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2015 Corn Maze Champs



Sunderland, MA, US
Sep 5, 2015

Next entry deadline: Sep 2, 2015

Type: Orienteering - World

event website

added by: PG

Meet information being sent out today

10 things you ought to be aware of —

1. No cutting through the corn.

2. No going through “fences”. The fences are flagging tape across certain paths in the maze, making them closed. On the map, the closed areas are marked with red X’s. Can’t go there. If you are so intently reading your map that you run into a fence and dislodge it, you must stop and tie it back up.

3. Start times are below. If you think you will miss your start time, don’t panic, don’t do something stupid like get a speeding ticket. We’ll take care of you. If you are coming from the Boston area, it would be a good idea to check the traffic on the Mass Pike; route 2 might be a better option.

4. We are guests at Mike’s Maze. It is an active farm. Parking is adjacent to the start/finish, just park sensibly (on Saturday afternoon and evening, there won’t be many farming activities going on, but there might be some). There are toilets adjacent to the start finish. Mike’s is 0.4 miles from the light at the junction of 116 and 47 in the center of Sunderland, going south on 47, look for the sign on the right. There is a convenience store at the light if you need anything.

5. The Classic — 20 controls. Distance (shortest legal route) is about 2 km. Expected winning time is 12 to 15 minutes. Expected range of times is up to 45 minutes? There is a short version which you can decide to do, controls 1 to 13 and then in. Don’t need to decide in advance, just see how you are doing. There are no control descriptions, just go to the center of the circle. Codes are 31, 31, 33, … 48, 49, 50. For the Short Classic, up to 43 and then in.

The scale of the map is in the vicinity of 1:1,000. Northeast (roughly) is at the top of the map. Contour interval is 5 meters. Climb in all cases is 1 meter.

6. The Sprint — 6 controls. Distance about 1 km. Expected winning time is 5 to 7 minutes.

7. The Party -- Most folks go over to Bub’s BBQ. Go back to the center of town, take a right on 116 towards Amherst, Bub’s is 3.2 miles on the left. It may very well be crowded, might want to head over right after the sprint. All you can eat sides with a sandwich or entree. Alternatives are (1) Bridge Street Grille, 100 yards from the center of town, on 116 towards Amherst, on the right, nice place, not fancy; (2) Blue Heron, 100 yards from the center of town, on 47 towards Montague, on the right, upscale, might need a reservation; (3) Sugarloaf Frostee, 0.3 miles from the center of town, on 116 towards Amherst, on the left, burgers, fries, shakes, ice cream, very casual.

8. The Trail-O’ — 5 controls, you just have to correctly mark their location on your map. Get a blank map, put your name on it, circle the spots. Controls are marked by a balloon tied to the spot (note you might have to account for wind). You cannot go in the maze, nor climb on any buildings, farm equipment, or ladders. The viewing platform is obviously fine, as is walking around the maze, driving to the top of South Sugarloaf, climbing trees, periscopes, whatever.

There are two divisions — Cool and Luddite. The difference is that those in the Luddite division cannot use any gadgets that use electricity (GPS, drones, range finders, digital cameras, computers, smart phones, smart watches), whereas those in the Cool division must use at least one such gadget.

The control description for each control is “south end of the corn island”. Note that corn islands come in all shapes and sizes. Controls are numbered from right to left as seen from the viewing platform, so #1 is farthest to the right.

Scoring — for controls 1-4, 10 points if you are correct, 5 points if within 1 cm of the correct spot, and 2 points if within 2 cm. Control #5 is double or nothing, sort of. Get it right and your score from controls 1-4 is doubled. Get within 1 cm and your score is multiplied by 1.5. Get within 2 cm and your score is multiplied by 1.25. Miss by more than 2 cm and your score is 0. Note — you can choose to pass on control #5….

I will set up the balloons after the sprint. You can wait and do it then, or do it after the party. It would be best to do it before it gets dark.

9. The Night-O’ — Score O’ with a time limit of 1 hour. Start will be when it is dark enough, probably about 8 pm (sunset is about 7:20). Mellow mass start — we’ll line up in order, fastest first, punch the start box and you’re off, we’ll all be off within a couple of minutes. Scoring — every control is worth one point. Controls can also be worth a bonus point depending on what order you take them in. Last year you got the bonus for a control if it was a higher number than the last one you got (ie. you got the maximum score by taking them all in numerical order). This year it will be something similar, but different, announced just before the start. How much you do, and how much you strive to get bonus points (which adds a good bit to the distance) is up to you. Last year people seemed to really enjoy this.

