O Log - Scottish 6 Day Maps

[10-Aug-05] 

    Click here for my Scottish 6 Day, M35 Day 1 map.

    Click here for my Scottish 6 Day, M35 Day 2 map.

    Click here for my Scottish 6 Day, M35 Day 3 map.

    Click here for my Scottish Sprint Champs, Long Course map.

    Click here for my Scottish 6 Day, M35 Day 4 map.

    Click here for my Scottish 6 Day, M35 Day 5 map.

    Click here for my Scottish 6 Day, M35 Day 6 map.

    Day 1

    Orienteering with jetlag -- decided with so many controls this week, I absolutely was not going to boom the first one, and managed to anyway. Lost focus just 100m out, and was shaky on the first half of the course, booming #4 also when I misread the green.

    Terrain was brutal -- technical, with the typical Scottish lumpy footing of moss-covered stumps. In addition, there were tons of ankle-busting rocks, heather, bracken, and forestry slash. Sidehilling along that hillside in it while still trying to do technical orienteering was brutal, but I managed to limp thru at 10min/k and get my best or second best score of the week.

    I figured this would be my worst score at the time, seeing how slow and boomy I was, but I have always seemed to do better relatively in tough conditions. This was the toughest course of the week.

    I did see others moving thru the deep heather/bracken/rocky hillside at a rate faster than me, and was just amazed at how it was possible to move as they did. Elephant tracks probably would have been helpful; I had very early starts all 6 days, and all days elephant tracks would have helped mobility, so I took some of a hit in order to do the tourist thing with the family.

    Day 2

    I thought the day 2 map and course setting was the most interesting of the week; at least I found it the most enjoyable. Again typical managed Scottish forest with the lumpy stumps and brashings. First part of the course seemed very physical and technical, and I mowed thru it fairly well, and was having one of those special runs. I was passing people and quite pleased with myself. I found myself making quite good time thru the heather -- I decided to try high-stepping it alot, and found my quads were up to it. All those runs up Mt. Misery paying off.

    Unfortunately, it was not to be, as a series of circumstances derailed me on #13. 26 minutes on that leg. First, I decided to cut straight rather than take the trails, as I did not see the smaller trail. I felt the angle was too expensive on the larger trail. Second, the map was misleading -- the yellow on my planned route was mapped the same as fast pasture land they had shown us earlier on the course, but it turned out to me murderous heather that elsewhere was mapped as single-line slash. That wasn't fair, but I survived it without disastrous loss of time.

    The real problem was, that as I attacked the control, I saw this stone wall that I did not see on the map. I figured I had made a parallel error and was in the wrong sector. I kept trying to figure things out, kept relocating, re-attacking, etc., and I seemed to see features that made sense that I was near the control, but kept seeing that stupid wall.

    Turns out, of course, the wall is on the map, but parallel to the map edge. I never saw it because it looked too much like a mag north line, and my mind blots them out. I've written about this effect before -- I liken it to the drawing of the Necker cube which is simple reality that the mind continually post-processes for presentation (presentation to what is for another time ...) -- my mind post-processes things that look like mag north lines out of the picture. All very fascinating stuff except when it is costing you 22 minutes on a great run. More frustrating as I should have thought of this possibility at the time, as I was aware of this effect. Just never thought about it for stone walls, as opposed to roads.

    Its a shame, because I think the field was finding this the hardest day, at least based on field results, and I missed a great opportunity at a good score.

    Day 3

    I felt this was the easiest of the 6 days -- vis was good, as was runnability. Typical managed forest, open was heath in the lowlands, pasture/heath up on the hill -- somewhat Laramie like. Did well doing the high-step run thru the heath again. Climb was brutal on the course. Looks like some of the most interesting areas were in the out of bounds areas.

    Still managed a boom #3 when I was trying to run with someone who was faster rather than concentrate. Feel like such an amateur out there as I lost 3 minutes for no good reason.

