From Course setter:
Special award goes to the orienteer who best describes their route strategy for the Mendon Sole-O Score-O.
- Using computer algorithms is not against the rules (I hear there is a course at RIT …)
- Why did you start where you did?
- What was your trade off of distance vs. hills vs. mud? ....
Overall directions and link to maps is at https://roc.us.orienteering.org/event-3816570
Is the map for this available? I haven't seen it yet.
Route strategy... I was going for minimum distance to collect all 18 controls. I decided to use a control as my start/finish so I wouldn't have to cover any extra distance to get to/from my start location (I chose control 2). I thought about starting part way between two controls along my intended line of travel, but that required additional work to navigate to that place, plus I would then need to carefully identify my start so I could later use it as my finish. Using a control eliminated that problem.
First I determined (at home) my intended order to visit all the controls in the minimum distance and penciled in my route on my map. To find the control order that yielded the minimum straight line distance I used PurplePen to draw my own version of the score-O map, then I used my intuition to pick an initial route that seemed pretty good. Finally I revised my route by trial and error, trying variations on the control order and comparing the overall length of each trial course. This was not exhaustive, so there's a slight chance there's a better course that I didn't discover.
While running I tried to go as straight as possible to minimize distance traveled. Straight up the steep slope. Straight through the swamp. Straight into the 2m high thorns? Um, no. Went around that. Also, found out I'm apparently not very good at going straight even when there's not impenetrable thickets in the way.
Do I need to include prep time to my total time for this course? If so, I took a very long time! Running time was 1:21:20. But that's unimportant... my total distance covered (according to my Garmin watch) was 7400m.