2009 calgary spring cup

May 23-24, 2009 | calgary, Alberta

Welcome to early season orienteering in the Sheep Valley in the beautiful Alberta Foothills. Enjoy three races on some of Alberta's best orienteering terrain: a sprint distance race in Calgary's Fish Creek park on Saturday morning; in the afternoon a middle distance race at the Sandy McNabb Recreation Area near Turner Valley; Sunday morning a long distance event also at Sandy McNabb.

Everyone is welcome at these events, no matter how experienced or inexperienced, how young or how old, or how fit or how not-so-fit - there are courses for all levels.

We extend a special welcome to those athletes racing in the Elite category. The Spring Cup races are being used to select Canada's 2009 senior national orienteering team that will represent Canada at the World Orienteering Championships in Hungary in August. It will be exciting racing and a wonderful opportunity for local orienteers to enjoy racing against the best in Canada.

The Calgary Spring Cup will be a great weekend of fun orienteering. Please join us, and bring your friends, and take advantage of this chance to enjoy the glorious spring season in some of Alberta's most spectacular and accessible terrain.


May 25 Route Gadget for sprint and middle now up.
May 24 Results added. Route Gadget coming shortly. Thanks to all who came out this weekend!
May 22 Start lists added. Course closing times added.
May 21 More technical details added. Start list will be posted on Friday May 22.
May 21 Re camping - we have confirmed that the Sandy McNabb Campground will be closed this weekend. Closest open campground is Blue Rock Campground, 20 km west of Sandy McNabb.
May 21 On-line registration is now closed. If you haven't registered yet, you can registered at the event.
May 19 Important update about camping as the Sandy McNabb Campground will likely be closed this weekend. See accommodation section below for details.
May 19 Various bits of meet information added.
Mar 22 Website goes live.


Saturday May 23th
Fish Creek Provincial Park (go south on Elbow Drive into Fish Creek Park)
first start at 9:30 / course closing at 11:15
Sprint distance
  approx. 70 km drive (80 minutes) between Fish Creek and Sandy McNabb
late afternoon
Sandy McNabb Recreation Area
first start at 3:30 / course closing at 6:30
Middle distance
Sunday May 24th
Sandy McNabb Recreation Area
first start at 10:00 / course closing at 2:15
Long distance

All events & locations pending permissions and subject to change

View Larger Map

Associated events

Results & Start Lists

The start list will be posted here a few days before the races. Please check to find out your assigned start time. First start for the sprint will be at 9:30am; Middle 3:30pm and Long 10:00am.

Start lists:


Route Gadget and Split Analyzer for the sprint and middle are now available here. You can draw your route and compare your route choices with your competitors. For those of you new to Route Gadget, here's info to learn about it.


Register online at www.zone4.ca

Categories & Courses

We offer several categories, some age-based and some 'skills'-based, to suit every level of navigational ability and fitness. Each category will compete on a course of the appropriate technical and physical difficulty as described below:

Age categories Middle & long distance Sprint distance
Super Juniors (9 & under)
Juniors (10 - 12)
Technically the easiest and shortest course. All controls on paths, or just off the path. 1 1
Youth (13 - 15) Longer and somewhat more technically difficult - controls on large features close to paths. 2 2
Youth Plus (16 - 19) Intermediate difficulty, medium-ish length course. Controls on large features in the forest. 3 2
Venerable (60+) Technically difficult, short course 4 3
Open categories    
Recreational Technically easy, short course. Suitable for individuals or groups 2 2
Family Technically easy, short course. Suitable for parents with younger children 2 2
Sport Intermediate difficulty, medium-ish length. Suitable for fit, but relatively inexperienced orienteers. Can be done individually or as a team. 3 4
Expert Technically difficult, medium-ish length course. Suitable for experienced orienteers looking for a less physical course. W - 5
M - 6
W - 3
M - 4
Elite Technically difficult, physically hard. Suitable for experienced, fit orienteers. This is the category for men & women competing for National Team Selection. W - 6
M - 7
W - 3
M - 4

Course assignments are subject to change.

Recommended winning times (minutes)
These are based on the fastest category on the course. Subject to change.

