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Discussion: Great Brook Farm NRE courses

in: Orienteering; General

May 24, 2022 12:26 AM # 
I greatly enjoyed the courses from this Sunday's NRE in Carlisle. I got to see parts of the venue that I hadn't seen before. My Green course had a notable aspect that was largely shared with other courses.

There were few, if any, places where the purple line crossed itself. None on Green, and maybe 1 or 2 total on all the other courses. How rare is that these days, now that we have electronic punching to ensure the controls get taken in order?

Would any better-travelled orienteers than I care to comment?
May 24, 2022 1:37 AM # 
I don't know anything about those particular courses but I am generally a big fan of 'crossover courses'.
Why? SI allows the course setter to incorporate the best legs possible into the courses. I set a lot of courses pre-SI and as you intimate a big consideration ruling out a lot of potentially good legs was that they might allow competitors to visit controls out of the prescribed order and not get caught 'cheating'. So anything in the old days that allowed a crossover would pretty well allow out of order punching. So goodbye to some potentially good legs.
Then, this should usually not be a consideration, but as one who stages 8-9 events per year and pretty well single-handedly sets out all the controls I very much appreciate that the crossover allows this aged course setter to hang the flags in a much more compact area and still have good courses.
The main consideration for course setting should be to set legs that not only require appropriate levels of navigation difficulty but also allow route choices in that navigation. Look around at what is being set in North America at local events these days (study route gadget) You will see a lot of courses being set where the legs are almost all 400-600 meters in length and another flag has been tied to a tree. Little consideration is given to the possibility of major route choices. And on you go until the required course length has been reached.
Give me a course with a couple of km long legs and a couple of good 'transportation' or 'set up' legs and I'm in orienteering heaven. Whether the purple lines cross over each other or not is, to me, irrelevant.
May 24, 2022 1:38 AM # 
I've run at GBF a lot of times. I agree that the green took us to some different parts of the map. It is a hard map for keeping advanced runners off the trails. The course setting did a great job of keeping us in the woods for significant stretches. I finished feeling like I had only a few trail running legs, with by far the majority requiring a focused brain and good navigation.
May 24, 2022 2:35 AM # 
In the days of pin punching, I never worried about people taking controls out of order.
May 24, 2022 3:27 AM # 

The long course at a recent minor event I set. I love SI. :D

(The competitors' map was actually split across three maps - a map flip and then a map exchange.)
May 24, 2022 4:04 PM # 
I found the orienteering enjoyable despite the heat, thicker woods and cobwebs.

I do wonder how much different it would have been a month ago and 40˚ cooler.

I was glad I decided on a red map after pre-running orange. I was pretty croaked by the heat after 2 hours in the woods.
May 24, 2022 8:05 PM # 
Juffy, that's a nice use of a smaller bit of terrain! Inspired to do something similar here.
May 24, 2022 9:13 PM # 
Ari, even a week ago it was much higher visibility. Still lots of deadfall in the area mapped light green, though - I really struggled to pick up any speed there during test runs. Definitely easier to run faster when it was cooler, but I still made technical errors - in fact, I think I came apart at the end of the Red because I was able to push so much earlier in the course. Brown, I just started out trying to run too fast.

Both my "reruns" for Red and Brown were morning runs.
May 24, 2022 9:47 PM # 
Wil there be Routegadget?
May 24, 2022 11:16 PM # 
Referring to Juffy's imaginative course, and assuming the map changes are at controls, is there a recognised standard for how to show the first control on the new map? Around here I don't think it is laid down, and we get some with a triangle and some with the numbered circle.
May 24, 2022 11:26 PM # 
Eric - Livelox is up and can be accessed from the Event Recap page -
May 25, 2022 12:43 AM # 
@gruver - Purple Pen does it by repeating the control circle/number if the flip/exchange is at a control, and a start triangle if not.

@Cristina - thank you! It seemed to go well on the day. The other fun quirk of this event was that the long course was added quite late in the process - one of our junior elites asked if there could be something longer than the 6km "long" course I'd planned.

The existing course was already doing two laps of the detail, so I simply added a map exchange at the final control and a third lap for the new-long course. This gave runners the option to change course at that exchange control, and either
- head to the finish and get a valid time on the H2, or
- grab the third map and do the H1.
It also meant people could compare splits between the H1 and H2 with AP's handy dandy common legs thing.

The other advantage was that control collection was an absolute doddle, I think we had everything in in about 30 minutes. :)

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