For discussions on the technical elements of WOC.
So far they haven't been much in eveidence!
Well, the Middle could be termed 'technical' but only because of the green. The courses avoided more technical areas of the map such as the peninsula south of the first radio control and the steeper areas north & NE of the finish.
I was a little surprised, too, that that peninsula wasn't included - perhaps it was too difficult to fit it into a course of the required length and not compromise too much somewhere else (and the area after the bridge already provided some of that terrain type, although not as complex). Might also have been subject to flooding in a wetter year than this one?
Tech sheet states punch is registered if stick passes withing 50 cm at 40 km/h. That gives impression the actual range must be slightly larger. In addition, card seems to give feedback while it is within the range and 3 seconds after exiting from the range (not 3 seconds after registered punch) making feedback time longer.
So has anyone ever tried how far from the control stick needs to get to exit the range and to trigger that 3 sec countdown?
I've gotten a punch registered from 65cm... But you gotta remember that each SI box has to be set manually to the same range 30cm(IOF standard?). If you want, it is possible to set the SI box to register SI AIR from over 1meter but that should not be the case at WOC, hopefully.
Last time I tested (couple of years ago) A normal bsf7 or 8 unit generally has a horizontal range of 30cm and above the control that gets out to 50cm.
The distance that makes it stop signaling may be slightly longer. Depends how it detects proximity. Also how fast it detects it's not within the range any more probably affects how far one gets with feedback still on.
On the Middle courses, I was also surprised that the "peninsula" was not used, along with the simmo- referenced slope north of the finish. I can guess at a few more respectable reasons, but if it was a distance/time trade off for yet another mediocre spectator loop, well, that would be tough to swallow.
The design team certainly deserves credit for nailing the stated winning times, although I'm not sure that is a desirable trade off for technical character in THE event where that is most expected.
While the course may be lacking in expected Middle character, I do give them credit for finding a great series of conventional O legs, perfectly tuned, making the most of what the remaining terrain allowed.
Relay was better technically, with excellent course-setting, especially the forkings and the long leg near the end using a control site that might otherwise have been overlooked and not used for an elite event.
And there was even a patch of runnable forest in the first part of the long leg!
One of the first forking alternatives was half minute faster than the other two. I'd say an excellent course-setting is more equal.
According to the results, all variations were equal (4700 and 5700m). The first forking was obviously designed to break the field up right from the start, and I think it worked. There was a risk that the teams with that fork would gain a decisive break, but that didn't happen. To have 8 teams within a minute at the finish in the Men's race was a great achievement. The Women's race wasn't as close, but I don't think anyone expected the other teams to match the 2 strong ones.
The only leg that I thought might be better was the one after the arena run-through where most teams stayed on the path. For the brave ones that went over the hill it seems to have mostly paid off. If all three forks were moved a little NW it may have been less of a procession around the path.
Did you notice men's last leg how Latvia breaks away despite starting a bit behind simply for being the only team in the lead pack with that 30 sec faster forking? If you think that's great planing then you should ask what elites think about it.
Well, you could put that down to their first two leg runners having done exceptionally well to be in or just behind the lead pack at the second change! In a relay, all teams must eventually run the same course.
Thierry Gueorgiou: Too many times, during the last years, the forking has been unfair. I think one of the crucial thing is to make very “equal in time” forking. The controls don’t have to be so close that you can see all the time the runners you are running with. But you have to make sure, especially for the first leg, that a runner with a slower forking doesn’t get benefit to run behind the pack later on.
Jagge (and TG of course) are exactly right:
WOC relays have been determined far too many times by having unequal forking, in which case it is a huge advantage to have the long alternatives early so that the final runner can use the shortest alternative to break away.
The most classic example is probably Trondheim, since then SEAs and course planners have at least tried to make conditions as identical as possible for the last leg runners.
Agree with above, but mostly thanks Jagge for a great link I was not aware of.
I am glad to see the 2010 Middle Qual among the good examples, but even more so the 2010 Middle Final among the bad examples. I thought that I and the British runner who dared to call it "shitty" on the live PA, were the only ones complaining. Just to be clear, the course setters were not to blame. They did the best job possible. The responsibility seems to chronically reside in the positions above course setters.
This is why I'm curious to learn the Middle story here.
That is a great link. Thanks!
Yes, thanks for the link Jagge. However (with respect to TG) would relays be as interesting if all the forkings were equal? The top runners would just come together again after the forking. Jan Kocbach's analysis of the forkings
shows that there wasn't a lot of difference for those first forkings. Jan also refers to the pressure of a relay (as do comments
on Blair's log by former WOC runners Ecmo and robw).
Obviously there are two sides to the forking issue - there is awesome forking like at WOC 2015 ( http://news.worldofo.com/2015/08/06/woc-2015-relay...
) which goes out of its way to offer different challenges and split groups up on each gaffle. That one was pretty successful in also keeping things relatively even as well, which was some achievement.
Then there is the other view which is to favour head to head racing with minimal forking, mostly from the athletes point of view, but also from the spectators. This is especially important on the last leg, but anywhere really - if you are racing in a team environment in a mass start race, where first across the line is the winner, you want to know where you stand. Do you need to make a supreme effort to catch up? Do you dare forge a lead? Can you afford to wait for the sprint? All of those questions can be rendered irrelevant by an uneven fork.
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