Sprint Middle
Course 1 10-12 20 30
Course 2 12-15 20 30
Course 3 12-15 25 50
Course 4 12-15 25 55
Course 5   25 55
Course 6   35 75
Course 7   35 90


Entry Fees & other expenses

Pricing Adults Juniors
(10 - 20)
(9 & under)
Entry fee (per race)      
before April 30 $15 $8 $4
May 1 - 19 $20 $10 $5
May 20 and after* $25 $12 $6

* registering after May 19 means you will risk not being able to run in your chosen category if we don't have enough maps printed. Please make the organizers' lives much easier and register early!

Non-O-Club members

You must belong to the Foothills Wanderers Orienteering Club (www.orienteeringcalgary.ca) or a Canadian provincial orienteering association or a national federation (for insurance purposes) in order to take part. Membership in the Foothills Wanderers Orienteering Club can be purchased at reasonable cost - visit the club's website.

Cancellation & Refunds

In the event you should cancel your entry, we’ll refund 75% if the cancellation is received in writing before May 19th. No refunds will be given after May 19th (it’ll be spent by then).


Groups can enter in the Sport, Recreational, or Family categories. Groups pay one adult entry fee plus $3 for each extra map.

Electronic Punching

All events use electronic timing. There is a small charge of $2/event to rent SportIdent cards if you don’t have your own.

National Team Selection Process

All National Team contenders must notify national team coach (Magnus Johansson at magjohATgmailDOTcom) by the Friday prior to this event (May 22) if you wish to be considered for the team.
The 2009 selection criteria is identical to last year´s. The team will be named shortly after the selection races in Calgary. The team will be selected based on the race results in the M/W elite categories and at the National Team Coach's discretion. Up to 2 non-traveling alternates may be named.

Accommodation & Food


UPDDATE!! The campground at Sandy McNabb is currently closed due to problems with the roads in the campground. There is a chance that it will be open again by the weekend, but unlikely. The best camping option is the Blue Rock campground which is about 20 km west of Sandy McNabb along SH 546. You can't make reservations there - it's first come first serve.
If you are a national team contender, be sure to respect the embargo at Sandy McNabb outlined below.


Sarah Brandreth is coordinating billeting with Calgary club members. Those wanting to be billeted please contact Sarah at sbrandrethATgmailDOTcom with the number of people and your projected arrival/departure. Carpooling may be possible so let Sarah know if you require transport and she will endeavour to match you up with someone.


Lots of accommodation options are available in Calgary. You may also want to consider staying in Black Diamond or Turner Valley which are the closest towns to Sandy McNabb Recreation Area. (It's about 20km from Turner Valley to Sandy McNabb). Okotoks and High River are also options.

If you stay in Calgary, south Calgary would be your best bet to minimize driving time to/from Sandy McNabb. Here is a small sample of hotels that are in the south end of Calgary:

Food at event sites

You will need to bring your own food & drinks - there are no food services at the event sites.


Here are a few restaurants in Black Diamond / Turner Valley recommended by a local food critic:

Technical Info

Super important information

First Aid and Emergency


Course Planners: Charlotte MacNaughton, Teresa Winn, Don Bayly
Meet Directors: Jane Rowlands with help from Charlotte MacNaughton
Controllers: various controller duties done by Magnus Johansson, Kitty Jones and Adrian Zissos
Elite Course Consultant: Magnus Johansson
Timing & results: Richard Obreiter


Maps will be sealed in plastic bags. Legends will not be printed on the maps; control descriptions will be. Scale and contour intervals change from map to map – see race details.

The Fish Creek map will be a new ISSOM map made of an area that has been used previously for orienteering. Click here to view the existing 1:10,000 Fish Creek map.

Sections of the Sandy McNabb map have been updated in 2009 by Magnus Johansson and Don Bayly. The map has been used previously for orienteering. Click here to view the existing 1:15,000 Sandy McNabb map.


The Sandy McNabb Recreation Area and Fish Creek Provincial Park (west of Macleod Trail) are now embargoed for any national team contenders, meaning that these contenders are not allowed to visit those areas between now and the competition, nor receive any information from others who visit the areas. The only exception is that competitors can camp at the Sandy McNabb campground on the weekend of the event, but cannot enter any area aside from the campground except while competing.

Control Descriptions

Are printed on the map. Copies will also be available in the start chute. Course One & Two have English language descriptions; all other courses have only IOF symbolic control descriptions.


There is no on-course water in the Sprint or the Middle distance event. Please keep this in mind and plan accordingly to stay well hydrated. There is limited water in the Long distance event on the longer courses.

