Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Friday, August 07, 2009

What makes a race frustrating?


Reading some logs at Attackpoint I was struck by how frustrated orienteers can get when they have a frustrating run. And that begged the question - what makes a race frustrating?

It seems like certain kinds of mistakes are more frustrating. Say you make a 1 minute mistake, it'll be more frustruating if you're:

1. Repeating a mistake you've made in previous races, especially if you've taken some steps to eliminate them.

2. Making a mistake at a race you planned (or hoped) to do well at.

3. Making a mistake on the first control.

4. Making a simple mistake - like doing a 180 out of a control or turning the wrong direction on a trail.

5. Making a mistake when you saw another runner or when you were aware that another runner saw you.

I've wondered about which is more frustrating - to have 4 mistakes of 1 minute each or to have 1 mistake of 4 minutes. I'm not sure. I'd be more frustrated with myself for the 4 small mistakes than the 1 big one. But I'm not really sure that generalizes to other orienteers.

I suspect there is some added frustration when the conditions are unexpected. If you expected the forest to be open and it turned out to be thick, you'd be more likely to have a frustrating race. If you expected the sprint terrain to be urban and it turns out to be forested, you'd be more likely to have a frustrating race.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:37 PM


One 4 minute mistake would frustrate me more than 4 1 minute mistakes. While I get frustrated at my own failures, the most frustrating thing for me is annoying course setting.
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