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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Improvements and Sustains?

in: West Point A-Meet (Apr 18–19, 2009 - West Point, NY)

Apr 19, 2009 10:50 PM # 
We hope everyone had a great time at our meet with our great weather. Please share comments with us to improve our meet and continue to make it better.

Apr 19, 2009 11:22 PM # 
I think the selection of venues, with a focus on wonderful views and good spectator locations, and then capitalilzing on them with good course design was brilliant. I thought all the courses were excellent and enjoyed the sprint-like section in today's course.
Apr 19, 2009 11:31 PM # 
Great maps, terrain, courses and spectator friendly venues made for a wonderful weekend of orienteering. Thanks Army.... Sink Navy.
Apr 20, 2009 12:14 AM # 
USMAOC has just significantly raised the bar for A meet standards in North America.
From the meet notes to conclusion the work was excellent. As seen in another AP thread corrections were made with humor. With three different venues over two days, with border like security checks, with the loss of traditional barracks accomodation it all could have been a logistical nightmare for all. The explanations of what to expect were very clear.
The Quick reference card - very useful. Perhaps they've been done before but I can't recall any.
The courses, at least the ones I ran, were excellent. That very spectator friendly final loop on Sunday was another inspired choice.
Yes, thanks Army.
(I could go on but I just got home and have to nurse a pair of feet mashed on West Point rocks.)
Apr 20, 2009 12:22 AM # 
We had a great weekend. For once the weather was great and the cadets did a great job with one of the larger number of registered orienteers for them in a weekend. There was a couple problem areas but sometimes A event have these things. I don't feel that it was any thing the cadets did wrong and they work hard and quickly to correct the problems. I really enjoyed working with them at the start and getting to know a number of them well. I hope that a number of our promising JROTC runners will give serious consideration to attending the acadmey and become apart of a great college orienteering program that you won't find any where else.

Best wishes to the Campbell's as they move on in their military careers, we will miss you, and to the Seniors that will be starting their miilitary careers in about a month or so.

Thanks Army but don't sink the Navy the Chief wouldn't like it very much!
Apr 20, 2009 1:32 AM # 
Great weekend. Fun courses, the most important aspect of an event, plus
the rest of the ameneties provided all good bonuses. Though I heard some complaints about today's final loop on the green, I enjoyed and benefited from it. Thanks - must keep one's wits about right to the final punch.
Apr 20, 2009 3:47 AM # 
I too enjoyed the final loop (mine was on the Brown course) because I wasn't too tired out from the remainder. Course design for all events was superb and the WP campus sprint with the views was excellent use of the terrain. The brown course glitch seemed to affect those who didn't have time to read the meet notes -- a reminder to have last-minute changes to them noted at the start area. Today's start list/course list was great!
Apr 20, 2009 11:58 AM # 
A small thing, but one I heard several people comment on. The labeled signs, e.g. "This is the 60 second to start line", were a very nice touch.

Congratulations on a very well run meet. Special kudos to the cadets who were in charge of the weather.
Apr 20, 2009 12:45 PM # 
Overall I agree with all the comments, it was one of the best WP meets I've been at. Only comment would be that I hope camping will be available from the begining next year the change this year was to late to help us. Thanks for a well put on meet!
Apr 20, 2009 1:15 PM # 
I was very impressed with the way this was organized. I can't imagine how much work it was to get this together for 3 venues in two days but the cadets did a fine job. The courses were all fun, interesting and scenic. I liked the maze-like sprint legs at end of Sunday Green course. The Quick Reference card with maps showing start and finish location for each event was very helpful.

My only suggestion is come up with a better way to return maps at the end. I spent some time looking in the piles of maps but couldn't find my maps from first day. There were a lot of people shuffling them around and I was tired and did not want to spend a lot of time looking for them. Maybe have everybody put their number on the map instead of their name then sort them into bins by 100s.

Thank you for a great weekend or orienteering. I'm looking forward to next year's event already.
Apr 20, 2009 3:02 PM # 
It really was a great event. I particularly liked the mapping and selection of venues. For some years, I have bemoaned the "old school" WP mapping. But, no more. Three events, three top flight maps and really good course setting on the courses I ran.

The atmosphere Saturday was simply exceptional. You can't control the weather (which helped) but the campus sprint and setting made the weekend for me. And then having the dinner at the arena after the middle--brilliant!
Apr 20, 2009 3:02 PM # 
I've being running West Point meets since 1994 and have to admit that this was definitely one of the better ones. You guys went great ways to secure the permits to use Saturday's venues and it payed big time as far as total experience from this meet for me.
With such a large meet and complicated logistics there were some problems, like with software you used to create start lists. It was handled very well by the start crew.
As J-J Cote, I am a bid proponent of "live" string results, like it was done at "Run-it Granite" this year. That would be a next step up in total experience for me.
In last 5 years courses are getting better every year: this is a big plus. One small comment: in design try to avoid super steep downhill legs in rocky areas; leg 6 on red/blue sprint, leg to 15 on blue - long course - navigational challenge is not that great, and chances of great injury are too high.
Another major improvement this year was great weather, but I can not give you credit for that :)
Thank you very much for you hard work and dedication to make it better every year.
Apr 20, 2009 3:52 PM # 
I only took a few photos at the sprint - very photogenic venue.
Apr 20, 2009 4:10 PM # 
The entire weekend was just awesome. You have definitely raised the standard of events! Thank you for all the work getting everything right. Now if you can just do something about all that rocky ground... :^)
Apr 20, 2009 10:57 PM # 
Due to an injury, I was forced to sit back and watch the event this year. I appreciated the many spectating opportunites, making it a fun day. The event seemed highly organized and well planned. Many thanks to everyone involved.
Apr 21, 2009 1:29 AM # 
This was the first time I went to a WP meet and I had a great time. What a beautiful area. I agree with everything said above; however, next year I hope that there will be string courses or something for the really young children. They are becoming more and more involved in the deciding when and where to, and if string courses, for example, are part of the aweekend 'race' package, chances are good that my family chooses to go that specific meet instead of a meet with nothing to offer the youngest even if terrain, courses etc. for the adults may be better.
Apr 21, 2009 9:37 AM # 
Wow. That looks beautiful. I wish I could have been there!
Apr 21, 2009 3:47 PM # 
Excellent events. They were definitely first class.

