Hiking 3:00:00  10.0 mi (18:00 / mi)
Don't know how to log this - hanging, checking, watching, collecting at Falkirk.
SprintScotland Race 3
Well, I was never going to turn down the chance to plan a WRE. Hallglen is one of the best sprint areas around and so it was disappointing that we had to use the town centre.
The area is about quarter square km, essentially defined by the inner ring road. It was obviously going to be a challenge to squeeze the distance in. Various ideas can and went - starting west or south of the ring road would need a timed-out crossing which I didn't consider, although Jon X managed it well yesterday. Dollar park NW of the centre looked a possibility until the council told us their offices would be a building site, leaving a long dead section. Other early drafts cutting through shopping centres or the Asda underground carpark not nixed as too risky. With 2 weeks to go, I'd hoped to put the mens #2 in the churchyard. then the ever-changing building works in Newmarket St meant we couldn't risk crossing that either. Not much was left.
So I was pleased to find the 2 mins arc on the edge of the map around Asda, ducking in and out of the foliage. This seemed to produce many small misses in the 5sec range, and hopefully made it hard to setting into a rhythm. 4-5 was a nice route choice (pretty balanced between several options). The discovery that the bus stops has been moved here meant a late addition of OOB. Some may have been confused why a perfectly normal bit of pavement
was OOB, for anyone arriving as a bus disgorged its contents it would have been obvious. The underpass-overpass railway loop was included for variety, with lots of sharp turns to challenge maintaining the pace, surprising to see some mistakes on the bridge crossing 5-6. Then a route choice leg which in its early incarnation crossed the whole map NS (181-195ish), but one Newmarket St became no-go had to be broken down. The wriggling in alleys south of the High St. felt like proper quality city-centre nav, and the disused bus station added a post-apocalyptic feel before a return wriggle in the alleys.
MO won by Henry McNulty in 1345, a quality redemption after not qualifying for the KO sprint. WO went to Laura Robertson in 1508, completing an Antipodean clean sweep. The trimming of the men's course #2 meant the women's was likely to run longer, but I'm going to blame the trimming of the whole WOC2022 team from the start list for being over 15.
On review, there were no decisive routechoice legs, but lots of opportunity for 5sec errors. Hopefully enough breaking up of running to make the more "procedural" sections hard to run cleanly without hesitation. I'm looking forward to planning on a decent sized area (but euromeeting is even smaller, heigh-ho).
The public races got up to Hallglen. I could have worked harder on those courses, but Hallglen is so tricky I felt the first thing out of the box would work. Callander Park was conveniently so overgrown that it was easy to set courses which stayed on the paths. I expected the relative simplicity of the map, plus the speed of downhill running, would catch many out. It did mean a long walk to the start, but we sorted potential mitigation for driving full cars to and fro, and putting the 12s on the elite start so that seemed acceptable.
Anyone reading this far can get the acknowledgements. Lots of people but especially Peds for the excellent mapping, calm organisation and extensive background liaison. MPA has moved to paying its organisers, and its a complete bargain.
It was possible to look across the road from the prestart to see WO go left and MO go right, though not the actual flag. Very satisfying to see the gawpers miss the control!
Two controls on "top of fence/wall". This should mean you can punch from either side, even if the wall is uncrossable. Should have said so in the bulletin. Unfortunately some carwash action made the south (higher) side to 199 less accessible.
Start list was meant to have women-only for the last 10mins. Don't know what went wrong, but especially after early MO changed to be the same as WO it was non-ideal starting faster women with not-fastest men.
Barriers; Not generally a fan, but transformative for this area, but do rather force all the courses to be similar. Also, what works on the way outs doesn't the way back. I wonder if one could have different barriers on each side of a map flip, policed on the ground to be unidirectional.
People think there's a difference between "Mandatory passage through out of bounds area" and an out of bounds area with only one way through. Not quite sure what it is - I think you have to take the red line to the mandatory passage, but not the unique way through.