#2 Choose Your Campus Adventure! - North Seattle College

Sat, Aug 23, 2014
Seattle, WA
Registration time: 
Online by 9:00pm 8/21, or onsite from 10:00am - 11:00am
North Seattle College
Meet Director: 
Patrick Nuss
Course Setter: 
Patrick Nuss
Electronic Punching: 

Map & Course Notes now added!

This is the second of six events in the 2014 Choose Your Adventure Series! 

The Choose Your Adventure Series is meant to be fun, social, friendly for beginners, yet interesting for seasoned veterans. Everyone starts together, so run head-to-head with your friends or against your rivals. Who will visit the most checkpoints within the time limit? Who will run the fastest? 

This format is great for beginners! With many checkpoints along trails and open areas, you'll be sure to visit a lot! And if there's one that's hard to find, don't worry, you can skip it and keep going.

For the advanced navigators, the races will be a challenging exercise in figuring out the most efficient and optimal route to try to get them all! This race will have one map exchange; once you visit all checkpoints on one map, swing back through the start/finish area and we'll give you another set of checkpoints to visit!

Afterward, we'll find a place to hang out and socialize and share routes and stories!
Location & Parking:
North Seattle College (formerly North Seattle Community College). Follow signs to enter in northernmost driveway at College Way & N 100th Street. We do not need to pay for parking, as it is covered in our event permit.
10:00am - Registration & Instruction Opens
11:00am - Registration & Instruction Closes
11:15am - Mass Start!
12:30pm - Finish & Course Closure
01:00pm - Post-Race Social (details TBA)
Entry Fees:
$9 standard pre-registration entry (team or solo) 
subtract $3 for club members or age under 18
add $2 for registration day-of-event
add $2 for electronic timing chip rental (one per team or solo)
Instruction & Training:
Is this your first event or do you want to improve your skills? Meet us from 10:00am - 11:00am for up to an hour of free skills instruction!
Post Race Social:
Let's hang out after the race! Details TBA.
A one-size-fits-all race for beginners through advanced runners. We’ll have a mass start and one map exchange. Half the checkpoints will be marked on the first map. Once you visit all checkpoints (in any order you want) and return to the start, you’ll be given a second map with the second half of the checkpoints (which you can also visit in any order you want). The total time limit is 75 minutes!

Event Scoring: 
All 24 checkpoints are worth the same amount: 1 point per checkpoint. The maximum score is 24 points. The first person or team returning with 24 points wins!   
  • 1 point penalty per minute late after 75 minutes.
  • 1 point penalty for every checkpoint that you're missing in the first set of 12. Example: if you find 10 of 12, you'll get 8 points (10 points - 2 points).  Exception: if you don't choose to head out on the second map, this penalty will not be applied. There's no penalty for skipping any from the second set.

FAQ about Scoring & Penalties:
Q:What if I skip a checkpoint during my first loop?
A: You get a 1-point penalty.
Q: What if I skip a checkpoint during my second loop?
A: There's no penalty.
Q: What if I punch a second-set checkpoint during my first loop?
A: It won't count, but you won't get penalized. You can correctly punch this checkpoint on your second loop.

Q: What if I punch a first-set checkpoint (that I missed during the first set) during my second loop? 
A: It will count, but that doesn't erase the 1-point penalty.

Basically, you need to complete the first set of 12 before heading out for the second set of 12. The penalty is there to prevent an advantage gained by running two loops concurrently.
Map & Course Notes:
This is a completely brand new map of North Seattle College, mapped at 1:4000 scale and to “sprint” orienteering standard. The club has used this venue just twice before: a novelty cell- phone-o and memory-o in September 2007 (in which participants were never running with a map), and the original event way back in October 2003. In other words, this will feel like a first-time venue for most of you! The area is a mix of very complex multi-level campus buildings and city park (lawn, trails, etc).

Mapping Standards. There are two international orienteering mapping standards out there, ISOM (Int’l Standard for Orienteering Maps) and ISSOM (Int’l Standard for Sprint Orienteering Maps). With the exception of two sprints we’ve hosted at A-Meets (Cle Elum/Roslyn High School in 2009 and Fort Casey State Park in 2012, the club has never used an ISSOM map for a local race until now.

ISOM and ISSOM are very similar, but that ISSOM goes into much greater detail in urban environments, with colors and symbols for buildings, building canopies, passageway/tunnels, bridges, uncrossable walls, landscaped areas, for examples. Because the North Seattle campus is complex, all of these symbols are used! I’m sure that reading these notes will be confusing, but the map will start to make sense as you run around it!
Choose Your Adventure Course. 24 checkpoints, using 2 maps with 12 checkpoints each. If you clear the course, you're guaranteed to go at least 4km.

Demo Course. For this Choose-Your-Adventure event, we’ll have our typical “instruction hour” from 10am to 11am with a short demo course on the map (shown below). If you’d like to take a look at a little bit of the area and how it was mapped, this would be a great opportunity!

Multiple Levels. Because of open-air stairwells, just about all exterior levels of all buildings are reachable on foot. However, it’s impossible to map all of these layers at once, so here’s a quickie guide to what is mapped and what is not, from highest elevation to lowest.