One suggestion (from IOF guidelines) would be to avoid steep downhill finishes like the one at the sprint. These invite injury (witness the broken ankle on the run-in at the sprint), as tired runners try to expend every ounce of remaining energy to shave fractions of seconds. Especially for electronic punching finishes where finishers must brake to a stop to make the final punch, run-ins should be level or slightly uphill to reduce the chances of injury.

On a related note, a great next step for Sport-Ident (and EMIT?) would be to develop a run-thru finish. I don't know if that is possible with the current chip design, but it would seem that there would he potential for something similar to the run-across mats that are used at the end of running races (maybe too far from the chip?), or possibly a control unit with a more powerful transmitter, across which the hand could be swiped without the dexterity requirement of physically inserting the tip into the hole.
Apr 21, 2009 3:58 PM # 
That is excellent advice Mike. As is Greg's about especially steep and rocky descents in a sprint.

One other area to consider for next time--identical legs that are used bi-directionally.

Many legs can work well in either direction, but generally you may want to avoid using them in two directions because this can give away controls.
Apr 21, 2009 5:21 PM # 
No kidding! We actually spent some time looking at the up/down passages in that rocky area for the sprint and also clearing the worst of the deadfall out of some of the corridors...the options aren't great in that area (hence also the identical legs used bi-directionally...trying to bring our runners to good up/down corridors).

Hmmm, sounds like a work detail for next year's plebes...clearing rocks to enhance the sprintability of the sprint! I can see it now...

Thanks for the input, please keep it coming! In case you're curious, we formally capture "lessons learned" in the form of what to continue to do and what to look at changing on our team's collaborative website. All your input will get captured into that document as well for next year's team leadership.
Apr 21, 2009 9:27 PM # 
A very impressive coordination effort, great venues, top notch maps and courses, and a great crew of cadets.

A nit-picky point - Control circle cutting - I can see several instances, mainly on the Middle map, where control circles have been cut so you can see the underling feature. However, the cut is exactly the dimension of the underlying feature, so there's no white gap, making the feature still very difficult to see.

Best/worst example is control 9 on the Green Y Middle. Cuts were made for 2 boulders and one rockface, but the control circle touches both sides of each of these features, so it still appears to be a solid circle.

Making the cuts just a bit bigger, so the underlying feature stands out more, would be very helpful.

Just checked my sprint and long maps - not really an issue on them.
Apr 21, 2009 9:32 PM # 
One other area to consider for next time--identical legs that are used bi-directionally.

I always remember the WOC collision between falcon and ebone. I know that was not a bi-directional leg, but having people trying to read the map and run towards each other is just a bad idea.
Apr 21, 2009 9:54 PM # 
A nit-picky point - Control circle cutting

Not that it affected me, but Long course Brown Y control 6 is on a cliff in a reentrant that points to a spur, which (I think) some people read as a saddle. Cutting the circle to improve readability of the contours might have helped them.

As for me, I saw the bag as I was leaving 5. :-)
Apr 21, 2009 10:00 PM # 
Yes! We had incredible trouble with OCAD 9 not printing the circles with the cuts after we cut them. The lines, too...we lost some feature for the white courses which was essential (like a trail). Anyone have any idea how to fix this? They were perfect on the drafts, and then when we went back up to the lab and went to the final cuts. ???
Apr 21, 2009 10:27 PM # 
Save the file after editing it next time? :D
Apr 21, 2009 10:40 PM # 
OCAD 8 Problems. I think it may be fixed with OCAD 9
Apr 22, 2009 8:20 PM # 
Absolutely loved the venue for the Sprint. nice combo of forest and urban. Thanks for making that possible for all of us.

As a competitor I hated the "sprint"-like end of the Long courses, but as a spectator I thought it was fantastic. For an event like InterScholastics, I think the spectator aspect wins out!

You might start sending chocolates to those lawyers, so we can stay in the barracks again :)

Thanks for a wonderful weekend. Maps and courses were top noch which is the most important any way.
Apr 22, 2009 10:57 PM # 
I absolutely loved the weekend. I can't imagine how much careful planning went into making this a success, especially with interscolastics, which present special organizational challenges. Everything from the meet packet, including the thoughtful quick reference, the photos of the meet directors/course setters, the historical tid-bits about West Point, the layout of the start), to the well arranged start and finish venues, to the streamering of the finish, to great spectator loops, to the model area on the walk to the start, which allowed one to acclimate to the idiosyncrasies of the new map--were fantastic. The courses were great. This was a fantastic meet, and I would like to thank all the organizers and volunteers for their hard work, and for making this a special weekend.
Apr 25, 2009 6:51 PM # 
A BIG thank you to the awards people for putting labels on your medals!!!!!! It is soo much easier to remember which is which, and what you won where and for what when there are labels!!!!! I always try to stick something on my medals when there isn't anything to remember, but normally that doesn't workout too well. So thank you for doing it for us!!!! (plus it looks a lot more official than a post-it note i would have put on)

This discussion thread is closed.