On your marks, get set, cheat: dozens take shortcut at China marathon

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The most serious offenders face lifetime bans from the race.“We deeply regret the violations that occurred during the event,” Shenzhen organizers said in a statement, according to Xinhua.“Marathon running is not simply exercise, it is a metaphor for life, and every runner is responsible for him or herself.”Xinhua, hardly masking its disgust at the widespread cheating, branded it “deeply shameful” and added: “No matter the participants or the organizers, they should reflect: What is the significance of participating in and holding marathons?“Don’t run and forget why you run. Don’t let the marathon turn sour.”ADVERTISEMENT More than 250 runners cheated at last weekend’s half-marathon in Shenzhen including many who took shortcuts, Chinese state media said on Thursday, calling it “deeply shameful.”Marathon and leisure running is growing fast in China despite the pollution which often blankets major cities, with participants donning the latest fashionable gear and wearable technology.ADVERTISEMENT Separately, runner He Yinli unwittingly sparked a national debate about patriotism after an overly enthusiastic volunteer darted onto the course to hand her a Chinese flag as she vied for victory at the Suzhou Marathon earlier this month.She briefly held onto it before letting it fall to the floor, explaining later that it had slipped from her grasp.Some Chinese internet users questioned He’s patriotism for dropping the flag, but many others faulted the volunteer for interfering.He Yinli was beaten to the line after the fiasco.In 2011 there were just 22 marathons, half-marathons or other running events in China, according to the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA).However, that figure has skyrocketed to nearly 1,100 this year.  /mufSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Bo Perasol shares credit for Maroons’ rise: Everyone contributed to UP’s success LATEST STORIES Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college However, the sport has made unwelcome headlines in recent weeks.During Sunday’s run in Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong, 258 runners were penalized for cheating, Xinhua news agency said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissMore than a dozen had fake bib numbers and three ran in someone else’s place, but most were guilty of cutting corners, the report said, citing organizers.In the most blatant case, a traffic camera caught runners turning round at least one kilometer (0.6 miles) before they were supposed to make a U-turn, potentially shaving two or three kilometers off the 21-kilometer distance. ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk View comments MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazillast_img read more

