Course setting sneak peek of Easter twenty10

Posted on January 11, 2010

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I’m the course setter for Day 3 of the Easter twenty10 orienteering carnival. Easter is Australia’s largest orienteering event and rotates around Australia each year. This year is Canberra’s turn and I volunteered to course set a day.

Essentially that means I plan all the courses for the day. It means time looking at the map, thinking about what would challenge the orienteer and getting the challenge and lengths of the courses right. It also means visiting the terrain a few times and making sure it all makes sense, that the map matches the terrain, that the location of control points are fair and finding a good spot for an arena.

The arena is the area where everyone will assemble before and after the finish, the site of the finish, the commentary, some catering, shops and hopefully an area that we can generate some excitement within. With the dedicated Voice of the Forest commentary team this year, it should be quite good. In the case of this event the arena will include the elite start, this year a chasing start.

The chasing start is designed so that the first across the line is the overall winner of the Easter carnival. If after the previous days of competition an individual has the fastest time (in the lead) they will start first, if overall they are 3 min behind, then they start 3min behind the leader, and hope they can catch them. The courses are the same except the order can be slightly different (we use what we call a butterfly in the course design) meaning that large packs can be broken up, and competitors need to keep their wits about them.

I was course setting in the terrain over the weekend and decided to provide a sneak peek of the area (never used before for orienteering) for competitors.

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