More teams out there all at once, still a strategy component to team planning but a club doesn't have to worry so much about "using someone up" on a certain point team.
Ah, I get the point to minute calculation now - you could have a team of any number of points. Interesting - so could 3 F10-16s form a team and start 30 minutes ahead of 3M21s? Might be worth running the numbers off this weekend and see if the model holds up.
Anna and Peter were blessedly tired last night, too! It was a very quiet evening. Thanks for being patient with them, their "pets" tend to be the catch-and-release kind!
The relay format was something I came up with. I can't claim to have originated the chasing start idea for this relay event, but I tried to improve on it. I did a quick analysis of a recent U.S. Champs course, and plotted min/k vs. "points" for the winners in all the categories in the relay points system. The results fell on a straight line with a slope of 1 min/k per point. This made it easy to assign the starting handicaps, because a runner with one more point will be 7 minutes slower over the whole 7k course. I haven't seen the relay results yet, but I'm interested in how well that formula worked out.
Interesting side effect of the system: each of our runners yesterday (Kevin-Hannah-Boris) had the fastest time on his/her respective leg, but we didn't win the relay.
You (collectively) weren't fast enough.
With Thierry instead of Boris or Kevin (same point value?) maybe they would have...
for the Leg 1 results sans 7 and 14 minute handicap...
I like this format but remember that the World's biggest orienteering relay has only 2-3 categories. Jukola men's race has the world's very best racing seven random office mates from some random Finnish company (and there are a lot of them). Many of the big road relays in North America are somewhat similar. So lots of people just don't mind being a long way behind the winner. They are racing against the best and no points system is adopted to 'adjust things'.
Another option instead to your idea is to do what the most awesome trail running relay in north America - Dances with Dirt - does. Have a mass start and award the top 3 overall and then award the top 3 handicapped ranked teams (time adjusted based on points). What makes that relay and all O relays so much fun is the mass start.
As the current and still unchallenged champions, we in Cascade OC welcome all contenders.
The handicapping reminds me a bit of the Thomass format...
Hammer - I do agree, in cases where there is a critical mass of people. In Jukola, the random office guys are always out there in the woods with other people, plenty of them to make fun head to heads. There's mass starts to ensure it stays that way.
Here, it would probably just get boring. The reverse start approach makes sure that by the second leg, most people are out there with someone. It's just the first leg runner that might get the raw end of the deal.
It turns out if you average all the relay participants, the 1min/k per point handicap (7 min on a 7k relay) is right on. But the Rileys would have won even if it were 6 min, primarily due to AJ, who was the top 3-point runner, and way below the expected 3 point time. Your best strategy would have been to throw Kevin under the bus (sorry, Kevin), pick up a fast 3-point runner, and go as a 6-pt team. Here's my point-graded ranking of the top relay participants:
Name Pts Adj min/k
H. Culberg 2 4.16
N. Ahmed 2 4.65
K. Mayland 5 4.76
A. Riley 3 4.89
K. Lennon 4 5.09
A. Campbell 5 5.22
P. Dickison 4 5.40
A. Tomas 2 5.52
T. Nolan 3 5.58
B. Granovskiy 1 5.66
W. Riley 1 5.67
j. Torrance 1 5.67
J. Campbell 1 5.68
V. Masalkov 1 5.69
Wait, if it were 6 minutes, all other things held equal, then Wyatt and I would have gone out together. That would have been a very different scenario.
@GuyO: Yeah the handicapping approach used here is similar to THOMASS. At one time I had proposed that for THOMASS to have the ideal 'mass finish' that each person would get their own personal handicap (like in golf). About 15-20 years ago my club had their club champs based on a 'mass finish' race. One year about 80-90% of the participants punched the 2nd last control at the same time. It was a lot of fun.
@Becks: good point. The social interaction in the race is important. Reality is relays aren't going to catch on here in southern Ontario. Our raids and team races are so popular now (more popular than relays ever were). People don't like spending the day waiting for team members to finish when they can be out racing together the entire time (social interaction).