Illiteracy, Poor Voter Education Pose Serious Challenges during Voting Process

first_img6.Grand Gedeh39,4982,2155.3 11.Montserrado 530,65419,932 3.6 4.Grand Bassa99,3777,2086.8 9.Margibi108,2416,9005.6  Invalid votes Valid Votes Counties 7.Grand Kru 22,993 2,3299.2 3.Gbarpolu34,5472,1745.9 5.Grand Cape Mount48,4463,3866.5 8.Lofa11, 63656,8385.6 2.Bong15,153611,9007.3center_img 14.River Cess23,3081,9977.9 No. 13.River Gee24,2591,5085.9 10.Maryland38,1783,0867.5 % 12.Nimba 154,44010,3876.3 1.Bomi43,520 2,250 4.9 Voters in queue in at ta polling center in Montserrado county. The county has the highest number of invalid votes, followed by Nimba and Bong Counties.Official provisional results from the National Elections Commission (NEC) reveal that the high illiteracy rate among the electorate and challenges in the electoral process affected the number of votes cast, including the number of invalid votes.According to NEC four provisional results, dated October 15, out of the total vote count of 1,466,748 so far, 84,071 were invalid votes, and accounted for even more than the votes garnered by some candidates. In 2011, the invalid votes were 80,504 or 6.5 % of the total votes. Surprisingly, the invalid votes are mostly from vote rich counties, especially home to leading candidates.Breakdown of valid and invalid votes as of October 15, 2017 15.Sinoe313861,9475.8 Following Tuesday’s peaceful general elections, local and international media practitioners and some voters revealed that a lot of voters were frustrated with how the voting process was set up and executed.The public is already raising alarm about the high number of invalid votes and local and international election monitoring groups have blamed the high number of invalid votes to poor voter and election education, but the Commission is shaking off the blame.Several media reports stated that at almost every precinct across the country, the issue of voters queuing in the wrong lines only to be told so at the top of the line – after patiently waiting hours to get there, and then sent to the back of the correct line, was prevalent, which would point to two things: high level of illiteracy among the electorate and poor voter and electoral worker education.In our Friday, October 13 edition of the Daily Observer, Samantha Smoot, mission director for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) said many precincts with multiple polling places lacked clear signs to direct voters to the correct queue. “This led to confusion about which line to join. Where there were precinct queue controllers, some were not effective in directing voters to the correct queue,” Ms Smoot said.Reports gathered from various polling stations in and around the capital said polling centers were packed with eager voters, including the aged, many of whom queued up before dawn. Voting started on schedule in the 19 polling centers visited by the Daily Observer Newspaper, but there were reports of late arrivals of materials in some rural areas due to bad roads and poor weather. Our reporter observed that voting was a bit disorganized in some polling stations in Monrovia as many voters had difficulty locating their voting points. Many, who had spent hours on a particular queue, were directed to other voting points when it was their turn to vote, leaving them frustrated.“Affected voters assumed that because they registered in a particular room in a center, so they went to that particular room during voting. In many cases, your name will not be in there but in another room because the precinct where you registered will be spread out into various centers during elections, and your name may be in one of the centers within that precinct.“A second issue was in cases where a voter is registered twice. These individuals are registered at the last place of registration in line with our policy. You will not be at the original place.”As part of its short term recommendations to the National Elections Commission (NEC), the Carter Center said “the NEC has acknowledged difficulties with long lines and queue management at polling precincts on Election Day. Given this, if there is a run-off, we recommend that the NEC offer polling precinct staff enhanced instruction on these issues before the second round.”With polling center workers misspelling the names of voters whose names were mysteriously not part of the final voters roll and not properly directing voters to the correct queues to cast their votes, many are pointing fingers at the NEC and its failure to execute a proper voter education program.“What happened to the voter education campaign?” was the question posed to this journalist by an annoyed party polling center representative who was clearly frustrated with the slow pace of the voting due to several factors: voters’ names not being on the final NEC voters roll; inconsistent application of procedures by polling officers; single voting booth; and voters not knowing which line to queue in.Chairman of the Election Coordinating Committee (ECC), Oscar Bloh, said while the voting process was generally smooth, ECC observed that NEC staff had challenges managing queues and directing voters to the proper polling places.“Particularity in areas with higher numbers of registered voters and in voting precincts located in facilities not adequate to accommodate these, this resulted in long waits and frustration among voters and caused voting and counting to extend long past the official closing time.”Although not much is known about the effectiveness of the voter education drive launched by the NEC, but at its launch on Friday, August 18 (a month and two weeks after it was scheduled to be launched on July 4, 2017), the campaign was meant to cover all 19 magisterial offices throughout Liberia. NEC workers hired specifically for this purpose were to engage in a door-to-door campaign across the country to teach people how to vote; something that should have anticipated the problems that arose during the actual process. During the voter education campaign, no election ‘dry runs’ were held with anticipated scenarios for electoral workers to act on.NEC chairman Jerome Korkoya claimed the Commission “has put in place the requisite administrative structure and strategies to reach out to every county, city, village, and clan within the borders of Liberia to create the necessary awareness for the maximum participation of all eligible citizens in these elections.“To ensure that a voter is adequately prepared for the elections, he or she must know the purpose of elections, the time and place of the elections, and why their participation in the electoral process is critically important to the democratic process.”He stated that the NEC had recruited and deployed 436 civic educators and 290 gender mobilizers across the country to carry out door-to-door outreach as well as face-to-face interactions with community dwellers.According to the NDI’s preliminary statement on the October 10 elections, “Delays in making outreach materials available, including sample ballots, hindered efforts during the initial period of voter education. NDI’s September pre-election mission expressed concern about this delay and the potential impact it could have in the NEC’s goal of reducing the invalid ballot rate to less than 3 percent. Long term observers noted, however, that NEC civic educators and gender mobilizers had difficulty in reaching the more inaccessible areas of the country and that voter education often focused more on turning out to vote than on the process of voting itself. This became further evident on election day.”But NDI’s Samantha Smoot summed it up best when she said “Also, there was a lack of clarity about the procedures…which slowed the process in those locations and underscored earlier concerns that the training for poll workers did not sufficiently address procedures for voter identification.”In an interview with an executive of one of the civil society organizations (who refused to be named for this article) that conducted the voter education drive, he said the NEC should not be singled out for the blame of the failures of the voter education campaign.“The NEC was underfunded for these elections; add that to capacity problems. We have said that given the high level of illiteracy in the country our voter education campaign should not be just for election time, it should be an ongoing effort. Civil society should also be blamed for the high number of invalid votes and the poor outcome of the voter education drive,” he said.Liberia is a country with a high illiteracy rate. According to the ‘Liberia People 2017, CIA World Factbook,’ 47.6 percent of those 15 and above can read and write, while 62.4 and 32.8 percent of adult males and females can respectively read and write. The NEC should have known that its work was cut out and should have started the voter education process a whole lot sooner. This was at least the contention of The Foundation for International Dignity (FIND) when it wrote a formal communication to Liberia’s development partners, drawing their attention to what it calls the unwarranted delay in the conduct of the civic and voter’s education ahead of the elections.It can be recalled that in October 2016, FIND issued a press statement in which it called on all stakeholders including Liberia’s development partners to provide technical and financial support to the national civil society institutions to begin early civic and voter education.FIND’s call was based on previous election observation reports, particularly the Carter Center’s 2011 Election Monitoring Report which, among other things, highlighted late and inadequate voter education as one of the key contributing factors to the huge number of invalid votes.While the CDC was hoping for a first round victory, and the UP might be praying for a run-off knowing that fate had not been on the side of the CDC in 2005 and 2011, we hope that the NEC will sort out the issues experienced during these elections so that should there be a runoff,  the same problems won’t be experienced.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

