Sunday, 2 September 2012

Orienteering on a 30-year old map

Today was Rand Orienteering Club's (ROC) 30th birthday event. On every birthday milestone (10, 20, 25 and now 30 years) they hold an event on the original map (and courses) that their first event was run on at Delta Park in Jo'burg. This hand-drawn, five-colour map was drawn in August 1982 and, surprisingly, much of the area has not changed. This was my first time on this old map.

There were three courses (in 1982 and today) - short, middle and long. I did the long 8km course (logged 8.4km in total) and thoroughly enjoyed meandering through the park and checking out the fence, vegetation and other changes. Having orienteered on the new maps - most current was redrawn last year (or was it earlier this year?) by Jeremy - makes it even more fun to be using the old map, especially as I'm generally familiar with the layout of the park. Where the feature on which the control was initially hung has changed, the control is placed as close as possible to the site.

What was also fun about today was that we paid the original 1982 entry fee of R1.50 for adults (80 cents for under 18s), we used punches instead of the electronic timing system and we drew the control locations on to our maps from a master map. When I started orienteering...umm... 13 years ago the events used punches and mostly courses were from master maps too.

Too much time to kill in the start box... The dude hiding his face is Peter Hemer (no-one is safe!) and to the right is Glen Comins, who was our start official. Photo by Eugene Botha (swiped from his FB).
I had a really pleasant run in perfect running conditions - warm in the sun but with a cheeky nip in the air. As it turns out, I won the ladies on the long course. That said, I think there were only another two women on the course... I was 9th overall. There was a runner one-minute ahead of me... When I got to the half-way point to drawn in the second part of the course there were no pens and had to run to get some. That was the one minute for sure! *grin*

Delta is great for running a super down gradient - not too steep - and running across (flat). But what goes down certainly goes up and on the long course we had three long uphill slogs. I mixed in a little walking and a little running... huff-puff!

I ran with a tracker and so I've popped my track on to Quickroute (open source O software) and you can see where I stopped to punch or was walking from the colour of the track. Green is running, yellow is slower, orange and red are slower still. You can see my run-walk clearly on the uphill from 7 to 8 and again from 15 to 16. My lazy ass is so totally busted!

Errors - not much today.

At #6 I went straight for the control and as I was about to punch I noticed that the number on the flag was different to the control number I was looking for (78 vs 65). I really didn't think that I was wrong but thought that maybe I'd misjudged. I could see the double-pylon feature, the bridge across the river... had to be right. I went back to the flag. The fence here has changed and is now in line with the feature. Turns out that there was a number written on the flag (65), which was away from me, and a number stapled on the flag (78) from another event, which was clearly visible and facing me on approach. The control tag had a #6 on it, which I hadn't read on first approach. So, I was right. I turned the flag to show the #65 to the next runner so they wouldn't make the same error.

I was a bit slow going into #11. You can see so on my track, which is red/pink. That pale yellow is marshy higher-than-head-high reeds. It would have been better to run higher, towards the dam wall (past the reeds) and then downstream to the canal thing. I went through more marsh, but minus the reeds, on the way out but it was definitely a more favourable route to 12 than going back the way I'd come.

It was such a lovely event today and afterwards we got ROC 30th birthday cupcakes. Really sweet.

ROC was my first orienteering club, before AR Club got up and running.

ROC - hip-hip-hooray and three cheers to 30 more years ;)

No comments: