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Discussion: Race Analysis for JWOC2010

in: Team Canada

Dec 11, 2009 11:29 PM # 
Post race analysis in this thread for JWOC 2010 selection. See last year's thread for examples!
Dec 29, 2009 2:01 AM # 
2009 COC Sprint

Controls 1-4 were all smooth; I mainly used the vegetation patches and depressions as attack points and features. For the first 2 controls I followed along vegetation patches, which lead me right into the control.

Going to control 5, I decided to go straight up the side of the hill instead of following the ridge along to the path. Going up the side of the hill I went slightly to far over the far side and lost a few seconds.
Control 6 went well. I followed the spur straight down into the control.

Control 7 was a longer leg. I contoured along the hillside with no problems. As I approached my attack point I completely misread the features around the control. Not seeing that the large depression was on top of the hillside I lost time running to a similar shaped depression at the base of the hill before I realized that the depression was on the top of the hillside.
Controls 7-10 were straightforward controls. The good visibility made the controls easy to see from a distance as you contoured along the hillside. 9-10 had some climbing but a very easy route choice, which made it a good running control.
Control 11 should have been a pretty simple leg but I managed to make a quite costly mistake. Leaving the control I didn’t line up my compass right and misjudged the distance I was going. I ended up to far the southeast in the wrong depression. When I realized where I was, I decided to backtrack and go through the partly open terrain instead of straight through the thick bush with lots of undergrowth. I am still not sure which would have been the better choice.

All the rest of the controls, 12-finish, were good. I went around the wrong side of the tree at control 14 and probably lost a bit of time there.
Overall I thought that I ran a really strong race with the exception of controls 7 and 11. I did a good job of using the terrain to lead me into controls and picking routes that were straightforward and easy to run quickly along. I learn I need to make sure that I leave every control with my map properly oriented instead of rushing to try to make up time. I have to only think of the present control and not worry about what has already happened.

Yukon Champs Sprint 2009

Splits: 1-0:39

This race was in a semi-residential area with many small trails everywhere. The first control was very straightforward. From control 1-2, I started off running too quickly and didn’t read my map enough when I got in to the densely trailed area. There are even more trails than are mapped and I didn’t go as far as I needed too. Having to stop and relocate caused me about 30seconds and wasn’t a very good start to the course.

Controls 3-5 were smooth. I mainly used the trail system but the open forests made for easy running to controls 5.
Going to control 6 I planned to take a route along the trail beside the pond to the clearing. However the water levels of the pond had risen and I had to stay slightly high up just above the depression, crossing the trails and taking a bearing to the tip of the clearing then into the control. Even though I had to change my route plan slightly, I kept focus and ran that leg smoothly.

I had the most difficulty with control 7. I was having a good leg up until I reached my attack point the small clearing. I took a bearing into the control but ended up going too far to the left. Some how I ended up at control 8 and had to contour along the depression and then fro the corner of the depression I took another bearing to the knolls.

I hit all the rest of the controls right on. For controls 8-finish I focused on having strong attack points to make the controls easy to hit. This course had lots of little trails and abnormalities that made me have to adjust. I think I kept my focus very well when I had to adjust my route plan slightly. Many of the controls weren’t super technical so I was able to go through the controls with flow and consistency. I need to slow down and read my map more closely when I get in to areas with lots of trails and features. Also make sure that I follow my bearings and don’t go don’t drift in one direction with the contours and topography.

Yukon Champs-middle distance 2009


This course had lots of boulders and cliffs and was a great race for me after the first 2 controls. The navigation to control 1 was easy to the edge of the clearing. The distance to the boulder from the clearing was a very short distance. Looking back I think that the problem was that I didn’t have the exact place that I was in the clearing so my bearing was kind of just a ruff bearing. I ended up passing by the control 2 or 3 times slightly too high and slightly too low because the control was hard to see and in undergrowth.

Control 2 was also hidden by deadfall. I went too far to the left on my bearing. I saw the man made feature to my left and the other boulder on my right. Realizing I was past the control. It took me much longer than it should have to find this control. Part of it was my mistakes but I was also unlucky because it was a bingo control and I was within a few meters and didn’t see it.
Controls 3-5 had good attack points. Heading to control 3 I was able to pick up a trail and use that time to plan my next route. Coming up the hill I saw the ruin and the clearing and went to them then had to go slightly right to the cliff. For control 4, I used the bolder as an attack point and contoured along. Heading to 5 I used the trail and took a bearing from its junction. I went slowly for this part of the leg making sure my bearing was exact. Hitting this control perfectly set a positive tone for the next few legs.
Controls 6-7 were very slow going. There was lots of deadfall and underbrush but this gave you the chance to read your map and navigate along the bottom of the cliffs. At this point I was orienteering with Pam and we both took a bit different routes to control 8 but ended up together again at the control.

I really liked leg 8-9, the spur lead you right to the end of an elongated knoll. The route choice was obvious the only decision was how to get down the boulders and cliffs to the control.
Control 10 caused problems for many people. I went down in between the two cliffs and passed what I thought was the two boulders however actually I stopped to early around the second boulder. The boulders looked more like knolls with rocky ground on top of them, which confused me. I decided to try a different route into the control, so I went out to the trail and found a feature that I could locate on the map. I when along the trail till the rounded cliff was on my right and followed it into the control.
Control 11-13 all went well, the forest was slow running but I hit control 11 right away. Going to control14 I got distracted by other runners on the lower trail then I had to go back up to the depression. I probably lost about 30seconds or so.

This had some tricky parts with all the boulders and cliffs. I did a good job of relocating and approaching the control from a different direction. For the majority of the controls I did a good job using the terrain to navigate in the sections were there was very low visibility. I was able to refocus after the first 2 controls and run a good raced for the rest of the legs. By doing this course I now Know I need to work on being more cautious and precise when I am taking bearing trough terrain with very few features. Also I can’t let myself get distracted by other runners.

COC-Middle Distance 2009

Going to control 1, I went a little to low along the hillside and had to go back from the second knoll to the first one. It was a relatively small error but shattered my concentration.
I am still not sure where I went going to control 2. I have analyzed this leg many times and can’t quite figure it out. Coming down the hillside I veered too far to the west. Once I crossed the trail I realized I didn’t know were I was. Instead of relocating from the trail I decided to follow along the clearing I was in. Finally after loosing a lot of time I ended up in the right clearing and was able to find the control.

For controls 3-4 I was able to refocus and execute them very smoothly using the vegetation and contours to guide me.
On my way to control 5 I made a parallel error when I came into the clearing and ended up in the more western arm of the clearing. It took me a bit of time to realize my mistake.
Controls 6-8 I ran with Molly, especially because we were running the same course she really distracted me from my orienteering. Control 6 was an easy leg that I ran with no problems. Controls 7and 8 posed more difficulties. Going to 7 I lost contact with my map and ended up at the wrong tip of the vegetation boundary. Control 8 is where I lost the most time of all. I made a parallel error coming out of the depression I was too far to the northwest and spent lots of time in the reentrant to the west.
Controls 9-10 went according to plan but it took me two tries to find control 11. I didn’t pay close enough attention to my map and was distracted by other competitors. I spent time along the spur too far to the east. When I didn’t know were I was I went back to control 10 and found 11 right away.
Controls 12-Finish were all very smooth. I planned my route to 12 very well and was able to run quickly because I was always in contact with my map. Going to 13 I went the long way around the tree but had good flow through the control.

This race was one of the best races for showing me where I need to improve. I need to be able to run my own race without being distracted by other competitors and make sure I stay in contact with my map, especially on leg that you have to go through dense forest and it is easy to get disoriented. When I am not totally 100% sure I should check my compass so that I don’t make those easy to avoid parallel errors. I did a good job in leg 10-11 of not over reading the terrain before I crossed the trail. Doing this gave me the opportunity to run quickly and gain time. Also I stayed focused at the end of the race and didn’t make any mistakes. Having other people around me and seeing how my focus held up was an important test and now I know I need to work on my internal and external focus.
Dec 30, 2009 10:41 PM # 
COC 2009 Long


This was the last of race of the sand hills Orienteering Festival so by this point I was fairly comfortable in the terrain. For the first controls I went a little bit slow and cautious so I could get used to the 1:15000 scale. Throughout the whole race in fact I was less reckless than in other types of terrain because there are not many large distinct features and it is pretty hard to relocate.

For navigation I found the most useful tool the vegetation. It was pretty easy to follow the edges of the trees and they made very solid handrails. As always the compass was a valuable asset and essential especially when running across the open meadows.

