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Discussion: Results

in: 2014 US Classic Championships (Aug 9–10, 2014 - Lake George, CO, US)

Aug 9, 2014 11:54 PM # 
Provisional day 1 results can be found here, and splits can be found here.
Aug 10, 2014 1:18 AM # 
Thanks for posting so quickly, John!
Aug 10, 2014 7:51 PM # 
Mikell Platt and Sandra Lauenstein are the 2014 M/F 21 Champions.
Aug 10, 2014 9:52 PM # 
Yes Swampfox and Sandra! Incroyable!
Aug 10, 2014 9:57 PM # 
Nice job, champions! Sandra coming home to win in her old stomping gounds... rock and roll never forgets :)

Any info on the rest of the podium??
Aug 10, 2014 9:59 PM # 
Sergy Z was second; I think Angelica took a medal. That's all I can remember.
Aug 10, 2014 10:01 PM # 
I believe it was Platt, Zhyk, and Baird in M21, and Lauenstein, Popova, and Riley in F21. A big-time comeback for Swampfox.
Aug 10, 2014 10:02 PM # 
The times in M21 were close. I think 4th through 6th were Boris, Ian, and Wyatt, but not 100% sure.
Aug 10, 2014 10:04 PM # 
Ooh, excellent. thanks for the speedy replies.
Aug 11, 2014 2:21 AM # 
To save any more suspense, final results can be found here and day 2 splits here.
Aug 11, 2014 4:47 PM # 
Swampfox finished only six seconds behind Marc Lauenstein yesterday. Amazing!

p.s. If anyone has event photos I can share on RMOC's page, please let me know -- "".
Aug 11, 2014 6:11 PM # 
Attackpoint splits are now posted for Day 1 & Day 2.

THANK YOU to johncrowther (and vmeyer) for sending me the files. :-)
Aug 12, 2014 12:13 AM # 
M-21+ winners: Graham, Marc, Mikell (Sergei Zhyk not pictured). Photo by Robert Leach. Stay tuned for full gallery...

Aug 12, 2014 12:15 AM # 
F-21+ winners, Angelica (5th overall / 3rd US) & Sandra (2nd overall / 1st US). Photo by Robert Leach.

Aug 12, 2014 12:21 AM # 
Winner of F90+, RMOC member Betty Bramhall:


Photo by Robert Leach.
Aug 12, 2014 3:48 AM # 
Thanks RMOC for a great event, and Sharon for a fantastic trail O!
Aug 12, 2014 5:55 AM # 
Overall results are now posted at
Aug 12, 2014 2:15 PM # 
Will you be posting the courses?
Aug 12, 2014 2:19 PM # 
JP Lande is working on RouteGadget -- but he's also on his way to Norway. He has the XML files for results and courses, but he needs to get the map images in order to complete the set-up...
Aug 12, 2014 2:45 PM # 
Excellent. Also hoping to see the trail O results and analysis at some point.
Aug 12, 2014 2:54 PM # 
Trail-O results will be posted when Sharon sends them to me, and she has already indicated that that might be after this weekend's ROGAINE.
Aug 12, 2014 5:10 PM # 
Betty Bramhall is my idol.
Aug 12, 2014 5:26 PM # 
Betty looks ready to go out again! I want to be like her when I'm her age. Orienteering keeps you young, right?
Aug 12, 2014 6:41 PM # 
Sharon is ahead of schedule with the Trail-O results! They're now posted at

Sharon's Trail-O photos are posted at
Aug 12, 2014 6:44 PM # 
Also, you can find the full set of Robert Leach's Day 2 photos at
Aug 13, 2014 1:42 AM # 
Cell Phone O' Results
August 8, US Olympic Training Center

