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Discussion: Nice article

in: David_Waller; David_Waller > 2016-06-03

Jun 5, 2016 12:27 AM # 
Nice job.

My only comment is that I would not be too quick to dismiss parks with less than 120 acres. Even small parks offer opportunities for beginner events or perhaps a sprint series. OCIN has done some interesting sprints and even regular meets on smaller maps.

Among smaller maps we have used for "A" meet sprints are Indiana University (we used about 125 acres on the map, but had to avoid a big donut hole in the middle around the President's house), Miami-Hamilton (used about 110 acres not counting the big parking lot and private businesses in the middle), Morehead State University (100 acres), Burnet Woods (92 acres), and Miami University Central Quad which comes in well below 50 acres. And the Morehead sprints in particular caught no small amount of criticism for being too long - we definitely could have gotten by with significantly less area.

The interest of the terrain is definitely a factor. Campus type areas and highly developed parks like Armco, Burnet, England-Idlewild, and Harbin have much greater potential in a smaller space than considerably larger parks with lower feature density (Oxford Community Park, Joyce Park come to mind).
Jun 5, 2016 5:58 AM # 
Jun 5, 2016 7:52 PM # 
Thanks. @Mike, point well-taken. I'll change the article with a new acreage estimate for sprints. I agree that a lot of fun can be had in much smaller parks.
Jun 5, 2016 10:23 PM # 
We have a several sprint maps at 25 acres but only use them every other year or every third year. The key is the density of features. For us we have a geographical sweet spot we have to hit. (Inside the inner beltway). If we hold them there we have a good turnout because a lot more people can get to them. On a Tuesday evening traffic can be a zoo to get to locations further out. A weekend sprint it would not matter. We really try to use anything in our geographical sweet spot just so people can get there.
Jun 5, 2016 10:51 PM # 
Great advice, Ken; and no one can argue with the success that OLOU has had getting people out to sprint meets. I completely agree that putting on events in the middle of big population centers is the key to getting better turnout (and possibly growing the sport). If there is a venue that people can easily come to, even if it's small, it's probably worth mapping. But geez! A 25 acre area -- wow! That's pretty tiny. I would almost want to call it an 'ultrasprint.'
Jun 6, 2016 2:49 PM # 
I had to convert. 10 hectares.

For a square, that would be 316m on a side. Running around the outside would be 1.26km. An "X" plus 2 sides would be 1525m.

With a bit of bouncing around, that seems pretty reasonable.

500m x 200m: Perimeter: 1.4km. "X"+2sides = 1477 or 2077.

The feature density is probably the key, as kkling suggests.

The 2005 Ultrasprint at Kung Björns Hög near Uppsala used a 1:1,500 scale map of about 4 hectares: 200m x 200m approximately. The 2008 map is 1:1,000: Qual map 2008:

Interestingly, the qual map is 1.8km and the final is 700m: I'm not sure about the 2008 version, but the 2005 map I have has a crazy forking scheme that I've been itching to use.

Also, OCIN needs to plan a big Cincinnati-based A-Meet or sprint camp as an excuse to map the UC campus. If we can do it right, it would be amazing. I need to fact check this, but I think it would be possible to have a day of 2-3 sprints there with minimal overlap.
Jun 15, 2016 2:48 PM # 
The ultrasprint depends on the complexity, and any sprint is made better by it. cedarcreek's examples are good ones (between 1:1000 and 1:1500 and letter-sized). Older style parks are often better because they tend not to have so many huge low complexity objects (e.g., a block of 4 softball fields). Low relief but some relief, lots of big trees, some thickets to bounce around, windy roads/trails, and small pockets of runnable forest, are all good things.

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