O Log - Central Park

[19-Mar-06] 

    Click here for my Central Park '06, M21-45 map.

    I've never been to Central Park, and an O race seemed as good as excuse as any. I would describe the race as a long sprint (10.7K), something I've always advocated, so that was cool.

    Problem was I had a tremendous amount of difficulty reading the map. Contours are barely visible, and all the detail around #9, a technical control, is unreadable. And while it is still sprint-like terrain, I like to use contours to simplify.

    I blew #1 because I didn't realise the north lines were at 45 degrees. Was going fine until I looked at my compass and thought I was going 45 degrees off, and "corrected" a bit until I noticed the big N arrow. #2 wasn't there when I was there; spent a ton of time looking over every cliff in the circle, and with such an easy control, it was obvious I was in the circle.

    Otherwise, not a bad race. Speed was a bit slow at 7.3 min/k (I was hoping for about 6), but the mitigating factors were the time lost verifying #2, and the long runs around the water features which probably are not in the measured distances. Also, crossing green fences was out of bounds; they were everywhere (and unmapped), and explain why I was running around what looks like obvious yellow to run across. Plus, the hard run yesterday, and the speed probably isn't as bad as it looks, but still not great.

    Fun event, but disappointed in terms of map legibility. I'll save my adventures on the Big Apple subway system for another day -- having taken public transit in more places than I can count, I'm not a total rube, but suffice it to say that the logic of taking a train uptown and then taking that same line from the same station back downtown doesn't seem to make sense to the NY subway planners. I think I ended up in the Hamptons before finally relocating ... (it actually was a requirement to go deep into Queens do get downtown 30 blocks, so I wasn't totally stupid).

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