Fork Union Military Academy Orienteering at FUMA March 2018

Fork Union Military Academy normally hosts an Orienteering Meet each year around February.  The year's event kept getting pushed to the right because of all the rain we had. The meet was located on the school's campus which is a huge property.

Fork Union Military Academy is a premier college preparatory boarding military school for boys in grades 7-12 and postgraduate located in Fork Union, Virginia since 1898.
The school has a junior orienteering team and this meet helps the team raise funds to offset some of their costs.

This was the first time that I have been able to make it out to a FUMA meet. I don't know what it was, but I enjoyed this meet. I did both the 2.9km Sprint course and the 5.3km Score-O course.
The sprint course was set on the campus proper which gave me the chance to see the campus which looks like VMI. This was the first meet/map that I have done that used the international control descriptions. This was not an issue for me because most controls were on steps or something around a building.

I guess, it was 100 meters past the first control I felt the back of my pants getting wet. I had a big old fail of my water bladder. This cost me some time. I also learned that my time at the control and departure from the control cost me time.

By the time I got back my friend Eric had arrived at the meet. We decided that we would go out on the course together but be recorded and time as individuals. Thank goodness Eric had a control description sheet so we could figure out the features located at the controls. We planned our route and the order we would pick the controls up. The 5.3km had a total of 15 controls and in our plan, we would not pick up controls 6 and 7.

I am a faster runner, so I would go to the controls and punch the cards while Eric was reading the map. We figured this was how some of the two-person teams are doing it at other events and it's hard to beat their times working as an individual.

The two-person method worked great for us and we were spot-on finding the controls. Once we got to control 9 we had the decision to make. Do we try to pick up control 6 or stay with our plan? While control 6 shows that area is open with no underbrush it happens to be a cutover area that was logged last year. We figured that it might take us 20 minutes to cover this terrain and that would not be worth our time and effort.

We ended up with a time around 1:14 and got 13 of 15 controls.  I am pleased with that. I just need to study the international control descriptions.  I am not sure of the scale of the map for the Score-O but I need to pay attention to the terrain details.

I wish there was more attendance at orienteering events here in the  United States.
FUMA Orienteering Event
Sprint and Long Course Maps


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