After several days of rain, it was
difficult-to-impossible to keep your feet dry using our new Pleasant
Valley Farms map; but the day itself proved to be a great one for
running/hiking. It was much cloudier than predicted, but that kept the
temperature down in the upper 50's/low 60’s, and there was a strong breeze which kept
the bugs away. We had a nice turnout, and for the most part it appeared
that folks enjoyed their courses.
relative dis-use of the trails made it hard to follow some of them, and
the Orange course may have a been a bit too difficult, partly for that
reason. It can be hard to strike the right balance when designing an
Orange course. As the only course designated as “Intermediate” in
technical difficulty, it should be more difficult, not just longer, than
a Yellow course (which is designated as “Advanced Beginner”). But the
step between Yellow and Orange is the hardest transition to make,
because you are going from readily visible control locations to ones
which require the use of more than sight of where you are on a trail, to
such things as handrails, compass bearings, attack points, and
collecting/catching features. An Orange (Intermediate) course should be more like an “Advanced” course (Brown/Green/Red/Blue), with a length between
Brown and Green, but where the time penalties paid for navigation
errors are minimized due to the prominence of the control location
(perhaps a large pond/lake corner) or obvious collecting/catching
features (such as stonewalls before/after the control, or field corners
near the control). This course can be hard to design in any location.
a place like Washington Park in downtown Albany, or even Five Rivers in
Delmar, the difference among all of the course levels is really mostly
distance, not difficulty; but in a place with real forest, the
difference in difficulty can be significant. Today, I may have missed
the exact course difficulty balance somewhat. I hope today’s Orange
DNF’s still had fun in the attempt.
received a couple of ideas on map corrections (in the eastern loop area
where only Green and Red runners ventured). I’ll look into them as I
pick up the controls. Thanks for the info. Watch for annual meeting minutes in the Club Information
section of the website.