1 26:00 Mike Minium and Sam Kelsch
2 27:00 Riley Boys (AJ and Wyatt)
3 36:00 no name on card
4 40:00 Half Ast Asleep (Sue Kuestner and Gavin Wyatt-Mair)
5 44:00 Thomas Laraia and Ben Langton
5 44:00 Winston / Crowther
7 45:00 Janet and Glen
8 62:00 Minium's Minions (Jamie Reeder and Alex Yancey)
half course plus Team Meta 4
half course 27:00 Sweaty Pres
dnf Team Peet (or perhaps "Feet" or "Peez")
Aug 13, 2014 7:30 PM # 
NOTE: Sharon sent me a revised set of Trail-O results last night. I'm not sure what's different, but the new info is posted at .
Aug 13, 2014 7:34 PM # 
There were originally two people with .5 as part of their total score. Looks like Clare is the only one now.
Aug 14, 2014 12:00 AM # 
Gosh darn
Aug 15, 2014 1:34 AM # 
In future decisions to apply the penalty, I think the jury should also look at course statistics. Only 40% of competitors got that control right. The only regular (not counting timed) control with a lower percentage was one of the two that was thrown out. With such a low percentage getting it correct, I'd have to consider any protest of it reasonable.

Personally, although I got that control right, I wasn't real comfortable with it. The vegetation lines were not perfect; neither was the bearing from road junction through the single rock. And you could not be sure that the different vegetation exactly reflected the area mapped as marsh - you had to assume.

Not to be critical of the jurors -- I understand their reasoning -- but in reviewing their decision, (and not having read exactly how the protests were phrased, since I did not see those), I think I would have been much more inclined to penalize the other protests that were not upheld, than the one on number ten. For example 90% got number one correct. Yes a boulder was mismapped, but that boulder really was not (as the jury stated) relevant to the decision. Again, not having read what the protester said, that strikes me as a much less substantial protest than anything one could say about number ten.

And I might also have taken into account that Clare is a highly experienced international trail O competitor - not one who protests any little thing at the drop of a hat.

I understand the goal of the penalty is to reduce frivolous protests, but as young as trail O is in this country and as few opportunities as we have to practice it, the protest process is part of how we will learn and improve. I have to say that I am not convinced that the penalty process is a good one. If there has to be a penalty (and I'm not convinced there should be one at all), then I would much rather see a monetary protest fee than a score penalty, which could easily knock a top competitor down many places.
Aug 19, 2014 1:29 PM # 
Mike, have you seen an actual written report from the jury about their decisions? I would love to read it.

I have to respectfully disagree with much of Mike's post. The jury should not be biased by the results. The optimum situation is one where the jury knows as little as possible about the competition or the scores when they are making their decision. It should be based on the merits of the control in the field. There were controls at WTOC in Italy that were missed by more than 50% of the competitors, but it wasn't because they were poorly set or needed to be protested or thrown out. They were just hard.

I did go back out to #10 on Sunday and happened to be there at the same time as a juror. I got a chance to double-check what I had done the day before and determined that I had made a mistake. At least one of the bearings that I took as evidence, I apparently lined up wrong. It came out right on Sunday. That alone likely would have had me picking the correct answer. I don't necessarily agree with everything the juror said, but I support the jury process and believe they used due diligence in making their decisions. I knew that I was putting points on the line when I protested.

I support the penalty point rule. Mostly because standings are what is at stake when you protest in trail-0. If you win your protest, you improve your standing. If you make a bad protest, you should lose standing.

I'm not sure how the protest process helps us learn and improve any more than simply talking about things afterwards. You can do exactly the same thing without it affecting any results, and people do this a lot. Protests are what happens when people want it to affect the results. At least, this is usually how I think about it. At Colorado, I protested a little more than usual largely because I didn't know the results yet and hadn't talked to a lot of people because of the AGM.

The biggest problem with the point penalty is that it can be strategically manipulated. I put my neck out there by protesting everything that I felt merited it. Some others split their protests up to minimize their risk. Sharon and I had a brief discussion about ways to possibly counter this for the future.

After this year, I'm afraid I'm no longer on the list of top competitors who don't protest much. I think I've more than tripled the number of trail-O protests that I've ever written in just two events.
Aug 19, 2014 1:37 PM # 
The biggest problem with the point penalty is that it can be strategically manipulated. I put my neck out there by protesting everything that I felt merited it. Some others split their protests up to minimize their risk.

Comments like this reinforce the belief that Trail-O consists of a first round that consists of looking at controls, and a second round that consists of filing protests.

Incidentally, nice job by Marc Lauenstein for placing so well, considering that it was a last-minute decision for him to do the Trail-O just before it closed, toting his toddler around the course (he ran the Trail-O!). Especially since it was his first-ever Trail-O, and he wasn't even clear on what exactly it was. (This rounding out his M21 victory and his dominant win at Pikes Peak the following weekend -- quite a trip!)
Aug 19, 2014 2:48 PM # 
My belief is that a well-crafted protest needs time to mature.