From my route it may look like I could have taken more direct routes but the meadows were wide-open and extremely fast running whereas the woods were very thick, poor visibility and slow running. It was better to take a route through more clearings, as it was easier to navigate, faster and less dangerous footing.

As is very important in orienteering races I spiked the first two controls and that gave me the confidence to read ahead and always know where I was going.
I hit controls 3 and 4 dead on as well. For control four I took an indirect but fast and safe route. I chose this route because it had a bombproof attack point and solid handrails to navigate to that attackpoint.

5 and 6 were also very solid. Punching through the dark green between 4 and 5 was really nasty and so I knew that I should avoid the dark green if I could.
I ran to control seven without any problem and totally spiked it. From seven I wasn’t sure what to do for route choice and looking at it now it doesn’t look like the best route choice but it was safe and it worked for me.

I found the leg from 8 to 9 quite difficult. This was where the compass really was important and I was very careful to stay on my bearing. It was hard to tell how far I had gone I was looking in every depression I passed but I remained confident and kept going until I hit the right depression.

9 to 10 was probably the worst leg for me. Once I hit the forest I was just trying not to lose an eye as I was running pretty fast and I stopped looking at my compass enough. I ended up being off on my bearing and popped out of the wood well away from where I should have been. I got lucky this time as I found a control, which I knew, wasn’t 10 but ended up being 14. From here I knew where I was and the rest was easy.

From 11 to 14 was very smooth and I was running well. At this point I was feeling myself starting to fatigue and I was struggling to stay focused and keep my presence of mind.
15 was also very smooth but control 16 was just one of those mistakes you make when you are extremely tired. I just lost track of how many thickets I had passed and stopped and looked in the thicket before the one I wanted. I might have lost about 30 seconds there. I also messed up 17 as it looked like a very easy leg and I just took off on a rough compass bearing trying to make up the time I had lost at 16. I missed the control by a little bit and ended up doing a big loop and coming back for it.1 8 and 19 went well and I again took a slightly longer, but fast and safe route choice to 19. From there it was a straight shot to the finish which was awesome as I was completely spent but happy that I had a good race.

COC Middle 2009


This middle distance race was one of the best races I’ve ever had. I had a few little hesitations but mostly I knew exactly where I was going and was running pretty well with good flow through the controls. I really liked the terrain and found I could see a long ways ahead in the open fields and read ahead a lot.

Control 1 was an easy route choice and was very smooth. 2 was fairly good but I had trouble spotting the actual control. On this course the controls were pretty well hidden and often tucked into a little depression and sometimes obscured by thick vegetation so it was important to make sure you were looking in the right re-entrant or depression.

3 was also very well hidden but I was sure I was in the right place so I ventured into the thick vegetation to find it. I made a slight directional error leaving 3 but recovered quickly and still had good flow going through 4. 4 to 5 was basically a straight shot with a compass and you could see it a ways away. I used this extra time to look at route choice to control 6. I had been in this terrain for a week or two and knew you didn’t want to go through green if at all possible. I chose the fast clearing route around and it was definitely a good decision.

6 to 7 and 7 to 8 went well and it was just a matter of making sure you were traveling in the right direction and keeping you’re head up and looking for navigational aids and the control. 9 went well and it was important to get the handrail of the little formline and follow the clearing right into the control.

10 was a little tricky because you had to try and keep a somewhat straight bearing through the thick trees in order to hit the trail where you wanted to be. I did this fairly well and attacked smoothly.

10 to 11 was definitely a runners leg but I navigated very smoothly and made pretty good time. When I first hit the clearing it was just a matter of pointing yourself in the right direction and aiming for the right patch of vegetation. For me this is the easiest type of navigation and I find I can run extremely fast and smoothly in this type of terrain.

I was on such a roll leaving 11 that I may have been a little overconfident and just took off towards twelve without reading much. I got confused a little bit about how many thickets I had run through and hesitated a little early. I knew however that I was on the right bearing so I kept running until I hit the proper feature and didn’t lose much time.

13 and 14 were very smooth and I could see the feature where the control was from quite far away so it was just a matter of running hard and pushing it at the end of the race.

I made another bobble on the way to 15 and that was just losing my direction in the thick woods. The woods were so thick you couldn’t see the ground and I just focused on getting through them and ended up making a little directional error and came a bit lower than I would have liked.

Then it was just opening up the engines for the final run to the go control and finish.

COC Sprint



For this race I was mostly looking for a clean and smooth race. I’m not the fastest runner out of the guys but I knew if I went clean I could still have a pretty good race. I was feeling good at the start and I was very focused.

My first couple controls weren’t particularly fast but they were consistent and I got into a good rhythm. Going to controls 3, 4, and 5 I was in a groove and moving very well. The leg running to five was good and I was able to scope out the last couple controls of the race as I ran by. 5 to 6 was also a good leg. I looked up and the hill that 6 was on was quite obvious so it was just a running leg and planning ahead to the next controls. At this point I caught up to Eric Kemp and we ended up running the rest of the race together as we are similar speed and it is hard to lose someone in such open terrain.

The next couple legs were quite straightforward navigating but physically tiring as you knew were you were going and could open up. I made a slight bobble going to 10 and was looking for the control too early but I never stopped running in the direction I knew I was supposed to be traveling so I eventually hit the right feature.

12 and 13 went well except for the hazardous thicket crossing on the way into 12 were I am very surprised I didn’t land on my face. 13 and 14 were smooth and going to fifteen I already knew where the control was as I had seen it on the way to 5 so it was rather easy to find. I lost a second or two on the go control as I ran the wrong way around the thicket but it was not a big deal. Overall I was quite happy with my race and it was one of my better sprint performances to date.

JWOC 2009 Middle C- Final


The Middle Final was the last individual race at JWOC and I wanted to have a race that I felt I did ok in. JWOC did not go well at all for me this year. I was out with the flu during the whole training camp and did very little relevant training in the terrain during the week before the JWOC races. I was still fairly sick for the first couple race and very unprepared to race in the terrain.

I was feeling pretty good for the C-final and I did a really good warm to prepare for the race. I really wanted to be clean on the first couple of the controls because that is key to getting into a good rhythm. I control went up not going as well as I had hoped. The leg was quite easy and straightforward and I ended up losing my focus and making a small parallel error on my attack point. I ended up missing the control and losing the better part of a minute relocating and finding the control. I was a little slow leaving two, as I wanted to be cautious. The leg went fairly well but I came a little high and had to descend a little to find the control.

3 was easy and a good leg for me as I just took a bearing leaving 2 and kept my head up looking for the right hill. 3 to 4 was a bit of a tricky leg but there was one hillside in particular that had some big cliffs that made solid attack points. 4 to 5 was also a fairly easy leg but it was really treacherous footing coming down the hill so I took my time a bit. 5 to 6 was a quick compass bearing leg and I hit the control dead on.

6 to 7 was probably my favorite leg of the whole race. It was a quick run to the trail and then a run up the trail and up a fairly steep hill to the saddle. From here it was a straight shot down an wide reentrant to the control. I felt really in control on this leg partly because this was one of the first times in the race where I really was able to read ahead and plan a bombproof route.

Controls 8 and 9 where pretty tricky terrain and there were so many rock features it was overwhelming. What I found to be the best strategy with these controls was to just look past all of the rock detail and read the contours. This I lost a couple of second on 8 because the control was tucked into a little hollow and it was hard to see from the angle I approached. 9 was the last control that required navigating and it was fairly easy to find as there was quite distinct elephant tracks. A Run down the trail to 10 and the across the bridge to 11 was all that was left for my best race so far at JWOC 09.
Jan 9, 2010 12:23 PM # 
Falcon Cup 2009
Map: EmilyRoss_FalconCup

Start – 1: I wanted to take the safer route to one while I got into the map and the race, so I followed the path to south until I saw the campsite with the building in it. From there I counted two more campsites and cut into the forest. I followed clearing and then the form line around until I saw the cairn. It could have been better to take the path to the north because there would have been less chance for mistake. I do not think it would have been beneficial to cut through because of the thickness of Fundy’s woods.
1 -2: I followed the rock fence until the end when there was a clearing on the east which lead to the main path. I continued to the clearing on the opposite side, then using the pair of cairns as an attack point went south to control 2.
2-3: I drifted more south than I intended. Part of this was because of the vegetation I think, and I also got distracted by dad who was running a similar leg. It would have been better to aim off more in the first place, I think.
3-4: Easy control. Just went out to the road, went to the powerline, and cut in near the top of the hill.
4-5: Counted powerline poles. Used the pit as an attackpoint.
5-6: Wanted to run through the woods because it didn’t seem to thick in comparison to previous places on the course. Also, I had caught another runner and didn’t want to run with them. Ran over the spur, then went to the hilltop and down as a way to avoid the thick green.
6-7: Pretty straight forward, used the marsh.
7-8: Continued along the powerline, which ended up being really slow because there were a lot of high bushes. Again used the powerlines, as well as the marsh, to know where to cut in. Had some difficulty because the control description said boulder except it was actually on the cliff.
8-9: Cut down and hit the boulder then contoured to the cliffs.
9–10: Drifted too far uphill (perhaps to try to stop myself from going too far down, or because there was some better footing, or to try to remain separate from the other runner). Hit the higher up cliff and boulder then cut down.
10-12: Ended up going through way more green than I wanted too get back out to the powerlines. Rest was straight forward, focused on finishing strong.

