On Saturday we had a national event on the map I made last year of Shimshit. The unwritten rule here is that the mapper can not run competitively in the first race on a new map, but there’s no problem afterwards. I started very early, so I could take care of the kids later on while Roni was running, and now that I think about it I was alone at all the controls but one, which was fun even though it doesn’t help the final result.
The course setters did a good job of choosing tricky controls – distinct features, but difficult to attack in the terrain. However, they used 5 controls from last year’s race in my course alone (which means that I had been at each of them at least three times previously: mapping, course setting, and placing controls), and also left some very prominent yellow marking streamers, which could usually be seen before the control flag. I still had a couple of small misses (3, 4) and a larger one at 13, where I missed part of the control description that was printed on the map.
I enjoyed running on my map – I really tried to actually read it and trust my mapping, and not orienteer by memory. I won H40 handily with 60:07 for the 6.4 km course, and the next race is the Israeli Championship, which is also the Mediterranean Championships this year and will include more foreign orienteers than usual.
In the beginning of December I was in Singapore again for a short business trip (Monday to Saturday). Despite not having a weekend there, I was determined to make a map – and the only option was Fort Canning Park, 5 minutes walk from the hotel. There was no base map, so I used Google Maps, which had a basic outline and many of the paths and buildings.
After landing on Monday evening, I skipped mapping on Tuesday, but planned on using the remaining three mornings and as much time as necessary on Saturday. I have to be at the office at 09:00 (after a shower and breakfast), so the schedule was tight – first light is around 06:45. The start on Wednesday was promising – I met up with Sebastian Wong just after starting, he followed me around for a while to see how it’s done, and I made good progress.
But December is the rainy(er) season in Singapore. Half an hour after starting work on Thursday it started pouring, and after waiting it out for 10 minutes (there are enough buildings around in the park for shelter) I opened my umbrella and headed back to the hotel, arriving quite soaked. Friday was OK, and I was optimistic about Saturday, but luckily I started early (my flight was at 21:00, so there was time) because at around 9:30 it started raining again and after waiting for half an hour I quit again, with not much work left to be done. I waited until the rain stopped at around 14:00 (including some shopping, lunch, packing, etc.) and then dashed out for another couple of hours to finish the map.
Due to the rain, I didn’t have enough time to survey the contours (I was planning to use my laser rangefinder’s height difference function), so there are lots of earth bank symbols for the slopes. I hope to be able to put in some finishing touches on a future trip, but there’s nothing planned yet. The finished map is in 1:3000 and according to ISSOM, except for a non-standard symbol that I added for the gardened areas (out-of-bounds would have looked awful).
Any orienteer who is visiting Singapore is welcome to contact me and receive a digital copy of the map, but more importantly I hope the Singaporean orienteers will be able to use it for training and races, and to attract more people to the sport.
Once in a while I manage to get out and do some orienteering…
Last Saturday we took the children with us to the national event at Ruchama, hoping it wouldn’t start raining before we finished. I ran first and stayed dry, but Roni had to finish in a downpour and found us cowering in the club tent. It’s been raining more or less since then, so no training, but yesterday I finished teaching evening courses twice a week so I hope to get back on track from next week.
The race was on a remapped part of Ruchama – the original map was made in 1996 and covered almost 20 km², and this is the fastest part of the area, now in 1:7500. It’s on the north edge of the Negev desert – fast open forest with lots of erosion gullies, and judging by the results could have been the fastest ever race in Israel. The orienteering was really easy due to the quality of the map and the extreme runnability (and visibility), so the only constraint was running speed. I managed to win H40 in 44:32 for the 7.1 km course (that’s 6:16 min/km – winning pace for H21A was 4:47), but mainly because my main rival in the category (Omer Noiman) skipped the event. We’re going to have a good battle for the ranking and the Israeli Championship during the rest of the season.
My route is below, and the video is here.