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Discussion: Course design - Silver Trot Middle M21

in: Orienteering; General;

Jun 19, 2016 2:01 PM # 
Below is a submission of a Middle M21 (H21) course on the autogenerated WOC 2016 Tanum map. Let us know your thoughts on this course, and on its media and spectator features.

Silver Trot Middle M21
Jun 19, 2016 3:11 PM # 
Some initial reactions...

I like the use of varied terrain - the "rolling hills" to the east, the slope down to the arena, and the little loop on the far side of the arena.

I'm looking at this as potential WOC race, which affects some of my comments below.

It is a bit strange to mark the Spectator area away from the finish chute - the finish chute should be in the middle of the spectators (regardless of if this is WOC or not). Probably the same with the spectator leg. Speaking of the spectator leg - it is impossible to run it across the finish chute!!! SO that needs to be fixed.

For World Championships it is not necessary to start on a track, so the first leg includes some unnecessary dead running (there is route choice, but both routes include 100m of no-map-reading).

Leg 1 - I really like the control site, but having such a big climb out of the start seems unnecessary.

Leg 2 - seems a bit too easy (just go the highest spot on the second hill and it is just behind it)

Leg 3 - I like it - has lots of route choice and somewhat tricky navigation

Leg 4 - I would prefer to avoid that acute angle and have a shorter leg into the area east of #4. In general, all the leg lengths seem similar - a bit more variety in leg length would give more variety in tempo. It might also make the leg 4 more interesting - as it stands there is a long re-entrant that leads almost directly to the control (under the line, from the marsh). Coming from a bit more south would be crossing the grain of the terrain in a more challenging angle.

Leg 5 - seems okay

Leg 6 - I just think there isn't as much route choice as possible - runners would stay low and follow the re-entrant down from the saddle about half way, under the line

Leg 7 - likewise, the exit from control 6 I think doesn't have many options. Moving #6 further east I think would help both leg 6 & leg 7

Leg 8 - lovely change of terrain

Leg 9 - nice leg, though the control site is too simple - perhaps ones of the rocks further down the slope would be more challenging navigation.

Leg 10 - another nice cross-slope leg

Leg 11 - this is pretty easy - a direct downhill run to the field. I think some more cross-slope would be better to, say, the knoll in the green just north of the line, then to the easy control 11.

Leg 12 - not okay ;-) Can't run across the finish chute - unless you build a bridge! And this is the WOrld Champs so that would be super cool!! It would have to be a marked route through the arena though

Leg 12 (again) - too easy control site - using the tip of the pond

Leg 13 - nice

Leg 14 - nice little challenge at the end. Could see some lost time. But perhaps it will be given away if this is the last control and has flagging tape at it. I see from the control descriptions that there is no flagging, but that is not appropriate for a WOC race. To get around the problem insterting an extra control to be the 'last control' in the field would do nicely.
Jun 20, 2016 7:01 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
Here's my initial impressions:

1: No real route choice for the men.

2: Dead easy with the big power line and semi-open slabs & marsh.

3: Better but still too easy with the marsh directly below.

4: Looks OK at first glance but then you realize that this is just a slight right bend around the first knoll, then a straight run along the valley/reentrant almost all the way to the control.

5: Even easier: Olva Lundanes/Daniel Hubmann/Thierry would all go straight over the top, or touch underneath the small cliff on the left side.

6: Similar to #4, with the contours providing a good leading line all the way.

7: Would have been OK except for the large power line with a corner pylon just in front of the control! :-(

8: 65% contour leading line, then some more careful orienteering.

9: Way too easy, the saddle extends all the way down the reentrant.

10: Big catchment in front of the circle.

11: Straight down the hillside.

12: With the bridge suggested by AZ this would be fun, but placing the control just past the pond makes the orienteering too trivial.

13 & 14: OK

Finish: A long straight run-in is probably not optimal for WOC, you want a horseshoe bend or something similar which makes the runners visible for a longer time, and you really don't want to push the spectators away from the entire finish chute, rather the opposite!

So, in conclusion this is really a long D/H13-14 course, something they could run in Blodslitet at the end of the season.
Jun 20, 2016 10:44 AM # 
What Terje said. This does not feel like a serious attempt to plan challenging course. No much route choice at all or usually no any other options than one really. All legs about equally long, no much variation there. Some too sharp (over 90 degree) corners, that increases possibility to see competitor leaving the control and makes it look bad.

It feels like this was made by quickly clicking around to get about right length for course and that's it, without thinking much at all how legs or course will or trying to find ways to improve it by moving controls or anything.
Jun 22, 2016 6:44 PM # 
Are there more submissions? Either of comments, comments on these comments, or more courses? Seems like ages since this one was put up.

BTW: I wonder if it would be possible to get response somehow from the course planners - perhaps anonymously via Jim. I'm not sure if it would be a great idea, but I just thought there should be a forum for the course planner to pipe in if they feel like it
Jun 22, 2016 9:12 PM # 
Another course going up in an hour. I've been posting them on Wednesdays and Sundays. Five submissions total.

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