I was happy about remaining independent from the other runner that I kept meeting, and not getting too distracted. I need to stop drifting so much. This could be helped by picking a better route in the first place or just being more careful.

Western Canadian Orienteering Championships 2009 – Sprint
Map: EmilyRoss_WCOC_Sprint

Overall, I was fairly happy with how this race went except I started to lose focus towards the end and made a mistake, and then overcompensated and was too cautious. Also, I didn’t feel like I was in good enough physical shape.

Start – 1: Followed the path then went above the above the depression to find control 1. Was too cautious in my speed, but I didn’t want to make a mistake on the first control.
1-2: I approached it by from the west instead of the east, which slowed me down slightly. I need to make sure to consistently read my control description ahead of time.
2-3: Ran down through the depression, then ran up the reentrant. It worked fine but it could have been better to stay higher from the beginning.
3-4: Ran too far east and hit the path, then ran along to the hill.
4-5: Followed along the contour. You could see the control far in advance.
5-6: Don’t particularly remember this leg, but I think it was fairly smooth.
6-7: Ended up cutting up to soon and looked between the knoll and the hill top, but realized I hadn’t gone far enough and corrected that. Part of this was because I checked my brain out when was running to path, when I should have been more focused.
7-8: Ran along the north east side but it would have been better to go around the southwest side because the control was further down the reentrant than I thought.
8-9: Followed the clearings. Wasn’t sure if I wanted to go around north or south but it would have been better to make a quick decision instead of hesitating over it.
9-10: Followed reentrant in.
10-11: I had some difficulty finding this control. I think I went too far to the east then too far to the west.
11-12: Was getting quite tired by this point, I had trouble pushing myself to go quickly on this control.
12-13: I tried to rely too much on paths for this control which wasn’t a good idea because they were not very noticeable and lots of people had been running everywhere in the sand. It would have been best just to follow the reentrant up but I went to far east then went over the hill. I relocated on the path on the other side and went up to find the control.
13-14: I went slow for this control to try and regain focus after my last mistake.
14-15: Was too careful about not overshooting it because I didn’t want to get to the finish.
15-16: Easy control to the finish. Tried to push hard

Swiss O Week 2009 Stage 2
(Need to go to D 18 and View: Table of Results)
Map (Route Gadget): Class/Course: D18.

Start – 1: The path was hard to find because so many people had been running, so I started out slow because I didn’t want to make a first mistake on the first control (like I had the previous day). Also, I was having a hard time with the footing because it was very uneven. I hit the rock fence and then used the reentrants.
1 -2 : I ran out to the path, followed it for a bit, and then went down to the streams because it was faster runner and flatter. I headed up the hill but looked for the control in the reentrant east of control 2 because it was difficult to tell the pits and reentrants apart. I needed to be faster in relocating, and not get distracted by the multiple other controls in that area because even though I was so close it took me a long time to actually find the pit.
2-3: Followed the path until the small series of streams that branched, and headed up the reentrant to the break in the cliffs. I went very slowly in this area; one because the footing was very rocky, and second because it was technical and I was afraid that if I lost contact I wouldn’t be able to relocate easily. I followed along the cliff bases on the left. I hesitated a lot towards the end because I thought I had gone to far (which I hadn’t).
3-4: Again I was going very slowly. I didn’t have any problems with this control. One helpful feature was that they spray painted the number of the control on the rock so I could see it before I saw the control.
4-5: Found it easily enough, it helped that I had been in that area before.
5-6: I had seen six on my way to three, which helped. No problems.
6-7: Just contoured around to the control.
7-8: Was a little worried when I first started this leg because of the length and because I was starting to get quite tired. I used the streams for the beginning because they were easier to run along and I didn’t have to be careful. One of my main issues with this leg was that I started to lose motivation along the way, especially with a lot of big hills. I didn’t really have a good attackpoint for the control and ended too far east.
8-9: Another control on the way distracted me, but after that I found it easily enough
9-10: The hill was so slippery at this point! It had been pouring rain and all the orienteers had to come down at this point. I was too cautious trying to keep upright when I think it would have been better to just slide down. The control itself was easy to find.
10-11: I was getting really tired at this point and had a hard time making myself go up the hill at any sort of speed. I ended up falling a little too low.
11-12: Went to the hilltop to the west first, then came around to the reentrant. I need to learn to keep my focus more towards the end of a race.
12-13-Finish: Just trail running.

Swiss O Week 2009 Stage 1 (Sprint)
(Note: I was going to do WCOCs Middle but the Route Gadget isn’t working and I left my middle map in Squamish by mistake)

1 – 2:35
2 – 2:02
3 – 5:17
4 – 0:50
5 – 0:33
6 – 2:33
7 – 1:04
8 – 0:28
9 - 0:46
10 – 0:40
11 - 0:31
12 – there was a mistake on my copy of splits and on the website so I can’t get this split or the next
13 –
14 – 2:07
15 – 0:38
16 – 0:42
Finish – 0:08
Total time: 24:49

Map: EmilyRoss_SOW_Sprint

Start -1: I wasn’t careful at the start, possibly because I was distracted by all the runners and this being my first race of the summer, and ended up going down the wrong street until I figured out what I had don.
1-2: I went around to the west (because I had already been down there), but I don’t know if it would have been better to go around to the east.
2-3: I spent too long trying to figure out how to do this one, and then being careful when I was running it.
3-4: This was a straightforward leg with minimal route choice.
4-5: Went around to south, smooth leg.
5-6: Chose to go through the middle but ended up running past the small path because it looked very similar to the others that lead to someone’s house. At that point I should have just continued and gone around instead of trying to figure out what I had done.
6-7-8-9-10-11: All fairly good legs that were not very complicated.
11-12: Trying to be careful so that I didn’t have too complicated of a route. Not sure if it would have been better to go above or below.
12-13: Lost track of what I had done and went in way too early. Took me some time to figure out what I had done. Need to make sure I keep my focus, as I get farther into the race and work on recovering more quickly.
13-14-15-16-Finish: All straightforward. I was mainly focusing on pushing towards the end but I don’t know how successful I was in this.

I felt that I got more into the race after the first couple controls and did okay until I lost concentration towards the end. In addition, I should have been more careful at the beginning—I think I got overexcited. Also, I would have been happier with this race if I had been in better shape and able to push myself harder.
Jan 12, 2010 12:56 AM # 
Race 1: JWOC Sprint. Imer-Mezzano. July 2009.




S-1. I started slow, as I picked a difficult route off the start and wound up weaving through a number of streets. This could have been avoided if I had gone west off the start and then up the main street north to the control.
1-2. After a slow start, I began to read the map a little better and managed to start running faster.
2-3. Lots of detail here and easy to miss the control. Checked my running a bit, but still almost over-ran the flag. 3-4. Not reading ahead on the last control resulted in me folding the map the wrong way coming out of 3 and almost doing a 180 degree error. Caught myself quick and got back on track.
4-6. Both fairly long running legs. I was able to pick up my speed quite a bit here after the detailed first section left my legs well rested.
6-13. I realized that I would have to make some major changes in my running speed and map reading as soon as or before I got to the 6th control. I managed to read ahead well, but I would have benefited from visualizing/reading ahead to where I should be 30 seconds before I got there. For the most part I kept it smooth coming into and out of controls and managed to keep other runners from distracting me.
13-14. This long running leg led to another jolt in my mental thinking. I knew I could open up and push hard here, and I did.
14-16. I didn't come out of the previous running leg as well as I would have liked and I made a bad route choice to control 15. I took 16 slow because of it, but didn't lose too much time.
16-17. While primarily a physical leg, this section became technical at the end, and I had some slight hesitation coming into the control.
17-18. I knew I was getting close to fatiguing at this point, so I really tried to play it safe here. Almost missed the underpass leading to control 18.
18-F. These were all mostly running legs. My mind was a bit fuzzy at this point so I made a pointed effort to keep my head up and spot the control well in advance of getting there. I may have been able to run faster, but I knew I had had a good race up to this point and wanted to keep it that way. Saw the girls control in front of ours going to 22 and checked my code.

