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Discussion: Cascade Winter Series

in: BigWillyStyle; BigWillyStyle > 2015-11-01

Nov 2, 2015 2:12 PM # 
BorisGr:
What is the format for this glorious endeavor?
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Nov 2, 2015 4:07 PM # 
Pink Socks:
7 races, best 4 scores count. Men and Women are scored separately.

Winner gets 100 points, 95 for 2nd, 92 for 3rd, 90 for 4th and 89, 88, 87...

(This is the same scoring system for all of the school leagues, too).

Tiebreaker compares highest scores first. If still tied, then second highest. (Will and Jourdan had 4 identical scores last year, so they shared the championship. Celia and Gina were tied in points, but Celia won a race and Gina did not, so Celia won that tiebreaker).
Nov 2, 2015 7:28 PM # 
bubo:
Is Simon Fors still around or was he just there for a quick visit?
Nov 2, 2015 7:46 PM # 
Pink Socks:
According to his email to me over the summer, he said that he was going to be in Vancouver for a couple of months. He's the age of a college student, so perhaps that means a semester? (I didn't get a chance to talk to him at SART)
Nov 2, 2015 7:47 PM # 
Run_Bosco:
Are we going to get an update after every event? I'm quite enjoying this.
Nov 2, 2015 8:15 PM # 
Pink Socks:
I usually update after every event... but I usually focus on the kids.
Nov 2, 2015 9:03 PM # 
KateK:
Simon Fors is already off - he was just here for a travel adventure. Did the Rockies & Travelled the states.
Nov 3, 2015 3:36 PM # 
Run_Bosco:
Also, Heather just joined my bike team, and told me that she's "been running more."

So, imagine an even fiercer Heather.
Nov 3, 2015 3:41 PM # 
Run_Bosco:
@Pink, yeah, I've seen your reports! Good write-ups. Though I have no idea who the kids are, and I have no personal stake in their performance, so it's less riveting for me than imagining what might happen in my own field. It's cool that you do it though!
Nov 3, 2015 6:01 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Predictions:

Jourdan and Will go 1/2 in Men's. Jourdan is setting Magnuson, so that's one he can't win, so I think that evens the odds a little bit (all things equal, I think Jourdan is slightly faster). I don't see Eric finishing Top 2. You guys are in your primes, and Eric is aging out.

Heather wins the Women's. Celia is second. I don't see CROC as a factor. Heather is better than Sue and Abra. And I doubt Ali hits 4. She's still injured from SART, two races are non-technical trail runs (St. Ed's & BT), two races are way north (Putney & Fire Mountain).
Nov 3, 2015 8:16 PM # 
iansmith:
And I doubt Ali hits 4.

Be wary of poking the sleeping aligator with a stick lest you awaken it.
Nov 4, 2015 2:13 PM # 
BorisGr:
Some of the races are trail runs?
Nov 4, 2015 3:14 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Essentially, yes.

That's life in the PNW. We have super sensitive land managers in places that won't allow us off trail, despite the vegetation here being very robust. But, in many cases, the vegetation is too thick to really be pleasant to hack through, anyway.

We can't go off trail at Bridle Trails State Park or St. Edward State Park, so those events are basically glorified trail runs on their trail networks. We try to schedule these events early in the season so that we can progressively ease the school league kids into more difficult terrain.

Why even use these venues in the first place? Well, in most cases, we already had maps before the restrictions. And secondly, there are only so many places that we go that are big enough to handle the logistics for 400 orienteers.

During the Winter Series, we're essentially cut off from our best terrain. It's either under a lot of snow and/or on the other side of the Cascades, so access isn't guaranteed. We stick to areas that are within 90 minutes of driving from downtown Seattle. But that's actually a limited number of options, since a lot of forested land out here is too thick, too steep, inaccessible, logged, or impossible to permit.

In addition to most state parks (which have orienteering explicitly written into their usage rules), we're also not allowed to go off trail at Seattle City Parks, either. This isn't a total loss, however, since most of those parks are pretty open, which is why we still regularly use Woodland, Magnuson, and Lincoln Parks.

Some other jurisdictions may not have officially written that we can't go off trail, but they've essentially prevented us from using them by jacking up permitting fees for orienteering to ridiculous levels. Island Crest and Pioneer Parks on Mercer Island come to mind as examples, at over $1000. (We're routinely paying over $500 already, so heck, what's a little more?).

I'm actually surprised with how large and successful our junior program is (200+ kids, a steady stream of JWOC appearances), despite just how terrible our orienteering terrain is (just ask anyone who came to our Interscholastics in 2012, and those were two of our best options!).
Nov 4, 2015 3:24 PM # 
Pink Socks:
I'll also mention that Vancouver has very similar terrain issues. But they realized 15 years ago that the best way forward was focusing on the sprint format, which has been incredibly successful for them (50+ maps within the city, weekly training events where they can skip permitting, a reasonably young core demographic, and a world-class annual event).
Nov 4, 2015 3:31 PM # 
Nev-Monster:
I think mixing in a pure trail race is a great idea. The original Raid the Hammer was a 10km trail run with a marked route but with short-cuts encouraged.
Nov 5, 2015 7:55 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Yeah, now that I'm used to it, I actually don't mind it so much. It's the principle of the land managers that annoys me more. The perception is that orienteering off trail is bad, but here in the PNW, that's demonstrably false. But they do it anyway.

I'm not in charge of scheduling the Winter Series, but I would have put Bridle Trails and St. Edward's as #1 and #2 instead of #3 and #4. The ones we're using for #1 and #2 (Magnuson Park and North SeaTac Park) are open enough and flat enough to be tricky for a lot of beginner/intermediates. Tougher than trails-only, at least.
Nov 6, 2015 9:18 PM # 
BorisGr:
That's really interesting and certainly confirms that you don't need world-class terrain to produce good junior orienteers. In Russia, Moscow (where I grew up) is famous for having terrible orienteering terrain (thick, flat, swampy) but really high numbers of kids and juniors participating in orienteering. All that really matters is a good organization and outreach to the schools.

I am sure this has been discussed someplace already, but how did the Seattle Winter Series get into the schools in the first place?
Nov 6, 2015 11:07 PM # 
Pink Socks:
That's way before my time (early 80's). But I know that the series was built to fit in between cross country (fall) and track (spring), so the school league was built into the series from the start, I think.
Nov 9, 2015 12:00 AM # 
Pink Socks:
Jourdan and Will go 1/2 in Men's. Jourdan is setting Magnuson, so that's one he can't win, so I think that evens the odds a little bit (all things equal, I think Jourdan is slightly faster). I don't see Eric finishing Top 2. You guys are in your primes, and Eric is aging out.

And.... Eric wins. Haha, I gave him some bulletin board material, I guess. Also, after talking with Jourdan, I think he's also setting at Fire Mountain, and Gina mentioned that they'll be in NZ for a while over the holidays, so I don't think he'll get more than 4 races in the season, if that. Same for Celia.

Heather wins the Women's. Celia is second. I don't see CROC as a factor. Heather is better than Sue and Abra. And I doubt Ali hits 4. She's still injured from SART, two races are non-technical trail runs (St. Ed's & BT), two races are way north (Putney & Fire Mountain).

No surprises here. Heather wins easily, Ali doesn't come, and CROC isn't really a factor (Abra came, but that's it). If there's a surprise here, it's that Marissa finished second!

This discussion thread is closed.