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Discussion: Race format and map exchange

in: Crooked Compass Adventure Trek (Apr 6 - Thurmont, MD, US)

Apr 10, 2019 8:36 PM # 
The race format had similarities with SVO Stumble, described as

The Susquehanna Stumble is a Billygoat-inspired event with a couple of twists. The competitors run between most controls in normal sequential order, but occasionally enter a "window" where there are several controls which can be visited in any order.

At the 5 mandatory checkpoints, M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, participants are given a new map, same paper size but in smaller scale, with circles drawn on it denoting locations of optional controls, usually 4 to 6.

In other terms, this race very much like a SVO Stumble, with 5 "window" areas, with each "window" having a printed map on paper, available somewhere to the participant to get.

Looking at the 5 paper maps for the 5 "window" areas showing the optional checkpoints, here shown in yellow rectangles, noticed that the one retrieved at M5 is, in scale, almost as big as the master map given at start. Expected it to be in scale similar to the one gotten at M1-M4, more like the area bounded by the blue rectangle.

It would not have made any difference, as the detail in the master map and the individual "window" maps didn't differ, but just curious on how the M5 "window" map got to describe such a large area. Maybe as a safety, since it also included the area where the Finish is, thus ensuring the participant had a way to find its way to the finish, even if losing or missing the master map?

Apr 11, 2019 12:01 AM # 
Hi Sherpes,

The primary explanation: If you noticed, all supplemental "window" maps included the opening M-point. The last window's points were quite a distance from the M5 point. Mayer noted that it might have been nice to have the starting AND ending M points for each window on each supplemental map. Fair point. Obviously, we expected folks to move between the master and window maps, but especially for less confident navs, including the end M-point on each map might be a bit easier in the future.

THAT said, the third and 4th window maps would have ended up covering much more ground if we had done that, and we wanted the maps to be larger scale as some of the control circles would have been very close together or perhaps would have overlapped if we used smaller scale maps for the windows. Pros and cons either way...

As you know, every year is different, but if we use the windows again, we'll probably consider going M-M on the supplementary maps!
Apr 11, 2019 12:21 AM # 
I think not having the subsequent mandatory control point on the supplemental maps offered a nice additional navigational challenge. It forced you to plan the entire route through the “window” so the exit was efficient while dealing with two different scale maps (and to consider right away whether you would skip any of the optional controls in that window).

One difference between this format and the Stumble is that none of the window controls in the Stumble is optional. Of course you also have the entrance and exit controls shown without the scale difference challenge.
Apr 11, 2019 3:05 AM # 
Agreed. Not having a designated exit control is a good part of the race. Those having done the Stumble for many years often get ahead of faster but less experienced competitors that way. It's sometimes traded off or combined with planning for legs between chosen controls that maximize trail usage.
Apr 11, 2019 1:04 PM # 
I really enjoyed this format of getting maps with optional controls at each of the mandatory controls. I liked the fact that the additional maps had different scales and that you had to stay on your toes to adapt. Granted we skipped most of the optional controls but it was still fun to look at the maps and think about which ones were reasonable for us.
Apr 12, 2019 10:10 PM # 
I agree that it was a really fun format. I can see using a similar format for a regular orienteering event.
I enjoyed the different scales as well. Excellent organization too!

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