El Monte man pleads not guilty in fatal crash

first_imgA Whittier Police Department officer, who had been flagged down by witnesses, saw the pickup truck leave the parking lot of a restaurant in the 9800 block of Santa Fe Springs Road. He said he later heard the crash. Police said the pickup was traveling 90 mph and ran red lights. Brooker told officers he had three beers that night, but he denied taking drugs, CHP Officer Destiny Tafoya testified at a May 2 hearing. Officers said they found a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine and a small bag of what appeared to be marijuana in the truck. Prosecutors said Brooker tested positive for marijuana and methamphetamine. ruby.gonzales@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The charges stem from a Nov. 25 crash at Bloomfield and Florence avenues in Santa Fe Springs that killed Rosanna Garcia. Prosecutors allege Brooker was driving a pickup truck that slammed into the driver’s side of Garcia’s Honda Accord. The 20-year-old Garcia, a California High School graduate, died of her injuries. Garcia’s friends and her mother, Eva, attended the arraignment Wednesday. Eva Garcia declined comment. Brooker’s father, William Brooker, said he felt much sympathy for Garcia’s family. “I know he didn’t mean to do it, because he’s never hurt anybody. The way I see it, it was an accident. I’m very sorry for the other side,” he said. “I know how the other side feels, because we lost our youngest son four years ago. He was caught in a drive-by in L.A.” William Daniel Brooker, who is a parolee, allegedly told California Highway Patrol officers that he fled from police because they were chasing him and he had to get away. NORWALK – An El Monte man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to killing a South Whittier woman last year when his pickup truck allegedly crashed into her car as he fled from police. William Daniel Brooker, 27, also denied the other charges against him, which include driving under the influence causing injury, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving with great bodily injury, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He will be back at Norwalk Superior Court on June 13 for a pre-trial hearing. Deputy District Attorney Shelley Dominguez said the case has been re-assigned to the alternate public defender’s office. last_img read more

