Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Tilden Park

2006 BAOC Club Championship

Date: (Sun.) Dec. 10, 2006
Location: Berkeley, CA
Event Directors: , - 510.409.9285
Course Setters: Evan Custer, Jay Hann
Type: B; 2006 BAOC Club Championships on a NEW MAP

Course Setter's Course Comments


Since much of Tilden Park is rough open, with multiple areas of fight and not much in the way of intricate contour detail, I tried to design the courses with the emphasis on route choice, and intermixing longer and shorter legs and frequent changes in direction. Since the trail network is relatively extensive, it is difficult to design really long legs, i.e., over a kilometer, without them becoming a trail run. As a consequence, the longest legs were only about 550 meters or so.

Since many of the courses shared legs, I will explain my rationale for the design of the legs on the Blue course, and indicate what other courses shared those legs.

Blue 1 (Start to control 52): Mainly a control just to separate the Red and Blue runners.

Blue 2 (52 to 70)

Red 1 (S to 70): This was a control mainly to test fine map reading. I know a number of people had problems, but I think it is correctly mapped. The control is a small cliff just downhill from the trail and little SW from the other boulder at the end of the trail. I think the best route was to aim a little to the right of the control and try to pick up the trail, either at the trail junction or the clearing and use that as the attack point.

Blue 3, Red 2 (control 93): This was mainly a route-choice control. I was thinking some people would head back up the hill a bit and follow the clearings and light green to the rocks just west of the trail, and then shoot over to the control. However, almost everybody went downhill towards the lake, around the green, and back up the hill to the control.

Blue 4, Red 3, Long Orange 2 (control 51): I thought this would be a gimme, and even put the same leg on the Long Orange course. I wanted to use 51 as a setup for the next leg. However, I heard some people had problems with the control, feeling the description of NW tip of spur was misleading. To me it was clear that the control was relatively high, 2.5 contours above the lake and trail, and that the control was placed at the "tip" of the spur, where it really dropped down. I disagree with the description it should be "on top of" since according to the IOF control descriptions, that means the highest point, and the spur continued up the hill much higher, so that would have been incorrect.

Blue 5, Red 4 (control 62): Since it was a trail run around the lake anyway, I thought I would try to make it somewhat more interesting by having a route choice. I think a number of people did not see the impassable fence blocking off the beach on the left side of the lake. Even though the trail on the right had a lot of rocks and roots, I think it was the better choice.

Blue 6, Red 5 (control 31): Mainly used to test fine map reading, but also some route choice. I thought some people might be tempted to cross the spillway and climb up the hill on the other side, going more directly.

Blue 7, Red 6 (control 33): Brutal route choice. Most people opted to go down the hill and take the indistinct trail back up to the top, and then go east and take the suicide plunge down to the control. I thought more people would opt for doglegging back out of the control, across the dam and up the trail in a less steep climb. It would add some distance but saves about 5 contours of climb. Other runners went further west and then crawled up the hillside through the whiter forest. I think that was the least desirable choice.

Blue 8, Red 7 (control 42): Mainly a short leg to get across the road and set up for the longer next leg.

Blue 9, Red 8, Green 4, Brown 5 (control 35): Mainly a route choice leg. I think the 3 main choices are take the trail to the north, and then cut down through the rough open at the broad reentrant that allows one to go through the patches of fight, or as most people did, continue on up the hill to the indistinct trail, and then drop back down to the control. The latter was faster running, but required 3 more contours of climb. The third choice was to go back to the paved road and head back towards the start, and then take the road off to the left up towards the equestrian area, and over to the control.

Blue 10, Red 9, Green 5 (control 43): Again mainly a route choice control with some finer navigation near the end. The two main choices were diagonally up to the 2nd trail and then up the clearing along the power lines to about the level of the control and then over. I think a longer but faster trail run would be take the small trail that goes straight up to the ridge trail, along the ridge trail to the small trail near the power lines and back into the control.

Blue 11, Red 10, Green 6 (control 45): A short leg for a change of pace requiring more fine map reading and compass work.

