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Discussion: 2015 Ontario Orienteering Championships

in: Ottawa O-Fest - 2015 Ontario Orienteering Championships (Sep 26–27, 2015 - Kinburn, ON, CA)

Aug 26, 2015 10:40 PM # 
Due to a change in plans, Orienteering Ontario has designated the Ottawa O Fest on Sept. 26-27 as the 2015 Ontario Orienteering Championships. Many thanks to Orienteering Ottawa for taking this on. We know Ontario orienteers will enjoy the complex maps, devious course setting and warm hospitality so many of us enjoyed at last year’s NAOC.
Aug 31, 2015 8:48 PM # 
We are pleased to be hosting the Ontario Champs! We're hoping lots of orienteers from across the province will be able to make their way here on the weekend of September 26/27. Race Arena is at the north end of the Carp Ridge this year. A new arena, a new start location and new territory for most of us. Registration fees go up after September 11, so sign up soon!
Sep 28, 2015 12:40 AM # 
Thank you everybody!!!
Sep 30, 2015 1:32 AM # 
There were many good things about the event but I want to single out the awards and say I thought they were great.

Also, the situation with the police not allowing organizers to access the area until Saturday morning was handled perfectly.

Thank-you Ottawa
Sep 30, 2015 3:10 AM # 
Now I'm curious to know what the awards were like!
Sep 30, 2015 4:09 AM # 
...and why the problem with access?
Sep 30, 2015 9:40 AM # 
I wasn't able to make this race due to injury but ottawa used a race format i would like to see used more often. Middle on Sat and long chase on sunday. It utilizes the modern IOF race distances but awards overall performance (like the old 2 day classic) and yet also brings in head to head racing. heck i'd argue with some tweaks it could (should?) become the norm.

Good on ottawa for mixing things up.
Sep 30, 2015 10:48 AM # 
"The norm" nowadays is for the strongest runners to start last. With this format, it's the other way around, which has a number of shortcomings. For example, since the strongest athletes finish first, there are fewer people around to cheer for them. It's also less beginner-friendly - weaker runners start later so have less time to finish before the closing time. So it's an OK format, but not ideal.
Sep 30, 2015 1:13 PM # 
First across the line is the norm for almost all endurance sports.
Sep 30, 2015 1:20 PM # 
Reverse pursuits in skiing are pretty fun. But more stress on the finish crew.
Sep 30, 2015 1:37 PM # 
A quick word of congrats to the course setter Mark Gibbard. Ottawa has a bit of an embarrassment of riches when it comes to veteran organizers and Mark's on that list as well.
Sep 30, 2015 1:45 PM # 
I enjoyed the chase format and from what I overheard it sounded like the youngsters on the elite courses did as well.

What wasn't clear to me either before, during, or after the race was whether the day-2 starts were computed by course or by class. Hence when a group began to form a few controls before the finish, and I didn't know who the others were but suspected they weren't in my category, I didn't know if we were even on time or not. Looking more closely at the start times and results now, it looks like the starts were done by course without regard to category, which I agree with.

Regarding MChub's objections above I'll note that 1) at least some of the folks on shorter courses will tend to be back before those on longer courses and could thus avail themselves of the opportunity to cheer if they desire, and 2) the last start time was 11:00 and the course closing time was 2:00, so that's 3 hours for the last starter. That aligns pretty well with historical course time limits.

I do like the way the organizers compressed the start window for the later starters into 30 second intervals. That neatly solves the most frequent objection to the chase start format.
Sep 30, 2015 2:13 PM # 
@ guy
there was sort of a repeat of what happened at the Hudson Highlander a few years ago in that a (suspected) murderer took refuge in the area and the police were barring access. Unlike the HH though, this person was apprehended so the organizers shifted everyone's start time 3 hours. There was over a days advance notice of this and the Sat. courses were middle distance so instead of start times being 10-noon, they were 1300-1500 (or something like that).

The awards were pint jars or either Blueberry Jam, Peach Jam or Honey all made/harvested by OOC members.
Sep 30, 2015 2:39 PM # 
From what I heard, the murderer was not just hiding out in the area, he was in the building adjacent to the arena (and Day 2 start).

The format did use a lot of volunteer staffing at the start - at least 10 volunteers, one for each of the 8 start chutes, one before the chutes, and the announcer let everyone know when they could go to their start chutes without causing them to be overcrowded. Even if those volunteers run the course themselves, they are unable to participate in the chase format.
Sep 30, 2015 3:38 PM # 
Some folks may not realize that the Ottawa O Fest was not planned to be a championship event - just another of their fun, high quality weekends of orienteering.

Orienteering Ontario approached Orienteering Ottawa when this year's Ontario Championship plans fell through. With only a month to go, the organizers graciously agreed to take on some extra work so their long-planned event could stand as the 2015 Ontario Championships. Although it wasn't a traditional championship format, we knew that Ottawa would put on a terrific event, worthy of a championship. Many thanks to Ottawa for stepping up to help.

This discussion thread is closed.