I will not be embarking on my competitive trail-O exploits until I have spent many more weeks' effort amassing and honing a library of protests, suitable for any eventuality.
Aug 19, 2014 3:05 PM # 
Sure, those were pretty nice outings at the Classic Champs and Pikes Peak, but without doubt it will be Marc's scintillating triumphs at Devil's Claw and the Rocky Mountain Goat that people will be remarcing (sic) on decades from now! ; )
Aug 19, 2014 6:34 PM # 
Hear, hear! Marc, you are our hero. All are good, but Pikes Peak?! Wow.
Aug 19, 2014 6:49 PM # 
Regarding trail-O and protests:

How about having the members of the jury carefully examine the course before the competition? For each control, they would either agree that everything was correct, or else identify an issue with it and work with the course-settter to correct the issue.

Then after the competition, no protests would be permitted, because the jury (the people who would typically hear and rule on protests) would have already carefully examined each control, corrected any problems, and been satisfied that each control was correct.
Aug 19, 2014 7:17 PM # 
Here's an article about Marc's win at Pikes Peak:

Swiss dentist Marc Lauenstein rules America's Mountain, wins Pikes Peak Marathon
Aug 19, 2014 7:46 PM # 
What RLShadow said. The protest mechanism in any sport and even social system is created for exceptional cases when the sytem's order and rules can not handle that exceptional situation. When protests are turned into norm and accepted as a normal flow of the systems/sport, this means the system is broken.

I like Trail-O, got a US championships once :) (because I protested successfully of course), but the way each problem is defined it is impossible for the mappers and course designers to be precise enough to stand chance of 100s of nitpicking eyes staring at the problem for 10 , 20 or more minutes. It is just not reasonable to expect that the course designer spending even several hours per problem will stand the combined scrutiny of 20 - 30 or more hours spend looking at this problem.
Aug 19, 2014 7:57 PM # 
In the software development field that would be equivalent to using Exception Handling as your main procedural flow in your system. Guess how long a programmer will be on the job if they present such a thing to me.

In social systems that would be people and businesses suing each other as part of their daily live. Imagine going through your day and 1/3 of all interactions with businesses or people are fraudulent and you are entitled and welcomed to sue. And you are fine with that. On TV they are talking about opening drivetrough lawsuit processing stations ( that you are naturally excited about as it will improve your daily life).etc... etc... Aaaanyway.
Aug 19, 2014 7:58 PM # 
That is one of the best, succinct descriptions of the inherent tension inherent in this activity that I've ever seen. I couldn't have said it any better.
Aug 19, 2014 8:04 PM # 
Also...Jan Lande has posted both days on RouteGadget:

Day 1 --

Day 2 --
Aug 19, 2014 8:10 PM # 
One approach might be to restrict the input variability and the unknowns, which Trail O rules kind of touch on but at a rudimentary level
-Instead of a range of hundreds of feet of allowed viewing location have one, or two spots that are the official viewing locations. Then the problem is much more narrowly defined.
Second, create a list of techniques that are to be used to solve each problem(e.g. Bearing, distance from viewing station, distance from X feature, triangulation from two viewing stations, control description interpretation etc... etc... Again the course setter and the vetters will have exhaustive set of variables to deal and verify. Judgements on protests will be much more objective and if event is done with enough care, there might not even be much disagreement.
Aug 19, 2014 8:15 PM # 
Don't mind me, I am still recovering from another fringe orienteering event this weekend WRC and can't do much more than sit here on Attackpoint and rant. Anyone for a MTB-O training this weekend ;)
Aug 19, 2014 9:08 PM # 
j-man: That is one of the best, succinct descriptions of the inherent tension inherent in this activity that I've ever seen. I couldn't have said it any better.

I am honored by this coming from you :)
Aug 19, 2014 11:03 PM # 
Following on from bbrooke's earlier post, here is another article about Marc' Pikes Peak win (with a passing reference to Laramie Daze and the US Classic Championships).
Aug 19, 2014 11:13 PM # 
Thanks for the link John. Very nice mentions of orienteering.
Aug 19, 2014 11:24 PM # 
I think what RLShadow is describing is usually called "vetting". That happens in regular orienteering, but there's still an occasional need for a jury.
Aug 19, 2014 11:47 PM # 
There is vetting in Trail-O, but the nature of Trail-O creates more likelihood that the setter and vetter disagree. Controls should only be used if they do agree, but I don't think that's always how it happens.

