Calero County Park
Date: (Sun.) Sep. 24, 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Directors: - 408.732.4818, - 408.996.8749
Course Setters: Dan Greene, Tapio Karras, Bill Strauss
Type: B; Regular 7-course BAOC event
By Dan Greene
Calero had good weather this year: sunny and cool, without the frequent heavier winds in the late afternoon. The courses were a little longer and steeper; nevertheless, competitors were able to produce some very impressive times on these courses.
Some event photos are available here (http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=196orkpd.282m85ot&x=0&y=-ep4lyx). Additional photos of control sites are here (http://baoc.org/gallery/2006-Calero-Control-Sites). The event map, courses, and individual route drawings are on RouteGadget (http://baoc.org/gadget/cgi/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=68).
Congratulations to the top finishers. Many of the courses had close finishes: Danielle Strauss won White, just ahead of Jimmy Chung in second place. Yellow was won by Tristan Delforge just ahead of Viktor Passinsky in second place, and Julietta Delforge-Melia was the first woman on Yellow. A very technically challenging Orange course was won decisively by Elliott DeLaye. Congratulations also to the advanced course winners: Dennis Wildfogel and Jane Melia on Brown, Werner Haag and Stephanie MacLean on Green, Kent Ohlund on Red, and Jean-Charles Baritaux and Penny DeMoss on Blue. Jean-Charles and several other Blue runners proved that our very physically challenging Blue course could be run in under 90 minutes.
Thanks to all our volunteers: Gary Carpenter vetted the courses. Mikkel Conradi and Werner Haag gave beginner clinics. Ev and Jean Beuerman handled registration. Bob Cooley printed maps. Brad Wetmore obtained insurance. Harold DeMoss helped set up tents. Trinka Gillis, Jeff Lanam, and Greg Khanlarov provided E-punch scoring. Bud Laird manned starts. And it was great to have a large control pick-up crew afterwards, so we could finish the event early: Harold and Penny DeMoss, Peter Graham, Russell Neilson, Misha Lipatov, Christian Degen, Nancy Lindeman, and Bill Strauss. Without generous volunteers these events would not be possible.
One highlight of the Calero event was Bill Strauss' White and Yellow courses. Bill just joined the ranks of club's course setters. Bill's Yellow course, in particular, had participants venturing gently off trail. Several finishers remarked on the extra challenge and learning experience on Yellow, and yet it was carefully enough designed so that most finished in a reasonable amount of time.
Judging from the results, the Orange course was too difficult. As most course setters know, Orange is a difficult course to calibrate correctly. It's an "intermediate" or transitional course to the advanced courses — it should require advanced orienteering techniques, but be more forgiving of errors, with easier relocation possibilities. We planned most of the control sights with nearby relocation features, such as ridge tops and trails, but significantly underestimated how physically demanding Calero can be, even using nearby relocation features.
One thing that surprised us was how much trouble all the intermediate and advanced course orienteers (Orange through Blue) had with the very first control. We anticipated that the high visibility at the start would allow orienteers to study the terrain and observe their destination immediately. Moreover, because of this high level of visibility, we were careful to stage the starts so that orienteers would not see the routes of their predecessors. However, probably some combination of a cold start to navigation, an enthusiastic rush at the start, and/or the high risk of parallel error in the ridges and reentrants of this area, made this overwhelmingly the most likely place for errors.
Calero is a great place for route choice, with steep terrain to penalize bad route choice, and some confusing patterns of ridges and valleys to make route decisions challenging. Nowadays, thanks to RouteGadget, we can review the routes of competitors afterwards. Here are some of our observations:
- First, even after careful comparison, allowing for different running speeds, it is difficult to determine the best routes. We think this is partly due to the fact that the best routes depend on the runners. For example, more-fit runners will typically convert climb to equivalent distance in a smaller ratio (for example, 1:7 vs. 1:10), and so should favor more direct routes even when they have higher climb. It may also be due to the fact that the results do not show how much time is spent in route choice analysis.
- Second, many of the route choices offer only modest advantages over their second-best alternative, that is, 30 seconds or less. While these small amounts, when repeated several times during an event, can add up to a significant overall time bonus, it's very easy to loose all the potential advantage by spending time analyzing legs, or second guessing and changing your routes. Fast route choice decisions and execution are critical.
- Third, in some cases there's really no difference between the first and second route choices. But there often are other significantly worse route choices. The "best strategy" is probably finding a "good" route quickly, rather than finding the "best" route eventually.
It's also worth mentioning one of the mapping conventions at Calero that proved troublesome to some of the advanced runners. The Calero map includes some innovative mapping conventions that are not IOF standard, like showing the direction of down trees. However, there is one mapping convention that is IOF standard, so we didn't mention it in the notes. In retrospect we should have, since its use in the Bay Area is unique to the Calero map. This is the use of a line or curve of black dots to indicate a vegetation boundary interior to the open (white) forest. Orienteers on Brown, Red, and Blue would have seen this marking on the map near their control number 6 (Brown), 10 (Green), and 13 (Blue), respectively. And the Red course crossed a similar marking between controls 4 and 5. Many runners mistook this for a dry ditch (brown dots). Here it marks a distinct shift in the type of trees. In the Bay Area, these black dots are almost always wrapped around a color shift to green, or appear in a tight circle to mark a redwood tree ring, so its freeform use within the white may appear nonstandard. However, in places where orienteering more frequently uses private land (e.g., Canada or Scandinavia) it is far more common to see this mapping convention mapping boundaries between trees of different ages or different types, due to a history of commercial forestry.
