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Discussion: Orienteering Marathons

in: Orienteering; General

Sep 12, 2016 7:21 AM # 
What went wrong?

Should we get them back on international IOF level?

What we have missed in the last 15 years?

What is your best ultra-O national event?

What other events borrowed from Orienteering?, what orienteering can learn from others?

Why IOF doesn't ask Swisscheese and other ex-elite orienteers for an advice? What are their experiences and ideas?

I ran a few O-marathons, mountain runs, skyrunning events.... magical!
Sep 12, 2016 7:52 AM # 
What is Orienteering Marathon?

IOF 15 years back
Sep 12, 2016 7:56 AM # 
Ah yes, IOF's failed takeover bid for rogaining...which sport has gone on to have its own annual World Championships.
Sep 12, 2016 3:28 PM # 
Well it was not always a rogain. I think there were 3 years with an iof recognised world champs. The NZ rogain first time and I think the last one was a Spanish event with a classic UK style Mountain marathon, 2 person 2 days with overnight camp carrying your kit. On my sideboard at home I have a nice world champions trophy. I would not consider it my most significant trophy though as I think virtually every other mountain marathon I took part in had a more competitive field.
Sep 12, 2016 4:03 PM # 
Well it was not always a rogain.

No, in many parts of the world they call it a rogaine. I assume the e is for endurance to distinguish it from a mountain marathon.
Sep 12, 2016 4:53 PM # 
I thought that the e was the second letter of Neil Phillip's name, as in Rod, Gail and Neil:
Sep 12, 2016 5:41 PM # 
There are at least three different things that could fit under the label of 'marathon orienteering' in this context:

- ultra-long orienteering races (of the Blodslitet style). These have some presence at national level in some countries, but from memory the only international race of this kind was run in the World Cup in about 2000. (This turned out to be a rather farcical race after the crowds in what was still a large lead pack overwhelmed the first common control - it was in a small depression and those trying to get out couldn't for the weight of numbers trying to get in).

- 'mountain marathon' style events, typically over more than one day and often with overnight camps, on a line course. The UK has been a traditional home of these but France and the Nordic countries have them too.

- rogaining (which in some countries takes place under the banner of national orienteering federations, and in some is independent).
Sep 12, 2016 6:28 PM # 
Alaska Wilderness Classic: Triangle to Double Circle
Sep 12, 2016 6:54 PM # 
What happened to the ESP Adventure running proposal?

I would like to see two types practiced
- 1. Blodslitet, individual event, 2-4hrs, ISOM map
- 2. Team event, 2 person, 6-10hrs, topo 1:25

I think sport need these ultra races to get top outdoor sponsors on board. Triathlon also has Ironman. There are ultra trails, mountain marathons, skyrunning marathon events.
Sep 12, 2016 10:25 PM # 
How long was that early 2000 Ultra-Long WC that I think finished at the top of a ski hill? In Sweden? Maybe Holger Hott won or was top 3 and everyone was just destroyed on the ground at the finished.
Sep 12, 2016 11:11 PM # 
27km I think, maybe even up to 29?

It was in 2002 though
Sep 12, 2016 11:48 PM # 
There is a pyramid. The top may have the glamour, but the bottom has the people.
Sep 13, 2016 2:08 AM # 
DVOA held a full O marathon on 2007 at Valley Forge, lot of fun, 47.5km, 6hrs for me, don't recall winners time. I don't think off trail allowed there anymore..

Hudson Highlander is usually a metric marathon distance I think, though I've only done it a few times..

I think there would be interest in more of these, but getting a large enough mapped venue could be an issue. Perhaps on CNYO Rogaine maps, or in the greater LROC mapping complex...
Sep 13, 2016 2:15 AM # 
2007 winning time was 4:10 by j-man. They held another one the following year, but I didn't go.

(Hudson Highlander is always nominally 26.2 km, despite the fact that that isn't a thing. There's no concept of a "metric marathon" at a bizarre distance.)
Sep 13, 2016 2:47 AM # 
The second O-Marathon was at Fair Hill in December 2009. Full won by Ross Smith in 4:06:36. I did the Half at this one and had a lot of fun. Would love to do another.

The format for these was simply an orienteering course (with easy control locations) of 26.2/13.1 miles. The second one is available to view in DVOA's Routegadget.
Sep 13, 2016 4:13 AM # 
Oh whoops I forgot to tell you guys the World Super Long Orienteering Championships is happening this weekend. We've been having these for a few years, must have forgot to tell everyone else that there was a world championships on the line.
Sep 13, 2016 4:43 AM # 
We've been thinking for a while about putting on something we'd call the Berkeley Sprint Orienteering Marathon (inspired by the famed Barkley Marathons of Tennessee). It would be about 200 controls over 25 km: sprint format but ultra-long (for orienteering) distance. Sound interesting to any of you?
Sep 13, 2016 7:03 AM # 
Sounds Troubling, rather - using "Sprint" and "Marathon" in the same title. To me these are totally and completely different concepts. My brain can't cope.
Sep 13, 2016 8:15 AM # 
I think people often consider anything urban to be "sprint", which isn't the case at all. Berkeley Urban Orienteering Marathon?
Sep 13, 2016 1:14 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I took part in one of the first record-breaking events: 125 controls in about 12.5 km, making the average leg length about 100 m.