    Highlight was #14-#15 where I made better time sliding down the hill on my butt rather than by running -- but the real point was that it was fun. Nylon O pants trump Spandex tights when you find yourself with the need to do this ...

    Overall, was outrun by the field pretty bad on this course.

    Sprint

    At a city park in Aberdeen. Got to orienteer thru a cool parkland garden area. As the family was touring gardens and castles throughout the week, I thought -- how cool would it be to orienteer thru these garden areas. Got my chance here, tho I think I would have set the course differently in the garden area.

    I got to the park 6 minutes before my start time, and to the start 3 minutes beforehand. Got stuck in downtown Aberdeen on the way to the venue, and lost a half hour. Changed into my gear in the car at traffic lights.

    You don't want to get to the start late and frazzled. Not only that, they moved my start up 2 minutes due to some snafu with the e-punch equipment, so I really only had one minute of prep. The map was in these really crappy hard to fold and deal with map cases, and for the first time in a race, I pulled the map out. I sweat like a pig, so this is usually not a good idea. No control descriptions on the map -- had a copy they just handed me single-pinned to my bib -- if this sweated off, I was cooked. Also, we were using Emit rather than SI as for the other races, and they didn't tell us this in the program, so I'm there with my SI card and end up running with both.

    All this lead to me not being so sharp, and I bobbled my way thru the course. Also, unfortunately, #15 was stolen. Interesting area, but race to forget. Leave plenty of time to get to the venue and get mentally prep'ed.

    Day 4

    Day 4 was an interesting mix of all sorts of different terrains. The first control was a real doosey, especially at 1:15. I found the terrain very physical thru and thru, especially the early rocky legs, and the legs thru the rough open scattered trees, which was a brutal, stumpy forestry area.

    Boomed #3, just a line or 2 high and never saw it. Mobility was awful, making it a high penalty boom of 3 minutes. Must be especially careful to attack hillside controls on the right line, especially in high-penalty terrain, and err on the low, rather than high side. Would be interested to know if my route on #7 is the best -- I'm a power rather than speed runner, and hills do not scare me, but the mobility of the forest on that hill was just brutal, so I am certain avoiding a climb of it was the right thing to do.

    I don't want to even write about what happened on #12. I simply was not orienteering well so far. (Actually, I thought I was orienteering really well except for a handful of stupid things, and while that sounds tautological, there is something to it).

    Day 5

    Finally get our act together and have a basically clean run. A little wobbly on #9, but that was about it. Was basically outrun, but scored well enough to secure another silver patch for overall 6 day scoring. Finished 16th, same as day 1, but with a worse score. Felt the course was fairly easy.

    Interesting that no one went to the start control. It was not on the route from where the maps were given to the first control. I was off on #1 by the corresponding distance, despite what I felt was corrective action on my part.

    Day 6

    Another good run on day 6. Another interesting mix of terrains. Forest was thinned enough and viz was good enough in many cases that some of the technical areas were easier than they looked. The exception is #8 which was a tough control.

    Running was physical in many cases due to lots of forestry brashings. Ran well, strong, and smart except on #11, where the \"narrow ride\" was actually a turnpike, and I lost focus. Then we follow with scaredy-cat route choice on #12, but after that, got back to a good, aggressive race. Another 16th place, and I think my best score of the week. Fun area, tho I would have set the course a bit differently, and tried to use some different areas.

    Summary

    Good maps, great organizations, forests seemed a bit more physical and less technical than the past 2 Scottish 6 Days. I felt course setting was under-achieved in places, or, at least there were some things I would have attempted differently -- but who am I, and of course they are dealing with a ton of constraints that I can not begin to imagine. Scottish 6 Says is still the best event I've been too, and 2007 looks great also. Would, however, prefer to get back to more of the technical moorland and less of the managed forest.

    Didn't orienteer particularly well, as evidenced by some of the stupid mistakes, but overall was better than two years ago, with 3 top 20s as opposed to 1 last time. Certainly my orienteering between the stupidity was better than the same 2 years ago.

Home