O Log - COC/Barebones

[23-Jul-05] 

    Click here for my Canadian Orienteering Champs '05, M21 Day 1 map.

    Click here for my Canadian Orienteering Champs '05, M21 Day 2 map.

    Click here for my Canadian Orienteering Champs '05, M21 Day 3 map.

    Click here for my Canadian Orienteering Champs '05, Sprint map.

    Click here for my Barebones '05, Sprint map.

    Click here for my Barebones '05, M21 Day 1 map.

    Click here for my Barebones '05, M21 Day 2 map.

    Click here for my Barebones '05, M21 Day 3 map.

    Canadian Orienteering Champs

    The COCs were in Williams Lake, BC, which seems (and is), far from everywhere. An 8 hour drive from the Vancouver airport. Pretty much the whole area was wilderness -- pine forest both managed and unmanaged, interspersed with large and small meadows filled with wildflowers. It was quite beautiful. Some mosquitoes, but not too bad. There looks to be enough good terrain up here to keep mappers busy for centuries, but alas, not a lot of orienteers in the area.

    I thought the terrain and maps, for the most part, where excellent. Terrain was a little rough on day 1, and the first half of day 2 was the most challenging technically, with runnability and viz a bit tough on the first half. The second half was more open and easier, as was all of day 3.

    I orienteered pretty well, especially on day 1, with just one problem were the terrain pushed me left on leg #10. I was content with my result. Day 2 I ran a cautious race thru the early difficult technical area, and aside from a inexplicable boom on #6, was fairly clean. Unfortunately, I never really adjusted to the easier second part of the course, and seemed pretty cautious and tentative thru that part also. Result was ok to decent. Day 3 I went out and decided I was going to be much more aggressive; 2 booms of unacceptable severity (#5 and #11); otherwise a fun fast clean race thru tremendous terrain. Both booms were a result of arrogance/aggressiveness when going in. Result was ok.

    It was such a pleasure to go 3 days without any mishung controls. Only problem was the map was wrong on the way to #6 on day 1, with a huge canyon of a reentrant paralleling the line all the way up the hill. I saw it and nervously ignored it, and hit the control; unfortunately other orienteers (much better than me) reported time loss due to confusion from this feature. Otherwise, maps were probably the best I've run on in Canada -- still a bit of over generalization in some cases on contour mapping, which seems typical of Canadian mapping for some reason, but still excellent. Other minor quibble seemed too many controls on days 2 and 3.

    But an excellent meet overall.

    Barebones

    Barebones was in the Deer Lake, Alberta, area. Quite a drive from Williams Lake, with route choice to go thru either Jasper or Banff. I went low as I wanted to visit Revelstoke on the way, which was a cute little town. I heard on the radio that they get 20m of snow there a year. That seems like a lot.

    Day 1 was at Beaver Lake (previous WC area); day 2 was on that bizarre prairie map that was used for APOC '02, and day 3 was on an exotic hoodoo/badlands area -- a kind of area I've never orienteered in, which, on a much smaller scale, reminds one of the Badlands/Teddy Roosevelt area of the Dakotas.

    Day 1 was a pretty good run, and my best placing of the trip (5th). I felt like 2 minutes of errors, but the splits showed 5, including route choice mistakes. That seems weird. It certainly didn't feel like 5 at all, but I was still happy. Went out aggressive and was able to move thru the forest pretty well, and felt like I was navigating well. Any problems were recovered quickly. Area was grassy, and I definitely benefited from elephant paths, which they say is worth about 3 minutes on a WOC classic distance course length, so I guess I benefited about 90 seconds from that. Was a fun area, but perhaps a bit too easy with all the large clearings, or at least would have been more interesting without them, allowing longer legs. Beautiful day, and first time I remember almost all of the forest being aspen.

    Day 2 was the best run of the trip, at a 6.5 min/k pace, with less than 30 seconds time lost, I suppose. Speed was king, so I dropped a couple of places but only by seconds. I don't know what to make of this area/map -- seems like the sort of place where if you get lost, you'll be lost for a month, but it also seems really easy (almost trivial) to keep contact. Perhaps that is a by product of extra concentration due to the high penalties for getting lost. Route choice doesn't seem an issue, as there are no major obstacles -- it seems to consist of find the clear fast areas at the micro level, tho I did lose time of route choice on #13 by not visualizing the costs of going left vs right correctly.

    The course setting seemed more enjoyable than last time at APOC. This seems the one map on the planet where you can compare your time per K to the previous time you ran there without regard to course setting differences. Last time ('02), I ran 6.91 min/k here, also being clean. Even tho I think my trail running speed has gotten slower in the past 3 years, I think my O speed has gotten faster. OTOH, it was around 37 degrees last time (but not humid), and 13 or so this time. I tend to think I'm not affect by heat too much, but perhaps it is more likely that my slower speed three years ago is explained by the heat, and an improvement in O speed is wishful thinking ...

    Day 3 was also a unique area, badlands and hoodoos on the side of a valley cut by the Red Deer river. I felt I orienteered pretty well, but was not happy with my time or result. I felt pretty fast despite it being the 6th day of racing, but I think my competition was recovering faster than I was.

    Route choice was also more of a key here, and I think I made too many gambles trying to cut thru the green, which was nastier than the other days. It was also more spread than mapped, and I was in it when I expected I'd be able to get around it, and it also seemed thicker when I thought I had the narrow ways picked out to cut thru. Could not find the mapped trails thru it.

    But moving up thru the badlands was interesting, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable course. Would have been downright dangerous, tho, had it been muddy, as the whole area was simply dried mud. #10 was top of a hoodoo, which was kinda cool -- not sure of my route choice on this leg -- was happy with it, but split shows otherwise ...

    Again, a pleasure to go three days without any mishung controls, and no real map (or other) problems that I can recall.

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