I was a bit disappointed that this one was at this point in the schedule.
Yeah, I feel the same way. Going in, I knew this was the "lame" one, but I didn't want to tell anyone that.
This campus doesn't have a lot of complexity to it (especially with the huge construction zone), so I wanted to save those areas for the final. Since we were staging so far south, I also thought I could surprise people by leaving campus altogether.
The forested bits had signs saying to stay on trail. We also didn't have a permit here, so that's why there's only one control in there. There was a little bit of route choice on this one, with one of the trail options being about 50m shorter than the other two.
#2 didn't really have any route choice. Really the only thing here was to not overshoot the gap between thickets when attacking, otherwise you'd be on the wrong side of the blackberries. See that interesting-looking bit of white woods on the slope SW of the SW-most ballfield? I considered designing something using that as a possible route, but decided against it for safety. The running surface there is hardpack dirt. It's already slick when dry, and it would have been insane had it been a rainy day. I also didn't want to put something amongst the ballfields because I feared it could be tampered with had there been games going on (there weren't any, so that fear was a little misguided).
#3 was pick-a-tree. #4 didn't have much choice, either, but going right-most was slightly shorter. #5 looks more interesting than it really is. Right is about 10m shorter and saves a wall-climb, but it also trades road running for indistinct trail running. Going right on #7 is 5m shorter and has less climb, but the climb is steeper. #8 is basically a 50/50, but the exit-direction flow is a little better going left.
So yeah, it was a runner's course. And there weren't that many interesting things I could do with route choice that didn't make things obvious. So my design philosophy here was to test efficiency execution at running speeds. If you keep picking the 49 in the 49/51 choices, then those could add up. But then, if you keep picking the 51's and are 3% faster, then it doesn't matter.
Yes I agree with all of that! The campus did provide a great venue for the finale and having the last day setup like that without a location change is good.
I can for sure understand how it came to be this way.