Laramie Daze Race Information
Laramie Daze Aug 30 - September 4, 2023
To register, go to the OUSA Event Register at: Orienteering USA - Laramie Daze Registration
Important Note: We plan to set out direction signs for each race following the directions given below, but it would still be a good idea to have printed out or downloaded the directions and overview map and have that information with you. Cell phone coverage in the race areas may be spotty or non-existent.
All directions assume you are coming from Laramie on I-80, and exiting at the Summit Exit, exit 323.
Wednesday, Aug 30: The Unfair Race at The Forest of Little Hope (New Map!); mass start at 12:00; map scale 1:7500, course length ~ 6.1 kms
Directions: After exiting at exit 323, cross over the interstate and bear right at the intersection with WY 210 and continue straight past the Visitors Center and over the cattle grate and onto Forest Road (FR) 705 for about 4.5 miles to the intersection with FR 707. Bear left onto FR 707 and continue for about 0.7 miles to the intersection with FR 707A, and turn right onto FR 707A. Continue on FR 707A for 0.1 miles and bear left and continue on FR 707A for another 0.8 miles to the intersection with a faint double track with leads to a campsite to the south. Park just off FR 707A in this vicinity, pulling far enough off the road to allow vehicle traffic to pass. Start and Finish will be in the vicinity of the campsite. Note: for those who might be considering driving in on 707A from the *east*, because of road conditions we recommend against this unless you have a vehicle with higher clearance and 4 wheel drive.
Other: There will be portable toilets. There will be no water on the course.
Thursday, Aug 31: The Knockout Sprints at South Granite (New Map!), mass start first round at 10:00; map scale 1:7500, mass start, 3 rounds (4 .3 kms, 2.2 kms, 1.7 kms respectively), 20 runners to go from 1st to 2nd round, 10 runners to go from 2nd round to Final round. Those who are knocked out will gather in small circles and sing songs of woe and futility.
Directions: take exit 323, drive north over the interstate, and turn left onto WY 210, and continue for about 11.1 miles and turn right onto the Vedauwoo Rd (FR 700). Drive 0.8 miles and turn left onto FR 700R, and drive 0.6 miles (bearing left at the fork along the way), and park.
Friday, Sept 1: The One Cowboy Relay at Aspen Meadows (New Map!), mass start at 10:00, map scale 1:7500, motala style individual relay, ~ 7 kms
Directions: Same as for The Unfair Race except for the very last part, and instead of continuing on 707A for0.8 miles, continue for 1.4 miles to a 3 way intersection, and park anywhere west of the intersection (the jeep trail leading south of from the intersection is okay for parking also.) Again, we advise *against* driving in from the east on 707A.
Note: for those who might be considering driving in on 707A from the *east*, because of road conditions we recommend against this unless you have a vehicle with higher clearance and 4 wheel drive.
Saturday, Sept 2: NRE #1 at Sugar Hill (New Map!)
Classic distance, individual starts; White 2.9 kms, Yellow 2.9 kms, Orange 3.6 kms, Brown 3.5 kms, Green 5.2 kms, Red 8.0 kms, Blue 10.8 kms
First start at 9:00 am
Courses close at 3 hrs after last start
Directions: Take exit 323, drive north over the interstate, and bear left onto WY 210 (the Happy Jack Road). Take WY 210 east towards Cheyenne for about 7.6 miles and turn left onto FR701. Stay on 701 for about 1 mile to a corral and cattle gate, pass through the cattle gate and continue straight for very roughly another mile or so, and take the first right onto 701D, and take 701D about 1.7 miles, and park.
Sunday, Sept 3: NRE #2 at Area 307 (New Map!)
Classic distance, individual starts; White 1.9 kms, Yellow 2.1 kms, Orange 4.0 kms, Brown 4.2 kms, Green 5.8 kms, Red 8.1 kms, Blue 11.6 kms
First start at 9:00 am
Courses close at 3 hrs after last start
Directions: Take exit 323, drive north over the interstate, and bear left onto WY 210 (the Happy Jack Road). Take WY 210 east towards Cheyenne for about 2.8 miles and turn left (at parking lot) onto FR 712. Follow 712 for 2.1 miles to a "T" intersection and turn right. Continue on 712 for 0.3 miles and turn left at the junction. Continue on 712 for about 1.8 miles to a 4 way intersection and veer/turn left, heading north now on 714. Stay north for 1.6 miles, driving through a 4 way intersection where 714 turns into 713. Turn right onto 713C and follow for 0.6 miles to a 4 way intersection drive straight through the intersection, pass through the gate in the fence right past the intersection, and park.
