The JK Sprint was held in Livingstone. The area combined a complex housing estate and some quite complex parkland, separated by a river.
As a course (M45) I thought it was excellent, setting some really good challenges. My routegadget trace can be found here (Course 4, Richard Lecky-Thompson). My strategy was to not run too hard, so as to save my energy for the weekend; to keep map contact at all time; to keep the map orientated all the time. I think I achieved this – I certainly didn’t run too fast!
What did I learn from doing the race?
- I found it very difficult to plan ahead at all, I generally new how I was leaving a control, but not much more, despite the fact that I wasn’t trying to go flat out
- There is sometimes a better route going the opposite way out of a control than the obvious, Leg 4-5 is the best example of that
- Don’t muck about making route choices and stick to the one you have made
- Don’t let pre-event details sway a route choice decision – there was a lot of detail about the Eastern bridge, and how to get over it, this made me think about using that for 15-16, but I decided against this because the closer bridge was a shorter option – I believe some people did head the other way and lost time
- It is sometimes very hard to read the map – between 5 and 6 there is a narrow gap between a olive green flower bed and a wall, to the NE of the central courtyard, I read that as uncrossable, and even with my best glasses it is still hard to tell, on routegadget in is easy to tell that there is a gap. I think this is to do with the printing process
- Hard to read the map #2 – after the underpass before no 15, I jumped up a wall, when I finished I looked at this and thought I had probably crossed an “uncrossable” wall, but looking on routegadget, this shows as a thin grey line, so IS crossable
The map printing issues are important. Talking to one competitor, he mistook a contour line for a control connection line, with disastrous results. The differentiation between the purple and brown is not sufficient on the map we had to use. The differentiation between crossable and uncrossable walls should also be greater. As well as the issues I described above, I also ran around a number of walls in courtyard where I simply didn’t want to take the risk that they were uncrossable.