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Discussion: Long Final results

in: World Masters Orienteering Championships 2019 (Jul 5–12, 2019 - Rīga, Riga, LV)

Jul 12, 2019 11:11 AM # 
Sharon Crawford 7th, Jeff Saeger 36th, Sergey Velichko 38th, Vladimir Gusiatnikov 61st.

It was a course that favored physical strength over speed, very blueberry. Our course had a valid lake-swim choice, about 80 m, I don't have my map to estimate better. The crossing was at the exact place we used to swim as kids. I suck at swimming, and swim no better than back then, so I ran around.

Another runner who caught up with me left the pre-lake CP with me, swam, and was just over a minute ahead at the next CP. He may be an excellent swimmer or just a faster runner, perhaps if we both ran the same way around, he'd be the same minute or more ahead (the leg took 13:22 for me). All of my friends who swam there as kids chose to run around, not to swim.
Jul 12, 2019 11:59 PM # 
For future reference I guess, since it sounds like this is the newest twist on foot-o (since running through restaurants), where is the best place to stash the map and compass while swim-o-ing so they don't get lost? I would suck at swimming, too, if I was trying to hang on to them with my hands. Should we be watching the o-shops to be coming out with new swim-o map holders to add to the ski-o and mtbo mapholder collection?
Jul 13, 2019 12:43 AM # 
Map-in-mouth is the standard technique :-)
Jul 13, 2019 6:08 AM # 
Sounds legit, I frequently suffer from foot in mouth so it's the natural progression.
Jul 13, 2019 7:45 AM # 
And you can toe the map.
Jul 13, 2019 8:53 AM # 
A few people have posted routes on O Track. You could look and see if anyone made a swim choice. A few of us Aussies talked about it as a legit possibility after the race.

The swim route seemed to be an option mainly in B and C finals. Most of the A courses didn't venture to the flat eastern side of the map except the longest ones.
Jul 13, 2019 10:52 AM # 
Take a look at the top two guys in M35A on o-track. Kristaps Jaudzems gained around 3 minutes by swimming vs RF going around to the right. Looks like the edges of the lake were shallow enough to move quickly through, i.e. not swimming.

Split times tell a similar story:
Jul 13, 2019 11:23 AM # 
Wow - we thought maybe 30 sec to 1 minute. That's a big difference. It shows up easily in the splits graphs too.
Jul 13, 2019 1:29 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Kristaps picked up eight places swimming!
Jul 13, 2019 7:53 PM # 
Looking at the splits on the swimming leg in my M45A, all the leaders clocked about the same, which implies they ran (or that some of them are poor swimmers). And then there are two split times from runners further down the list that are over 1:20 faster than what the leaders clocked. The evidence thus spoke.

I'm not complaining from where I stand, I had my fun. And this particular age group does not appear to have been decided by swimming/not. But what if it did? there is no S in WMOC, or is there?

The buck stops with the Senior Event Adviser on both the Sprint door and the swim option. Had it been just the swimming, you could write it off as irreverent/iconoclastic/provocative. With the door, it looks more like at least partly out of control.
Jul 14, 2019 3:30 AM # 
IOF rules - Appendix 2, Principles for course planning
3.4.2 Fairness of legs
No leg should contain route choices giving any advantage or disadvantage which cannot be foreseen from the map by a competitor under competitive conditions.
Legs which encourage competitors to cross forbidden or dangerous areas must be avoided.
ISOM 2017
301 Uncrossable body of water
The black bank line emphasises that the feature is uncrossable.

One course I looked at (M35) appears to have been set to deliberately tempt competitors to cross the lake at the narrowest point, so is unfair in the sense that a non-swimmer would not contemplate using that option whereas a strong swimmer (or someone aware of the depth of the water) could well consider it. How difficult is it to mark the lake as out-of-bounds? Maybe OK for a fun club event, but not WMOC.
Jul 14, 2019 6:29 AM # 
Elsewhere, I was wrong for sprints, let me clear up one thing here. I think that in the ISOM, the term "uncrossable" does not represent a ban on attempting. My understanding comes from ISOM Section 2.4, and the history behind the adoption of ISOM2017. I think that the IOF council directed that prohibitions be taken out of the mapping spec and put in the rules.

Is there anything in the RULES applying to WMOC (which might have included special requirements made by the organisers) that would have prevented one from crossing any sort of water?