Monday, Sept 4: NRE #3 at Remarkable Flats
Classic distance, individual starts; White 1.9 kms, Yellow 2.7 kms, Orange 4.0 kms, Brown 4.4 kms, Green 6.4 kms, Red 8.4 kms, Blue 10.7 kms
First start at 9:00 am
Courses close at 3 hrs after last start
Directions: From the I-80 Summit Exit (exit 323): exit I-80, head north, and turn onto WY 210. Take WY 210 for about 8.1 miles, and turn left onto Forest Service road 708. Begin parking along about 50m past the fence, but not past the first intersection further down. See diagram at bottom.
What (the basics)
Days 1-3 will mass started events; don't be late for the start! We will be using a hybrid punching system for each of these first three races, meaning there will be pin punching with a punch card as well as some number of electronic controls where you will use your e-stick. So you will need your bib number, your e-stick (cleared and checked), and your punch card (pick up at registration each day) at the Start before each race.
The Unfair Race will be patently unfair, but in the end will be fair anyway. The Knockout Sprint will consist of three rounds, with the first two rounds winnowing the field to a final round of 10 finalists to see who is the supremo knockout sprint champion. The One Cowboy Relay will be a multiple loop, one person relay consisting of several short loops taken in different order (motala style) and one final loop that all cowboys and cowgirls have in common. These will be the gems of the event, the highlights of the week!
Days 4-6 will be classic length NRE races with interval starts. We used to call them "A" races, but three letters are better than one, so now we call them NRE's. : )
The Laramie Range Orienteering Club is an authorized permittee of the Medicine Bow National Forest.
Early registration pricing is open through 8/22/23 11:59 MST. All registration closes 8/29/23 11:59 MST.
Individual Training Events (W-F)
Adults: $16 per day
Juniors: $10 per day
Individual NRE Events (Nationally Ranked Event) (S-M)
Adults: $45 per day ($55 After 8/22)
Juniors: $20 per day ($25 After 8/22)
All Six Days Adult - $168 ($198 After 8/22)
All Six Days Junior - $75 ($100 After 8/22)
Three NRE Days Adult - $120 ($150 After 8/22)
Three NRE Days Junior - $45 ($60 After 8/22)
OUSA Members Receive the Following Discounts
Juniors - $2 discount per NRE race
Adults - $4 discount per NRE race
Recreational Option for NRE Events
If you do not wish to be scored in the NRE system, there is an option to participate recreationally in the NRE races for a discounted price ($15/$10)
(All the information below is subject to change, updating, and elaboration, so check back closer to the event; some of the non-race specific info dates back to a race some years ago)
General Race Procedures
Days 1-3 (all set by Mikell) will be mass started and will use "hybrid" punching--competitors will carry both a punch card as well as their SportIdent e-stick. The main purpose of the e-stick will be to provide timing, but if you come to a control on your course with an electronic control unit, you will punch there with your e-stick. At all other controls you will use a pin punch to punch your control card. At the Finish you will punch with your e-stick, and then proceed to download. There will be a box or container at download for you to drop your punch card into.
Important: you must come back to the Finish and download whether or not you finish your course, because that will be the only way we will have to account for you and know if we must initiate a search for a missing person or not.
We will use bib numbers and all participants should wear their bib number for each race.
Daze 1 Special Notes: Vetter Dan Walker
The Unfair Race will take place on The Forest of Little Hope map, which is a brand new map surveyed in 2022, of an area we have never used before. While the area itself is small, it punches well above its weight, and in its own way is quite unlike anything we have used before in the Laramie Range--with the most salient difference being a much higher proportion of the area is aspen forest than in any of our other areas. Racing here will have both a different look and feel than elsewhere. Much of the map consists of relatively detail poor terrain, with one section of the map richer in rock detail. Especially notable to this map are: one very large rock feature (and an even larger rock feature bordering the south edge of the map: The Heap); several unusually large (for our area) trees, and a quaking bog that you should enjoy two times if at all possible--once for tomorrow and once just for today. Despite the name of the event, it will be completely normal orienteering in most respects; read your map carefully, take each of your controls in order (the course may contain loops or "butterflies"), and finish with a smile.
As mentioned above, punching will be hybrid--using both a punch card and an e-stick. Pick up your punch card at Registration. If you come to a control with pin punching, use your punch card, punching the boxes in order. If you come to a control with sportident, punch with your e-stick. After finishing, download, and drop off your punch card there. If you do not complete the entire course, then please *do not* punch the last control before the Finish; this applies to The Unfair Race, The Knockout Sprints, and The One Cowboy Relay.
We will begin passing out maps about 10-15 minutes before the race starts. The maps will be rolled up and secured with a piece of tape, and will be identified by your name written on it. Once you pick up your map, you should remain in the general vicinity of the start area. Runners will not unfold the map or make any attempt to look inside the map prior to the start signal for the race. All runners should be at the start NLT 5 minutes before the race start for last minute race instructions.
There will be a brief awards ceremony once most runners are back, with treats for the first 6 places.
For race area diagram, see below at bottom.
All area south of FR 707A is embargoed. Warming up along 707a and anywhere north of the road is allowed.
While the race may be unfair, so is life itself. And in the end, it will be all the usual things that determine outcomes in orienteering: reading the map, checking control descriptions (some controls may be *quite* close to each other) and control codes, making good decisions and running in control, and running your own race. The best racer will win!
Daze 2 Special Notes: Vetter Rich Kelly
The Knockout Sprints will take place on the South Granite map (surveyed 2021), which has only been used once before--for a club training day--and so will be a brand new map and area to almost everyone. Even though it adjoins Granite Planite immediately to the north, the character of South Granite is quite different. It basically consists of a south facing slope leading down to Crow Creek, and is dissected by several side drainages or little valleys. It is also much more forested, with the forest being mostly a sparse, scattered, and very open Ponderosa pine forest with some thicker islands of Aspen groves. There is a lot of rock detail, and overall the elevation differences are bigger when compared to Granite Planite. Visibility and runnability are mostly excellent.
We will use hybrid punching, see notes for Daze 1. If you don't complete the course in Round 1, please do not punch the last control.
You may warm up along 700R or north of the road; all area south of 700R is embargoed.
All racers will start the 1st round, and the first 20 back will move on to the 2nd round. The first 10 back will compete for honors in the 3rd and final round. We will start the 2nd round about 20 minutes after the 20th finisher has finished, and we will start the final round about 10 minutes after the 10th finisher from the 2nd round has finished.
Daze 3 Special Notes: Vetter JP Lande
The One Cowboy Relay is a one person motala style relay with each person running 5 loops for a total of about 7 kms. The race will effectively be or "run" shorter than an equivalent distance standard race, as there will be some amount of "dead" running at the beginning and end of each loop. The map will consist in part of a re-map (using a lidar base) of the choicest section of the old Forrest Meadows map (many "stacked" contour features, with very open runnability and visibility), as well as an addition of some never before previously used area of a very different character, with thicker forest and lowered visibility, and a different terrain form--all of which will demand a change in orienteering style and tactics. It will be fun orienteering and a good test of skills and ability to adapt to changes in the forest. Advice: respect the terrain--it could be harder than you think!
At the race site, pick up a punch card. The Start/Finish/Map Exchange will be on an open, grassy area and you will need to have something with you to hold down your map packet while you are out running (a rock--many are in the area, a stick, a water bottle, a shoe, etc.) Arrive at the start early enough to get a map packet, and you can pick a spot to place your maps in the start area. Markers will be available to mark the map packet with your name or bib #, as a way to make it more obvious which stack of maps is yours. About 10 minutes prior to the race start runners we will assemble in the start area for a race briefing. Prior to the start you will be instructed to pick up your first (top) map out of your map packet. At the start signal, you will turn over the map and begin running the loop on that top map. The maps in each packet are ordered and marked with a number (1-4) showing in which order they are to be run; the final loop is marked with an "F", for final. When you finish each of the first four loops, you will run through the Start/Finish area, where there will be a container waiting for you to put your old map in. You will then pick up the next map in your map stack and begin running that loop, and repeat the process for each loop. The first 4 loops will be taken in different orders by each runner (motala style) while everyone will have the same loop for the final loop. The first 4 loops all head out in the same general direction, while the final loop heads out in a very different direction. If you go out in a very different direction before finishing 4 loops, you are doing something wrong! There may be some water or sport drink available at the Start/Finish area as you come through after each loop, or there may be nothing, and of course you can leave delicious drinks and various delicacies, a chair for mid-race relaxation, or whatever you like by your race packet. There will be some traditional crystal prizes for some to-be-determined number of top finishers who had fun; whiners and complainers (should there be any) will be directed to a nearby beaver marsh where they can contemplate their behavior in quiet solitude.
We will use hybrid punching for the One Cowboy Relay; if you do not complete the course, please do not punch the last control.
