Extreme-O: Ten Years of Fun
By Bill Farrell
If you think back far enough, I am sure
that your greatest motivation to “go orienteering” was for the
fun of it!
If you think that your orienteering is
getting too competitive, that the courses are set for the fast
guys or that your joints hurt too much because you are old and
fat… just try Extreme-O and the joy of childhood will return with
This year at GNC, Mal Harding and Chuck
Ferguson (locally know as the evil twins) gave us another
wonderful Extreme-O. It originally began as a training event for
the CIOR (reserve military officers world-wide competition), which
is a fairly formalized yet extremely varied competition. We could
no longer use this groups name, so Sam Smith came up with
Extreme-O… and the name fits!
What I like most is that you may expect
anything – continually changing challenges. No rules – except
that you must not cheat! “Run through, not around the swamp!” I
personally enjoy the “sump stuff” for even fat, old me can keep up
with the fast guys, when we are waist deep in a swamp of frozen
The “game” fully expresses the Southern
ability of making impossibly unpleasant things –What a hoot!
Beautiful women with mud in their teeth and loving it… are my kind
of girls. We all like to blame Mal and Chuck for our discomfort,
but I personally know that sweet Linda Ferguson has suggested some
of the funniest torments. Clai Gardner and Daryl Remmick have
always helped, providing their input and muscles. Their
collective goal is to make the hardest physical challenges even
harder and funny too!
This year was one of the best: maps of
different scales, types and quality (one map used, I made 15 years
ago… and it was pretty bad even then); the maps that had parts
missing; no map at all, just an aerial photo or only bearings and
distance, or only grid number intersects on an old quad map. All
this brain work was interspersed with the fun stuff:
The Culvert Crawl was small, dark and nasty.
The Big Culvert, we had to canoe in (hard for
two – I now know how Mr. Christian felt) and really hard for one.
The Cargo Net Mud Bank Climb. Straight up for
30 feet with your pals adding to the test by bouncing the entire
net as they rushed pass.
The Rope “Bridge." Ten feet above a really
nasty snag-filled swamp. This is the old high rope (hands), low
rope (feet) with the perfect ending – a 45 degree mud bank. A
careless exit placed you right in the swamp.
The Cave. This was my personal UN-favorite
part. A trip up (in & out) the main drain 200 meters out UNDER the
lake, enjoying freezing knee deep water trying to sweep you back
out the spout. This brings up an expression of Linda’s great, if
subtle, humor. I heard her ask someone if they had a flash
light? I asked if you had to have a flashlight? She smiled and
said, ”You don’t HAVE to have one! Some of the brave folks charged
into that black hole with no light and kept going in the pitch
black until the flag hit them in the face. Now that is really
fun! (I couldn’t do this one.)
More than one waist deep swamp crawl,
accented by a life-sized fake alligator (Daryl’s gift), which made
Martha Carr do a girl dance with squeals! I loved it!
You too can join in the fun. Come on down next year on MLK
weekend and smile.
Cochran Mill Meet
Bill Farrell wrote: Thank you Mike and the GIRLS! An other
perfect day of Orienteering!
Mike did an outstanding job of entertaining us all. Every
time I fumbled a control... I thought... "that's just how I
would have hung it"! How Mike found every slippery spot and the
deepest creek crossings for me to try... I'll never understand.
I am trying to run Red again... very entertaining for the REAL
Red runners and I am feeling better... not faster, but better! I
did manage to make every mistake I could and had to laugh when,
after running pretty slow in the hills -- saving myself for the
flat -- only to find that my too fat body sank my feet in the flat
swamp... making me even slower. Oh well -- I can only get faster,
for any slower will be a nap!
Thanks again, Bill.
Bill Farrell wrote: I wish to Thank George and all of
his helpers for their efforts today. I had a great work out.
Very hard and very slow... Don't know why. Some days things just
don't work. Today, I was un-able to pull it together, but I
still had a great day! I was there -- and not on the couch. For
me, that is best. Spending time with my friends, enjoying the
woods... nothing better! Bill.
Sam Smith wrote: It was a lot of fun - they had a recent
controlled burn, which gave us all faster times. And George does
have email - but couldn't tell me his address...
I saw a lot of people training for the SE Champs in
Charlotte. Be sure to get in your registration. It's great to go
to someone else's A meet - they do all the work!
Also Robin says she has gotten no applications for the Junior
travel grants. If some of you Juniors don't apply I'm getting a
fake ID - a little "Just For Men" and I could pass for
18 - a well worn 18.
Guido Nordmann wrote:
If you haven't been at McIntosh, you missed a great day out in
the Swiss-like fog and mist. If you have been at McIntosh, you
found great courses with perfect temperature and fast woods. I
even liked it so much, that I visited #7 twice (please don't ask
why, I'm like Bill, some days you just don't pull it together
Thanks to George and his helpers to put a great meet
together. It was well worth the long drive...