10. The overall Corn Maze Champ is determined by adding the placings for the 4 events, lowest total wins. Defending champ is Ian Smith.

And one extra item —

11. You guys and gals who are fast, please look ahead and be careful especially around corners. There will be a lot of us out there and collisions are not fun.

See you on Saturday.



Start times, Classic

3:31 Lyn Walker
3:32 Rhonda DeWeese and Gail Gagarin
3:33 David and Riley Duncan
3:34 Anne Billman
3:35 Gail Richardson
3:36 Merick LaVallee
3:37 Judy Karpinski
3:38 Bill Duncan
3:39 David Bryant
3:40 Joy Lo
3:41 Janet Tryson
3:42 Dan Billman
3:43 Earl LaVallee
3:44 Nadia Popova
3:45 Keith Durand
3:46 Guy Olsen
3:47 Jim Henderson
3:48 Gregory Lewis
3:49 Peter Goodwin
3:50 Amanda Terenzi
3:51 Erik Nazar
3:52 Harlan Altepeter
3:53 Susan DeWitt
3:54 Craig Weber
3:55 Petr Polivka
3:56 George Walker
3:57 Barb Bryant
3:58 Keegan Harkavy
3:59 Rick DeWitt
4:00 Katia Bertoldi
4:01 Dave Yee
4:02 Patrick McNeal
4:03 Dean Sturdevant
4:04 Isak Prellner
4:05 Phil Bricker
4:06 Ken Walker Sr
4:07 Jeremy Colgan
4:08 Bob Lux
4:09 Steve Richardson
4:10 Roine Andersson
4:11 Charlie DeWeese
4:12 Ben Gallup
4:13 Glen Tryson
4:14 Jeff Saeger
4:15 Pavlina Brautigam
4:16 Andis Vitolins
4:17 Greg Balter
4:18 Giovanni Berlinda
4:19 Evalin Brautigam
4:20 J-J Cote
4:21 Michael Laraia
4:22 Kseniya Popova
4:23 Joe Brautigam
4:24 Ian Smith

Start times for the Sprint will be in a similar order, starting at 5 pm, 30-second intervals.

Entry list as of 8/31 (we're over 50, any more only at organizer's discretion, 6 good stories so far...) --

Charlie DeWeese
Rhonda DeWeese
Gail Gagarin
Patrick McNeal
Gregory Lewis
Ian Smith
J-J Cote
Joe Brautigam
Glen Tryson
Janet Tryson

Barb Bryant
Dave Yee
David Bryant
Isak Prellner
Dean Sturdevant
Susan DeWitt
Rick DeWitt
Bob Lux
Erik Nazar
Ken Walker Sr

Anne Billman
Dan Billman
Evalin Brautigam
Amanda Terenzi
Guy Olsen
Bill Duncan
Craig Weber
Michael Laraia
George Walker
Lyn Walker

Phil Bricker
Peter Goodwin
Jeremy Colgan
Joy Lo
Pavlina Brautigam
Andis Vitolins
Greg Balter
Steve Richardson
Gail Richardson
Kseniya Popova

Nadia Popova
Jeff Saeger
Judy Karpinski
Petr Polivka
Katia Bertoldi
Giovanni Berlinda
Harlan Altepeter
Earl LaVallee
Merick LaVallee
Ben Gallup

Keegan Harkavy
Jim Henderson
Roine Andersson
Keith Durand
David Duncan
Riley Duncan

And the corn is looking good!


We're on again for main event in the world of corn maze orienteering, Mike's Maze in Sunderland, MA. The corn is growing and the maze has been cut. There is a new designer this year so the style is different, but it looks like it will be excellent for orienteering.

The date is September 5 (Labor Day weekend). The schedule of events will be similar to last year -- Classic, Sprint, Party, Trail O', Night -- with the classic kicking off in mid-afternoon.

Pre-registration only, maximum 50 entries. Cost is $20 per person (half goes to Mike, some to OUSA, some for maps, a little to WCOC). To enter, e-mail the following to

SI number

Deadline right now is set for September 2, but it may be sooner. :-)

One change for sure -- there will be two categories in the Trail O': Open and Luddite. Those in the Luddite division can not use any devices that use electricity (drones, range finders, GPS, digital cameras, etc.).

Rain date -- in case of really awful weather (tornado, hurricane, severe thunderstorms), the event could be postponed to Sunday. A little rain, no problem.

