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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: maps

in: Bash; Bash > 2016-01-24

Jan 25, 2016 9:04 AM # 
I've noticed that the extensive documentation in your log for almost every outing, often including lots of photos, often does not include the map. Any chance you could be convinced to toss one in now and then for us map junkies? Do you QR your orienteering races?

In exchange I promise not to make fun of Canada or Canadians this week.
Jan 25, 2016 8:05 PM # 
From a technology point of view, it wouldn't add much time to just photograph the map. (My scanner is tucked away upstairs.) I'm on a Mac with no PC virtualization so I don't use QR anymore unless I fire up my old PC. Since I can do analysis with the physical map, GPS track and embarrassing memories, I have enough info to learn from my mistakes without taking the time to put it online.

The biggest reason it's not part of my routine is that map sharing hasn't been part of our orienteering culture in southern Ontario. When I started orienteering, it was drummed into my head that paper or digital maps must never be shared outside of events due to copyright and liability concerns. When I first noticed people like you and PG sharing your maps online, I wondered why a lightning bolt had not struck you down!

Maps have been a hugely sensitive issue here; the Orienteering Ontario board shut down for half a year after the president and some directors resigned over an inter-club disagreement over map rights. Even as the current president of Orienteering Ontario, I'm still nervous when I have to discuss anything related to map rights with a club.

I don't think any southern Ontario Attackpointers regularly share their maps here but maybe they're sharing elsewhere using DOMA. I usually take my cue from the event organizer. If they post their map online (as we do for the DGL Raids), then I feel comfortable sharing it.

For yesterday's event, I think TOC would be OK with it and I know Wilberto is here to let me know if they're not.

You probably know about our O Cup handicap system based on age and gender. A male elite has a handicap of 0. A 65+ year-old woman has a handicap of 6. (Sharon Crawford would clean up here!) Everyone else is somewhere in between. For this race, we ran from the start to our handicap number, i.e. if your handicap was 3, you ran from the Start directly to Control 3. After #10, we entered the O Cup Box where we could skip a number of controls equal to our handicap. So with a handicap of 3, you would do 4 controls inside the Box in any order. Then return to #10/11 before continuing. Just for a final twist, we were allowed to do #17-19 in any order. For a city park, this was quite a physical adventure!

Jan 25, 2016 8:19 PM # 
Hmm... I uploaded that as a larger JPG than usual so you could zoom in but Picasa isn't showing me a magnifier so maybe that feature doesn't work anymore. Google doesn't support Picasa much these days; I really need to switch to Flickr.

P.S. I see you get the full-sized JPG if you click Download - although that isn't a very handy feature.
Jan 25, 2016 8:38 PM # 
Got it! You can see the full-sized image at this link. (Click the magnifier.)
Jan 26, 2016 12:42 PM # 
Thanks! I think this is a really neat format and would love to try it in the US. I guess we could do it in Norway, too, but there are usually enough people in any given age group that they don't need to be so clever to make fun mass start events. ;-)
Jan 26, 2016 2:16 PM # 
Now that ARK exists, it's a big deal when a grown-up wins. Yay, Mick, for making us adults look good!
Jan 26, 2016 2:17 PM # 
Here is a course of a 'better' THOMASS/OCup. The 'Box checkpoint' is where participants split up and must visit the various checkpoints before returning to the box CP before continuing on (#4 on this course). Putting the box CP into the middle of the 'box' handicap section and making them return to that CP before continuing on creates more options. Also a well designed course should have a 'box' distance for the elite runners equal to the distance of the rest of the course.

Chase 2011 Full
Jan 26, 2016 4:23 PM # 
I would say this is a better example of a well set O-Cup/THOMASS course. Often with the box there are few choices to make - for low handicaps its, do I go clockwise or anticlockwise? (it's Australia Day, let me use my words) and for higher handicaps its just drop the furthest away CPs, then do I do the remainder clockwise or anticlockwise. This one has no easy options for dropping or direction to complete - it's been one of the few races I never ran with anyone else in the box. Also a couple of really good route choices in the line section to split people up further - often you're just following footprints in the snow after the box is done.

2012 O-Cup Chase
Jan 26, 2016 5:22 PM # 
Those are both terrific examples! The great thing about O Cups is that each one is different. To orchestrate a mass finish with a mix of ages and genders in the top 10, GHOSLO and I have used these factors, which are roughly based on competitive masters runners' paces.

Handicap 0 (elite male) 1.0 X Distance
1 - 0.9 X Distance (assuming they drop the "best" control)
2 - 0.8
3 - 0.7
4 - 0.6
5 - 0.5
6 - A little less but realistically, it's hard to set their course much shorter and keep it long enough for everyone else. We rarely get any 6 handicap racers, unfortunately.

This assumes flat terrain of equal running difficulty. Where there are steep slopes or other obstacles, distance may not be the only factor to evaluate so the course planner needs to think about equivalents. A physically difficult course generally favours people with lower handicaps, which can be taken into account when planning a course with steep slopes, etc. However, in the O Cup Series, physical difficulty might be increased by a big snowfall after the maps are printed so the course planner can't control everything.

When I commented in my log entry that I knew instantly that I couldn't be competitive in this O Cup, it was because the box was so small and the other concession to handicap (starting at the control number equal to your handicap) didn't change things much. When I first get an O Cup map, I know I have a decent chance of top five (on a good day) if the box section takes up more than half the map, so I run a little harder on those days.

This isn't a criticism of TOC's O Cup, which I really enjoyed. The original reason for this mass start, handicapped winter navigation series was to keep juniors involved in the sport over the winter. It is intended to be a fun series that no one should take too seriously. It's impossible to plan perfectly handicapped courses because weather plays such a role. There have been lots of O Cups where male elites didn't stand a chance so I'm not worried if a course doesn't suit me. The Series points are based on top 4 of 6 races so it tends to work out over time.
Jan 27, 2016 12:46 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Thanks for sharing; I've always been curious how it looked.
Jan 27, 2016 3:42 AM # 
Good suggestion by Cristina!
Jan 27, 2016 6:14 AM # 
I'm keeping my promise!
Jan 27, 2016 3:19 PM # 
It must be hard but the week is almost over.
Jan 27, 2016 3:46 PM # 
The week isn't not over yet so need to throw this in.

Oh and Anvil yeah that was a great THOMASS course.

This discussion thread is closed.