This is a much shorter average than for a normal sprint event, and a much longer race than a normal H50 course. :-)

With a (mostly machine generated?) city sprint map it would be easy to beat this...
Sep 13, 2016 1:26 PM # 
Sep 13, 2016 2:02 PM # 
Putting "Sprint" and "Marathon" together is meant to be jarring. And it's not just urban: the map is ISSOM; the race consists of 5 loops, with each loop being a legitimate (if a bit lengthy) sprint courses. Plus there might be incentives to go fast early, e.g., prizes for leading at the end of any given stage.
Sep 13, 2016 2:07 PM # 
Men's marathon record is sub 70s 400m, that's not far off from a sprint!
Sep 13, 2016 2:30 PM # 
Sprint Marathon does seem to apply! It also sounds exhausting.
Sep 13, 2016 2:41 PM # 
Does SI handle 200 punches?
Sep 13, 2016 4:07 PM # 
@Cristina: I thought "exhausting" is what people who like Ultras like :-)

@tRicky: No, SI can't handle 200 punches. Part of the organizational challenge is figuring out how to break things into chunks that esticks and the software can handle without interrupting the flow of the race. I think we have a pretty good scheme for how to do that (which I'll share if we ever get to the point of actually doing this).
Sep 13, 2016 4:19 PM # 
One SI on each finger?
Sep 13, 2016 5:40 PM # 
SI-10 and SI-11 can do 128, so you only need two (or a download and clear stop halfway through).
Sep 13, 2016 8:48 PM # 
I really enjoy ultra-long (meaning longer than long distance) events, and I would like to see more of them, especially if good competition can be assembled. I am disappointed that the US Ultra-Long Championships (as well as a few other formats) seem to have fallen by the wayside. I like kofols' suggested formats.
Sep 13, 2016 9:26 PM # 
I can think of places southwest of Denver that might be good for kofols' formats. The second format, on topo map, may be easiest, as fine topos exist, and can be updated with trails using GPS. The first format works where large ISOM maps already exist, but probably doesn't pay for a new one, or even a significant fraction of the cost, even at $100 a participant.
Sep 14, 2016 10:54 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
The original EMIT had a 50-control limit afair. The 125-control event I ran placed actual control units on ~1/3 of the controls, obviously without stating which third.

You had to punch on all controls with units, otherwise you should touch the flag.

By making sure you had units on most of the corner controls there would be very little time to win by taking a chance and skipping a flag.
Sep 14, 2016 11:36 AM # 
Was that the event in Larvik in 2005?
Sep 14, 2016 5:15 PM # 
@ebone: BAOC is about to bid for the U.S. Ultra-Long Champs, to be held Mar 26, 2017.
Sep 14, 2016 5:20 PM # 
@tRicky: Yeah, something like that. Two sticks would be required: bring one of your own and we'll supply the other. After each loop, you drop off your stick and pick up the other one (as well as your map for the next loop); while you're out on the next loop, the results crew downloads the stick you dropped off and sets it up for you (including clear and check) to pick up for the following loop.
Sep 14, 2016 6:04 PM # 
I hope Blair will have time to comment or inform us what is IOF position today. When I was reading GA 2012 minutes I got the feeling that ESP and other federations should modify the proposal and try again. IOF answers were more or less general feedback.

I'm interested to know if this is part of the activity plan for the next period or it is status quo. I believe that IOF should check the possibility to introduce OM as a non-championship discipline. Trophy as it was would be also fine. The only thing I didn't understand is why 3/4 of votes were needed? I don't recall that sprint relay as a new discipline or new knock-out sprint which is in development went through the same procedure. GA voted only on split WOC.

When and who voted that sprint relay become official discipline?
Sep 14, 2016 7:09 PM # 
BAOC is about to bid for the U.S. Ultra-Long Champs, to be held Mar 26, 2017.

Same date as the wildly popular Raccoongaine
Sep 15, 2016 12:10 AM # 
Ah, that's too bad. The date was open on the OUSA planning calendar, so we picked it. Hopefully the sets of attendees for the two events have little overlap. We had to maneuver among several constraints, and we wouldn't be able to move the date at this point.
Sep 15, 2016 7:34 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@JimBaker: Yes, that was the Larvik event, the one where I bonked really badly shortly before the arena passage.

