Monday, 28 July 2014

Foot rogaine - navigation options

Let's take a look at navigation options from Saturday's foot rogaine.

Here's the map.

I've added in the points allocation for each control.

There are 35 controls.

The eight controls in the North-east corner (circled in red) account for 480 points. That's 36% of the total 1330pts.

If you wanted to win, you had to go there.

I felt that these controls were too heavily weighted - they forced you to go there. Yes, there should be more points for controls that are further away from the start, but as you're already in the area you're going to get all eight anyway. Thus, some of the controls could have been assigned lower scores so that the total for this cluster was not more than 1/3 of the total.

It also closes down the competitive route options because you can't be competitive unless you go there, no matter how efficient your route planning. So many of the points are weighted in one cluster.

I saw this at the start and decided to avoid the area anyway. I did this for various reasons.

  • There's a big cliff line (out of bounds) - marked in pink. Once you're on the North-east side, you're trapped up there and the only access up / down is coming from the ROC logo on the left or the yellow road on the right. 
  • There are no controls on the yellow route side and pink circled area. You have to take the yellow road to / from Control 110.
  • Of interest, Alex Pope and Stef Hurry took over an hour to get from Control 63 to Control 110. And they run faster than me. That's a long period to time with no controls. OK, so they did get the 480 points... (I didn't).
For me the joy of rogaining is in selecting a route that is efficient and flowing. I enjoy locating controls. I know upfront that I'm not going to get them all, so I delight in planning a route that sweeps to gather up as many as possible.

With this in mind I decided to sweep from the South-west in a clockwise direction. On paper it looked like the eastern side would be more friendly and offer more homeward-bound options - many ways to cut distance to get back faster if needed. It was a good choice because the forest here was pretty friendly too and I could cut straight through instead of keeping to roads. Not all of the 'open' (beige) land was traverse-friendly - but it was more so in the East. I did take some straight-line routes.

Although I'm not happy with my point score (810), I'm very happy with the route that I took. I collected everything that I planned to from the start, skipping only three low-score controls (101, 106 and 107 = 40pts) near the start. I came in about 10 minutes early but just didn't have enough time to check off more controls.

I liked the control distribution and placement of this year's course. There were some really nice options. Rogaining navigation is less technical that orienteering navigation and it is ideal training for adventure racing.

This was my first time at Mokobulaan - lovely area. It must be beautiful in summer when it is green. Very, very dry and burned and brown now.

MTB Rogaine
After seeing all the hills on Saturday, I downgraded from the 5hr mtb rogaine on Sunday to the 3hr course. I had a lovely ride, keeping to the western side of the area. The big hills climbs are unavoidable but they actually weren't too terrible - even considering that I haven't ridden my bike in months! I cleared the section that I planned to but didn't have enough time to head off East. So, I came in early having had a really nice outing.

It takes a lot of time and planning and mapping to put these events together. My thanks to Rand Orienteering Club, Ian Bratt and his team of helpers. I spotted Charles, Glen and Sheila, Steve and Denise (catering). Glynnis was there on Saturday to help too.

I had good fun hanging with my travelling and accommodation companions - Wiehan, Lizelle, Alec, Staci, Ian and Chrissie. And always good to see AR and O friends at the event.

Participation numbers were VERY low - and this is such a superb event. I hope to see more of you next year.

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