Bluffwoods Conservation Area, SW of St. Joseph, MO
March 3, 2007
By Mike Shifman
Bluffwoods Conservation Area near St. Joseph is a very good place for hiking, but not for running: steep hills, deep stream and creek valleys, eroded ground and cliffs, old maple and oak forest with some areas covered with thick, scratchy underbrush…not a very nice place to orienteer.
But the annual PTOC Rogaine on March 3 was successful. The cold morning (17 degrees) changed to middle 30’s at noon, the spring sun-warmed air made for a good condition for the runners and organizers. The long drive did not stop people from Nebraska, St. Louis, Clinton, MO, and the KC metro area to come to participate in the challenging 6-hour Rogaine with 55 placed checkpoints. More than 60 persons signed for the start and only one, David Frei, a world-class adventure racer from St. Louis, visited all of them and still had 16 minutes to spare in the 6-hour time limit. He covered about 20 miles of distance. 2nd place was Aaron Aaker, an adventure-racer and orienteer from Columbia, MO and in 3rd place was Gary Thompson, an experienced Rogainer from Camdenton, MO.
3-hour Score O winner, Fritz Menninger, visited 21 checkpoints, was 9 minutes late, incurred a 90-point penalty, but still finished in 1st place. Big congratulations to Dick Luckerman, our club veteran, who was 2nd place, and in 3rd place was Major Norman King from Clinton High School JROTC, who drove a school bus 2 ½ hours each way from Clinton, MO, bringing more than 30 cadets.
In the 1-hour Score O division, John McGrath easily won first place. He visited only 1 checkpoint which was enough to win since there were no other competitors. He expressed his enjoyment of the event.
Everybody had fun, enjoying the beautiful park, race, refreshments. Meet Director (but not present): Dick Neuburger; Course Setter: Mike Shifman; Refreshments, finish, and results: Nick Hockman; Registration: Reta Roe; Course vetting and control pickup: Nancy Neuburger; Control pickup: Dick Luckerman, Michael Eglinski, Mary Jones, Mike Shifman, Dick Neuburger.
Don’t forget the next Rogaine: an 8-hour Night Rogaine in Knob Noster State Park, April 14, 2007.