Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Saturday, September 27, 2008

North American Champs Middle - Nice terrain, strange route


Nice terrain.

My route needs a bit of explanation. I started fine, but by the 3rd control, my glasses were completely worthless and I realy couldn't read my map. All I could really make sense of for the 4th leg was - through some contours, cross a trail, up some contours, and then look for a flag on a rootstock. Didn't really look at the compass. I hadn't yet figured out how to deal with the rain and dark forest (which made reading the map extremely difficult for me).

I figured out a technique that worked reasonably well. Everytime the forest lightened up - say a small gap in the trees, I'd stop and wipe of my magnifier, hold the map right up to my eyes, and see what I could make sense of. It worked pretty well but it felt strange. I'm used to be able to read the map when I want to, not when the conditions allow it.

My technique was slow, but worked reasonably well for 3 legs. Then I decided to try to run with the map right in front of my eyes and read through a foggy magnifier. Boom at 8. I went back to my stop and read technique and made my way to the finish.

After the finish, I sought out orienteers who were older than me and wore glasses for some advice. I think the next thing to try is one contact lens for distance and one for reading the map (or even just leave one out and trust that my nearsightedness will allow me to read the map).

This was a terrible result, but the run was actually a lot of fun. It was interesting to have to solve a new problem (being unable to read the map) during the race.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 3:20 PM


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sprint Line O' QR


Wednesday evening's training on the KU Campus.

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posted by Michael | 9:38 AM


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Some inspiration - Billy Mills interview


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posted by Michael | 6:34 PM


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Taking a break


I'm taking a break. I'll probably start to post again in October.

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posted by Michael | 7:23 AM


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

...everyone ends up feeling badly...


Some interesting stuff from Sandy Hott about event quality:

...I can only imagine the frustration experienced by the organizers trying to set courses for COCs on a map of this quality, and that makes me feel really bad for them because I know that they spent countless hours and much effort to make this championships happen. In the end, trying to hold a championship on a map like this is a lose-lose situation… almost everyone ends up feeling badly which is a real shame.

New Kodak Video Camera

For something completly unrelated to orienteering...the new Kodak video camera seems to produce some really nice images at a low cost. The camera runs $180. Vimeo has some example (make sure the "HD is on" and check out:

Dancing in Washington Square Park

Scout at the dog show

Zi6 camera test

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posted by Michael | 8:48 PM


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Not going fast enough


"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."

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posted by Michael | 8:22 PM


Monday, September 01, 2008

Protest = The Map


The results of a Swedish elite race were thrown out because the quality of the map was unacceptable. The protest was essentially that the map had specific problems that affected results because, for example, two routes that looked equivalent weren't.

You can see the map at Mats Troeng's page (he was one of the three who protested). If you can read Swedish, a report and the protest are available at the SOFT web page.

Troeng wrote a bit about it in the discussion on Alternativet. I'll translate (roughly) some of what he wrote:

The reason we made the protest was mainly to show that we can't accept that an elite-series race is held on a map with such poor quality. I think you had to be there to understand how schematic the map was. In addition, when roughly half of the runners go through a tunnel that isn't drawn on the map and should, therefore, be disqualified under the sprint rules, we think - and many agree - that the competition needs to be thrown out.

It is never fun, but sometimes you have to be the critic. The more significant intent of our protest isn't to criticize the organizers or take away credit from the runners who finished at the top (it would have been the same on the top even with a correct map). The intent was to start a discussion about how to improve the quality of Swedish orienteering events and keep this problem from happening again....

A couple of years ago this same sort of event quality discussion was going on at Attackpoint (it is the sort of topic that comes up every year or so). I wrote a few of my thoughts.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 9:52 AM


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