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Discussion: Course design - Clock Servant Long F21

in: Orienteering; General;

Apr 6, 2016 4:20 PM # 
Here is Clock Servant's design of a Long F21 course at Otter Creek. Let us all know your thoughts. Thanks to those who have given feedback, often very detailed, on other courses. I hope that the designers appreciate the input.

Apr 6, 2016 4:32 PM # 
I note that Clock Servant has the participant visiting controls 3/7 and 17/22 multiple times, much as one might have in a one person relay, but without any relay element. I haven't figured out the purpose, unless to make more use of a radio control or water stop (neither marked in the control descriptions) or spectator control.
Apr 6, 2016 6:33 PM # 
17/22 is rather obviously a spectator control. The approach to 3/7 is the same in both cases, descending from above. It illustrates a real-world problem that controls have to be well separated so compromises occur. Having 3 low sets up a very nice leg 3-4, but 7 just adds five gratuitous contours of climb.
Eliminating 7 would give a bit of variety (path running). Fundamentalists may not like an "orange" standard leg, but the requirement of changing speed and technique can prove challenging even to the best ;)

Actually, *especially* to the best, because what we mere mortals find technically hard they find just as easy as orange.
Apr 6, 2016 7:35 PM # 
Would people go past 6 and 5 en route to 4? I hope it's not optimal, because that would be a lot of repetition.

12 to 13 is my favourite of the cross the horrible ravine legs that I've seen, though I suspect just west of straight is fastest still.

I guess the climb is underestimated by close to 50%.
Apr 6, 2016 7:56 PM # 
There is another route choice on 12 to 13 that I just noticed and might actually be very fast, with minimal climb. It involves going east from 12 and following the trails that gradually descend the large hill, and then following the bottom one to a point near the control. From this place (south of the cliff near control), a runner will have a good attack point and the possibility of seeing the control from the trail bend or end of cliff.
Apr 6, 2016 8:37 PM # 
5 contours instead of 8... the gradual descent would have to be very fast.
Apr 6, 2016 10:26 PM # 
Some of the controls appear to be on vague features which might be okay though if I where hanging the controls, I might be nervous. For example, #2,---that it of white woods is tiny #6---is the clue right, looks more like a reentrant, #8---even distinct veg boundries are frequently indistinct and that bend looks pretty straight. There are others too but I suppose if the map is exactly perfect they would be okay.

I see what ndobbs is saying because I would run near 6 and 5 on the way to 4. Perhaps eliminate those 3 contols?
Apr 8, 2016 7:15 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
Many good things here, but on 8-9 I believe the only reasonable route choice is a left bend, both straight and right would be slower and more difficult.
Apr 8, 2016 7:43 AM # 
I've heard a top American orienteer opine that it can be good for route choices not to be equal. If multiple routes take the same time with the same risk, then it doesn't matter which route one takes. If there's one best route, then the orienteer is rewarded for choosing the best route. What do others think?
Apr 8, 2016 9:20 AM # 
I think the clue is right to #6, I can't imagine that gully from the north west running down the re-entrant and up on to a hill. I think a missing tag line on the contour is more likely.

I agree Jim. Route choices are a test where your decisions are rewarded or punished by your time on that split. But when route choices are not equal good planning will make the difference or the best one hard to discern.
Apr 8, 2016 11:08 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@Jim: I agree that a good route choice leg should _not_ be equal!

The key issue is that it should always be possible to read from the map which route will be faster, possibly with an option for taking more/less risk. It should definitely not be the case that one route is significantly better/worse due to unmapped terrain features!
Apr 8, 2016 3:17 PM # 
It would be interesting to use spilt times and a knowledge of route choices (such as Route Gadget) to identify after the race which routes were in fact best, or at least get insight into that. I haven't done so in a long time. I wonder how often course designers or competitors do that.
Apr 8, 2016 4:58 PM # 
Top ones, regularly. Google 2drerun.

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