August 20, 2023
University of Montana Mass Start
GrizO's second mass start event of the summer took place at the recently updated map of the University of Montana campus, coninciding with the start of orientation week for incoming U of M freshmen.
The race was a big hit, with about 50 participants, including a number of visiting dignitaries, such as US National Team member Danny Riley and former Swedish elite orienteer Simon Eklov, who was 'passing through town' on his way along the Continental Divide Trail.
The mass start was a scene of controlled chaos, with all participants lining up in a circle and running of in different directions when the start signal was given. This fantastic video by Michelle Nowels captures the madness.
Newcomers Allan and Hannah Glen were fastest on the Beginner course, and followed that performance by doing one of the loops of the Advanced courses as well. Lauren and Mike Kapus were second-fastest beginners, and they also went out on one of the advanced courses!
On the Advanced courses, Jennifer Conley was fastest on the Short, while Missoula Youth Program participant Isaac Jones and his friend Elijah won the Medium course.
Danny Riley won the Long, two minutes ahead of GrizO's Greg Friedman, while Simon Eklov held off incoming U of M freshman Ben Conley and Ben Brady for 3rd place.
First-timer Hunter Meek was on track for a good result on the Medium course, but was accidentally not given one of the maps. The organizers send Hunter a heartfelt apology!
The event ran smoothly thanks to our awesome crew of volunteers: event direction by Alli Brown, beginner instruction by Eric Jones, Zariah Zosel, Calvin Olson, and probably others, controll pickup by Simon Eklov, Eric Jones, Zariah Zosel, Ben Conley, Ben Brady. Apologies if we forgot someone in the chaos!
Next up is our event on Sunday, September 17 at Larry Creek - a brand-new venue for GrizO!