February 12, 2012

Two Q's do not make for a dull meet!

The Murray family reviews the map and controls.

The start table.
Let me begin by saying this:  I had no idea the control QQ would be so controversial.  While some found QQ and some did not, it was perhaps interesting to note that the most experienced orienteers had the most to say about this control - if they found it at all.

After picking up the control I would like to acknowledge Karin's comment that the control circle was not correctly placed on the map.  That was definitely one problem.  Another factor is that the map area of the stony ground isn't quite accurate in my humble opinion - it implies a fairly wide patch of ground north of the structure the circle is placed on, and from being there again I am quite sure it is not nearly so wide.  The stony ground narrows to a very small patch at that structure corner.  If I placed it in the center of the circle I know it would only be perhaps one foot from the road in real life.  As meet director I knew where I intended to place the control in a visual preview but confused this on the map circle in part because of the map detail.  I wanted it on the building corner just south of that structure - a corner that is very small on the map also - where a tree was convenient to hang it on and it would surely be out of sight from any casual passerby and well into the patch of stony ground requiring runners to slow down a little.

To make matters worse I was convinced this control was too easy.  I considered other options nearby but ultimately wanted to have a different kind of control location than the "usual rootstock on the river".  I also wanted to make it such that an orienteer would need to be nearly on the control to see it (as with many on this easy map), so I hung it low (but fully expanded from the ground up) and also selected a faded control to reduce the visibility.  To my eye it was more visible than other controls buried in various "thicket" controls, but Bill Leahy noted it blended into the surrounding colors of the stony ground.  All these small details meant that Sergey and John Murray did not find it at all, and other orienteers took well over a couple of minutes to find it themselves!  If this had been an A meet, I surely would have more serious negotiating to do.  I take the blame for this one - but it probably would not nearly have been as exciting a meet without it.

My concerns about passerby were well founded that day.  The control VA on the river island was placed for about five minutes when it was promptly picked up by a Greenbelt cleanup crew that started at 10:30.  Fortunately I was able to chase them down and restore the control before the meet ever got started!
Sergey's route, one of many nearly optimal possible choices.

NA well under the bridge - descriptions matter!
Despite the QQ control controversy and the looming clouds from the prior night's rain, I think everyone enjoyed the other micro challenges I set up within the map to find the least distance to all the controls and didn't get wet in the process.  I include Sergey's route choice here in scanned format for your review, but even today he remains not quite sure of the optimal combination for the MM-BB-WA-MA cluster (including other nearby controls), and that the QQ-FF-JA-MR combination could be done in more than one way with probably very little time difference.  Given the very short time to preview the map (30 seconds), the tight time window for most (40 minutes), and the varied possible ways of completing controls, almost everyone I talked to tackled the controls in different orders on both the large scale of the entire sequence or the smaller scale problem controls mentioned above.  The varied point values per control further complicated the options but I think most did not have time to consider this and rather went for as many as possible.  (For those paying close attention control JD was the only 30 pointer.)  In this regard I think I pulled off a meaningfully challenging Score course on a familiar map...
Christian, Tonja, and Alex keep their map oriented...
Welcome to the newcomers Christian Lybrook, Tonja, and Alex as the very first group to arrive, Avery Epperly who came to learn how to use his new compass, and the much less frequently seen Michael Murray (another son of John) who got all the controls just before control pickup started.  (He too felt that QQ could be discussed.)  We also had families go out after their racer came in to find their own fortunes.  I think I managed to avoid scaring anyone off of future meets.
Melanie punches control GG - who said we don't have woods?.

I report results below.  For recreational, there was no time limit other than being in by course close.  They are simply listed in order of their starting time and how many points they collected.  For the competitive class, there was a 40 minute time limit with each minute over being a 10 point penalty.  I would have liked to compare results if I subtracted out QQ from the total, but my note keeping was not quite detailed enough to verify everyone who found it.  At any rate you can all surmise for yourself.

Recreational (no time limit) Controls Points
Christian Lybrook, Tonja, Alex 11 160
Miles 12 150
Avery Epperly 10 140
Sam and Liam Murray 5 70
Michael Murray 22 300

Competitive (40 minute limit) Controls Points Time Final Points
Greg Davidson 22 300 39:24 300
Sergey Velichko 21 290 33:28 290
Ben Brock 20 280 38:20 280
Jay Morgan 20 280 40:07 280
Melanie Schuster 20 270 39:21 270
David Murray 20 270 40:09 270
Bill Leahy 19 260 41:08 250
John Murray 18 260 41:50 250
Karin Didisse 15 220 39:43 220
Russ Pilcher 11 150 40:00 150
Nikolai, Aleksi, and Emily Morgan 11 140 40:00 140
Todd Dinkleman (and Miles in stroller!) 12 150 43:25 120

Sergey finishes happy.
Special thank you's go to my co-director Dondi who helped take up a lot of slack at the start/finish table chaos (we will do it more efficiently next time in July!), Ellen for bringing much needed cup supplies and taking all the photos in this report, John Murray and Russ Pilcher who helped with control pickup (Russ also took all the meet supplies for next month), and Andy who got the maps to me in time.  As always putting on a meet is a team effort.

Join us next month as Russ Pilcher puts on his first Boise park meet in Ann Morrison Park!  He may have a few twists up his sleeve to keep us in practice.

Jeff Black
Meet Director

February 6, 2012

One Score to Run Them All

As we cruise into February and continue with our foot warming park meet series, it's only apt to have a little variety with a Score orienteering meet - where you nab as many controls as you can muster in any order with a fixed time limit.  Come on out to the slightly expanded and revised map of Julia Davis and BSU to test both your speed and mental agility - or just a nice walk in the park to see a few corners you might not have noticed before.

Date:  February 11, 2012
Time:  Starts from 11am -12:30pm, course closes at 2pm.
Cost:  $5, or free to club members (a perfect time to renew if you haven't done so already)
Map:  Julia Davis/BSU (meet by the Friendship Bridge)
Course:  Score (all levels)
Time limit:  TBD for competitive and recreational classes
Bring:  compass, your winter running shoes (yes, the geese are around), and warm clothes as needed, and of course a waiver if you like to be prepared in advance.

For those of you who liked Andy's bridge control last meet, there is a similar unsuspecting control (or two) for you.  See you Saturday!

Jeff Black
Meet Director

February 4, 2012

2-day B meet June 2-3 near Moses Lake and Fishtrap, WA

Hello, this is message from our friends across the border. Sergey

Cascade Orienteering Club (COC) and Eastern Washington Orienteering Club (EWOC ) will be doing a two day meet June 2-3, with a regular type course format (B meet) Saturday at Moses Lake (Patrick Nuss in charge), followed by a Goat/Kid at Fishtrap on Sunday (John Harback directing). More information will be available later at their web sites.