Directions: Take exit 24 off I-91. Go east/south on 116 towards Sunderland/Amherst. At the light in Sunderland (just after crossing the Connecticut river), turn right on 47 south. Mike's is 0.4 miles on the right. Parking and toilets are immediately adjacent to the maze.

Classic -- First start 3:30, winning time expected to be about 15 minutes, start list will be posted by Friday 9/4. There will be a shorter option for those not up for the full Classic.

Sprint -- First start 5:00, winning time expected to be 6-8 minutes, start list will be posted by Friday 9/4. Gives you an opportunity to redeem yourself after making a mess of the classic.

Trail-O' -- Can be done before or after the party. Expected to be similar to last year, balloons floating above the maze, their exact location to be identified from outside the maze. Climbing on buildings or ladders is not allowed. Climbing trees is allowed for those of limited intelligence.

Party -- At Bub's BBQ, located on 116 on the way to Amherst. Alternative site for those looking for a classier operation is Bridge Street Grille, at the intersection of 116 and 47.

Night-O -- When it gets dark, a little after 8 pm. A mellow-mass-start score-O'. Last year the scoring was 1 point for each control you got, and an additional point for each control you got that was a higher number than the last one you got. So with 25 controls, the maximum possible score was 25 + 24 = 49. Time limit was one hour. This year's system will be similar but also different, with the difference probably not announced until just before the start.

Overall scoring is done XC style, points for each event based on what your place is, lowest total wins. Your choice in the trail-O' as to which division to enter, but you cannot enter both. Defending champ is Ian Smith.

And of course there are the normal considerations for corn-maze O' -- no bitching, no protests, plaid shirts welcome but not required, a sense of humor is definitely useful, and of course the main thing, no cutting through the corn (or any other out of bounds areas).... :-)


Courses from past years:

2010: classic, part 1, classic, part 2, sprint.

2011: classic, part 1, classic, part 2, sprint.

2012: classic, relay, sprint.

2013: classic, relay, night.

2014: classic, sprint, trail-O answers, night.


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82.7 ? BorisGr (log) Always tempted!
71.0 ✓ Joe (log) bike O first. will Ben G show up?
70.3 ✓ DarthBalter (log) will be racing this year
69.5 acjospe (log) Coaching this weekend. Huge bummer.
68.7 ✓ Evalin B (log) + roommate!
61.8 ✓ iansmith (log) One with the corn
59.5 ✓ jjcote Quite possibly my favorite event of the year.
58.5 Cristina (log)
57.2 ? cmorse (log)
56.4 ✓ coach (log)
55.8 ? cmpbllv (log)
55.0 ? fossil
53.8 ✓ GlenT (log)
52.3 ✓ PG (log)
50.8 ✓ PBricker (log)
49.9 arthurd (log) would love to one of these days
47.6 ✓ umeditor (log) Can't wait!
43.0 ✓ Charlie (log) and Miss Rhonda
42.4 ✓ barb
41.9 ✓ dness
41.8 ✓ kensr (log)
40.1 ✓ bl (log)
38.8 ✓ skdewitt (log)
35.5 furlong47 Still want to do this one year, but I should probably attend my sister's wedding instead ;-)
35.4 ✓ JanetT (log)
32.3 ✓ JHen
29.6 ✓ Oslug (log) plus Dan
28.3 ✓ GuyO
23.5 ✓ walk (log)
20.9 BillD Back on the he DL
✓ Xena (log)
✓ CraigW
✓ stever (log) Will be cheering for Joe, but my money is on Ian.
✓ gail (log)
✓ bgallup (log)
✓ elavallee (log)
? ifjones (log)
? MSoutham
bubo Not this year - is it possible that next years event could coincide with NAOC?

See also:

Sep 5, 2015NEOC: Belmont Wanderings - Bike and Foot Event
Sep 12–13, 2015UNO Pawtuckaway Camping Weekend
Sep 19, 2015DVOA Hickory Run Daddy Allen
Sep 19, 2015NEOC: Great Brook Farm State Park
Sep 26–27, 2015Ottawa O-Fest - 2015 Ontario Orienteering Championships
Sep 27, 2015NEOC: Townsend State Forest
Sep 27, 2015WCOC Paugussett State Forest
Oct 3–4, 2015"O" in the Pines A meet
Oct 10–11, 2015UNO Boulder Dash
Oct 18, 2015Hudson Highlander XVIII