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Ridley Creek
  • Topic created by camperpat on Sat Apr 3, 2021 at 4:41 pm
    Pat Burton (camperpat)
    camperpat
    Num Posts: 280
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Hibernia
    First O: 1999
    Another great day of orienteering !   Thank u to everyone who made this event possible. Pat and Bob
  • Reply by dsamans on Sat Apr 3, 2021 at 5:19 pm
    Deborah Samans (dsamans)
    dsamans
    Num Posts: 6
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 0
    Thank you to who ever found my phone.  
  • Reply by kathyu on Sat Apr 3, 2021 at 6:48 pm
    Kathy Urban (kathyu)
    kathyu
    Num Posts: 602
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 2004
    I really enjoyed today's event.  The brown course was interesting to navigate and I loved the route choices.  Thank you to all the workers who put in the time and effort to make it seem easy, but I know it was anything but!
  • Reply by Tom-O on Sat Apr 3, 2021 at 7:24 pm
    Tom Overbaugh (Tom-O)
    Tom-O
    Num Posts: 61
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Egypt Mills
    First O: 1979
    Yes thanks to all involved and particularly to Wyatt for routing the Green course through the spectacular white woods that we rarely get a chance to visit.  This was the least bloodshed I have ever experienced at Ridley!
  • Reply by twalsh on Sun Apr 4, 2021 at 1:28 pm
    Tim Walsh (twalsh)
    twalsh
    Num Posts: 42
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Hibernia
    First O: 1978
    I too want to thank all those who volunteered to help at Ridley.  I am just sorry I could not go out on a course especially since the weather cooperated so well.  In particular Wyatt did an outstanding job as course setter with Bob Agosta, Mary and Lena making critical contributions.  They certainly made my job as event director so much more enjoyable.
  • Reply by EricW on Sun Apr 4, 2021 at 11:06 pm
    Eric Weyman (EricW)
    EricW
    Num Posts: 88
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 0
    Looking at the the Ridley courses on RouteGadget, I can understand the positive comments.
    The courses strike me as somewhat unorthodox, but with many good to excellent characteristics.
    I think there are many lessons here which would be educational to other, and future, course setters.

    I'd like to invite the course setter(s) (Wyatt?) to publicly discuss the contraints as well as the thoughts behind the final designs.

    To start with, I am curious about the crossed out trails and the use of some of the great "white" terrain east of Barren Rd, but not all of it (I think I know the answer), and the story behind the deleted splits in the results, if it is educational. (Might have guessed this answer too)
  • Reply by j-man on Mon Apr 5, 2021 at 11:54 am
    Clem McGrath (j-man)
    j-man
    Num Posts: 127
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Spackman Creek
    First O: 1985
    I'd echo Eric's and others' comments. Ridley was my home park for many years and it is nice (but not easy) to showcase the good parts. These courses are a great case study and look like they handled a lot of constraints with flair. Thanks Wyatt!
  • Reply by wriley on Mon Apr 19, 2021 at 9:28 pm
    Wyatt Riley (wriley)
    wriley
    Num Posts: 54
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Spackman Creek
    First O: 1982

    About the course design...


    The main thing I started out with for Advanced courses was how to get to the nice White forest in the Southeast corner of Ridley.  To do that, I had to route around Tyler, which is getting stricter on their land boundary - including signing and fencing off some of their trails, to the point of Ridley making a new trail recently just to get around the northeast part of Tyler.  (The X'ed out trails are the Tyler trails - they weren't particularly chosen to force certain route choice, nor do I think they’d really have come into play.)


    With those nice white woods, I was further limited to the lower part, which is Ridley (the upper part is Tyler.)   In this area, it was just a matter of setting a number of controls reasonably spaced out, and zig-zagging the courses around with a reasonable amount of direction change to keep competitors on their toes.  There's just enough detail here that fast compass running, and reading the subtle detail under the line, can work pretty well on the run, with sufficient concentration.


    To get to/from this area, there was a moderately trafficked, poor sight-lines road crossing - hence the course setter’s notes indicated the deleted split both ways.  It's crossed often by hikers, but still worth ensuring no one feels rushed across that road.


    Getting to/from the nice forest, shelter 17 was the closest pavilion with potentially sufficient parking, which allowed both Green & Red to get there.  (I considered a remote start for Brown to use the White woods as well, but felt the long walk to/from wouldn’t be appreciated, especially if the weather was poor.)  


    Ridley’s green vegetation really sucks, so in most of the park, to be a friendly course setter, you’ve got a plan a ‘runner’s course’ of trail route-choices, with some in/out of white/light-green forest.  Getting to/from the White area, things were constrained enough that simply setting diagonals vs. the trail network allowed a little route choice, with some navigation along the lighter/whiter hillside rocks. 


    The first control on all the non-beginner courses was also chosen deliberately to be slightly in the medium green - where the obvious trail route there forces you to look into the forest, and do a little dart in/out to get the control - allowing the competitor to calibrate the slowness of the green vegetation, without the randomness of a challenging green-vegetation vs. trails route choice before they’ve got a chance to assess.


    I actually planned Green first, then Brown closer in, then WYO before setting Red - which worked out well, as Red largely became an extension of the Green (with intentional slightly shuffling of the other controls to reduce following distractions.)   The long leg back on Red was my favorite, with a couple different reasonable route choices.   When setting these long legs, you often think about moving a control left/right of the line to try to find balance (or non-obvious imbalance) between two route choices.  By further pulling it forward and backwards, you can sometimes get a third (or if lucky even more) route choice options to arise.  I liked the outcome of this because a multiple zig/zaggy route choice along trails looked optimal by the end, forcing competitors to pick it, or a similar one a bit further left or right that was only a bit slower - and allowing them no obvious “way around left/right” route as a navigational punt.


    With courses designed, and vetted (with ~100 map updates to go with it), then next major steps were getting the courses used well - for which I’m really happy with the Facebook-Event listing among other ‘remind your friends’ pushes on eBoard did really great to get people out in recent-record attendance - as has happened at many of our parks this year!  Great that’s happening - so that the dozens of hours of work by our course setters, event directors, equipment organizers, and permit wranglers, get used for *hundreds of hours* of fun in the forest - building a community of friendly competitors enjoying their orienteering adventures!

  • Reply by EricW on Mon Apr 19, 2021 at 10:16 pm
    Eric Weyman (EricW)
    EricW
    Num Posts: 88
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 0
    Thank you Wyatt!
    Am I pushing my luck to get you to make some more comments about WYO?
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