Once again, we'd like to thank the volunteers at Calero who made this event possible.
Calero County Park San Jose, CA Sunday, September 24, 2006 Pl Name(s) Time White Course (3.7 km, 115 m climb, 12 controls) 1 Danielle Strauss 44:31 2 Jimmy Chung 46:56 3 Gabrielle Delforge-Melia 49:57 4 Anita Yerneni 53:14 5 Emily Fragola, Austin McLaggan 55:07 6 Julia Doubson 56:17 7 Lindsey, Carol, & Jerry McLaggan 58:04 8 Troop 290 1:00:50 9 Shroyer Family 1:02:56 10 Adam Strauss 1:04:01 11 Marianne Moore 1:05:42 12 The Rocks 1:07:04 13 Diane Hall, Debbie Fragola 1:09:40 14 Dave & Jessica Goldberg 1:15:11 15 Paul & Eric Crompton 1:15:54 16 John, Margaret, & JT Harris 1:16:06 17 Ward, Alec, & Olivia Vercruysse 1:30:01 18 Group 998-2 2:09:08 Yellow Course (3.2 km, 140 m climb, 11 controls) 1 Tristan Delforge 43:19 2 Viktor Passinsky 44:53 3 Julietta Delforge-Melia 59:14 4 Sally Smith 1:10:46 5 Marty Katz 1:13:14 6 Philipp Kopisch 1:14:34 7 Wylie Gab, Daniel Kopisch 1:17:11 8 Ron & Meg Thumann 1:20:39 9 Fred & Donna Munic 1:20:51 10 Group 998-4 1:21:08 11 Nolan & Scot Adam 1:28:08 12 Group 998-1 1:29:21 13 Heidi Stenner 1:30:31 14 Group 998-3 1:34:29 15 Anna Strauss 1:39:11 16 Joanne Thiel 1:41:39 17 Dan & Jennifer Veditz 1:44:12 18 Masha Konkov 1:44:19 Elaine Ou DNF Orange Course (3.9 km, 245 m climb, 11 controls) 1 Elliott Delaye 1:09:37 2 Alex Solomatnikov 1:31:00 3 Harold DeMoss 1:40:07 4 Greg Lee 2:14:13 5 Alan Houser 2:28:04 Carl Reisinger DNF Meg Gerstner DNF Viktor Passinsky DNF Sally Smith DNF David Dippon DNF Anya Kartavenko DNF Matthew Mattson DNF Harold Lischner DNF Brown Course (3.6 km, 205 m climb, 9 controls) 1 Dennis Wildfogel 54:02 2 Joe Scarboough 56:00 3 Misha Lipatov 1:01:10 4 Bjorn Widerstrom 1:17:15 5 Jeff Lanam 1:19:42 6 Jane Melia 1:22:26 7 Lauren Knight 1:28:08 8 Mike Fleishman 1:29:33 9 Trinka Gillis 1:32:24 10 Kelly & Gary Wells 1:38:35 11 Oleg Shakhnovsky 1:39:25 12 Debra Blaver, Richard Norbutas 1:39:47 13 Andrew McAfee, Charles Mighetto 1:39:49 14 Tatiana Fedyk 1:41:53 15 Valeria Fedyk 1:44:29 16 Joan Roos 1:45:21 17 Rosemary Johnson 1:54:50 18 Steve Beuerman 2:09:31 19 Dave Shaw 2:18:01 20 Judy Koehler 2:50:52 21 Nancy Lindeman 2:55:32 Ilya Katsnelson DNF Green Course (4.8 km, 305 m climb, 11 controls) 1 Werner Haag 1:27:27 2 Brad Wetmore 1:29:51 3 Parag Gupta 1:32:21 4 Robin Gustaffson 1:36:40 5 Fyodor Konkov 1:37:26 6 Stephanie MacLean 1:39:00 7 Manfred Kopisch 1:40:03 8 Luc Poppe 1:42:59 9 Joe Maffei 1:45:38 10 Mark Blair 1:47:10 11 Theo Verhoeven 1:47:52 12 Mark Rice 2:13:10 13 Jennifer Kerr 2:17:08 14 Alan Glendinning 2:28:45 15 Wes Erck 2:29:49 16 Maria Hastings 2:47:17 17 Frederick Lee 3:05:17 Bud Laird DNF Jason Hogan DNF Marie-Josee Parayre DNF Red Course (5.8 km, 365 m climb, 13 controls) 1 Kent Ohlund 1:37:16 2 Greg Khanlarov 1:38:00 3 Mutsumi Sugizaki 1:38:41 4 Rod Jaehn 1:43:26 5 Travis Parker 1:50:51 6 Attila Nagy 1:51:18 7 Artem Kazantsev 1:53:58 Dararath Kim DNF Derek Maclean DNF Blue Course (7.6 km, 495 m climb, 16 controls) 1 Jean-Charles Baritaux 1:17:28 2 Andrejus Masalkovas 1:20:04 3 Mattias Vangbo 1:22:54 4 Mikkel Conradi 1:30:07 5 Pierre Delforge 1:31:24 6 Rex Winterbottom 1:34:20 7 Russell Neilson 1:34:31 8 Christian Degen 1:38:00 9 Mark Prior 1:39:50 10 Peter Graham 1:44:34 11 Penny DeMoss 1:45:38 12 Greg Favor 1:50:50 13 Francois Leonard 1:52:04 14 Eric Rosenzweig 2:25:49 _______________ DNF = Did not finish (missed one or more controls)