Putting out the last 5 controls, with a sense of purpose.
The meet went well, good turnout, and my courses were well-received. No real complaints, despite two "groaner" course setter moments (more about those in a sec). Melissa was the reluctant meet director, but she did great and was better prepared than most. Jesse held the fort during the initial registration rush and I think she was a bit surprised by the early morning assault. She survived and was able to then go and complete a brown course, so I'd say she's totally One Of Us now.
I learned two very important course setting lessons today. Both of them are embarrassing and could have been prevented had I not pushed off some of the work to the last minute. Fortunately, no one was upset and I attempted to graciously admit my mistakes as soon as they were discovered. In fact, it was such a non-issue that I considered just ignoring them and pretending that everything had gone perfectly, but I think they are worth sharing and remembering.
1. White course
planning. I finalized the white course on Saturday morning, on my computer, just before printing. This is, of course, stupid, though I had visited all of the locations. I had not, however, ever actually gone around the white course as it was planned. Looking at the course, one might think that the slightly non-white legs of 3-4 and 4-5 would be the problem. But those were just fine, and some parents with white course kids especially enjoyed those legs. The problem was actually going from 1 to 2, where several people continued up the wash rather than on the trail as it branched off. There was an orange control in the wash, just a bit past white #3, and many of the white runners punched it, thinking it was 2, and then continued on in the direction towards "3". The unfortunate thing is that you can go a really long way in that direction, and some people did. Unbelievably, everyone came back smiling, even when they hadn't found all of the controls, and I was able to explain what had likely caused the confusion. A learning experience for all. Even so, it is really no fun to have DNFs on white, especially when a few streamers or a control flag or some explanation during the beginners clinic (which I gave) would have prevented them. Plus, I made the white really short so that adults could then go out on yellow... but those who were out over an hour on white weren't about to then embark on a yellow course.
2. Transcribing field notes to OCAD. The streamer and flag for Red
#8 (also Brown #7 and Yellow #3) were exactly where I had placed the circle on the paper map I had with me when I was streamering. I'm looking at it right now, and I'm really annoyed that the circle on the printed maps is upstream, aside the next stream junction up. Thankfully the visibility is very high there and no one had any problems finding the control. A few people saved a bit of time because they popped out right in front of it, and a few people lost time because they went straight to where the circle is. But it is really silly that I just clicked the wrong spot and never checked.
Anyway, those are today's lessons. I will consider myself schooled.