NEOOC Event - Ledges, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
, Hudson, Ohio.
2 Sprints, (1:5000, 5m)
Course Setter: Stanislav Rachitskiy
Low 60s, sunny, breeze, dry conditions, leafs filling out.
Kind of lucked out with an event just 30mi from the wedding hotel. So after checking out, I drove over to the Ledges - site of NAOC 2004 - for some sprints.
I hadn't orienteered in this kind of terrain before, so I was really looking forward to the event. It didn't disappoint either. It was a ton of fun running around giant sandstone ledges. There were some tricky control locations that require map concentration and smart route planning. The fact that these are sprint courses make them more exicting!
A couple disappointing things:
1) Maps are just blown up versions of the original 1:10000 map, so all the lines appeared too thick and symbols too large. The density and size of the black (rocks) makes it harder to spot the trail. The use of black rectangle for bridges along trail is questionable. They can easily be misinterpreted as a rock feature imo. I realized the mapper(s) had probably spent a ton of time on mapping of the rocks, but there seems to be some inconsistencies on the shapes and spacings (gaps) between rocks. There're several places where the gap shown on the map is much wider than reality. I'm not sure if there's a remedy for this, especially at the 1:10 scale. But at 1:5, mapped to ISSOM standard, I think this could be a really fun place to orienteer!
2) No pre-printed maps. For sprints especially, I guess I'd prefer not to copy my own maps and having the extra time to look at the course. The other problem is the readability of the course on the map. Both courses kind of make a loop, utilizing the rocks all around. Often times, the leg lines and circles are obscured by the dense black on the map. I'm sure if I had a brighter red ink pen to draw my course it'd be better. The red ballpoint pens just don't cut it in this case.
Lastly, it's a shame this event isn't a part of the Sprint Series - not that I can earn any more points as I've pretty much maxed out my potential already. I didn't find out the reasons behind not being part of SS, but I did talk to Steve about doing that in the future. All the work (course setting, results tabulating, etc.) are already being done. The only thing left is submitting it for inclusion on the SS schedule, and viola, instant points for club members who do the sprints. This could get enough people interested to attend the SS Final and form a club relay team for the Relay Champs. But this isn't my club so it's really not my place to say stuff. Think I've written quite enough already.
I don't want to sound overly critical, because I really had a fun time out there, and would gladly go back for another event.