Blue 12, Red 11 (control 47): I think the optimal route was to climb to the ridge trail and along that trail to the indistinct trail put in as a fire break. I think the big problem was for those runners who did not appreciate that the narrow vertical green lines in the reentrant and spur to the west of the control indicates the same degree of runnability as medium green, or walk, or about 10-40% of normal running speed, probably closer to 10% in this case. Several people think this should be mapped as fight. I will let Bob decide, and see if he thinks this area should be either fight or walk, or leave it as it is.

Blue 13 (control 60): Route choice. Most people contoured, with the better runners resisting the temptation to fall down the steep hill to the trail and having to climb back up. I think a good alternative is to climb back up to the ridge trail, 7 contours, and then take the "freeway" all the way down to the control.

Blue 14 (control 61): Mainly a turning control, but I think the trick was not to fall too low in the white area and have to climb back up.

Blue 15 (control 56): Route choice. Mainly trying to decide how long to stay on the trail with the easier running versus having to re-climb some of the lost elevation.

Blue 16, Red 14 (control 37): Route choice trying to figure out whether to stay high with the steeper reentrants vs. going lower with the less steep reentrants but having to regain the lost elevation.

Blue 17 (control 90): Shorter leg, change of direction, finer compass work.

Blue 18 (control 91): Similar challenges as 17.

Blue 19 (control 88): Minor route choice with some finer map reading at the end to pick out the right cliff in the patches of green.

Blue 20 (control 76): Again a route choice control, with most people taking the higher trail with several different places to cut off, although some took the less optimal, in my mind, lower trail, having to climb back quite a ways.

Blue 21, Brown 7 (control 38): Mainly a change in direction control to set up for the next leg.

Blue 22, Red 17, Brown 8 (control 36): Route choice. Some went high to the trail, others went straighter off trail, others dropped down to the road. I must admit, I did not see the choice of going to the road, because that made the next leg a dogleg. I probably should have put in a turning control south and west of 36 to eliminate the dogleg.

Blue 23, Red 18, Green 12, Brown 9 (control 85): Mainly a leg to get people back across the road and set up the next leg so people did not run on the road much.

Blue 24, Red 19, Green 13, Brown 10 (control 49): A collecting GO control.

Here are the other legs on the Red, Green, and Brown courses that were not shared with Blue.

Red 12 (control 48): Change-of-pace leg requiring finer map reading with multiple similar features.

Red 13 (control 56): Almost a gimme. Mainly to set up the next leg, but I think I should have used a smaller feature like one of the cliffs just east of this huge boulder in the forested area.

Red 15 (control 39): Similar to Blue's 20 with slightly different end points. Mainly a route-choice control. Most people went straight to the higher trail, and then decided which gap to cut through the green stuff. An alternative was to drop to the lower trail, but I think that was less optimal because you had to re-climb the lost elevation.

Red 16 (control 38): Similar to Blue 21.

Green 1 (control 93): Mainly to set up the next leg and separate the brown and green runners.

Brown 1 (control 92): Similar to Green 1.

Green 2, Brown 2 (control 32): Mainly a route-choice control. I think the optimal choice was to take the small trails south of the GO control through the green stuff, and then go through the big meadow and follow the trails. For the green runners, an alternative is to go to the rocks due west of the main trail, and then through the light green and clearings and pick up the east-west trail. However, most people dropped down towards the lake and had to climb back up. Some people went up to the paved road and back down. (I must admit I didn't think they would do that.) I thought some people might go to the GO control and towards the Finish, and then onto the big meadow and trails. The control itself was trickier than I expected. It was near the edge of the green area, and I think one had to do some fine map reading at the end.

Green 3 (control 42): Mainly to get across the road and set up for the next control.

Green 4-5-6: See Blue 9-10-11.

Green 7-8-9: Mainly turning controls with some fine map reading required on 9.

Green 10 (control 39): Route choice to see if you take the lower trail or go straighter cross country. I think the best route was to drop to the trail, and then at the power lines head up hill and around the green.

Green 11 (control 36): Mainly a route choice to navigate around the various patches of fight. I think dropping to the trail, and then going cross country picking up the indistinct trail back towards 4, using the hill with the Orange control on it as an attack point.

I appreciate those people who either told me their routes or posted them on RouteGadget. This is a great tool for not only the runners, but also the course designers.

Thanks for your participation at this event. I think Martin Kuntz is going to be the course setter at Tilden next year, and I will direct the event again.