AFP photographer becomes part of Croatia World Cup goal celebration

first_img0Shares0000Mario Mandzukic celebrates his winning goal for Croatia after he and his teammates fell on top of AFP photographer Yuri Cortez © AFP / Yuri CORTEZMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jul 12 – When Croatia scored the goal that took them into the World Cup final on Wednesday, an AFP photographer unwittingly became part of the celebrations as he was buried under a pile of joyous players.After Mario Mandzukic scored in extra-time to give Croatia a 2-1 win against England in the semi-final, he ran to a corner of the pitch at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium to share his joy with his teammates. “I was just changing my lens as the players ran towards me,” said photographer Yuri Cortez, who was positioned next to the pitchside advertising boards.“They just kept coming towards me and they fell on me! It was a crazy moment, they were delighted. Then they suddenly realised that I was underneath them,” said Mexico City-based Cortez.Croatia defender Josip Pivaric celebrates up close after he and his teammates collapsed onto AFP photographer Yuri Cortez © AFP / Yuri CORTEZQuick as a flash, he picked up his camera and took some remarkable close-up shots of the Croats’ joy.“Then they asked me if I was OK. Another one picked up my lens and another player (Domagoj Vida) gave me a kiss.”Croatia, who have reached the final for the first time in their history, will play France on Sunday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

‘Oxlade-Chamberlain needs to be more like Dele Alli to succeed at Arsenal’

first_imgAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain can still be an Arsenal hit providing he believes in himself on the pitch, talkSPORT has been told.The 22-year-old missed Euro 2016 due to injury and, in recent years, has failed to nail down a regular first-team spot at the Emirates.He made 37 appearances for club and country last season and has shown glimpses of his capabilities, most recently netting a superb solo goal in Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the United States.Manager Arsene Wenger is now hoping an impressive run of games in the off-season can give Oxlade-Chamberlain the platform to succeed.The 2011 big-money signing from Southampton, capped 24 times for England, has undoubted potential and former Gunners midfielder Perry Groves feels he needs to take inspiration from starlet Dele Alli at local rivals Tottenham.“I have [high hopes for him],” Groves told Hawksbee and Jacobs.“He needs to have a little bit more arrogance and belief in himself.“He’s got everything and if I was him I’d be looking at Dele Alli at Spurs. He could be a very similar player – don’t copy him, but when Alli plays for Spurs, he looks like he believes he is the best player on the pitch.“That’s what Oxlade-Chamberlain needs to get into his game. He’s a very nice lad, humble boy, but when you go onto the pitch you have to believe you are the best player.”The north Londoners have been heavily linked with more midfield players in the transfer window – most notably Riyad Mahrez, but Groves believes Oxlade-Chamberlain can fit the bill.He said: “You have got to have that [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic/[Eric] Cantona sort of [aura]…’everybody’s looking at me’.“He’s got to demand the ball more and last year before he was injured I think he just had a crisis of confidence.“He’s having Iwobi and Joel Campbell in front of him. If I was Oxlade-Chamberlain I’d be looking and thinking ‘they shouldn’t be in front of me, I have to pull myself together and prove how good I really am’.”last_img read more

DD LIFESTYLE: THE RIGHT SPORTS BRA – LESS BOUNCE MORE SUPPORT

first_imgFIT is the most important element of a sports bra. It is important to buy for function and not fashion.It might be a lovely colour and match your trainers but if it’s not giving you the support you need then it might be doing more harm than good.Not only does a lack of support feel uncomfortable, it can cause long-term problems as there are no muscles in the breasts so the ligaments absorbing most of the shock can be permanently stretched and cause breast damage. The average breast size of Irish women is a D cup (55% of Irish women).One study has shown that some women don’t exercise specifically because of the problems of supporting their bust.What are the key features to look for in a sports bra?There are three types of fit.*Compression bras are the old fashioned sort, with the breasts pushed against the chest wall using Lycra.Smaller-breasted women may feel they are given enough support from these.*Encapsulation bras are similar to traditional ones – lifting and separating.*Combination bras do a mixture of the two. Larger-breasted women should select one of these. 1.Look for sports bras that encapsulate each breast in a separate chamber; they reduce bounce and support better than simple shelf bras.2.Find a sports bra that comes in a cup and band size rather than just small, medium, or large; they usually fit more precisely.3.Look for high-performance fabrics that wick away sweat to minimize chafing.4.Before buying, jump, swing your arms, and move around. If a bra pokes, rubs, slips, jiggles, constricts your breathing, or bulges, put it back.  It should fit on the first hook; as it loses elasticity over time, you need room to tighten it. A woman’s breast size can change throughout the month, especially if you lose or gain weight, so it’s important to have the ability to slightly alter the bra’s size.5.The sports bra should be comfortable around the back and on the shoulders. If you are able to pull the back of the bra by more than a couple of centimetres, you either have a bra that is too big or one that is too over stretched. 6.Your sports bra should never have a birthday.DD LIFESTYLE: THE RIGHT SPORTS BRA – LESS BOUNCE MORE SUPPORT was last modified: April 25th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:AdviceDonegal Daily Lifestylesports bralast_img read more