I spent maybe 15 minutes eating and drinking and then I could suddenly get round the last loop with no trouble. :-)
Sep 15, 2016 12:28 PM # 
For those looking for longer navigation-based foot events, we at Rootstock Racing are offering an event in Pennsylvania next month, inspired by the mountain marathons of the UK and Europe.
Sep 15, 2016 12:38 PM # 
Looking back...If I understand correctly GA has a power to decide with an ordinary majority and 3/4 votes for any Statutes changes. If this is correct then GA decision from 2012 is still valid and IOF Council should follow it and find a way to implement discipline into footO rules. Decision making process and split among GA and Council is at least not very clear to me in this case.
Sep 15, 2016 1:40 PM # 
The Larvik event was good fun. It's worth holding such mega control picking events occasionally as training or just amusement. Maybe I'll organize such a training event someday.
Sep 15, 2016 7:37 PM # 
We have been hosting 3-5 hour team races for over 15 years now and they are much more popular than traditional O races in southern Ontario. The team aspect breaks down a barrier to the sport for newbies with limited navigation experience as teams only need one good navigator. our races are teams of two for the 3-hour Snowshoe Raid and teams of three for the 4-hour Raid the Rib and 25-30km for the point to point Raid the Hammer.

I think there is the market and demand for another 3-4 races like this in Canada (Ottawa, Canmore Whistler,...). put them together in a series with races that act as qualifiers for an annual "championship". that champs race could be in the same 'go to' destination (Hey Whistler!!) each year.

We have had fun hosting and racing without having to abide by IOF or IRF rules so far. ie. there may be more opportunities to develop longer races without having to have these organizations involved.
Sep 15, 2016 8:22 PM # 
@ DWildfogel. You know there's quite a bit of tough running to do in the hills above the Greek Theater and Strawberry Canyon (i.e. Cheapskate Hill).

Once upon a time, I started drafting that up as an extension of the Berkeley Campus map. Dissertations got in the way, but I still have the contours. It would certainly add some spice to a multi-lap race.
Sep 15, 2016 8:41 PM # 
IOF Statutes 8.9.3.
Decisions shall be approved by the General Assembly by simple majority of votes expressed, subject to the exceptions mentioned below.

The decision was 20 for, 13 against. No clear information why they used 3/4 of votes for quorum. It was GA decision and nobody asked for an explanation.

Maybe something like X-orienteering games will pop up in the future (night relay, marathon, maze).
Sep 16, 2016 7:54 AM # 
The proposal was to change the IOF Statutes (its constitution) to include adventure racing as part of orienteering. Changes to the Statutes require a 3/4 majority.

On the other hand, decisions to introduce a new format of orienteering don't require a change to the Statutes - in fact if it wants to, the Council can do that without going to a General Assembly vote at all (and national federations can do so for their domestic events).

There would be nothing in the Statutes that would stop the IOF Council (or a simple majority vote of the General Assembly) from introducing a new format of "orienteering" that consisted of a 24-hour team score event. What they wouldn't be able to do, without changing the Statutes, is affiliate existing rogaining organisations (either national or international) to the IOF.

As for whether trying to have an organisational merger between orienteering, rogaining and adventure racing is a good idea - my feeling is that it is if, and only if, it is done with the support of all the constituent parts (a further complication is that adventure racing is largely run by commercial promoters). A more realistic possibility may be to have a 'Confederation of Navigation Sports' or something like that, with the constituent parts remaining as independent bodies - this type of structure seems to work at domestic level in Australia for motor sports and for snow sports.
Sep 16, 2016 8:48 AM # 
I don't think AR would like to be governed by "rules" either, especially if you cannot change them to suit your own interests midway through an event.
Sep 16, 2016 10:40 AM # 
Thanks Blair!

I'm not sure if I understand the definition "Format of orienteering"
Are you saying that any type of Score O, Team 24hrs events, night O are by this definition just one type of "Format of orienteering" as long they are organized on ISOM orienteering map or this definition also include other maps, like topo 1:25 map?

Adventure Racing proposal was to change...
Is 1:25 map or something else. I didn't find the proposal so I don't know exactly what type of format was proposed to be included under the name AR. I would be glad if you could explain also the key differences between formats of orienteering and AR.
Sep 16, 2016 10:49 AM # 
this type of structure seems to work at domestic level in Australia for motor sports and for snow sports.

Yes, we also have this type of Confederation which include judo, karate, boxing, ju-jitsu.
Sep 18, 2016 7:13 PM # 
I went through the documents and in the official proposal (if this is all) is nothing about the changing the statutes. They proposed a new discipline which could be a mistake. They probably wanted to propose only a new format within foot orienteering and not a new IOF discipline (footO, skiO,...). Personally I don't see AR as a new discipline, it is more like a new format to me, similar as sprint relay. I don't have any idea what would be other benefits in case they really wanted that AR become a new discipline. Did they make a mistake in interpretation of definitions?

Is GA allowed to establish a new format? and how this proposal should be addressed to the GA? Should the proposal be prepared like other official formats described in Appendix 6: Competition Formats

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