Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Some thoughts about last Saturday's prologue


When I was jogging around an old cornfield to warm up, I began to think about the race. Dick Luckerman set the course, so I asked myself, "what can I expect from a course Dick set?"

I thought about other events when Dick set the courses and remembered something useful. Dick likes to hide the markers. He likes to make it difficult to find the marker even when you're at the feature.

When I got to the first control, I didn't see the marker. I was standing at the ditch (here are my routes) I didn't see the flag. I knew I was at the right ditch. I noticed a cedar tree and guessed (correctly) that the marker might be tucked in the branches.

My expereince with the first control (and the fact that I'd anticipated having some markers "burried") prepared me to have to hunt a little for some other controls. Several of the other controls were hung low and/or out of the way. But, I was expecting that so it didn't threw me off.

Dealing with hidden markers is difficult. It is especially difficult if it isn't what you expect.

When I'm hanging markers for events, I make sure the bottom of the flag is one meter off the ground. I err on the side of making the marker "too easy" rather than risk hiding it. To me, orienteering isn't about hunting for a flag. But, not everyone agrees with me.

posted by Michael | 1:15 PM


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