Juventus confirm the re-signing of Leonardo Bonucci from AC Milan

first_imgJuventus have confirmed the re-siging of Leonardo Bonucci in a swap deal with Mattia Caldara.The Italian centre-back spent one campaign with AC Milan after completing a €42million (£36m) move last summer. revealed He initially struggled for form before a resurgence under Gennaro Gattuso but he’s now heading back to Turin.In the opposite direction goes Caldara, who spent last season on loan at Atalanta, while Gonzalo Higuain also joins Milan.The Argentine will initially move to the Rossoneri on loan for one campaign in a £16million deal, but they could land him permanently next year for £32million if he’s a hit. possible standings BIG PRESENTS UP TOP silverware Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update smart causal latest 1 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes Most Popular Premier League News How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings gameday cracker ALTERED predicted The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 Leonardo Bonucci returns to Juventus after one season with AC Milan. What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion SORRY How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtureslast_img read more

European action continues on Friday for Mona McSharry in Copenhagen

first_imgMona McSharry will be in 100m breaststroke action tomorrow at the European Short Course Swimming Championships.The Marlins Swimming Club, Ballyshannon woman reached the 50m breaskstroke semi-final yesterday.Today in Copenhagen, the Grange native swam a lifetime best 1:01.90 in the 100m individual medley, finishing seventh in her heat. Also today, McSharry, along with Danielle Hill, Conor Brines and Calum Bain came sixth in the senior mixed medal relay heat – the first time Ireland were represented in the event on the international stage.McSharry, who won a World Junior gold medal this year in Indianapolis, also has the 200m breaststroke on Saturday to look forward to.European action continues on Friday for Mona McSharry in Copenhagen was last modified: December 14th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BallyshannonCopenhagenGrangeMona McSharrylast_img read more

Quads star Sithole wins Korean Open

first_img7 June 2012 After competing in the BNP Paribas 2012 World Team Cup that finished on 27 May it was a short rest for quads star Sithole as the Korean Open started at the Olympic Park Tennis Centre in Seoul just two days later, on 29 May. The win has lifted Sithole to eighth in the world rankings, just eight points behind the man he beat in the Korea Open semi-finals, Jamie Burdekin. SAinfo reporter “Although I lost to Jamie earlier this year, I have beaten him twice in 2011 and knew I had to be focused and stick to my game plan if I was going to win the match,” Sithole said ahead of their showdown. This time around, Sithole was on top of his game and cruised to a 6-4, 6-3 victory to lift the Korea Open title. Semi-finalThe win set up a meeting against top-seed Jamie Burdekin of Great Britain in the semi-finals. Earlier this year, Sithole had lost to Burdekin in the final of the Melbourne Open. He faced 34-year-old Frenchman Stephane Erismann in his first match of the tournament and rolled to a comfortable victory, winning 6-1, 6-0. FinalFacing Sithole for the title was Anders Hard of Sweden, a player he had beaten in their three previous meetings, including most recently in the Florida Open in April when Sithole prevailed 6-7, 6-1, 6-2. South African wheelchair tennis champion Lucas Sithole has added the Korea Open tennis title to his growing list of achievements. It’s a big boost for the world number 10 – now world number 8 – ahead of the Paralympics in London later this year. Commenting on Sithole’s victory, Wheelchair Tennis South Africa’s director and coach Holger Losch said in a statement: “Lucas always plays to win. We are proud of his determination, courage and performance. He has been working hard, and it is so good to see he is reaping the rewards.” Producing an excellent performance, the South African star, who was ranked 10th in the world heading into the event, outplayed Burdekin 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the final, which was his fourth title-decider of 2012. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Going Caching 2013 Mega-Event — Geocaching HQ Trip Report by Sean Boots

