It's time for our weekly (sort-of) course analysis, and this week we have a write-up by Wyatt Riley from Delaware Valley Orienteering Association (DVOA)'s local race on December 6, 2009 at Horseshoe Camp. Follow along as Wyatt does his best to try to capture DVOA's annual rankings crown at the final race of the season.
Here is Wyatt:
The race map is available on RouteGadget: http://www.dvoa.org/cgi/gadget/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=102&kieli=en
Select the Red course to see the course without any routes, and then choose "Wyatt Riley" and click "View routes" to see what Wyatt did.
The splits from this race are available here.
S-1: Before the race: - I was well behind Clem in the DVOA rankings, but not impossibly out of reach - theoretically a 115 point run - 16% faster than my average run relative to the rest of the field - could have gotten me past Clem, to take the 2009 DVOA Ranking Championships. This was also my first orienteering race since a foot injury at the US Champs - I had been running road races on the foot, and had tried some terrain, so I was hoping it would handle the run. An Active Ankle was added protection. And with an attitude that I needed a perfect run, I set off. See http://www.dvoa.org/cgi/gadget/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=102&kieli=en Upon flipping the map over, I saw that the control was through the 'maze' of trails and briar that I had seen on the map before, and talked to Vadim & Angelica about - I had never been there though. I aimed in the general direction and followed the paths of least resistance - keeping track of where I was going, and how far off the compass bearing I was leaning, and I eventually corrected back to the left, through a bit too much briar, whereupon I read the map enough to see I could get to a trail, then take that basically the rest of the way. Looked for the reentrant with respect to a small building or two, and knew I had the end of the hill and pool behind it as solid catching and relocation features so didn't slow down. Angelica found a better route out of the start going first left, then basically straight down a trail and won this split - ahead of both Clem & I.
1-2: A whole bunch of green on the line, and left around was the only real option, so I did that, with a bit of trail up front, the roughly following the edge of the green and the base of the hill, and looking for the relatively large reentrant to cross then look for the bag. Clem really flew on this - perhaps I was slowish along the edge of the green?
2-3: Decided that around left looked reasonable, and a lot easier than finding a way through the trails and briar on any straighter route. Exit climbed a bit to cut the corner - too far to try to avoid the climb. Read ahead on the flat along the water to note the various ditches, and the unique north pointing one to use as references on the way into the control, intentionally going in a bit high along the indistinct trail, partly to be sure, and partly because of unmapped veg. thickness. Clem again was quite fast - perhaps I could have run more aggressive, esp. in the flats - it was bumpy and perhaps I was being cautious due to the foot?
3-4: Followed the obvious exit route through the green to the large trail, then contoured in from there, intentionally doing the needed climb earlier to be closer to the building reference points.
4-5: Could have contoured, but didn't want to risk more green than necessary, so the hard bail up to the road, then fast road run was the way to go. Used tower on right to just distance on road, saw reentrant, and went in a bit late as the veg looked a bit better.
5-6: Bailed to the road, then pushed hard up the road. Decided to attack from the road as it began to curve, hard across spur, then contour in. Looking now, I probably could have used the power pole on the other side of the road as a more specific attack point, for a straighter attack in, while would've saved 5+ seconds.
6-7: Bailing to the road works, as the road is fast vs. the forest here. Trail crossing made for easy attack.
7-8: After some road running - where I knew I wasn't going to beat people by enough to get 115 points, I tried to push this one hard too on a bearing, but was too vague on the bearing, missing the large trail somehow and then turning left because I was getting too far. Suspected (correctly) that I was in the forest 'spur' - the veg being vague enough that the suspicious wasn't totally confident. Green near the end was bad to had to drop south, and wasn't super confident as I kept going east and eventually saw the bag as I turned the corner.
8-9: West to aim for the slot, which didn't exist, but fortunately I'd come in quite near there so backed out w/o too much loss.
9-10: Diagonal down - not super fast as it wasn't smooth enough, then a hard push across and up the hill, aiming for 'near the top of the spur' from where I'd contour in.
10-11: Considered going left to avoid the potentially green forest, but the attack from there was terrible, so straight in it was. Mostly rough compass and then contouring to the sharper spur, then rough direction down in and nailed it. Clem appparenetly nailed it too with exactly the same plan. Odd, as it would seem that plan might more easily miss by 10's of meters...
11-12: Running in medium green didn't seem like a fun option, and the L option seems like neutral on climb/distance vs. curving R, but with much more certainty, so L it was. Attack was easy past the pile of rocks.
12-13: Straight, using hill-slope and fence.
13-14: Contouring straight, climbing when needed to get around thick stuff in order to ascend the needed contour. Adjusted elevation of contouring based on wall bend.
14-15: Strongly considering diagonaling down the hill to the ruin and running back up the road, but the green near 11 hadn't been that bad, and the terrain was bumpy enough that I wouldn't get that much value out of the somewhat steep drop down to the ruin, vs. a more gentle contour/slight-drop toward the green. Keep my eyes scouting ahead, and managed to find a way through the clumpy green that wasn't too bad, only costing a bit of climb at the end to get around some thick stuff.
15-16: Decided to climb on the dirt road for better footing. Road was badly gouged and rocky, but I could still place my feet on solid rocks with almost every step, ensuring little loss of effort. Looked out toward the spur, and realized I'd need to contour in early to avoid the deeper part of the ditch, so did so then climbed.
16-17: Even the non-rocky slopes weren't esp. great downhill, so the left option was looking bad. Right wasn't good either, due to the 4 contours of climb you weren't going to get back, but that seemed the lesser of two evils, so right it was. Keeping in the relative flats away from the steep slope was useful for better footing, and the descent was reasonably fast. I had just passed Angelica (and apparently Alison too) at 16, so was pushing up the hill. Angelica was quick though, and a little hesitation checking my elevation as I went around the spur toward 17 was all it took for her to reel me back in a bit.
17-18: Pretty straight. Seemed to go over a slightly broader spur than the map suggest, but the compass was good, and eventually the hill pointed down. Note that some e-punch units between 13 and 18 probably weren't perfectly synced, as the splits in here don't make that much sense.
18-19: Hard as I could diagonal down to the road - bumpy but running aggressively as I knew I was near the end. Really hammered the road once I got there. And yet I was third on this split, behind Clem in 2nd, and Angelica (chasing me) in 1st...
19-20: Hammered down the road knowing there was nothing but physical effort needed here to get me a few more points, and to possible break 50... Eventually noticed that the end of the leg would require some eyes-open as the drop from the road to the field started quite steep, was much thornier than mapped.
20-21: Used the white & yellow - pretty pattern here... Ran straight to the pole, and was about to be alarmed at no bag on it when I was surprised to see the bag in the ditch to the side - oh.
21-22: One final hard climb as the possibility of sub 50 was hearilty destroyed by a bit of thick at the beginning, but mostly by the 35m of climb in this 'finish chute'. Navigated first perpendicular to contours, then along the paved road, which was good, because some buildings had changed, which threw off Clem. Overall, I was actually surprised to learn after I finished that Clem had shown up, and pleasantly surprised that I had nipped him by 2 minutes on the day. It wasn't quite enough however, so the DVOA rankings cup http://www.dvoa.org/rank/show_champs.php will go to Clem for 2009. For 2010, we'll both have our hands full, as Angelica & Karen have imported an apparently fast Swedish couple into our neighborhood...