Originally I had the start triangle at the location of the 1st control with a standard streamered run to it. However, with that configuration, the start triangle touched/overlapped the first control on the White (novice) course and I thought that might confuse those runners (or cause them to skip the control). Moving the triangle further back the trail risked runners on the advanced courses plunging into the woods earlier and running into a barbed wire fence. So the compromise was the trivial first control for everyone. (Of course some runners still ran into barbed wire, but they had more time to realize it was coming.)
Ah, that makes sense. For the record I had zero problem with it and figured there was a good reason for it. If the Middle hadn't been the first race and this the first control of the weekend, I probably wouldn't have noticed it as much.