Interesting. Having read your comments, when I looked at the course, I immediately said to myself "he missed #4", before looking at the splits. Which isn't to say that it wasn't okay, but that it wasn't hard to identify the tricky spot. This strikes me as a "new" sort of error, not because sprints are new, but because you more likely would have noticed if using a paper punchcard (at which point some people would have just given up).
Other comments: I think there's a good chance that on the way to #9, I would have gone through the start triangle backwards, and I wonder if anybody did that. Also, I had to stare at the map for a while before understanding the flagged route from the last control to the finish. Was there anything in the meet notes about that?
I think you're being punished for running M65.
Having set the courses, I will allow other people to say whether they were confused, but remember the assembly area is surrounded by the marked route from the last control to the finish, so the large amount of funnel tape and, for starters after the first 15 minutes, watching finishers finish, should give a clue. (Also I think it was clearer on the real course map than on this scan, which has the colors just slightly washed out in that area.)
The actual start line, incidentally, was southeast of 14, between the finish chute and the trees on the west edge of the finish chute, at the edge of the clearing, with a marked route to the triangle. The triangle on the map was just a triangle and a flag at the end of the marked route (not a mess of waiting runners that would be hard to cross).
I tried my best to keep people out of the start triangle from 8 to 9 by the large amount of tape they would need to cross to get there. One pre-runner did so, so we added more tape. ;) If you mean 9-10, it's a valid route choice, though not the optimal one. Judging by the tracking in the vegetation southwest of 9, I don't think more than a few people went that way.
The leg from 9 to 10 would be more balanced if 10 were pulled east a little, so that the south route is better (as is, I think the north route is a few seconds faster). I couldn't achieve this while keeping the courses legible. In addition, there are no features that runners on brown wouldn't see anyway.
Right, I meant 9-10. And being able to see the finish chute on the ground before the race makes a big difference.
9-10 was also on Green (as 10-11). I went S and around on the trail that way. Didn't consider the northern route.
I ran the the north route through the triangle..
As I told Will afterwards, I thought he did an excellent job with the sprint -- the courses, the flow around the arena, the announcing. All first class. The set-up at the arena worked really well. Maybe it's less evident from looking at the map, but if you were there....
I ran through the start triangle on that leg (equivalent of 9-10). It wasn't a problem at all, although not an optimal route.
I didn't think that the finish arena was confusing. Of course, it is beneficial to watch earlier starters negotiate things, but the marked routes made it clear enough.
I started early enough that I didn't see any runners come through the spectator control before I went out. But it was sufficient to read the course setter notes and see the flagging tape around the field. It was totally clear where we would be going even though the map didn't show the finish chute in detail. The logistics for all of Saturday were really well thought out.