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Discussion: constructive comments

in: Falls Classic - Letchworth State Park (Sep 16–17, 2017 - Castile, NY, US)

Sep 19, 2017 6:04 PM # 
Even though you can't complain about the weather, we would appreciate your feedback to avoid annoying you next time we do a meet.
Sep 19, 2017 6:06 PM # 
Day 1 Blue course control 7. Not fun. Great event otherwise
Sep 19, 2017 6:21 PM # 
Day 1 BrownX course climb*. The course difficulty was okay, but look at the finish times... especially when compared to Day 2 which was just about right.
(*with water stations along a road route choice three or more steep contours up from straight route forcing more climb...if you didn't carry your own as I do)

I think you covered all the right bases otherwise. :-) Well done, ROC as well as friends from neighboring NY clubs who helped out (BFLO, CNYO).
Sep 19, 2017 6:45 PM # 
The finish on day 1 was hidden from where people were hanging out. Try to design the event center and arena so people are at the finish chute cheering on the runners.
Otherwise great event with good courses and challenging terrain.
Sep 19, 2017 6:54 PM # 
I agree wholeheartedly with sberg's comments. The atmosphere was visibly more festive and exciting on Day 2, where the finish was within the view of the spectators. It did not seem like it would have been hard to create the same atmosphere on Day 1.

A minor nitpick from someone who started first both days: it would be great to have water jugs already open at the water stops, rather than having to open them myself each time.

In general, though, this was a highly enjoyable and well-organized event. The Red X course on Day 2 was a particular pleasure to run, with a great mix of detailed terrain and route choice legs. Thanks ROC and friends!
Sep 19, 2017 8:30 PM # 
More important (from my perspective) in regards to the finish area layout is to not have the finish and the download on opposite sides of the parking. Doing it like on Saturday is inviting people to stop at their cars and then forget to download (I talked to a number of people who did exactly that). Sunday had it right, though I'd even use fencing of some sort to duct people from the finish punch directly to the download.
Sep 19, 2017 9:16 PM # 
I concur with all the positives above.

The Sat Brown Y course was also too physical -- at least to this (newly) 60 year-old with a problem leg. Can't imagine what it might have been like for an octogenarian...

Water-stop nitpick... It was quite awkward to pour water with one hand from those bottles with the straps for handles. I had to rest it on the box or my knee, and spillage was a given. Water bottles with built-in handles (typical with one gallon jugs) are much easier to pour.
Sep 19, 2017 9:21 PM # 
I know there are some who will disagree with me, but I really liked the format of the awards ceremony.
Sep 19, 2017 10:22 PM # 
The 2001 Green Y course on East map.
6.3 K, 260m climb
Time for PG was 71 minutes.


What I was trying to highlight here was the specs of a course are not everything, vegetation, footing and steep ups and downs, which may not show in the climb spec.
Course time should be determined by some field running and adjusting for the abilities of the competitors.
Sep 19, 2017 10:59 PM # 
OUSA Rule about winning times for Classic/Long (A20.4). Note the reference to 100-pt ranked runner. Another comment on Day 1 is that leg lengths on BrownX were basically all the same with a few exceptions.

Your club has enough Brown course runners who could test run courses and provide guidance on proper length/climb, even if your course designer normally runs (for example) Blue.
Sep 19, 2017 11:50 PM # 
Excellent feedback, will pass on to the rest of the club...anything else???
Sep 20, 2017 12:05 AM # 
I don't usually run Yellow, but on Saturday, I felt able to break away from my registration duties long enough to get out in the woods and do the Yellow course, but not long enough to do my age-group Brown. My impression is that the Yellow course was way too difficult, both physically and navigationally, considering some of the people who can be expected to do Yellow (people just moving up from White, or older and/or less serious orienteers who are looking for something a touch above White difficulty). I talked to an experienced but older orienteer who did the White course, and she felt that was too difficult for a White course, also. Looking at the White map, I would agree.
Sep 20, 2017 12:08 AM # 
Also liked the awards process, being able to get them as soon as Class was decided. I do like the ceremony normally but faced with a six hour drive, we were able to get away and be home during day light hours.

I thought the courses were fine. My slow Saturday time was mainly my issues of not being on a map,for a year running. Sunday went better. Saturday was still a fine course.
Sep 20, 2017 1:25 AM # 
One more thing, huge dog leg 11-12 and 14-15 on Blue Day 2. I do like the self serve awards format (though I didn't get one ;) )
Sep 20, 2017 11:49 AM # 
Thanks for a great meet - I enjoyed the atmosphere and attitude in the arena. Loved having the results screens, music/announcing, vendors, and a big field to hang out in.

I agree with comments above that it would have been more exciting to have the Day 1 courses finish close to the arena, for both logistical and spectating reasons.

And agree with comments above that Day 1 was too long/physical - Control 6 on Red Y could have been dropped completely, as the only thing it added was a precipitous descent and then a steep climb right back up what you just came down.

Another thing I noticed after looking at all the maps - a lot of courses had the dreaded three-controls-in-a-straight-line situation, which makes it really easy to accidentally skip the middle control.

Ok, another nitpick - the course setters could have been a bit more aggressive about circle-cutting. There was a situation on both Saturday and Sunday where I couldn't tell what was under the purple, and had to just wait until I got there to figure it out.

I really enjoyed Sunday's Red Y course, with the change of pace in the middle. I did get really frustrated at the large swath of unmapped chest-high thorns on the way to 10. a little green slash goes a long way when making route choice decisions!
Sep 20, 2017 4:01 PM # 
how did the awards work?
Sep 20, 2017 5:52 PM # 
Awards: Rick Worner at some point announced over the PA something to the effect of, "The awards are over on this table, if you won one, come by and pick it up when you have a chance".
Sep 20, 2017 6:21 PM # 
If you got one, do NOT put the Letchworth mug in the dishwasher. The design is a sticker that peels/flakes off.
Sep 20, 2017 6:45 PM # 
Now you tell us!
Sep 20, 2017 7:37 PM # 
I think it's actually written on the mug
Sep 20, 2017 8:15 PM # 
No, definitely a laminate of some sort and the edges crack and peel in a hot dishwasher.
Sep 20, 2017 10:47 PM # 
The bottom says not dishwasher or microwave safe
Sep 21, 2017 12:15 AM # 
I partly regret disagreeing with a post on this thread, but I think the Day 1 Yellow course needs a defense.
When I first checked it on RG I thought "what the.." seeing the convoluted layout, but on closer inspection, I think this course deserves a special commendation.

The technical level of individual legs seems normal, or even conservatively easy for Yellow. Remember, Yellow must be a step up from White, otherwise the step from Yellow to Orange is too great, and likewise Orange to advanced courses.

Inappropriate physical challenge? Perhaps the climb up to 3 for the M/F Open crowd, but probably not the kids. Nothing else obvious on paper, on an otherwise flattish course.

Then we get to the options. There is no other Yellow course terrain anywhere near here. I think a little convolution is a small price to pay for an otherwise very appropriate and creative course. I challenge anyone to come up with a significantly better design, and I guarantee most would be worse.
...and don't get me started on how #5 might be a dogleg. There are more important criteria.
Or forget my opinions/observations. The results, with a small field, and the first two times in the 30's, are probably the best bottom-line evidence that this course was appropriate.

and PS, I just checked the White. Almost the same comments.
I'm a little less sure that the convolution is justifiable, but the results list makes an even stronger case FOR the design. You couldn't cook up better numbers. I don't think we give kids enough credit, and frequently set the bar way too low, but that's a much different thread.
Sep 21, 2017 1:14 AM # 
The purple areas marked out of bounds on Day 1 used the cross-hatch symbol (dangerous area) instead of vertical lines (ISOM 4.7). This made any detail under the lines even harder to see for anyone straying too close to that area. Those details are much easier to read on the 2001 map shared above in this discussion (which were likely overprinted).
Sep 21, 2017 1:18 AM # 
Evalin B:
^^ I thought the same thing when I looked at the courses online.
If it's really too difficult for some kids, there is always the option to add streamers for those who aren't able to navigate. For example, when I was in France, I shadowed a little girl on the streamered course (for ages under the official age category) and they had the controls on trails with easy navigation, and the streamers were off course and look a longer way. If the kid was able to navigate then they would go a shorter distance and be faster than someone who had to follow the streamers.
Sep 21, 2017 10:12 PM # 
My son ran the Yellow courses, and he thought they were fine. He said he enjoyed the hillclimb to 3, even though it was not easy. I didn't look closely at the courses but what I saw looked fine. I've certainly seen harder Yellows (eg, US Long Champs this year). I think kids who are into orienteering enjoy a bit of a challenge, with choices of going straight instead of taking longer trail routes. Max said he did a lot of going straight.
Sep 22, 2017 1:20 AM # 
OK, there are 2 votes that the Yellow course was OK! Personally I felt the climb from 2 to 3 was steep enough to be borderline dangerous, even though it didn't look extremely steep from looking at the map. I was grasping at any root or small tree that I could find, and was concerned that if I ever slipped, I'd wind up back sliding all the way down to the bottom of the hill. Sounds like it was fine, though, for M and F 14's, the group it's primarily intended for. But some other orienteers do choose Yellow, often because they don't feel physically able to handle other courses due to injury, age, skill level, etc.
Sep 22, 2017 1:57 AM # 
Could have been worse, like this Yellow course from an A-meet in Tennessee in 1974:

(map scan courtesy PG, though I didn't ask him)
Sep 22, 2017 4:21 AM # 
Just from the comments here this sounds like an argument against one-size-fits-all color courses and for more age-group specific course setting.
Sep 22, 2017 11:08 AM # 
Yes, except that the numbers rarely justify additional courses, unfortunately.
Sep 22, 2017 1:55 PM # 
Looks like a White course to me. I don't see any yellow on that 1974 map anywhere.
Sep 22, 2017 3:30 PM # 
JJ, are the contours on that 1974 yellow course map feet or meters?
Sep 22, 2017 4:58 PM # 
Just ask any of the folks who did the Canada 150 Retr-O "Yellow" course if it bore any resemblance to the Yellow courses of today...

Many M/F-14s "run-up" on Orange, so perhaps it's time to consider bumping -12, -14 & -16 up to Yellow, Orange & Brown, respectively...
Sep 22, 2017 6:06 PM # 
I wouldn't support that idea. It's fine for kids to move up when they feel ready, but I think the 12, 14, and 16 A classes are where they should be.

What to do with F18 and M18 is an interesting question though. Those seem to be a ghost town now that JNT credit only comes from running F/M20. Do F18/M18 only exist any more to provide a place for advanced U16 kids to run up? Maybe they should be renamed F20B/M20B or if B is still an undesirable, maybe F20S/M20S.
Sep 22, 2017 6:45 PM # 
1400 meters would be much too high, so the 1974 map has to be 20 foot (~6 meter) contours.
Sep 22, 2017 9:53 PM # 
A direct copy of a USGS map with some crudely drawn revisions. Common at the time.
Sep 22, 2017 11:24 PM # 
Amendment to my suggestion...
Keep the current junior age class/course structure as "B" categories. Or make the new ones "E" categories.
Sep 23, 2017 12:56 AM # 
jj's post nods to some of the problems measuring inflation. A yellow course circa 1975 might be called the same thing, and share certain common elements with today's, but it is a different product. Much like a car from 1917 is still a car but yet a fundamentally different proposition from today's Honda, etc.
Sep 24, 2017 2:35 AM # 
JJ's post brings about the issue of regress of population in the US over the time period since 1975. In mid-70s a typical Tennessean, hard working, likely in a real sector of economy, say a cotton-picker or tobacco-grower, demanded a goddamn hefty yellow course.
Nowadays, a geeky liberal-progressive snowflake would look at yellow as an extra-long super-tough course.

I do not want to sound like it is a baseless allegation. Consider for example deflation of the once-notoriously-tough BubbaGoat, where winner's time used to be consistently above 2 hrs. back in my memory in 1990s. Last year it was just barely over 1 hr. long.
Sep 24, 2017 11:17 AM # 
"Just ask any of the folks who did the Canada 150 Retr-O "Yellow" course if it bore any resemblance to the Yellow courses of today... "

GuyO: I guess that was written tongue in cheek because as you should know - it was explained in the event notes - but many reading here would not know Yellow was the name given to the course for the 'veterans' (older people) and top Juniors back in 1968 but it equated to today's Green Course or in some places Short Advanced..
Perhaps that was the case in 1974 Tennessee, too.

Yurets: I think you have the 1970s confused with the 1870s Tennessee. By the 1970s instead of cotton pickers and tobacco growers they were known to be guitar pickers and football throwers.
Sep 24, 2017 1:32 PM # 
Well, here's the White course from that Tennessee meet:

(map scan courtesy PG, though I didn't ask him)
Sep 25, 2017 6:52 PM # 
Thanks for all of the comments...sorry about the cups!
Sep 25, 2017 9:42 PM # 
Does anyone know why AP never generated scores? Looks like theres enough ranked runners on most courses.
Sep 26, 2017 1:47 PM # 
It looks like scores were generated and loaded into the rankings, they just aren't shown in the results. Maybe Ken can answer it.
Sep 26, 2017 2:21 PM # 
It looks like I broke that for all races recently. I will need to track down the cause.

In the meantime as JayXC mentioned, you can see the scores on the main rankings page here.
Oct 2, 2017 3:09 AM # 
For the number of years I ran white and yellow as a kid I would consider myself an expert on the topic! I didn't see the white/yellow courses at Letchworth so I can't comment on their difficulty specifically but can tell you that one of the most thrilling things for me as a kid was when I went off trail. Even just a leg along a stream or stonewall that rejoined the next trail was a highlight--it made me feel like one of the "big" orienteers. I understand this isn't always available, but I agree with the previous comment about not always giving the kids enough credit in terms of difficulty... those 1974 courses being an exception! :)

This discussion thread is closed.