Orienteering race 54:51  *** 3.59 km (15:17 / km) +130m 12:56 / km
shoes: Adidas Tri-Star Cleats ($35)
Stanbery Park, Cincinnati. Brown course. Our current map at Stanbery isn't very good. Vladimir Z. is re-mapping it, but it won't be completed until after his next visit this fall. Greg Sack was the setter, and I thought he made good use of the map to set some reasonably interesting legs.
Control 8 on Brown was placed in a very complex area of the terrain, and the problem with that is the map doesn't show the complexity. It was placed significantly out of the circle (we believe), and a lot of people wasted time here. I had heard about it, so I was just going to make a pass up the hillside and then back down to the trail and not spend time looking. I basically stumbled on it at 13 minutes (for the leg), and that was the best time I heard anyone quote.
It was quite difficult orienteering because as bad as the contours were, they were the only reliable way I found to navigate. Sometimes it meant interpreting tiny squiggles and making big decisions based on dodgy data. I'm really looking forward to that new map.
The one complaint I mentioned (nicely I hope) to the course setter was that his control locations used vague locations like reentrant or spur or stream when the feature in question was very long or very broad. I only use a description like "reentrant" when the feature is, I don't know---maybe smaller than a circle, but still small enough to see the whole thing when you're standing there. I attempt to use a control description that defines as much as possible a specific point. I try to reread the IOF Control Description guide before a big course setting task, although I didn't this year. (I'd class that as a big mistake.)
Obviously, defining a "point" isn't possible with many control descriptions. Reentrant upper part, for example. Ditch SE-end ought to be much more point-like than "upper part".
One thing I've noticed by looking at maps and then going out to the actual place is that there are certain control descriptions that are more likely to be usable than others. Reentrant or Stream junctions are almost always there, although you sometimes can't detect if there are several in the circle. My usual process is to pick a likely spot on the map, but to not write the control description until I actually visit that area on the ground.