While I had a few hesitations here and there, and one or two 15 second mistakes, this was one of my most consistent races last year. I was able to push hard where I needed to, focus when I had to and keep other people out of my head.

Race 2. Yukon Championships Middle Distance. Whitehorse. June 2009.

I used Dahria's map for this race. I don't have my own map in Ottawa to scan, so disregard the route on the map, I will describe it instead.


S-1. Checked the direction to the first control on the map, saw it was mostly on trails and started running. Slowed just before the control and took it easy into the forest for the first time. Spiked the first control using the bend in the corner as an attack point.
1-2. Went slow out of control 1. I knew the forest was going to be pretty non-descript and it would be easy to miss a boulder. Found the first boulder on a bearing and went into the control from there.
2-3. Tougher route choice here. I opted for the lower route to the trail used to access control 1. The forest was thick though, and combined with the added climb on this route (as opposed to a middle route), I lost some time. Once on the trail, I opened up my running all the way to the veg boundary in front of the control. Followed that up to the control.
3-4.The green wasn't as bad as shown on the map leaving the control so I bashed out to the trail, cut into the woods at the first cliff and contoured around to the control.
4-5. I didn't cut out to the trail soon enough leaving the control and I lost some time thrashing through the bush parallel to the trail. Eventually made it to the T junction and took a bearing. Hit it pretty much dead on after seeing the cup depressions just before.
5-6. Took it slow through the cliffs. The forest was thick, so going slow was necessary to see the control.
6-7. A bit of an error here. I decided the route on top of the cliff band leading to the control would be fastest, so I thrashed through the willows at the base, climbed to the top and then found out I had to go all the way back down to reach the control. Should've read my control description to see the control at the bottom of the map.
7-8. Followed the open ridge south until it terminated, then followed a rough bearing over to the east ridge. Came out on the ridge sooner than I anticipated and hesitated for a bit until I figured out where I was. Easy finish to the control.
8-9. Caught the large cliff closest to the spur south of 8 and followed it into the control.
9-10. Backtracked along the cliff I came in on and followed the depression to the control. Open forest made it easy to sight.
10-11. I thought this control would be a piece of cake, so I pushed it coming out of 10 and followed the depression and a bearing through the the start of the hill south of 11. I continued to follow the hill on it's east side thinking it would lead me to the control. The brush was too thick to see very far though, and I didn't have a solid attack point. Spent some time thrashing through willows in the general area of the control before finishing it.
11-12. Came out on the trail north of the line of travel and cut down to where the trail loops around. Used the trail junction as an attack point and contoured into the control.
12-13. Again, thick forest came into play on this control. Took it slow, but still didn't see the control until I was practically on top of it.
13-14. Mostly a running leg. Had to be careful of all the intersections of trails.
14-F. Ran hard!

This race was one of the best of the year for me. My speed through the forest was better than usual, I was consistent with how I approached controls, and when I did make mistakes I recovered quickly and got back on track.

Race 3. Quebec Championships Sprint Distance. Ottawa. October 2009.



S-1. Took a safe route to the first control. East around the first building. Took some time to read the map at the start. Could have been faster doing that.
1-2. Didn't read ahead, but I saw that both routes were basically the same. Chose the south one and didn't hesitate.
2-3. I'm not sure if threading the needle was the fastest route on this leg. Going out to the road after rounding the first building may have been faster.
3-4. Hesitated a bit coming into the control. Vegetation made it difficult to spot from a distance.
4-5. Pretty much just a running leg. In retrospect, the northern route was likely faster, but I'm glad I didn't hesitate. I made a decision and stuck with it.
5-7. Two relatively easy legs. I could sight the building close to the control from a long way off in each case and picked up my speed here.
7-8. Sighted the control on the way into 7.
8-9. Didn't see the uncrossable fence on the other side of the tracks and wound up being forced to take the northern route. It would have been faster to go south close to the river right from the start.
10-11. Lots of people around for these controls. Really had to pick out the controls and not get distracted.
11-14. Mostly running legs here. Knew it was close to the end and pushed the pace.
14-15. Slowed a bit here to make sure I had a clean race.

Race 4. Canadian Team Trials Sprint Distance. Calgary. May 2009.



Routegadget has not been working on my mac, I haven't been able to see a course for this race, so I will do a summary of the race instead of a control by control analysis.

This race was the first real race of the year for me. I had been doing a decent amount of training leading up to it and I knew I was in good enough shape physically to do well. I started a bit faster than I would have liked, and the first few controls were a little shaky (I wasn't reading ahead enough, and a couple of controls I just got lucky on). Partway through the first half of the race I found a decent rhythm and a balance between reading and running speed. I did make mistakes on the course, some of them significant. Between controls 8, 12 and 17 I lost over a minute of time to simple mistakes. Control 8 I made a bad route choice and came out way above the control. Control 12 I took the shortest route, but it was much longer due to the tough running conditions. Control 17 I lost contact for a bit and hesitated trying to bring myself back.
Overall, I recovered well from my mistakes and managed to limit my errors to seconds rather than minutes.
Jan 12, 2010 1:35 AM # 
Colin: the splits for the Quebec Champs race are on attackpoint which also has an analysis feature so I'd suggest you use that. The other option is to find them here:

They were taken off the web at the end of the fall season and haven't been put into the archive yet because our webmaster is focusing more on the upcoming COCs.
Jan 12, 2010 11:18 PM # 
Thanks Jeff! found the link and it should appear above on my last post.
Jan 14, 2010 3:06 AM # 
2009 Yukon Champs Long

This was my first race in the 2009 season, run with a knee injury. I included it because although there were many mistakes I learned a lot from this race. The 1st control was good; I started out cautiously following the trail and making sure of my attack point. 2, 3 and 4 also went smoothly, keeping in touch with the map and having strong attack points. Control 5 I had some difficulty with my compass but relocated on the hill and found the control. Control 6 I lost touch with the map getting pulled off course. My plan was to follow the re entrant down into the depression and then follow the bottom of the depression to the clearing. On this leg I needed to be in touch with my map and my compass. Once I realized I was way off course, my relocation went quite well. I found the depression I was supposed to be following and contoured around it finding the knoll. Control 7 I had a good route choice and attackpoint, all went smoothly. Control 8 my compass work was good, I stayed on my bearing. My sense of distance betrayed me, so I stopped, relocated and went again. By this time, I was losing focus and more mistakes were happening. Control 9 my route was solid, and I found the control after a quick relocation near the control, when I thought I had gone too far. 10 my bearing was off and I ended up at the wrong clearing. My relocation was good, once I found the close proximity to the trail and found the clearing on the map where I was. Control 11 went smoothly with a good bearing combined with contouring along the hill. Control 12 I lost my focus, and wandered around for a bit. Once I realized what I was doing, I stopped figured out that I wasn't far enough, and found the control quite easily. Controls 13, 14 and 15 went smoothly as I had regained my focus on planning good routes and kept in touch with my compass and map.

COC Long distance 2009
Map and splits:

This course, most of the route choices were made to run longer through open meadows and avoid any green as it was tough running. Control 1 I started too fast not looking at my compass and got off track. My relocation was quite quick and I found 1 quite easily following the open and using the form line spur as an attackpoint. 2 started out well I was getting focused in the race. I think my route choice was good until right around the control when I missed my attackpoint. I ended up going past the control wandering a bit until I came to a thick section of green where I realized where I was. I doubled back and found the control. 3 and 4 were smooth controls; I was getting into my rhythm. I was following the edge of the open meadow using the major hills and depressions as markers. From 4-5 was also very smooth. I was going quite cautiously as it was a long leg but it went well. Looking at my map afterwards I think there was a better route choice going slightly farther in the open area before the green and using the small trail to get through the green. It most likely would have been faster running. 6 and 7 were short compass legs that went well. Going into 7 I needed to look at my control description for the placement ie east, west, etc. 7-8 was another longish leg. My original route choice was to cut through the green beside the elongated depression, but I was running slightly too fast and misjudged the distance. I ended up on the road. At this point I changed my route and took a longer route with easy running rather than retrace my steps for a bit for my previous choice. This worked well and I had no problem reaching the control. Control 9 I used my compass through the green and spiked the control. It was slow running though. Control 10 went well until in close to the control. I took a bearing across the open space looking for the corridor of yellow to follow. This worked well until in close to the control, I used the small hill as an attack point but I needed a stronger one. I kept my focus through 11 and 12 going smoothly. For 13 I lost focus for a minute and thought I had run longer on the trail confusing two distinct trees. I lost some time along the edge of the green looking for the control. 14 was a sprint then to the finish.

