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Discussion: Course Setter's Notes

in: SVO Susquehanna Stumble XIX (Oct 8, 2017 - Elkton, MD, US)

Sep 27, 2017 3:09 AM # 
furlong47:
Fair Hill and the adjacent area in Pennsylvania is a special venue relative to the others in the Susquehanna/Delaware area. The dominant feature is the large patchwork of runnable and hilly fields broken up by relatively narrow forest areas. The boundaries between field and forest are often thin but heavy undergrowth that place high importance on the network of trails crossing these boundaries. As a result, courses here are not highly technical but present substantial route choice and physical challenges. The courses reward good route choices that consider distance, runnability and climb. As runners will have different navigational and physical capabilities, the best choices will not be the same for everyone which should encourage independent thinking in the mass start Stumble courses.

Undergrowth is often thorny vines making passage difficult and painful. The map is a few years old and while some of the green has expanded, including encroaching on marked trails and open areas, most green mapping remains accurate. Several closed overgrown trails are marked with red x's but should not come into play.

There is a significant amount of mapped crossable or broken fence that is old wire animal fencing, particularly along the field edges. As it is often broken down and hard to see, runners should be careful when crossing.

The map is divided nearly in half by Big Elk Creek running North to South. Big Elk Creek is marked uncrossable almost the entire length and the Stumble courses are designed to make use of two bridges that cross it. The rest of the courses stay on the near half of the map. There are many smaller streams feeding into Big Elk that are crossed on all courses.

Out of bounds private property on the edges of the map should not come into play and are not marked as out of bounds. One area within the map is marked out of bounds but also should not come into play.

The Stumble courses are mass start. The Short Stumble is roughly the first half of the Long Stumble but does not involve a map exchange. There are several boxes of 4 controls that can be taken in any order. Long course runners using older SI-8 cards having a capacity of 30 controls should be careful as there are 29 controls.
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