in Ramenki. An open park, perfect sprint terrain. The usual night score-O, no pre-planning, starting with the rest of the people as soon as your turn comes to punch the start unit.
The highlight of the course was a playground castle with controls
on two of its three levels (there were three blow-ups of the three levels). It wasn't really possible to figure things out from these blow-ups, so my impression was that most people just got there and poked around the castle trying to see the obvious passages. I approached it and of course there was a solid wall from my direction of approach, and I had to go halfway around to get in. Once I found the first-level control, I took the first stairs I saw to the second floor, and then stopped to read the map and found the second-floor control. It would have seemed to me that the faster way was to get the second-floor control first, given the available entrance and exit directions, but from looking at the splits I saw that most people did what I did, evidently figuring it out as they saw it.
I started just after Oleg and he caught up with me on the way to my first control because he chose to get another control first. So, from there I left the planning to him, opting to follow and see how far I'd get. It was not difficult to keep up, most likely because Oleg just came back from a week of skiing in Finland. On this particular route, however, I should have taken Control 40 after Control 49, leaving #47 to be had between Controls 38 and 49. That's where Oleg headed, to #40, but I let him go as I trotted off to #47. After I got the castle, I headed off to #38, trying to S-curve the remaining controls, but then discovered that I had already got #47, so the S-curve had a gap in it. I turned around and went to #32. My revised plan yielded a longish leg, 38–48, and I thought that the resulting route must have really sucked.
After the finish I could see that the route with 47 taken in proper order (looking like a Cyrillic YA) was indeed a good one. Another good route, I thought, was to start and end the same way but to take the central controls in a U (45–41–43–...–40–46–49).
When I saw the split analysis
, it turned out that the best route was something quite different altogether. Only one person out of about 100 starters got it. The U route, at 18:08 Superman time and with 3 takers, was some 36 seconds slower than the best sequence at 17:32 Superman. The YA route, with 4 takers, was 18:13, and the one I ended up covering wasn't that bad at all, at 18:36 Supertime. I was the only one who opted for that particular sequence.