Daze 4 Special Notes: CS - Neal Barlow CV - Maiya Anderson
The Sugar Hill map consists of three different pieces, with a smaller western most part of the map taken from the existing Diamond Bay map, and the remainder of the map being brand new, surveyed from 2021-2022. Most of the new portion of the map was surveyed from a photogrammetric base with the remainder from a lidar base. The different pieces are likely to be indistinguishable to racers, and aside from very light use of the western most portion, the area is entirely new. The majority of the area is open prairie and rough open sage; the rough open areas can contain varying amounts of sapling sized trees with larger isolated trees and copses mapped to scale (as white forest.) Where smaller trees become more numerous, the rough semi-open symbol has been used. Some areas of sage were burned several years ago, and while they have not yet fully re-grown, they are still shown as rough open. One prominent hill/ridge area labeled as Thor's Needle has only been lightly surveyed. There are several areas of aspen (light green), but most of what is shown as forest is Ponderosa Pine. Except in the aspen, visibility is good throughout, while runnability varies considerably depending on the underfooting. There is much rock detail, some of it being quite large. There are small amounts of prospecting activity present in the terrain. Overall, when compared to all our existing maps, the area most closely resembles Pelican Bay.
Sugar Hill itself is a pegmatite appearing as a distinct, good sized white (quartz) knoll at the extreme eastern edge of the map. After racing the social media addicted will of course want to wander over there to take selfies for posting on the internet.
Daze 5 Special Notes: CS - Mikell Platt CV - Sheryl Lehman, Steve Levin, Tyler Kjorstad
I'm not sure when we last made extensive use of what had been the easternmost portion of the original Medicine Bow map, but it may well have also been the first use--way back in 1998, with only occasional legs crossing into the area when using the Superfly map. No matter what, it's been a while. All this time, lurking even further to the east, right off the eastern edge of that old map, was some super choice and special terrain, another area that is different from anything else previously mapped in the Laramie Range. And so it was that I at last started to map up some of this area in 2021. Last year, with the arrival of lidar coverage to the area, I was inspired to get going again, and this Area 307 map (earlier code named "Area 44"; Area 307 is kind of an "in state" joke in these parts) is a complete re-map of the old map, and includes a good chunk of this never before used terrain. Where the old, existing area was flattish, gently sloping, very open area with only scattered trees and sprinklings of rock detail, and extremely fast with almost unlimited visibility over the entire area, the new additions almost could not be more different: hillier, much more bits of forest and scattered trees, and a good bit of highly detailed terrain. Some areas have so much rock detail that, as with other highly detailed areas on the Laramie Range, some amount of generalization has been necessary. Racers on the advanced courses can expect to see a wide variety of different challenges and some opportunity (if they are wearing shoes with metal dobbs) to clatter across bare rock. It will be fun!
All advanced courses will see a wide variety of terrain, ranging from wide open running and almost unlimited visibility to very intricately detailed areas where very careful map reading will be crucial. Because of having only a limited number of controls available, many controls are shared by more than one course, and with approaches from different directions, it may either be possible to spot a control from a long distance or not at all until the very last moment. Blue and Red courses will see several hillier slopes; for all other courses the running will be relatively easy with the only hindrance being some areas of sage.
There is a marked route from the Start to the first control (runners are not required to follow it, but it's a good idea to do so), and the marked route will continue for the next three controls on the White course.
Several controls are visible from nearby roads, and while we have had almost no problems with controls disappearing over the years, there is always that risk.
Daze 6 Special Notes: CS - Graham Baird CV - Craig Murray
Remarkable Flats was first used in 2008 for Day 2 of the US Classic Championships. The map had an odd shape with two larger areas separated by a narrow waist. The reason for that was by mid-Fall of the prior year no bids had surfaced for the 2008 Championships, and when, still later, we did agree to host them the race was on to get as much new mapping done as possible in time for these races, and that meant concentrating on mapping the easiest to map areas first. Since then, additional area has been added to the map, resulting in the present day map. The other main change since 2008 was the onslaught of pine beetles, which killed countless pine trees, most of which are now fallen on the ground. Some of the early parts of the 2008 courses were especially hard hit.
The flat and open nature of the terrain, with many easily seen and very distinct features means it is a fast area. Very fast. And in fact, as far as I know the Day 2 Blue course is still easily the longest classic (2 day) Blue Championship course we've ever seen--at 15.4 kms. But does that mean mistakes are not possible? Of course not. It is still orienteering, and there are tricky, very detailed sections to go along with some of the big, wide open areas. Lose focus, and you will lose time.
Remarkable Flats is my go-to area when I want to go on an orienteering run where I know I will have fun. It's just hard to have a bad time there, and as such, it is the fitting place to end the competition.
From the course setter, Graham Baird:
Camping--Yellow Pine campground has traditionally been the center of orienteering camping in the Laramie Range. Other campgrounds (Vedauwoo, Curt Gowdy) are available and camping is also permitted throughout the forest with certain restrictions (you are responsible for being familiar with the rules of the National Forest.)
