Archive for July 2021

How not to start a WOC   Leave a comment

No, not our national team, but the organisers.

I was following the GPS tracking of the Sprint Qualification this morning, and wondering why all the runners in Men C (where our top orienteer Nitsan Yasur was starting) were running round the fence after the first control, and then returning:

At first I thought the control description was incorrect, and the control had been placed on the eastern side of the fence instead of the west, but after an exchange of WhatsApp messages with Itay Manor (on-site at WOC and planned to run Middle and Relay) I understood that they had all been unable to see the black barrier under the control circle, between the building and the fence to the north-east of the control. Even I, at home in the air conditioning and with my glasses on, didn’t see it.

Technically, the organisers have done nothing wrong. But this is a big fairness issue and I guess they (and the jury, who would have had to make a decision) can count themselves lucky that it happened in qualification, where losing 10-20 seconds is not critical for most runners, and not in the final or the relay. In my opinion it’s a big drawing and controlling mistake, and I would expect an admission of error and an apology to the runners. As I’m not there, maybe that’s already happened.

I counted at least 16 runners (out of 34) in Men C who tried this route, and at least 10 in Women C – and we should remember that some would choose a different route choice to 2 in any case. That means at least 50% of them didn’t see the line. It affected Men/Women B as well, but not as the first control:

Can you see the black line under the circle?

I hope the championship continues without similar mistakes, because otherwise the courses and terrain looked very good. Our team had no success, with none of the three runners – Nitsan Yasur, Rotem Yasur and Rotem Yogev – qualifying for the final, but they had solid runs. On the GPS, it was interesting to see them being overtaken on the long legs for pure running speed by Scandinavian runners, and I wonder what would have happened if our top sprint orienteer, Matan Ivri, had been there. I understand that he’s focusing on JWOC this year, and he has track records of 8:16 for 3,000m and under 14:20 (I think) for 5,000m.

Posted 03/07/2021 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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How not to end a season   2 comments

Our orienteering season ended a couple of weeks ago, after a series of sprint races. It’s too hot now for competitive orienteering here, but good luck to our team at WOC!

Usually I don’t care for sprint races, even league events that count for the rankings, but after my back problem I needed a test run, so I went to the event at Ein HaHoresh, a week before our club relay. Nothing much to write to the world about – a very easy map and course, an almost perfect run, but very slow by my standards (and still 5th in H40). This only reinforced my indignation at the rule that says you can’t switch categories after the middle of the season – “can’t” as in “not allowed to register”, not “can’t be ranked in a different category”. What if it had been a forest event, with longer courses and more of a difference between the categories? Then I wouldn’t have been able to register for my age group (H50) in order to run a shorter course than usual while recovering from illness.

Ein HaHoresh

Next up was the club relay at Beit Berl, also a sprint event. I’d prefer a forest relay, but I have no complaints about that due to the COVID-19 situation during the season.

This race was marred by controversy. The courses were good and tricky, but the map was imperfect at best – I encountered several problems: a non-standard fence marking near control 11 (it’s actually impassable, but I lost only a few seconds), a blocked passageway on the way to 12, where I lost at least 20 seconds (both are highlighted on the map below), and a few more small issues. In the end I somehow managed to skip control 16 and was disqualified – without that my team would have finished 4th in the Veterans category.

The main problem was that 15 teams (more than 10% of the total) were disqualified for mispunching on the next-to-last control, no. 18 on my course. None had the presence of mind to check if the controls where they punched were too close to the correct ones, so no-one appealed and the results stood. Internal club decision: every relay from now we’ll have an experienced orienteer in charge of checking disqualifications. When the master maps were published we could see clearly that there were three controls in a row, all on trees, 25m apart (they are marked on the map below: less than the 30m minimum for similar objects). As a club, we would have won the relay if our elite team hadn’t been disqualified there, but what bothers me the most is that the organisers haven’t even been willing to admit their mistake and apologise – I know we missed the opportunity to appeal, and that’s our fault.

The event itself was fun, and our women’s team (with Roni on the anchor leg) won for the 8th time (I think) in the last 9 relays. But for me the season ended badly, in both health and orienteering. I’m slowly getting my fitness back, looking forward to following our orienteers at WOC, EYOC and JWOC, and waiting for opportunities to escape the heat and run in the forests.

Beit Berl – Relay

Posted 01/07/2021 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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