Ballyannon Wood Winners Route Analysis
Post date: Jul 19, 2019 12:3:53 AM
Tuesday's night Long course event winner Jens Waecther gives us an insight into his route choices around the course in Ballyannon Wood.
I had a bit of a hesitation to control 2 as I got pulled by another control close by. I slowed down a bit and lost contact with the map briefly. So I ran on in the direction of control 3. I made the commitment and stuck to it. In hindsight, a better planning would have caused me to run the other route.
I only actually saw the purple route. Fast running and being able to plan the next leg where key here.
I very briefly considered the green route however decided to take the longer one. It is faster running for this type of wood. I cut in a little too early near the control circle to control 6 due to a path that isn’t on the map. It cost me about 15-20 secs
Fast path running was the key here again for me. Knowing that I had a bit of a decision to make from 7-8 I took my time for planning that route.
My thoughts initially was to take the blue route but knowing the map from previous events, the area here is a bit flawed. So I opted for the cleared attackpoint at the end of the path to north of the control. I also had fresh legs so climbing 2 contour lines was quick enough.
This was an interesting one as I did not have a clear plan leaving control 8. I have a tendency to keep to the right of the control line. I also remembered passing the path leading to the control from the north, it seemed fast enough so my mind was made up.
I wanted to get out of control 9 quickly and did not really think of any alternative for going to control 10. However, some might have wanted to go around the lake so I considered that in my analysis. The path is fairly overgrown and longer so I would not consider that an option.
I took the purple route and did not really consider anything else during the race. There is a trail that isn’t on the map that I found that helped me getting to the control. Some might have seen the shortest choice here.
I am not sure why I lost time here. I had the control already in the race and knew where it was. I took the shorter route also. Only after the race did I discover the green choice.
The controls 12-13-14 I consider the middle of the race. Mental and physical fatigue started to set in. I took the blue route, a direct approach to the control. I was approaching that a little too slow as I want to nail it rather then go looking for it.
As I was running to control 2 earlier I discovered a trail to the south of the blue route here. So I was aiming to hit that track. I also remembered the control 14 from earlier passing it on the way to control 3.
Nearly at the end of the race I need to concentrate, at this point I can feel my legs getting tired from all the highspeed running. So I need to be able to drive on hard but relax mentally to not make a mistake now. So my route choice here was the main track where I could execute this nicely. I cut in a little early on a small track that let me to control 17. On the way to control 17 I made the decision to attack control 18 from the south this time. Which I knew would be a little bit more difficult.
As planned I attacked the control from the south instead of the the safer longer route in the north. I wanted to keep my legs for the final few controls and not power out too much. It was slow and not clean so I lost about 20 secs here.
I opted in to stay low and avoid the climb and small trails that would slow the progress. I found a reasonable path through the shaded green, aka brambles. Going loosely by compass direction to hit the path and follow the contours by looking up. So I saw control 13 early enough that handrailed me to control 19
Route 19 – 20
All I wanted was to go home at this point, well finish the race.
Get out onto the main path as quickly as I can. At this point I knew the control needed to be on my right hand side and I took all my last energy to keep those tired, burned out legs moving fast to control 19 and the finish.
Thanks to Brendan for designing the course. It is only afterwards that I found other routes and more importantly I figured why I did or didn’t take some of those choices. I think everyone should at least discuss routes after an event, specially the juniors in the club should try chat to some of the more experienced orienteers in the field. Thanks again to all that helped at the events throughout the league.