O Log - Blame it on the Rain

[27-Aug-04] 

    Here is my Croeso '04, M35 Day 1 map.

    Here is my Croeso '04, M35 Day 2 map.

    These maps are both pretty much the same, technically and physically. I had good runs both days, tho was a touch sloppy day 1 (1-2 minutes lost). I thought they were very easy, in spite of the couple of small mistakes day 1.

    It is interesting then, that relative to the field, my result was so much better day 2 (by about 8% by various measures). It is as if most of the rest of the field had some sorts of problems day 2, and I didn't. My time lost on day 1 doesn't account for this difference.

    Since I was too lazy to look at the splits to see if everyone else had one big boom, I blamed it on the rain. It rained pretty hard before I started, stopped for my start, remained clear for my race, then started raining hard again after I finished. It was a four hour start window, so most of the rest of the field had to deal with at least some rain, if not their whole race in miserable weather.

    So, if the lack of rain were the sole cause of my relative success, it seems to come to about a 5% performance penalty. That seems really high; not what I'd expect. I wonder if any studies have been done on this in running races? I guess it would be more of a factor in O. Since there is not alot you can do about the weather, I'm not sure why I'm interested in this, except that more and more of these races are allowing start e-punching, and are getting pretty liberal with when you can show up to start. Thus, a runner can possibly gain an advantage by successfully predicting how the weather will unfold, or simply by waiting out a storm and being "late" to start. Just one of my many potential arguments against start punching.

    Day 2, leg 12

    On an unrelated note, leg 12 on day 2 is something I don't recall seeing much of before, a veg boundary in rough open like that. Turned out to be quite significant, as the grass on the hilltop side was much worse to run in than that enclosed by the veg boundary.

    I was happy to have noticed and taken advantage of this, and thought it was cool. It was odd tho, as on the rest of the map, the easier run grass was mapped with the darker yellow, and harder stuff tended to be mapped as marsh. I guess this grass was a grade between the pasture land and the really rough moorland stuff. But I wonder if this is the right way to map it, as runnabiliity is affected, and you can't tell from the map which zone is better (well, you can if you've done alot of moorland running and know how it works, but O is supposed to be fair for people who have never been in a terrain type before). I don't remember veg boundary used to map runnabiliity between the same type of veg. Had the leg been set differently, it could affect route planning. But using the slash symbol would have been too strong a statement, so I guess the mapper made the best choice. I guess for me, one of the most interesting aspects of O is geeking out about the information loss between reality and symbology, and how it is handled by both mappers and runners.

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