COC Middle distance 2009
Map and splits:

I started off with a safe route with easy features to follow. I came to the right place but lost time because I didn’t see the control and I went to the next hill before I realized I had been in the right place. The leg 1-2 I took slowly once I hit the trail and followed the yellow into the control. From 2 -6 the controls were smooth. I was mostly using the vegetation for navigation; the open patches through the green with my compass. Going from 6-7 I had some problem. Leaving 6 I did not pay close enough attention to my compass. I ended up going to far to the north instead of more north west. If I had relocated immediately this would have only been a minute mistake or so. Once I relocated by returning to 6 I continued to 7 cautiously careful of my compass, I found it quite easily this way. This was a good reminder to myself to keep my focus during this race. Control 8 went well using the light green depression as my attackpoint. 8 to 9 went well using the open small U shaped hill as an attackpoint. I hesitated before going into the green because I was unsure of where exactly the control was, times like these I need to remember to check my control description. Going to 10 I lost track of the distance I had covered so I went on the wrong side of a depression and a clump of green. This lost some time as it put a U shape in my route that was not needed. Control 11 I spiked using the open hill with the distinct tree as an attackpoint. Leg 11 to 12 I used a bearing and used the line of light green as a place to slow down my running. I came through right where I wanted to and used to distinct vegetation boundaries on the green to know exactly where I was. From there the control was easy to find. On this leg I should have run faster and counted on the green to stop me. During this leg I was constantly wandering if I was where I needed to be which slowed down my pace because of doubts. Control 12 to 13 I went down the reentrant to thirteen than sprinted to control 14 and finish. During this race I think I kept my focus well and pulled it back together after a mistake.

COC Sprint distance 2009
Map and splits:

I started off slow to number 1 using the vegetation boundary on the green as an attack point. This worked well. Control 2 I misjudged the distance on the 1:5000 map and overshot the control. My recovery was not particularly fast but once I did decide to relocate, I found 2 quite easily. Controls 3, 4, 5, 6 were all smooth running using vegetation and some of the more distinct hills/depressions for navigating. My route choice for 5 may not have been the fastest. On the leg 6-7 I had some difficulty at the end of the leg. I went too far along the top of the hill once I had climbed up it. I then went down into the small depression beside the control before realizing I was in the wrong place. I then realized I was too far and went back. Controls 8,9,10 were all very smooth with fast running. Going to control 11 I went slightly cautiously as it was the only part of the course without an easy route to run. Control 12 to the end went well. I used the distinct clumps of thick vegetation and my compass as my tools for this part of the course.
Jan 15, 2010 4:11 AM # 
JWOC Sprint 2009


Pre Race: I knew the race was going to be very technical in places with a few long legs based on where the finish area was compared to the start. During the week of training we were on several sprint maps in the area that were similar to the one the race was going to be held on and I never ended up being completely confident in how the map looked on paper and how it looked in real life.

S-4 Was cautious not to screw up early, no mistakes but moving slower than I would have liked to just try to get my mind in gear. Had some hesitations as well.

4-6 Opened it up and almost went all out. Straight forward running legs, had some pretty good splits here.

6-7 Maybe a little too cautious again, running too slow with hesitations as well.

7-8 Couldn’t have planned this leg any better. I told myself as soon as I turn the corner (to head SE) take the second left so I counted the building gaps and took the second left. Little did I know I counted the first gap which I didn’t originally see because it’s a underpass which is light grey on the map and I missed seeing it. Figured it out and found the control after about 30s.

8-9 A little rattled about the mistake on the previous control and lost concentration which lead to another mistake loosing another 25s.

9-11 Short straight forward legs and I sped it up a bit here.

11-12 Didn’t feel confident enough in navigating through all the buildings so I went to the main street where all the building are pretty much in a straight line. Still I didn’t feel comfortable and wasn’t moving that quickly.

12-13 Ran this one with a little more speed.

13-14 Another long leg, had the choice to go up or down and I chose down for no reason other that it looked better to me. Got a peek at where to go to #18 with all the people standing where you go into the control. Tried to run as hard as I could here and a bit more.

14-16 Simple looked ahead and could see the controls from a ways away. Continued to run hard here.

16-17 Terrible route choice. A Great Britain runner had caught me here and my original route was going to be through the field but he continued running down the road and I thought to myself maybe he has seen something I haven’t to make that route faster than the other one so I changed my plan and went that way too. Worst mistake ever lost around 20-25s.

17-18 Chose to go a different way than I came into #17 because of all the stairs and sharp turns.

18-F Simple legs, kept my head up to see the controls from as far away as possible and pick out the distinct features like the buildings so I could run all out and finish strong.

JWOC Middle Qualification 2009


Pre Race: My goal was to make the A final and to do that I knew I had to have a perfect race to qualify for the A.

S-1 It was over 400m from where we got our map to the start triangle so I knew I had to run hard there and plan out my route. Somehow (I have no idea) I miss read the contours, so I thought I had to run up into the control. Anyways I figured out what I was doing and found the control after running around for an extra 3:20-3:25

1-2 Pretty disappointed with the last control tried to forget about it but I think it stuck with me and I screwed up again even though it was one of the more tricky controls. I think I got a bit unlucky on this one as well. 1:20-1:25 messing around so close to the control.

2-3 Compass, nothing special.

3-4 First long leg. Mostly used my compass picking off some features along the way until I got to the trail. Ran along the field until I could see the cliffs (also used #8 as a parallel feature to the control to know when to start heading up the hill) and went straight up the hill into the control. Not sure if the western route was much faster and if many runners even went that way.

4-5 Went crazy down the hill, across the field to the trail junction then used my compass mostly to get me to the control.

5-6 Basically used my distance judging ability.

6-7 Should have just ran down the first dry creek bed to the junction but ended up going to the right, had a bit of trouble seeing the control.

7-8 Picked it up a bit on this leg since I knew where the control was to begin with (from going to #4) and there wasn’t much to it to begin with.

8-9 Short compass leg.

9-10 Compass and followed the clearing.

10-11 Compass to the trail, aiming for the reentrant on the other side of the trail to make sure I was on course. Past the cut line through the clearing to the knoll and attacked the control.

11-12 Down the hill side to the right of the hill to the trail. Distanced judged about 50m then started to cut in going past the boulder cluster through one re-entrant and carried on through into the one the control was in.

12-13 To the trail, judged about 50m then veered off on an angle through the clearing picking up the deep narrow re-entrant and into the control.

13-14 Compass to the trail, down the trail until I passed the first house then started to veer off into the woods picking up the rock features to the major one just past the cut line then used my compass and the small rocks on my right to get me to the tip of the clearing and then went down a bit into the control.

14-F At this point I pretty much put my map away and started to use everything I had left in me, side hilling down to the trail. I knew where #15 and #16 were from seeing them before the race.

Note: Some bad mistakes early but had some solid split times after that and a great race so I was happy.

COC Sprint 2009


Pre Race: Wanted to have a strong race, to go hard but keep it under control.

S-2 Started out fast but not crazy to prevent an early mistake. Navigating primarily on the vegetation boundaries/thickets/copses

2-3 Got pulled off line by another runner and corrected it quickly with 5s lost.

3-5 Looked ahead as I was running to see where the vegetation is so I could navigate ahead and run faster than normal. Used #15 to make sure I was on track.

5-6 As soon as I went around the copse I looked for the hill in the distance and headed straight for it running hard.

6-7 Came down the spur and could see the cup depression the control was in.

7-8 Though this was the toughest leg so far when I first looked at it. Went straight through the first clump of green (new growing trees) and it was slow going so I started to weave between the green copses in the rough open. Hit the clearing and stayed to the right of the two white copses. Didn’t head quite in the right direction, hit the side of the hill slope and new where I was then I headed for the green copse right into the control. 15-20s lost. Should have stayed to the left of the two white copses where the green on the other side would have led me right into the control.

8-9 Side hilled around but should have just gone straight. I may have saved some climbing but probably lost some time? Got a little mixed up in the depressions but eventually could see the control.

9-10 Using the copses as usual. Got mixed up with the vegetation closer to the control, ran to the hill where I though the control was, looked around saw the other hill and figured it out very fast 5s lost.

10-11 Weaved between the green and straight into the cup depression.

