Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Friday, June 07, 2002

"Tatyana's Four Course Marathon"


Wednesday morning we ran "Tatyana’s Four Course Marathon."

The race is really four races. Tatyana designed four relatively short courses (1.8 km to 2.2 km). The end of each course was near the beginning of the next course.

Each course was run with a mass start. Each course starts an hour after the previous course. So, if you finish the first course in 30 minutes, you wait about 30 minutes for the next mass start.

You earn points in each race. Your place in the race equals your points. A win is worth one point. Second place is worth two points.

At the end of all four courses, you get to throw out your worst score and then add up your three scores. The lowest overall result wins.

Tatyana's race was a good way to train:

It works well when there are fairly big differences between the best and worst orienteers in a group. After each course, you re-group and start again.

You get four mass starts. So you have four chances to go too fast and really push your map reading to the limit. You have four chances to feel like you're in a relay race.

There is a lot of head-to-head racing. That makes you think about how you are orienteering a bit differently. Do you hang back a bit and wait for the leaders to boom? Do you lead the race and try to drop everyone? Do you stick with a competitor and try to out kick them on the last leg?

You get four chances to stand around at the finish, cheering on the people who finish after you and talking about the routes with other runners.

By basing the results on places rather than time (plus throwing out the worst result), the final outcome isn’t usually decided until the last of the four courses.

Andrew K. had a close race but took home the victory in the junior men.

Ashley S. won among the junior women (at least I think she did).

Johanna, Andreas and I had a tight race in the non-junior category.

We had a good race. On the first course, all three of us came together near the end. Andreas beat me and Johanna to the last control. In the second race, I found a control in a sketchy area relatively quickly and got a lead. Johanna caught me leaving the next to last control, but I beat her to the finish. Andreas turned and ankle and limped across the line in 5th. In the third course, Johanna and I were together three controls from the end. We took different routes and she gained two or three steps on me, which she held to the finish. Andreas walked around the course.

Going into the last course Johanna had six points and I had five. But, we were both getting tired.

Andreas surprised us by running well on the last course. In fact, he won. He out kicked Johanna on the run in. I was just behind them and was able to watch Andreas pull away.

Johanna's places were 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd. Dropping the 3rd place, Johanna had five points.

My places were 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Dropping the 3rd place, I had five points.

We had the same score. The first tiebreaker is the fourth result (the one that doesn't count). We still had the same score.

But, the final tiebreaker was place on the last course. Johanna beat me on the last course. Johanna won Tatyana's Four Course Marathon (She'll probably put the prize next to her Swedish Night O' Champ prize).

*Tatyana Svistun lives in (or near?) Dallas. She taught orienteering in St Petersburg before moving to the U.S. She helped with last year’s TJOC (and maybe prior TJOCs?).

posted by Michael | 2:23 PM


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