Campus 3rd Level:     NOT mapped. There’s no reason to run up there.
Campus 2nd Level:     Always mapped as main running level
Campus Ground Level:  Mapped as main running level when no level is directly overhead. Mapped using passageway/tunnel symbol when 2nd level is overhead.  
Campus Garage Level:  NOT mapped. There’s no reason to run down there.

Stairwells. All stairwells are mapped to show connectivity only from the two mapped levels: ground level to 2nd level. In reality, some stairwells also go either further up (to 3rd level), further down (to garage), or both.

Uncrossable Wall/Railing & Passageway/Tunnel Symbol. In ISSOM, a thick black line is an uncrossable wall, which is not possible to cross. In ISSOM a dotted black line shows the edges of a passageway/tunnel that goes underneath the main running level.

The North Seattle College map has a very specific interpretation of these two symbols, which is the following:

Thick black lines are almost always uncrossable railings. Meaning that you can never, ever, cross them from the upper level above (you’d basically be jumping off a deck). However, in almost all cases, you can cross them from the ground level side and go underneath (basically running under a deck). You can go underneath all the way until you reach the nearest edge of the passageway/tunnel, which is the dotted line. ISSOM uses the word “tunnel”, but on this map, it’s more of a lower-level, one-walled passageway. On one side, it’s open to the air, and on the other, there’s a wall.

For those of you familiar with sprint maps, you may be asking why the map uses the passageway/tunnel symbol instead of the building canopy symbol. The map uses both. The passageway symbol is used to show the lower level passageways. The building canopy symbol is used to show the canopies and passageways on the upper level.

Buildings & Canopies. Buildings interiors are mapped as a dark gray. Building canopies are mapped as a very light gray. You can run through building canopies, but you can’t enter a building interior (ie: opening a door)! Basically, you’re allowed to go where an outside dog would go. You can hop up stairs, go through open-air passageways, but you can’t enter buildings by opening a door. It’s worth noting that what looks like a building from one side may not be mapped as a building because you can also run on top of it! Buildings and canopies are considered part of the main running level.

Pavement Colors. Usually, paved areas are mapped just using one color. However, many ISSOM maps in Vancouver use two, for vehicular pavement and pedestrian pavement. I’ve taken this a step further, and used three:

Lightest Brown: Upper level pedestrian (campus 2nd level only)
Medium   Brown: Ground level pedestrian (campus ground level and sidewalks elsewhere)
Darkest  Brown: Vehicular pavement (always ground level)

The 2nd level of campus has “cut-outs” showing accessible ground level areas (open to the sky) underneath. The upper and ground level pavement colors are useful in quickly determining whether a certain part of the map is high or low.

Vegetation. In ISSOM, the key color to be aware of is olive green, which is for out-of-bounds vegetation. I’ve used this color for nicely landscaped areas around campus, as well as the community garden. This color is not used for ivy-covered areas, parking lot islands, and the parklands. My rule of thumb was that if your neighbor saw your dog rooting around in the area and got mad at you, it’s olive green. Otherwise, it’s mapped as traditional light/medium/dark green. I’ll also mention that they’ve been doing a lot of pruning and vegetation thinning as I’ve been mapping (last updated on August 12th). This shouldn't affect checkpoint locations, though.

Checkpoint Sites. All checkpoints will be located on a main running level which may be ground level or upper level. The dotted passageway symbol is not considered to show a main running level. You will be certain to be running through some passageways, but no flags will be under an area where there’s a running level above. In other words, to eliminate ambiguity, all checkpoint flags will be on main running levels.

Breakdowns. Unfortunately, there are a two small areas of the map that are impossible to map accurately, and both involve interactions between the campus ground level and the garage level (not necessarily the underground parking garage, but it’s on the same level as the garage). For a point-to-point course, we’d avoid designing routes through these areas completely. However, since you will be choosing your own adventure all around campus, you may find yourself in one of these areas. If you ever get confused (whether it’s in a breakdown area, or accidentally going up too many stairs), keep moving. The campus is actually pretty small, so moving around to gain another perspective may be quicker than standing confused!

1)      One lower level area represented by the dotted passageway symbol is, in reality, a split level with part of the lowest level (equal to garage level). There are additional bridges, railings, and stairs here, but since everything is underneath the main running level, everything is just generically mapped with one dotted passageway. From two approaches of the area, you’d need to make a conscious effort to get to the lowest level (eg: go down some stairs), but from one approach, you could easily run into the lowest level and be a little confused.

2)      The other instance is on the north end of the tallest campus building. The ground level is even with the garage level here, so you actually have to run up one level to get to the passageway level. (Normally the ground level automatically enters the passageway level without having to go up a level.)

Construction. As of August 12th, there were a few brand new construction areas, so they will be printed on the map. They may or may not be there on event day, but they don’t affect control sites nor major routes.

Other Notes. Particularly on campus, there are a LOT of manmade objects, and it severely impacts legibility to try to map them all. I have mapped all pavement edges, buildings, and large planters; but no benches, tables, signs, or lamps. I have also omitted all artwork, both on the campus and surrounding parkland. They are placed and removed temporarily; they aren’t permanent, so I haven’t mapped them. I have mapped light poles in parking lots, and a few other really distinct man-made objects in the parklands. Most informational signs are not mapped. There are a several boulders that are smaller than 1m high that are mapped, but they are obvious in the terrain.