Electronic timing

SI timing is used for all events. There is no back-up punching in case an SI unit fails. If a unit fails we will endeavor to replace it as soon as possible. Obviously in the spirit of fair play we expect runners not to communicate with other runners about failed devices.

Course Lengths

The approximate length (in km) and climb (in m) of the courses is in the table below.


  Fisk Creek Sandy McNabb Sandy McNabb
Age categories Sprint Middle Long Descriptions
Super Juniors (9 & under) C1: 1.4km C1: 2.4km/15m climb C1: 2.7km/25m climb Text
Juniors (10-12) C1: 1.4km C1: 2.4km/15m climb C1: 2.7km/25m climb Text
Youth (13 - 15) C2: 1.6km C2: 2.3 km/20m climb C2: 3.2km/45m climb Symbols
Youth Plus (16 - 19) C2: 1.6km C3: 2.7km/20m climb C3: 4.2km/75m climb Symbols
Venerable (60-ish & above) C3: 2.1km C4: 2.6 km/15m climb C4: 3.6km/70m climb Symbols
Open categories
Recreational & Family C2: 1.6km C2: 2.3 km/20m climb C2: 3.2km/45m climb Text
Sport C4: 2.4km C3: 2.7km/20m climb C3: 4.2km/75m climb Text
Expert Women C3: 2.1km C5: 3.2 km/25m climb C5: 5.3km/205m climb Symbols
Expert Men C4: 2.4km C6: 3.9 km/80m C6: 7.9km/255m climb Symbols
Elite Women C3: 2.1km C6: 3.9 km/80m C6: 7.9km/255m climb Symbols
Elite Men C4: 2.4km C7: 4.8 km/150m C7: 11.7km/480m climb Symbols

Event details

Saturday Fish Creek : Sprint distance
Officials Course planner: Charlotte MacNaughton

Fish Creek Provincial Park is a forested park in the city of Calgary. It is heavily used by walkers, bikers, joggers, and picnickers. Vegetation ranges from open fields to dense forest. An intricate network of trails covers the parks. The park has steep slopes along its sides. There are various water features in the park including a number of marshes and ponds and of course Fish Creek itself. Fish Creek must be crossed by bridge only – even if the water levels are low. The marshes are generally quite wet, and the creek may be dangerous if the water volume rises due to spring melt or rainfall. Be aware of other park users, especially when running on trails.

Map Originally made by Robert Micek in 2004 and updated by Robert in 2006 after significant flooding in the park. Some updates by Don Bayly in 2007. Updated and converted to ISSOM by Sarah Brandreth in 2009. 1:5000m with 2.5m contours.
Schedule First start will be at 9:30 with a two minute start interval for national team contenders.
The maximum time that a participant can take on his/her courses is 1 hour.
The course closes at 11:15. All participants must report back to the finish/assembly area by this time.
Start list
Notes See terrain description above.
Long pants are orienteering shoes are recommended.
The download station will be at the assembly area. REMEMBER to download your SI card as soon as you get back to the assembly area from the finish.
Access to outhouses: There are washrooms close to the parking area.
Parking --> Assembly area 0m
Assembly area --> Start 700m
Finish --> Assembly area 700m

Driving directions to the Parking: From MacLeod Trail, drive west on Canyon Meadows Drive, then south on Elbow drive, follow road into Fish Creek Park and the parking lot at Votier's Flats.

Saturday Sandy McNabb : Middle distance
Officials Course planner: Teresa Winn

At Sandy McNabb you will find a lot of relatively open runnable lodgepole pine forest;  some recent windfall areas; poplar stands of various ages;  flat areas with subtle contour features and many small marshes; large hills that tend to be dry and open on the southwest sides but cooler and more densely vegetated on the northeast side;  and some large man-made clearings in which patches of poplar trees are growing back.  There are a network of equestrian and cross-country ski trails,  a few fences, a few distinct cut lines, and many indistinct cut lines left over from forestry thinning  decades ago.

You will notice beautiful foothills and mountain scenery (especially if your course has a lot of climb).

It was a snowy winter here.  Even at the end of April there was enough snow to ski on. There may be a few drifts left during the event.  All the marshes will be wet;  the small depressions could be ponds; the seasonal streams (blue dots) are flowing;  and you may encounter marshy ground or trickles of water that are not marked on the map.

Rootstocks are not marked.

Many of the areas in the forest shown with light green are almost as easy to get through as the white forest.

Vertical green lines for "good visibility but poor running" represent areas of fallen trees that you will want to avoid.