If not then we have Appendix 2 of the rules, which puts requirements on the course planning. It does seem as though the first sentence of 3.4.2 (above) has been transgressed. Does that apply to WMOC? Do we criticise the national and IOF controller? Are they volunteers just doing their best, or do we expect better here? Who were they?
Jul 14, 2019 12:19 PM # 
Yes, "Uncrossable" for symbol 301 in ISOM 2017 means "uncrossable on foot", not "forbidden to cross". I can't find a later version of the WMOC Guidelines than the 2017 version, but here's a quote from the 2017 Guidelines:
26. Courses
The prime requirement for the courses is fairness. There must be no doubtful controls, minimal elements of chance as regards route choice and no map errors which might influence the race.
Generally, WMOC rules/guidelines do not include anything specific to a particular competition - that is the function of the competition instructions (i.e. Bulletin 2). For the 2019 final bulletin, there were no matches for searches on "crossable" and "uncrossable", and the only references to "water" I could see were to drinking water. In my opinion, the lake should have been marked as out-of-bounds.

It would be interesting to hear from competitors who did cross the lake how far they were able to wade before having to swim (190cm Norwegians probably further than 165 cm Australians).
Jul 14, 2019 2:36 PM # 
I'm a 192cm Australian but it's a moot point for me. The 50A final stayed on the interesting side of the lake and didn't go over the other side.

Agree a simple use of red print to show out of bounds would have solved the problem. I would be surprised if they set the course to tempt people to cross. It would be very bad judgement if they did.

Probably it was planned as just a simple left v right choice. But the setter and IOF controller should have considered people might try and swim (different bad judgement not realising this). It clearly breaches the fairness principle for me.
Jul 14, 2019 2:44 PM # 
Looks like swimming was clearly the faster choice, though it's unclear how much being wet might affect your speed from then on. Looking at the tracks, it's interesting how many people seemed to have been heading toward the swim and then changed their minds, some running along the shore for quite a way. Did the water have an off-putting appearance or something?
Jul 15, 2019 1:45 AM # 
Of those who chose the swim option, how many were Latvians? Had that route choice option been offered in previous competitions on the map?

It appears to have been useful for Janis Krumins (LAT) in M40 - 2:11 faster on that leg than second-place Petteri Muukkonen (FIN), for a final margin of 2:37, so I guess you could argue that in the end it didn't decide the final major placings in any class.
Jul 15, 2019 3:30 AM # 
My two cents' worth: if it wasn't marked as OOB then the competitors broke no rules, but there are potentially significant safety issues in presenting a route choice where swimming is a viable option - it's not something I would allow as an EA at a serious event.
Jul 15, 2019 6:48 AM # 
Am I missing something here? The lake{s) in question are all bordered on the map by a thick black line. Doesn’t this make them uncrossable? Anyway it was very poor course setting to have 1/3 of the distance of my M70 course used to avoid the lakes. Especially where there was so much wonderful terrain close by that went unused.
Jul 15, 2019 8:08 AM # 
In ISOM, uncrossable doesn't mean forbidden to cross (unless it's marked with OOB overprint).
Jul 15, 2019 12:23 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Re: I would be surprised if they set the course to tempt people to cross

On M35A, there's a dead straight trail that goes 80% of the way to the swim start!

Re: legalilty...relevant section and source

17.2 Out-of-bounds or dangerous areas, forbidden routes, line features that shall not be crossed, etc. shall be marked on the map. If necessary, they shall also be marked on the ground. Competitors shall not enter, follow or cross areas, routes or features drawn with the following symbols:


ISOM 520 Area that shall not be entered

ISOM 708 Out-of-bounds boundary

ISOM 709 Out-of-bounds area

ISOM 711 Out-of-bounds route


ISSOM 201 Impassable cliff

ISSOM 304.1 Impassable body of water

ISSOM 309 Impassable marsh

ISSOM 421 Impassable vegetation

ISSOM 521.1 Impassable wall

ISSOM 524 Impassable fence or railing

ISSOM 526.1 Building

ISSOM 528.1 Area with forbidden access

ISSOM 534 Impassable pipeline

ISSOM 707 Uncrossable boundary

ISSOM 709 Out-of-bounds area

ISSOM 714Temporary construction or closed area.
Jul 16, 2019 2:21 AM # 
There we have it. You can cross a thick black line in forest events. Climb a cliff if you are able. In case anyone is wondering...
ISOM520 is Olive green area
ISOM708 is Thick purple line
ISOM709 is Purple criss-cross area
ISOM711 is a Purple Cross

Its not only the WMOC controllers who may have overlooked something though. The rule-makes appear not to have considered that orienteering may take place on open land, heh heh.

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