Here it is, folks! The entries for the first biennial Aston Mountain course design contest!
We had 5 entries, all of which I think have used the terrain in excellent ways. Several of the candidates provided control descriptions that I have removed because not everyone had them. I will be using them when I go out to train on these courses.
Edit: We just received a late entry to the contest (Entry F). I've allowed it because it only means the entry will receive fewer votes and because, well, why the hell not?
If you'd like to make any comments about the courses, feel free to comment on my log.
I like this training method because I get to do the first few controls with daylight to get my confidence up. And slowly the course gets more and more technically challenging. I'm only using a 250 lumen headlamp for these courses because I want to work in low-viz conditions. For night-o races I can use a stronger lamp.
Each mistake was due to going off my bearing and misjudging the distance. This is in part due to the rocky ground and blueberry distracting me from the map. But that just means I need to have an even more conscious focus on reading the map and checking the compass.
I lost the flow completely at 11. So I took a few minutes to breathe and refocus. That worked pretty well.
An unfortunate chain of events led to today being an unplanned rest day. Double tomorrow to make up for it.
Running40:01  6.74 km (5:56 / km) +203m5:09 / km
Edit: Got it together and went out, because no one ever reached their goals by making excuses.
Tough to get the motivation up for even an easy run alone in the cold, dark night, especially after a long day of work. But I put my clothes on, grabbed my headlamp and the ZMR simulation, and stepped out the door.
Just signed up for M-Elite at the Maximus Orienteering Meeting west of Madrid in mid-February. There's currently 78 foreign competitors in the M-E Class, and 1 Spanish competitor. Most Spanish orienteers don't sign up until a week before the event. So there should be about 40 to 50 more people signing up before the actual event.
Running46:45  7.68 km (6:05 / km) +321m5:02 / km
Drove out to Crystal Lake Ski Center today, but the final hill was way too icy. My car started to slide back while I was accelerating. While I was stuck, a pickup came sliding down the hill and just missed me.
So I said screw this. Went back to the church further down the hill, parked the car, and ran the rest of the way in.
Skate ski1:46:33  9.76 km (10:55 / km) +201m9:54 / km
They had just enough snow to make skiing possible, but, in their words, the trails were rolled, not packed. I was digging in for a lot of this. There was also a lot of uphill, but I did say I wanted to practice. So I can't complain.
Really cool trails actually and it looks like it could be a fun place for orienteering in warmer weather.
Running45:35  7.94 km (5:44 / km) +150m5:15 / km
Very glad I didn't try to drive up. I probably could have made it up the hill, but the downhill is what concerned me.
This concern was validated when I saw an SUV in a ditch just off the road while running down. And it wasn't there when I ran up.
Rough Translation of some good advice received in Spain.
TEN BASIC MENTAL ASPECTS OF ORIENTEERING 1. Your SELF-ESTEEM does not matter to others, only your results. Value your effort whenever you do things well and whatever the result may be. 2. If you make a MISTAKE of any type, it is not anyone else’s fault, only yours. Learn from them and apply what you have learned. 3. FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND, not on the result. If you improve these tasks, the results will come by themselves. 4. The relationship between training and results is not always fair. GET USED TO IT. 5. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE anyone. Everyone can beat you. 6. If you always do the same thing, you will make the same mistakes. DO NOT STOP LEARNING, EVEN WHEN YOU WIN. 7. Always do your own orienteering in races. DO NOT THINK ABOUT OTHERS. 8. You are the one who best knows how to do your best. SELF-CONFIDENCE. 9. You must always THINK POSITIVELY. 10. Have fun training and competing. MOTIVATION is fundamental.