Map scale is 1:10,000 for all the middle courses. Contours are 5m.

Fieldwork 1981: Don Bayly, Jan Samuelsson, Leo Larsson
1984: Gert Pettersson, Glen Booth, Jan Samuelsson
Cartography1984: Brenda Madge
Revised 1990: Bryan Chubb
OCAD conversion 1999: Bryan Chubb
Revised 1999, 2000: Bryan Chubb
Minor Revision 2004: Bill Jarvis
Revised 2009: Magnus Johansson, Don Bayly

Schedule First start will be at 3:30 with a three minute start interval for national team contenders.
The maximum time that a participant can take on his/her courses is 2 hours.
The course closes at 6:30. All participants must report back to the finish/assembly area by this time.
Start list
Notes Be prepared for your feet to get wet. This applies to everybody!

Courses 1 and 2 will have some flagged sections, to help those runners in areas where there isn't an overly distinct path.

Access to outhouses: at the parking lot
Parking --> Assembly area 0m
Assembly area --> Start 900m
Finish --> Assembly area 300m

Driving directions:

We are using the same parking area for the Middle and Long events.  It is at the Sheep River park administration building, approximately 20 km west of Turner Valley on secondary highway 546. 

This parking lot is on the north side of the road, about 1.5 km west of the Kananaskis Country boundary.

Latitude and longitude:  50 degrees 38 minutes 19 seconds North,  114 degrees 30 minutes 11 seconds West. UTM coordinates: Zone 11,  0676 556 m East,  5612 624 m North

From Fish Creek Provincial Park:

Travel south on Macleod Trail, and follow Macleod trail out of the city (Macleod trail becomes highway 2A). Highway 2A joins highway 2 briefly, then take the highway 2A exit to Okotoks. Travel through Okotoks to Highway 7. Go west on Highway 7 through Black Diamond to Turner Valley. In Turner valley, take secondary highway 546 west and follow above directions to the parking.

Travel south on Macleod Trail, and go west on highway 22X (Spruce Meadows Drive). Turn South into highway 22 to Tuner Valley. In Turner valley, take secondary highway 546 west and follow above directions to the parking.

Sunday Sandy McNabb : Long Distance
Officials Course planner: Don Bayly
Terrain see middle distance description
Map Map scale is 1:10,000 for courses 1-5 and 1:15,00 for courses 6 and 7. Contours are 5m.
Other map info same as middle distance.
Schedule First start will be at 10:00 with a four minute start interval for national team contenders.
The maximum time that a participant can take on his/her courses is 3 hours.
The course closes at 2:15. All participants must report back to the finish/assembly area by this time.
Start list
Notes Be prepared for your feet to get wet. This applies to everybody!

Courses 1 and 2 will have some flagged sections, to help those runners in areas where there isn't an overly distinct path.

Access to outhouses: at the parking lot
Parking --> Assembly area 0m
Assembly area --> Start 300m
Finish --> Assembly area 200m

Directions to the parking: same as the middle distance 


Q. I've got a question - how do I ask it?
A. Send email to presidentATorienteeringcalgaryDOTca. Or try phoning Jane at 403-289-7194.

Q. Is there any childcare organized? How about shadowing young kids on their courses?
A1. Childcare is ad hoc - nothing formal has been arranged, but it may be possible for parent to make arrangements directly with each other. Please ask early for split start-times and we will do everything possible to accommodate.
A2. Parents are allowed to shadow their children, but only after having completed their own run.

Q. Who is Sandy McNabb?
A. Alexander “Sandy” McNabb was a noted horse trainer when he arrived in Turner Valley during the 1913-1915 oil boom and began working for the Royalite Oil Company. This native of Scotland also loved fishing and spent many of his days off riding the rutted road west from Turner Valley to his favourite fishing hole on the Sheep River. Oldtimers still recall his tireless efforts to distribute food to Royalite’s unemployed during the hungry ‘30s. In recognition of his work as a founding member of the Turner Valley Fish and Game Club, the Association designated Sandy’s old fishing spot as “Sandy McNabb’s Camp”. The recreation tradition enjoyed by Sandy McNabb continues with you today at the campgrounds and on the trails of Sandy McNabb Recreation Area.
(source: www.tpr.alberta.ca/parks/kananaskis/pdfs/Sandy_McNabb_Trail.pdf)


Tourist attractions around Back Diamond / Turner Valley
The Cowboy Trail