11-12 At this point I new I had a pretty good race going but tried to ignore that and maybe should have slowed down a little bit and have been extra careful but no I pushed on harder than ever and made a huge mistake. Don’t know what happened, maybe I turned my map slightly and headed up the wrong side of the re-entrant. I new I was going through green and thought maybe I missed the rough open land going down into the control and hit the green so I didn’t bother looking for the open gap and went straight through the green. By the time I stopped and new nothing was right I was in the clearing all the way down the slope and decided instead of climbing back up the hill just to loop around and get the control.

12-F Couldn’t believe I blew it but still went hard maybe even harder through the last 4 controls using the vegetation. New the area around #15 from going to #5 which helped me.

WCOC Long 2009


Pre Race: Before the race even started I got stung by about 15 wasps which made it hard to concentrate early with my legs stinging. Wanted to have a steady clean race.

S-1 Note: Didn’t start out to fast. I wanted to keep it steady. Mostly relied on the hills for navigation.

1-2 Slowly started to increase my speed. Kept my head up to see the hills coming in the distance which helped.

2-3 Pretty much just running until leaving the fence when the vegetation got less thick and used the hills to lead me into the control.

3-4 Ran along the ridge until I could see the huge hill and went straight for it.

4-5 Used the end of the big hill where #13 is for a directional aide just running to the east of it. When I hit the clearing on the small hill I knew where I was and could see the hill that surrounded the control but headed up the wrong “V” of the hill, went into the reentrant instead of the depression.

5-6 Going fairly well so far. Ran down the spur of the hill and could see the next hill that I had to head up into the control.

6-7 Navigated using the hill tops and then from the big hill top I used my compass to get to the trail junction. Then instead of running down the trail to the south I was going to cut the corner to save time and distance. I must have had my map or compass disorientated and headed in the wrong direction. I figured out what went wrong when I could see a hunting tower in the distance and knew immediately where I was because I knew there was only one hunting tower on the map. It was too late to correct it so I kept going on a new route counting the hill tops and must have got mixed up and hit the field and was very confused, so I looped around and eventually got the control. Turned out to be about an 8:00 mistake.

7-9 Did a good job shaking off the past mistake and had a solid two legs. Again the hills were key to my navigation.

9-10 No problems until I left the trail and the vegetation didn’t make any sense it was overgrown. Didn’t really make any mistake it just was slow going. Keeping my head up payed off again because I could see the hill from a distance that the control was in front of.

10-11 Running until the far side of the field where the real orienteering started. Once again I followed the hills into the control.

11-12 Decided to take the cut line so I could use my running strength. Veered off at too much of an angle caught myself and corrected my mistake right away. 4:00 lost.

12-13 Ran along the ridge until I could see the other hill and ran straight for it. Moving a little slow.

13-15 Two pretty good legs, using the hill tops as normal.

15-F Got a little conservative because I didn’t want to screw up so close to the finish so I used the bigger hill tops further away from the line to prevent a mistake late in the race.
Jan 15, 2010 12:07 PM # 
WCOC's Sprint Distance
Map: Graemerennie_WCOCs_Sprint
Analysis: Overall a great race. No mistakes were made. I was a little bit slow on the uptake in terms of running; I think I went a little slow throughout the race especially at the begging in fear of making mistakes. I paid close attention to the contours; it was definitely an unfamiliar terrain type with lots of small steep hills. I think a couple slight route choice things could have been changed. For the leg 7 to 8 there is basically just which way do you go around the thickets, but in the end either way was really fine. I don’t even think I could have chosen drastically different routes at any point of this race. I think my result in this race was really good, the only thing to be improved upon here is speed, and of course confidence and flow. I was a little bit choppy coming into and going out of the controls at the beginning because they were coming up so fast on one another. This will just be fixed by practice and concentrated on planning ahead a bit more.

COC's Sprint Distance
Analysis: A bit of a rocky start, I was nervous and not feeling 100 %. Went the wrong way around a bush on my way to #1 and started to stress out but after I nailed the first 4 my confidence got going again. Planed ahead on my run across the field to 5 and really started to feel good about this race. I used the contours and green vegetation boundaries lots. No big problems on this race, potentially could have gone a little better from 9 to 10 I feel like I added a fair bit of unnecessary climb onto that leg by deciding to stay high on the ridge. Other than that slight bobble and being nervous at the beginning this was a great race.

COC's Long Distance
Analysis: A tough but satisfying race. The first control was a bit of a fluke, I didn’t really plan my route just started running, never a good plan, but it worked out, and after that I became far more in tune with the map and what I was doing. I took a very safe route to number 3, passing by some distinct features and number 16 on my way. However number 4 I had a rather large mistake. I had planned to run out to the large clearing to the west and skirt it until its south east corner, however I got herded by thick bush, and began just hoping from clearing to clearing hoping for my control. I decided at last to just head west anyways but came across the control before I hit the clearing. My next mistake was on number 6. I nailed 5 and came out of it thinking 6 would be a breeze I was just going to head in its direction and see it. However I lost contact with my map here and became quite confused by the indistinct vegetation in this area. To seven I tried to stay hi and avoid as much green as possible. I feel I succeeded in this, nailing that control and the next. Number 9 however I again did not plan well enough in advance and crossed the field with little consciousness. I searched on the first two parallel features I came to before realizing my mistake and heading more north. The remainder of the race was smooth until 15 where I read a depression as a hill and overshot, losing only around 30 seconds here but still frustrating. And the remainder of the race went smoothly.

JWOC Middle Final
Analysis: The JWOC Middle Final was unlike anything I had ever seen before. The sheer volume of detail and rock features in the latter part of the race seems overwhelming. However I had a fairly good race. I had a mistake on control number 5 where I first started getting into the rock features and just lost contact. The only other slight mistake I had was on number 9 where I went the wrong way around a large cliff thinking it was my feature. Simplification was my biggest tool on this race. Ignoring most of the small boulders and trying to focus on just the features I needed was really helpful.
Jan 15, 2010 10:29 PM # 
the kempster:
Suisse o-week Etappe 3


The course setter was tricky with course, launching us out into the open fields first and then sending us into the really techincal area at the end. The beginning was super dee duper easy. I could almost see my first 4 controls from 300m away. I tried to take the route choices that had the least climb but also had a good attackpoint for the control. After picking up those controls, I had to really slow down my pace so that I knew exactly where I was the whole time. From the trail junction after 4 I took a bearing towards 5 and actually stayed on it pretty well. The swamps were really easy to pick out which is what caught me right by the control so I didn't lose any time there. 6 was just a straight bearing while checking things off on the way there. It was tricky staying on the right bearing because there were people wandering around everywhere!!!! A great test of my concentration for sure!! All of the gray areas were limestone rock so it was really tough to run. I took this into account getting to 7 because it was much faster staing in the corridors of yellow. I kept really close tabs on where I was the whole way and climbing the hill I passed the two cliffs, then the pit, and from there it was a piece of cake getting to the control. 8 was just another corridor run through the yellow and then 9 was straight down the re-entrant into the control. 10 was another one of those run slow but know exactly where you are controls; and then 11. I was so close to having an absolutely awesome race and I got really excited and just screwed it up. I was standing right at a control on the hill beside the knoll. I couldn't find it on the map so I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off until I came back to it 5min later and finally figured it out. What threw me off my bearing was having to skirt around the big cliffs and then just being to high up on the hill. From there 12 was just through the clearing and then I was home-free all the way to the finish. Even with losing all of that time on 11 I still had a good result, but I know that that shouldn't have happened. I need to be able to keep my concentration the whole entire race and not let it slide near the finish when my brain is lacking oxygen.

JWOC middle final


Middle A final. Holy macaroni. I was super nervous at the beginning because my ankles were painfully sore, i was one of the last starters, and the russian coach was staring me down. Because of all of the adrenaline of starting I very nearly missed the first control. I did what I vowed to never ever do again and just jumping off the trail without knowing exactly where I was hoping to just trip over the control. The alarm bells were going crazy when I got up on top of the hill and had no clue where I was but, thank my lucky stars, I came out of the green and right into the control. After that I took a deep breath and settled into the race. I caught a norwegian at 2 and we leap-frogged it for the rest of the race. She was a stronger runner but my navigation was better which made for an interesting race. The first part of the course was not too tricky. Some major attackpoints; huge spur for 3, just past the re-entrant at 4. On the way to 7, I got out to the trail just past it but it looked more like a swamp. The norwegian runner kept going, but I stopped and figured it out. I doubled back to get the control and then made a not-so-brilliant route choice to 8. Instead of taking the trail around to make the climb easier I went straight up through the green which was brutal! Coming down over the other side and seeing all of the spectators was pretty cool though! The last loop was absolutely insane. It wasn't really worth trying to read all of the little stuff; I found most of the controls by reading the description and then looking for it in the terrain. The race was super fast-paced but so awesome!

