They got short courses again at keynes...
At least they didn't take longer for the middle distance than for the 'long' race; that would have been embarrassing!
Some of us considered you were all volunteers and these things happen. Sorry to hear people complained.
Having said that, it always surprises me that (for W60) foot-O 'long' courses are so short and MTBO 'long' courses are almost rogaines ( l am often out for 2 1/2 hours on a MTBO long course, without making any mistakes).
Definitely it was more difficult to create courses which would hold people's interest, on a map which wasn't particularly navigationally complex, but we couldn't have had long courses on a treeless area like Marne Rocks (across the road from Keynes Gap) when early October has the potential to bring forth 35-degree days...
Don't worry too much about winning times. It is so hard to get it right for everyone. I managed to get 3 classes almost perfect for the schools relays, but one was out by 6 mins, with most of that field a lot longer.
I don't do MTBO longs any more 'cos they are too long. My time was just about right for the winning time - just a shame l didn't win!
There's a difference between not making mistakes and winning times with MTBO though, just as there is with foot. The winning time for the W60 class at the Vic MTBO champs this year was 73mins but it's meant to be 85-95 so the foot events aren't the only ones to go under. The Aus Champs it was 93mins so right in the target area.
Some people in W60 on the weekend were out for over 85mins.
...and they would not have appreciated 2 extra km just so the winners could be out for 50 min. I sometimes think we need to take median times into account.
That's certainly a consideration when you have someone as good as Jenny Bourne in a field. One experience I had was being controller for the 2003 Australian Schools in Hanny's final year - we expected (correctly) that she was going to win by ~10 minutes, so with a recommended winning time range of 45-50 minutes, where do you pitch it? In the end, we decided to aim for low 40s for Hanny and low 50s for the rest, and pretty much hit that (42 and 52 respectively).
Another thing which comes into play is that standard speed ratios don't capture the likelihood that physically difficult terrain slows older runners more (relative to elites) than easy terrain does. The standard published ratios, applied to Saturday's W60 results, would imply that an M21E would have done 3.8 min/km for that course. That doesn't seem realistic (I'm not aware of 4 min/km ever being broken in a forest race in Australia); I think something in the 4.3-4.5 range would have been more likely.
Actually, I believe the suggested ratios do take into account the slower speeds of older runners in more difficult terrain, which is why they didn't work for this event when the older runners had the physically easier terrain.
(There was quite a bit of discussion a couple of years ago about courses being too long for older age classes and Eric Andrews had undertaken a review of winning times & km rates before he died; that’s why the previous couple of years the Aust Long courses had been a bit shorter, but it hasn’t become an official recommendation and doesn't seem likely to, based on current feedback.)
I wouldn't mind reviewing the run-rates some time soon, though, because I certainly didn't know the W16s were so speedy either!
And that's without factoring in that probably the best five Australian W16s weren't running W16 (although two very good Kiwis were).
Didn't make myself totally clear above - the published ratios are based on all events, so will take in a mix of tougher and easier terrains (so won't be so valid if the terrain is unusually tough, or unusually easy).
And oldies ain't so old these days....(something about the 60 somethings being the new 40 or 50 somethings of olden days).
Watching Jean Baldwin and Ann Ingwerson (who are in W70 I think) running through the bush is captivating! Intentionally or by accident - it's better to be a tad short than terribly "dangerous". ONSW has brought in a course in their SL events specifically with less physicality (and tbh danger) but still with hard navigation. The challenge is that at times the "pairing" of classes within a course presents some difficulty. I know the physicality wasn't the topic here but it is related when W16 and W60 were on same course (apparently?)
WA introduced a similar course (H5) at our bush events this year. Can we get any W65+ to do it? Seems not, they still do the longer option, and either dnf or take well over an hour, and often much more.
I remember the many complaints in the late 1980s/early 1990s that the courses for the masters women were too easy and too predictable (lots of 400m legs - these were the days before middle distances). A couple of times I was involved in events where we did provide them with a serious technical challenge (one of them a 1.5km leg into the midst of parallel error central on Sunset Mountain) and they didn't know what had hit them (something similar happened at an early 2000s Victorian Middle Distance Championships on Creswick Diggings where we actually gave everyone a proper technical middle distance course, something most non-elites had never seen). The funny thing, when considered from today's perspective, was that the crinkly ancients who we were talking about were 45s or, at a stretch, 50s, with W55 being the oldest women's class offered even at national carnivals.
The problem is only going to get worse in the future, when today's W45s turn 60 (although on current trends Tash Key may still be running, and possibly winning, W21E at that age).
This discussion thread is closed.