The biggest issue affecting US Trail-O is that we generally have been setting Trail-O on substandard maps. It's typical that an ISOM map is blown up, the symbols are changed to ISSOM standard and then the course setter makes map adjustments based on the control sites. This just isn't adequate to support a Championship level course. We have enough people in this country with skill at Trail-O that the map needs to have more precision than this system results in. The maps should be fully field-checked for Trail-O at ISSOM scale.

Instead of a range of hundreds of feet of allowed viewing location have one, or two spots that are the official viewing locations. Then the problem is much more narrowly defined.
TempO is a great improvement because it does this. There is only one spot for each control and you have to solve quickly. This makes precision less important since speed will be the defining factor.

Rumor has it that one of the controls that was thrown out was not seen by the vetter.

Marc is an animal!
Aug 20, 2014 3:12 AM # 
I can't help but find it ironic that one of the most ardent proponents of the Trail-O protest penalty was its first victim. And as Chair of the Rules Committee, Clare could probably be considered an author.

I have alway been opposed to the penalty. However, if there is to be one, I agree with Mike that it should be waived unless the protest is pretty much without merit, or for excessive protesting. My view is basically that use of it should be the exception and not the rule.

I would be very interested in reading the jury's report, just to see their reasoning on imposing -- or, more precisely, not waiving -- the penalty on Clare. Since hers was not the only protest denied, but the only one penalized, absent an explanation it comes across as arbitrary.
Aug 20, 2014 4:21 AM # 
I'm not familiar with the details of how this works. Shouldn't the correct strategy be to write up the protest, then find somebody who did poorly and ask them to submit it? In fact, you could have a designated protester who intentionally gets everything wrong and is thereby available to protest anything as needed.
Aug 20, 2014 12:57 PM # 
The correct strategy is to get them all right and then laugh at the protesters.
Aug 20, 2014 1:36 PM # 
You should only get the points back if you have the nerve to protest yourself. Otherwise, presumably you are hunky-dory with the outcome as is. In that case, the penalty seems a-ok, and should be applied without regard to special circumstances.
Aug 20, 2014 1:41 PM # 
Is it possible to set trail-o controls that are incontrovertibly accurate, or does the nature of the sport require a control to be somewhat sketchy in order to be interesting and challenging enough to make people think and to separate the sheep from the goats? Does good course setting mean living on the edge?
Aug 20, 2014 3:26 PM # 
You should only get the points back if you have the nerve to protest yourself.

Doesn't a protest often result in the control being thrown out?
Aug 21, 2014 12:03 AM # 
I'm suggesting an alternative result for a protest, which would be everyone who signs on to the protest getting the point back if it's upheld, or being penalized otherwise.
Aug 21, 2014 12:21 AM # 
As Clare suggests, maps for Trail-O are the real issue. Because there is the ability to walk back and forth in Classic Trail-O, there are many viewing positions. The problem, therefore, is to make sure that the map is correct from all possible positions where one might be able to see flags and solve the problem. As the vetter of this event, I spent lots of time trying to correct the map so that it "worked" and the two controls that were thrown out were for mapping errors. The map that I started working with was a blown up version of a 1:15000 map. The map was great for foot-O but not to Trail-O standards. As the vetter, I looked at all the flags, all the controls but in two cases, the map changes weren't "proper" or complete and might have been if more time had been spent, but that would have probably been another day or two of work. Probably should have done it but I didn't have time or know beforehand that the map was unmodified from the 1:15000 version. I will suggest that the jury did yeoman's service and should be thanked profusely. (Luckily, the camp staff saved dinner for them, they were hungry when they returned!) Trail-O will always have problems associated with it because things have to be "perfect". At the WOC, one control was thrown out because a solution method not thought of by the course setters gave an erroneous answer because two things didn't line up. Although they were actually far from the flags and not the "obvious" solution method, the result that they gave was valid but not the answer found from the other places.

This discussion thread is closed.