Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

JWOC terrain


I spent a few minutes looking at some of the sample maps for the upcoming JWOC in Australia. You can see sample maps from the JWOC web page.

The terrain looks like a lot of fun. Take a look at Buckenderra South.

When I look at maps, I like to think about what sort of problems an orienteer will face. Looking at Buckenderra South, a few things jump to mind:

1. You could get caught up reading lots of details and running rock-feature-to-rock-feature. That'd work, but it'd be risky and a bit slow. Looking at the big contours under the black features would make the orienteering go a lot faster.

2. Legs that go across hillsides (like 1-2 and 14-15) could be difficult.

3. The course setter could give you some serious climb. Check out 7-8.

4. I wonder if the rocky areas are hard to run through? In the U.S. we've got maps that have lots of rocky ground where the rocks really slow you down. But, we've also got areas where the rocky ground doesn't slow you down much. I ran a race in California last fall where the rocks didn't slow you much. My brain is trained to avoid rocky areas, probably from running in Sweden and New York, but in the race in California you navigated by the rocky ground, but going around it was a waste of time.

Take a look at the map from California below - looks a bit like Buckenderra South to me.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:48 PM


Buckendarra is about 400 miles due south of the JWOC areas, at a substantially higher elevation, so the vegetation is more stunted and thicker in places due to more rainfall / snowfall. The Dubbo area is much drier, so running there will feel different.

As far as rock goes, it is not dissimilar to Buena Vista, CO: there are areas where you could be slowed by the rock, but not many. Stony ground should probably be treated as the equivalent of light to medium green and avoided out of preference, but not too much.

Your points 1, 2, and 3 are basically right.

Your mileage may vary.
Oops: it's Buckenderra, not Buckendarra. Typo.
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