25 Days of SARTember, Day 14
The countdown is now more than half over, and we've been remiss to this point in not wrapping up our discussion of maps. So, to finish it off we have Shoreview Park/Shoreline CC (old very ISOM map here
; RG from last winter's event here
), which will be the venue for the SART semifinals and finals. As we see at a glance, the park portion is fairly hilly, and predominantly green - and this is true PNW green, where the darkest shade is often literally impassable, and traveling cross-country is generally inadvisable at best. As such, courses here end up being 80-90% trail running - not so interesting for traditional forest orienteering purposes. However, a sprint course, if it were so inclined, could certainly pick and choose areas of faster woods and more engaging topography.
The map also encompasses the campus of Shoreline Community College, which provides a separate challenge to the enterprising sprinter, and it is in this area of the venue that we can expect the SART courses to be focused. While not large, and a more conventional college campus than North Seattle College, Shoreline does offer a modicum of complexity. The current map does the campus little justice; the ISSOM map will be such an improvement as to be unrecognizable as the same venue.
Specifically, SCC offers five or six multi-level buildings that will likely be represented with the traditional canopy symbol. The campus also offers one fairly unique feature - a network of raised concrete walkways with metal railings which are usually just one or two feet above the ground and as such can either impede (but not prevent) or aid passage, depending on circumstances. Our sources say the railings on these walkways will be mapped as passable fences. Still, it hurts when you run into them, and at minimum you will need to stop running for several seconds to cross a railing from a walkway down to the ground or vice versa. On the current ISOM map, many of the trails we see going to, from, and between the buildings are in reality concrete walkways. Do not fight the walkways; they are your friend if you can harness their power.
Overall, we foresee the main challenges at Shoreview/Shoreline being the quick mental and physical transitions from forest to urban racing and back; in the woods, deciding when to take the trails and when to "go straight;" in the campus, usng the walkways to best effect. We also have it on good authority that the final race will likely be FORKED, with five separate courses for each of the five runners in each heat. Beware of following and of mispunches.