Rogaine route choice   Leave a comment

The route choice in the rogaine wasn't easy, but could have been more complicated. The situation was as follows:
1. There were 36 controls, worth various amounts of points.
2. We were given 12 hours to finish, starting at midnight.
3. The maps were not handed out before the start.
4. Each team had to pass through the start between 5:30 and 6:30.
5. Map-reading light would be at around 6:20.
We were totally confident that the time would be enough to collect all the controls over such a small area (35 km2), so we could disregard their points value. We also estimated that we could cover 4km/hr at straight line pace, compared to 5km/hr in the previous rogaines – because of the longer distance and the darkness.
So this was our route:
(thick line = fence, dashed line = main road, second number = control code)

The plan was to finish the northern part, which has more obstacles, in the first part of the race, and leave the smaller southern part for the end – based on our expectation to finish in 10 hours, meaning that 60% would be before the compulsory check-in. In practice, we had to rush back from control 30, arriving at 6:27, and loop back a bit to the north after the southern part – 44km by straight line measurement in all.
What caused the mistake? Because the planning time was at the expense of the orienteering, I rushed it and didn't actually measure the distances. If I had, I would have seen that the planned route for before the check-in was too long, and cut off the first few (western) controls in favour of finishing the north-east side, to get the optimal route below. This would have saved 4 km overall and enabled us to finish in under 11 hours. The overall pace was exactly as planned, but using 10 more minutes for planning would have saved us a great deal of pain.

Posted 31/03/2009 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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