjall, Dennis Wilkinson
Vetters - George Minarik
Permitting - Brett Carter, Ben Legg
Postcard Design -
Benjamin Chan
Poster Print Design and Awards -
Benjamin Chan


Rex Winterbottom,, 5 1 0 . 6 8 1 . 6 1 8 1