I'm controlling next year, and there is a lot of wriggle-room and ambiguity in the rules as written. How should it be done?
I suggest 4 minute intervals with 'no-hopers' (look out for fast runner types) in the gaps. If M45 and M50 are sharing a course then identify the top 16 M45/50's (rankings, previous results and any other evidence). At a guess this might be 6 M45 and 10 M50. The 6 M45 should be randomly allocated 1200, 1204, 1208, 1212, 1216 and 1220. The 10 M50 then randomly allocated 1224, 1228 to 1300. This assumes all seeds ask for late starts. If (like Quentin yesterday) they don't, it's easy to keep the others at least 4 mins apart.
Can I be a no-hoper in the gaps please, preferably towards the end? I promise not to be a fast runner type.
I've no problem with that.
What needs avoiding is the situation whereby a late starting M45 gets slotted between 2 seeded M50's and gets a silver medal as a result.
Look at Splitsbrowser race graph if you want to see what I mean.
To be fair to Laurence, he would have done pretty well anyway. He got a medal last year without any help from anyone. But yes, it is silly to separate the seeds by 2 mins and then put somebody of comparable speed in between them.
At a proper middle champs we would only allow entrants who are highly ranked (top 30?) to enter the event and we could apply 3 or 4 minutes start intervals because the field wouldn't be so large. If the middles are to stay an Autumn fixture then this would make a lot of sense.
hadn't realised Laurence was slotted in between M50 seeds, that's an oversight on the part of the start time/organizers, open starts have to go out before or after the seeds and, as Charlie suggests, the seeding should be per course
Also to be fair to Lawrence, the two M50's seemed to go around together and he looks like he did his own thing...... he passed Jon where Jon was obviously messing up and the was passed by Jon, when Jon was with Dave...... then he passed both Jon and Dave when they were both messing up!!
He would probably be the first to admit he would not be quick enough to stay with those two, but his nav more than makes up for it
And next year it would probably be something like 12 M50's and 4 M45's!!
Ahhhh, so that's how you find splitsbrowser. Never noticed that button.
To be fair, I'm amazed at how few trains developed ... some good navigation going on.
No need to be fair to Laurence, it's just an example of what not to do with seeding and open starts
It took my years to discover that Splitsbrowswer too, Ricky. Also there's a button in RG player which displays relative lengths of the routes along with split times, which can be a useful.
(look out for fast runner types) in the gaps
How is an organiser supposed to do this? You might know who you think is a fast runner with questionable navigation who is likely to benefit from a tow, but the organiser would have to have this knowledge across every class/course combination. And there are some fast runner/questionable navigation types with very high rankings because their skills are suited to urban courses.
I realise that and to be fair o Chas, Lawrence's line does get straighter when near Jon and Dave, so did get a bit of help, even if just pushing harder
If Laurence hadn't have been there, Clive would have won, as Dave was obviously led into no. 13 ;-)
I think it's against the spirit of the sport for trains to develop like this. I've no idea why this has happened, but surely the purpose of forest orienteering is to navigate yourself, solitary, through the woods, making your own decisions. THAT is the challenge.
If people start with the likes of Clive 2 minutes behind them, then a) it creates stress, affecting performance, b) once caught, the effects of a fluctuating race are nullified as people stick together and rarely are gaps formed again with runners of similar abilities. c) people then start to say stuff like, oh he came 2nd/3rd/ whatever, but he wouldn't have had he not had Clive to hang on to. (this is an example not a fact).
We've got relays for the exciting stuff with trains & catching people up; and people on here have probably seen how much I personally love that, especially when going off behind other teams..... (let's say TVOC & SYO B teams ;) ) - but I'm happiest in a good proper long-ish forest course, eg. JK Sunday this year, doing my own thing all the way to the finish & not noticing ANYONE else. That's (my) orienteering. It's not "exciting" though. Does it need to be?
I'm also going to "fair to Lawrence" - he's a very good Middle distance orienteer - at the Lakes 2 days last november (sand dunes), check out his result! He started 5 minutes behind me and went past me easily and I gave him no help at all (i was stamping about lost at the time).
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