COC middle


After training in the tricky terrain of Manitoba I knew what to expect as far as contours and vegetation in the terrain. I tried to use the thickets of green and the really noticeable hills or depressions. The first few controls went really well, a few tricky route choices but it wasn't until 7 that things got icky. Coming out of the light green and into the field I couldn't pick out the vegetation on the other side and ended up in the white woods. It was a silly mistake that could've easily been avoided by just attacking from the two individual thickets. After 8 it was a lot of darting through the green trying not to be thrown off by all of the elephant paths. On the way to 11 I had to choose left or right around the big depression. Left was definitely not the best way to go since I had to contour a long way around the re-entrant to get to the control. 12 was fine; 13 almost tricked me with two depressions separated by the light green. From there it was just a hop skip and a jump to get to the finish. Again, just like switzerland, I had a really great race going but then just lost time by not paying enough attention around one control.

Boulderdash Day 2 Classic


This course started out super simple with the first control right on the trail. Because of that I played it safe to 2 just so that I could get more into the map. Run down the trail to where the rock fench crosses it, and then it was just to the swamp and due north. 3 also went well, it was just tricky to keep a bearing when there was just white woods and contours. This is evident on the way to 6 when I started falling off the hill and ended up wayyy too far north. Even recovering from that was tricky because I was approaching the control from a weird angle. Going to 7 just didn't make any sense at all. I made it to the stream fine but only because I had faith in my compass and just followed it until I got there. And even then, the map didn't make much sense. Thankfully, the feature was easy to spot so I didn't lose any time. On the way to 8 I caught up to Ian Smith; since he's a faster runner, I cut across the two paths to try and even out his speed and my distance. I am so proud of 9. I had Ian right on my heels but I took the rock fence to the corner and then ran a pretty good bearing past the boulder and right to hill with the control. So beautiful. Coming out of the woods on the way to 10 got me a bit mixed up with all of the trails but nothing catastrophic happened. I drifted a tad too far west going to 12 but seeing the humungous boulder helped me correct it just fine. From there right to 16 was just trail running with some navigation thrown in. 17 I was nervous about the nothingness but aiming for the swamps worked just dandy. 18 was a near disaster when a competitor ran past perpendicular to me and I almost drifted but caught myself when it just didn't feel right. With all of the racing that I've done this year I think I've really been able to pinpoint which weaknesses I have while out in the woods and can now realize them before they get out of hand.
Jan 16, 2010 3:05 AM # 
Mendon Ponds Park- Rochester Orienteering Club
Time/45:15 minutes

Control 1: I did not have a good control 1. My only option was to take a bearing to the root stocks. I eventually recovered when I saw the 2 huge root stocks where the control was. My mistake was wondering around hoping to find the control and not having a good attack point. I lost 3 minutes.
Control 2: I had a really good leg. I followed the stream and then the ditch and right into the control.
Control 3: I followed along the field and attacked the control from the re-entrant.
Control 4: I went up to the trail and to the junction. I was too low so I had to climb up the re-entrant.
Control 5: Followed down the trail and attacked from the top of the hill across the top of the re-entrant.
Control 6: I ran the trail to the junction and attacked from the trail bend.
Control 7: Trail run.
Control 8: Followed the little trail and it went longer then I thought it would; when I hit the big field I turned right and right up the clearing to the control.
Control 9: Took a bearing to the trail and attacked the control from the trail.
Control 10: Navigated around with the trails; I could see the control just off the trail. The woods were really nice in this section of the map.
Control 11: Ran on the trail but I didn’t contour far enough and ran to this one control next to the pond. As soon as I got to it I knew that my control was farther south east.
Control 12: I ran too far on the trail because I was confused by the contours, I relocated at the trail junction and ran on a bearing to the trail junction, I could see the control from the trail junction.
Control 13: Followed along the field till I got to the building, and then attacked from the bend in the vegetation boundary to the stream. I remembered seeing the flag on the way to 2.
Control 14: Ran straight and hit the control.
Control 15: Ran through the field to the other side and followed the rock pile till I saw the control. This was a bad route choice because running along the rock pile was really slow.
Control 16: Ran through the field which was a lot faster then along the rock pile.
Control 17: The control was on top of a hill so I could see it from the road.

Rattlesnake Ultra-Long

Control 1: I ran through the field and onto the road to the stream because it was the safest route choice. Took a bearing towards the control knowing I’d see the stream or the field.
Control 2: I broke the long leg into sections and stayed in contact up to the trail bend. My mistake was I didn’t have an attack point and lost contact with the map. I came to a bench, but I couldn’t find it on the map, so I kept running but then I found the black x on the map, and I knew where I had to go from there to the control. This was a difficult area to run in and stay in contact. I should have walked into the control, so that I could check off check points.
Control 3: I used the streams as linear features and attacked from the south side of the spur.
Control 4: I crossed both big streams and up till I saw the little stream and the control.
Control 5: I ran up till I hit the trail and ran up the field; when I got to the road I saw the tiny 2 hills in a row and headed in the woods. I made sure I didn’t drift down and stayed at the tip of the streams and into the control.
Control 6: I ran the trails till the trail bend and took a bearing to the main trail and water station. My attack point from the pond was the swamp.
Control 7: I attacked the control from the road at the pond. I missed the control by so little. My attack point was the 2 ponds but the map was sketchy and difficult to stay in contact. I knew I was too far and started heading back to the trail to relocate and hit the control on the way.
Control 8: What can I say, not my best moment in the race; bailed to the trail and attacked from the stream.
Control 9: Took a bearing right up the hill to the main trail; relocated on the trail on the trail bend and took a bearing to the re-entrant.
Control 10: Train run to the control.

Fox Forest- Hillsborough, NH, USA

Control 1: Trail run straight to the control.
Control 2: Trail run to the fence and attacked the control across the top of the hill.
Control 3: Took a bearing off the trail bend to the re-entrant with the stream. It was really clear woods.
Control 4: Trail run until I had gone down hill enough and past the bendy part in the trail.
Control 5: Ran to the trail junction, hit the first re-entrant to the second re-entrant with the cliff.
Control 6: Attacked from the corner of the field to the trail.
Control 7: Trail run, knew when to turn right when the road was on my left.
Control 8: Attacked from the trail junction up the re-entrant to the humungous boulder.
Control 9: Ran down the hill to the road. Ran the trail until it started getting steeper, took a bearing up the hill watching for the knoll.
Control 10: I tried to navigate with the fences, but they ended up being really confusing. So I bailed out to the trail, turned left into the woods at the boulders. This control was hard because my route choice was ruined 3 quarters of the way through; I should have run straight south to the trail.
Control 11: Drifted too far to the left and relocated off the trail. saw the huge boulder and swamp.
Control 12: Trail run until I was on top of a hill with a pit on it, navigated with the fences and swamps. I really liked this section of the map because the swamps and fences where really accurate.
Control 13: Trail run.

Lac Philippe West- Quebec Championship

Control 1: Trail run until I hit the circle in the road, and up the re-entrant to the control.
Control 2: Navigated too far to the right but quickly recovered off the 2 boulders.
Control 3: Ran to the building in the field and to the control on the cliff.
Control 4: Ran till the trail and stream intersected and took a bearing to the four huge boulders beside the swamp.
Control 5: Took a careful bearing to the rock piles.
Control 6: Trail run most of the way but I missed the short trail; I missed the control because it was in a pit.
Control 7: Took a bearing to the swamp and straight to the fire pit.
Control 8: I chose to go along the road and turn into the woods at the top of the steep hill; I precision orienteered into the control because there were no obvious attack points.
Control 9: My attack point was the set of cliffs in a row and straight to the big cliff with the control.
Control 10: Took a bearing right down the re-entrant to the control.
Control 11: Since I had already been to 11 I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have been; which was a huge mistake. I checked off 8 but I hit the first re-entrant thinking I was at the second. I quickly realized that there were 2 and ran to the control. On this control I learned that just because I’ve been to that control doesn’t mean I’ll be able to find it on the way back.
Control 12: Ran to the swamp and took a bearing into the control.
Control 13: Contoured around the hill, but quickly came to the trail bend. When I realized what I had done I ran back into the woods and found the control. I think a better route choice would have been to run on the trail around the hill and not through the woods.
Control 14: Ran past the 2 cliffs and up the re-entrant, past the swamp to the control.
Control 15: Took a bearing to the flat area on the hill with the pit.
Control 16: I was distracted by hikers asking directions and managed to run past the trail junction, and up through the swamp around the wide re-entrant and to the top of the second re-entrant were the control was.
Control 17: Navigated up to the top of the hill but didn’t see the control so I assumed I was too far left; so I went right but it didn’t seem right so I went back to where I had come up the hill and saw the control.
Control 18: Took a bearing straight to the edge of the hill and saw the 2 cliffs.
Control 19: Took a bearing right to the control.
Control 20: I followed along the clearing to the control.
Jan 16, 2010 3:31 AM # 
Race analysis by: Serghei Logvin

Race 1: OCIN 25th Anniversary / Flying Pig XIII / Relay Champs - Sprint (M-21)
Length: Sprint 3, 2.250 km, 15 controls, 60 m climb
Time: 14:43

Cp1, Cp2: Started off fairly well to get into the race at a decent pace.

