10 years ago today, on Dec 4, 2005 I went to my first orienteering meet.
Wheaton Regional Park
Orange - 11 controls, 4.2 km, 95 m
It took me 1:19:46 to finish the course. Since then I have gone to an additional 177 orienteering events (Classic, Score, Susquehanna Stumbles, Training, etc.). I have orienteered at 166 of 177 meets, served as meet director at 5 of the other 11 meets, and helped out in some capacity at the other 6 meets.
I quickly moved on from intermediate level courses and for the most part have only attempted advanced level courses in the past 10 years.
37 - Blue
68 - Red
19 - Green
8 - Score
6 - QOC Beer Chase
6 - Training/Short Summer Series
5 - Susquehanna Stumble (Short)
1 - 6 Hr Rogaine
I have not successfully finished every course I have started. I have yet to MP but I have 14 DNFs. The only parks where I have multiple DNFs are PWF/Happyland (3) and Mason Neck (2). I also have a DNF at both French Creek East and West. Two of the DNFs are due to equipment malfunctions. At Lake Accotink (Sep 2006) one of my boots came apart; the sole almost completely separated from the rest of the boot. At Rosaryville (Apr 2012) I lost my ePunch. At Cabin John (Nov 2015) I lost my compass but I managed to finish without it.
Most of the orienteering meets I have been to have been organized by QOC.
159 - Quantico Orienteering Club
10 - Delaware Valley Orienteering Association
8 - Susquehanna Valley Orienteering
I have been to orienteering events in 4 states.
98 - Maryland
66 - Virginia
11 - Pennsylvania
2 - Delaware
Furthest points that I have orienteered:
North - Hickory Run (PA)
South - Westmoreland (VA)
East - Brandywine Creek (DE)
West - Morven Park (VA)
Depending on how you count them I have been to as many as 59 different orienteering sites, although some of them are just different sections or start points in the same park.
I maintain a Google Map of places I have gone orienteering: Dave Goes Orienteering Map
Patapsco River State Park leads the way with a total of 20 events.
10 - Granite/McKeldin
7 - Avalon/Orange Grove/Rockburn Branch
3 - Glen Artney/Baltimore County Community College
Prince William Forest is next with 12 events.
8 - Turkey Run/South Fork
4 - Happyland
Here are the rest of the parks that I have been to 5 or more times.
9 - Greenbelt
8 - Great Falls MD
8 - Hemlock Overlook
8 - Manassas Battlefield Park/Stuart's Hill
8 - Patuxent
8 - Wheaton
7 - Little Bennett
6 - Fountainhead
6 - Lake Accotink
5 - Jug Bay
5 - Oregon Ridge
5 - Pohick Bay
5 - Rosaryville
It is interesting to note that both the last event of the first 10 years (Rocky Ridge) and the first event following this anniversary (Occoquan) are in parks that I had not been to before.
The longest classic courses in terms of the number of controls were at Lake Needwood (28 controls in Sep 2011 and Sep 2012) and Great Falls MD (28 controls in Nov 2011)
The longest course in terms of distance was at Prince William/South Fork (11 km in Oct 2013)
The most time I ever took to complete a regular course was at Mont Alto in May 2007 (Red: 12 controls, 6.4 km, 240 m) when it took me 4:18:46. I recall getting very turned around that day on one control in particular.
More recently it took me 4:08:44 to finish the blue course (19 controls, 10 km, 405 m) at Patapsco/Glen Artney in March 2015. There was 3-5 inches of snow on the ground in most places which made things "interesting" and definitely slowed me down.
In 2005 QOC was still using a mix of ePunch and pin punching, although ePunch was starting to become more prevalent. Now it is very rare for pin punching to be used at QOC events.
In 2005 it was fairly common for participants to have to draw their own courses on the map. Sitting outside, drawing your own course on a cold windy day was not a fun activity. The most recent map that I have of a course that I drew by hand at Patuxent (Red: Feb 2009). By that point it was fairly rare to have to draw your own course. I have only 4 maps on which I drew the courses from September 2007 - February 2009.
I have averaged 17-18 o-events per year (Dec - Nov) for the last 10 years but there has been only two years that I have actually been to either 17 or 18 meets: 2007 and 2010. The fewest number of events I have been to in a year is 12 and that happened twice: 2006 and 2009. I have been to 20 or more events in 4 of the past 5 years, the only exception being 2013 when I only made it to 16 events and the high watermark being 2015, when I made it to 24 events.
There are other numbers and statistics I could and may in the future compile about the past 10 years but I think I will leave it at that for now.