first_img SharePrint RelatedLackey Trip Report: Going Caching 2019October 29, 2019In “Community”Lackey trip report: Hoorn Mega – Game OverApril 16, 2019In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”Geocaching HQ’s Product Team Goes on the RoadNovember 30, 2015In “Geocaching tools” The full crew from the Going Caching 2013 Mega-Event.Geocaching HQ’er Sean with a couple of happy geocachers.This past August I had the pleasure of meeting Andi Beyer and Jim Williamson, founders of the “Going Caching” Mega, for the first time. They had just flown to Seattle to attend this year’s Geocaching Block Party and were introduced to me because Geocaching HQ had chosen to send me to this year’s version of their event in Warm Springs, Georgia. We hit it off immediately. They made some bold promises about how much fun I would have at their event and I became super-excited to trek across the country for their Mega-Event.Often when one travels to mega events as a Groundspeak Lackey it is difficult to find the time to participate in the various events and activities because one gets caught up at the main event meeting and greeting with cachers from around the area. To avoid this, Andi and Jim insisted that I add another day to my trip so that I would have enough time to participate in all the events. When I arrived in Warm Springs, they immediately hooked me up with an amazing family, the Villanuevas, who adopted me for the day with orders to make sure I would partake in all the various events. Agent Hop, his wife HopsGeneral and their two awesome daughters were gracious hosts and went out of their way to make my trip a great one.“Look at the cache. Now back to me. Now back to the cache. I’m on a horse.”The first event planned for me was a series of geocaches to be found on horseback. My hosts drove me to Roosevelt Riding Stables, a cute little outpost in the FDR State Park, where Andi and company had set up a special geocaching course for those who wanted a brand new caching experience. Caches were placed at a perfect height on trees along the path, so that it wasn’t necessary to dismount in order to find them. There were multi-caches, traditional caches, puzzle caches, and letterboxes, all accessible only by horse. We spent the morning trotting around the park collecting these caches and then headed back to the main park to jump head first into the main puzzle. Great fun!When we returned to the main event site, it became clear to me how amazing the organization and logistics for this event actually were. Andi and Jim had designed a giant, super-complex puzzle cache based on a hybrid of the television series “Lost” and the Indiana Jones trilogy to be the centerpiece of the event. They had printed, minted and crafted all kinds of cool swag for participants such as path tags, collectable coins, gold-painted plaster scarabs, collectable caching cards featuring photos of attendees, and laminated map cards. All of these things were brilliantly incorporated into the puzzle so that participants would be required to collaborate with one another but in such a way that made it actually possible for everyone to complete the challenge. They repurposed staff members as actors, who were dressed up as druids with scary contact lenses in order to defend an elaborate map room from the unauthorized. Those who made it past the druids were required to hook up their collectable geocoin to a staff of the correct size, and a laser would then shoot out of the wall pointing to the final cache location on the giant map. This location ultimately turned out to be a faked aircraft crash site in the middle of the woods with a huge cache box where participants could enter the evening raffle by dropping off their validated map pieces. So cool!The geocachers who earned smileys on horseback.Overall, there were 10 different mini-events associated with this awesome Mega including a Civilian Conservation Corps CITO event, a tasty brunch on Sunday morning and even a Fireside chat with FDR himself! Also, the event hosted a series of Groundspeak’s new Lab Caches featuring a historical tour of FDR state park and another fun caching challenge called the ACE challenge which had participants run around the park gathering a series of stamps with the ultimate goal of cashing them in for a specially-designed Magellan coin. Finally, 100 newly published caches were released throughout the region and were provided to participants the morning of the event on a special thumb drive provided in the welcome pack.Truly the Going Caching Mega events are a special treat for those who are fortunate enough to attend. Next year’s theme is already set, Going Caching 2014 – “When in Rome…” to be held in Andi’s and Jim’s hometown of Rome, GA! If you are able, you should definitely find a way to attend. You won’t be disappointed!A location of one of the experimental geocaches from Geocaching Labs. Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more