Cp3: Decided without much hesitation to pick the left route and go around the vegetation. Ended up pretty quick; was fairly confident going into the forest, crossed the path, and saw the control quickly, due to not much vegetation at the time.

Cp4: As I was running from Cp3, I was not entirely confident in my routechoice of going all the way around left, because at the time, it looked too far. However, as I started to pick up the speed down the road, I reassured myself that I was not doing anything unneccessary, and looked large-scale through the remainder of the leg.

Cp5, Cp6: Crossed over the green to 5 no problem, because, once again, not much vegetation was present. Ran quite straight to 6.

Cp7: This is the leg which I was most uncertain about. I've been looking at it since a few legs before, and I decided to go to the left, ran trough the start, then crossed the reentrant, and relatively quickly, got up the hill to the control. It didn't seem like a perfect choice to me at the time, and I was a bit worried about it, but ended up being pretty fast.

Cp.8: There were some problems with this control. One of which, if I remember correctly, the mapping of one of the stairs was too close, and it is drawn considerably farther, I believe, but I still managed to jump in at the right place. Next, was the fact that the SI did not work at that control. I "punched", and went on, but then realizing I heard no beep, I came back, tried to punch again for a few seconds, then finally punched the map and went on. Lost a few seconds there.

Cp. 9, Cp.10: Ran around, once got inside the green, looked at the big feature, being the fence. Found 10 relatively clean as well.

Cp.11: Since it was a spectator control, and I saw a few people on the course punching it as well, I knew exactly where it was after 10. However, I made the mistake of taking the stairs down, and not running around the building on the left.

Cp.12-F: Finished the race well.

Race 2: OCIN 25th Anniversary / Flying Pig XIII / Relay Champs : Relay (4 Point Team)
Length: GreenB_4pt, 4.9 km, 12 controls, 380 m climb
Time: 34:55

I was running the third leg for Trip Le Team. After the first two legs, we were losing to the 4th place (another Canadian team) about 9 minutes. However, I just wanted to focus on the race, and knew it will be fast, due to the lack of vegetation and very good runability in many places.

Cp.1: Started off fairly slow to read the map and work into a pace.

Cp.2-Cp.5: Solid controls, very good runnability and decent visibility. I have recognized many parts of the map already, so it definitely helped as well. By this time got into a decent pace.

Cp.6: Longest leg. I had no trouble choosing a route, however while performing it, I wobbled alot. I should have been more linear due to the paved road being there to stop me anyways. The uphill part I remember being quite tough as well, but by that time the race was pretty fast all in all. Using the parking lots and one of my later-on controls, cut through perfectly fine.

Cp.7, Cp.8: Relatively easy-going controls, allowing for decent pace inbetween them. Saw Cp.8 quite far from the road.

Cp.9: Very disappointed by this control. As I was running fast trough the course before, keeping in control was pretty challenging already. I had some train of thought, but once I got onto the trail, a photographer came out of nowhere, and was right in-between where I was and needed to go. I think I thought that the clearance in front of me was the one before... Unpleasant mistake, cost me more than a minute for sure, without which, I would have caught up to the other Canadian team, and 4th leg would have been close for everyone.

Cp.10: Changed my mind once I saw the vegetation on the left side of the re-entrant; minor mistake, but should have went to the right.

Cp.11, Cp.12, Cp.13: Were all pretty simple and clean.

Cp.14: Was the toughest uphill of the race, but since I've seen the control before, I knew exactly where to look for it.

Cp.15-F: The rest of the way was pretty clean, and just finishing the race.

Race 3: 2009 A-Meet Festival and Quebec Championships : Long (M-19)
Length: Course 7, 9.7 km, 20 controls
Time: 1:37:29

This was the 2nd day of Ottawa A Meet (Quebec Championships). Due to my injured ankle, I could only run the sprint well, due to it being on pavement, thus during Middle and this race, I had to wear tape and be extra cautious.

Cp.1: Starting off at my own pace, getting into the map. It was a pretty long leg, but my plan was to attack from the little looping trail right under the re-entrant. Somehow, there was an extra loop Before the hill, looked just like it, so I went up too early and made sure I wasn't yet where I wanted to be.

Cp.2-Cp.5: Some dense, rocky terrain. Ran at moderate pace, thus the map reading was quite easy.

Cp.6-Cp.7: Some place for speed, but I just "got there". 6 was solid and simple, however 7 had me confused. I really think that the "rock pile" is shifted to right with regard to the swamp before it, being my attackpoint. Anyways, spent some extra time there.

Cp.8: Long leg. Added a little bit more speed. Was debating almost all the way up to the intersection whether to go left or right just beside the "shaded red area". However, decided to go right, and read all the features very well.

Cp.9,Cp.10: Simple controls based around a hill. Pretty solid.

Cp.11: I planned following the same features as I did to 8, however the re-entrant before the control stretched me way off to the road somehow, and I was surprised to see it, so had to come back.

Cp.12-Cp.15: Very solid running and navigation in some nice terrain. It was pretty runnable but rocky.

Cp.16: Was debating about the route choice, and believe it would have been easier to continue on the trail past the intersection until it turns, and cross the swamp right into the re-entrant, and the smaller hill from there.

Cp.17: Very bad route choice... I was deciding whether I should take it right and run around it, but thought I'd try to go through... Terrible idea, it was Very green.

Cp.18-F: Decent ending with the exception of a slight miss to the right at 18. Caught myself when I started going downhill... It appeared really sudden for some reason, but I looked around and spotted the cliff I needed. The rest is self-explanatory.

Race 4: 2009 Ontario Orienteering Championships : Sprint (M-21)
Length: 3.7 km, 11 controls
Time: 22:30

I was quite tired from the Middle the morning of this race, but felt decent enough for this sprint.
About there itself... I was a little bit disappointed with the reason to my mistakes during this race, but was pleased that I could compensate them.

Cp.1: Started off pretty quick from what I can tell, and the race felt to flow pretty good from the beginning.

Cp.2: Made a little detour into the passage in the fence, but should have taken it right to the road because the hill was grassy and not very runnable.

Cp.3: The first mistake... the thing is, on the map and even in the legend, it says: HILL, not a depression, in which the control was placed. After actually standing in the correct place, I started to worry a little bit, scanned the area, and bailed back to the trail, only to surprise myself by finding the control behind the hill...

Cp.4: Started to pick up the pace because of my mistake.

Cp.5: Noticing the field was a little bit tricky because my attention was drawn to the forest and the trails, but I saw it quick, and picked up the pace.

Cp. 6: Clean, ran around the thorns though.

Cp. 7: Fast leg for me based on splits. Crossed the fence in the little space where it was single-lined, then ran the same way as I did from the start. Right after the lake, I wanted to take the trail to the right, and only last second changed my mind and decided to take it left along the trees. There was a pretty firm trail along where I was running, so it was advantageous. The rest was fine.

Cp. 8: A little trouble with this control. Firstly, the fading trail was barely there, and it was more like just forest. Another thing, was that it seems more natural to go to 9 from 7; the cross-over does not seem to have much flow, so for a second I started aiming at 9, but caught myself early enough.

Cp. 9, Cp.10: Tough controls, as I was getting quite tired, but kept up the pace. Quite clean.

Cp. 11: After making it up that, what seemed at the time, a huge hill, the road is definitely meeting to the clearance not in the right place, and the little green part bending out into the clearance, is there, except behind the road.. ran back forth.. went into the bushes to check again... then eventually looked around that green patch. Lost even more time there.

Cp.11-F: Tired, but pushed down the road until finish.

This discussion thread is closed.