Driving and Directions: We recommend you have downloaded or printed out directions (though we do plan to put out signs) with you, as cell phone coverage can be spotty as you get further out. Also, it is recommended that you drive with care, because even the better dirt roads can have unexpected rocky areas or potholes.
Parking locations: (GPS locations provided as a backup. Automated directions are known to be unreliable in the area, so plan to follow the text directions from above)
Wed, 8/30: 41.2032, -105.3752, https://goo.gl/maps/inZL76d9hKCG7BWK9
Thu, 8/31: 41.181401, -105.299131, https://goo.gl/maps/PnKPVTzPjP7Mx8G68
Fri, 9/1: 41.201259, -105.365840, https://goo.gl/maps/a3m4ytxEoPGswA8b8
Sat, 9/2: 41.253305, -105.315286, https://goo.gl/maps/rkBR8WRANR4wNH7LA
Sun, 9/3: 41.291591, -105.318178, https://goo.gl/maps/yCqS7DpkCkeEd4Rk7
Mon, 9/4: 41.207997, -105.331202, https://goo.gl/maps/GonJNtUbtsUWAyBC7
Facilities—There will be no facilities at any of the race sites other than portable toilets. Please remember it is of vital importance that we leave each area in good shape, with no trash left behind--pack it in, pack it out!
First Aid—If you need medical assistance, the closest hospital is Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie, on 30th Street off of Grand Ave. From any of our meet sites, take I-80 to Laramie, take the first exit (Grand Avenue), turn right at the third stop light (30th Street) and drive several blocks north to the hospital. For an emergency, dial 911.
Maps—A variety of map scales will be used.
Mapper's Notes: see separate page at this web site.
Safety—Safety considerations include, but are not limited to, the following:
· When parking, check to make sure hot parts of the exhaust, etc. are not in contact with dried vegetation that could be set on fire. If parking on a dirt road, please pull over to one side as far as possible, with all cars parked on the same side of the road. If parking off of a road, please park no more than 100’ off the road. Please take the time and care to double-check the underside of your vehicle after you have parked, to make sure there is no chance of a hot car part igniting any vegetation underneath!
· There is always the possibility of barbed wire/ruined fences on the ground in spots. There are also some amounts of metal debris left over from WWI Army training on the ground at Plains of Despair that could pose a danger to the unwary. There are very small amounts of old boards also scattered around on the maps; please exercise caution and the safest thing by far is to avoid stepping on them altogether just in case a nail is sticking out.
Pine Beetles have killed large numbers of trees in the areas we will be using, and these dead trees (in the race areas some beetle trees have been dead for five or more years), pose a special hazard. If the wind is up, then stay aware when in forested areas!
The usual risks and dangers involved in orienteering apply here as well. Participant safety trumps all other concerns. It is our highest priority and should be yours as well. Please don't get hurt!
Shared Land Use--We do not have exclusive use of the forest and racers will at all times be considerate of campers and other forest users they may encounter during races. The Golden Rule applies. Camping is permitted throughout the National Forest and you could encounter a campsite almost anywhere, though normally camping/campsites will be along the roads and jeep trails. Please do not run through anyone's campsite!
Showers—Showers are available at the Laramie Recreation Center for the price of admission (a couple of bucks), which is located at 920 South Boulder Drive. As you come into town on Grand Avenue, South Boulder Drive is at the second stop light.
Signs—We do plan to put out direction signs for each day. Follow the directions given, resort to the overview map as needed, and trust that all is correct. Note that many of the road signs identifying the various Forest roads are currently either missing or are in disrepair.
Water—There will be no water out on the courses for the first three days, so show up at the start well hydrated! There will be water at the Start/Finish area at the One Cowboy Relay. Otherwise, it’s up to you to bring your own water and take care of your hydration needs. Considering the time of day we’ll be running and likely weather conditions, if you’re a normal person and start races fully hydrated, you should be able to get around the courses fine. However, if you’re not sure about that, then the safe choice will be to bring along a Camelbak or something similar.
Wind (control setting)--Most controls will go out well in advance of the race they are being used for, and if there is a big wind event--always possible--some controls could blow down. In most cases all controls will not be checked the day of the race. Control locations may also feature a brightly colored streamer.
Permitting: This event operates under a special use permit from the Medicine Bow National Forest. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, LROC/RMOC are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.
Resource Protection: All participants are reminded that all artifacts, features, buildings, structures, vertebrate fossils, and other items of antiquity are covered by federal laws prohibiting their destruction or removal.
The Unfair Race diagram
Knockout Sprint Race diagram
One Cowboy Relay Race diagram