Casey-Kingston Week 6 – Carrum Downs

This week saw us at Carrum Downs for another new map, and Pam had done a great job of giving people something to think about for the best possible course. We know this because it seemed like everyone went a different way!

The weather was kind again, being a cool night. Much is made about how far out these events are by many regular Street-O’ers (don’t they realise the converse is true?). But I will no longer accept the complaints about the Monash Car Park – no matter how valid. Instead I will introduce them to Merv, who flew down from Townsville on Monday for the event. You’ll find Merv leading D course in our series, and giving the regulars who have been in the overall series since October a bit of a scare as well.

The B and C courses are too light in attendance to see any likely contenders emerging, but this does mean that if you have done a B or C course and want to get that chocolate at the end, it’s all but yours if you turn up for the next two events! This also means anyone else could come along and be in the running.

The Walkers have more of a spread of likely contenders, and again all that is required is for the top ten or so to come along to the next two events and it will be a very interesting finish to the series. If any of them don’t turn up to both, then anyone else coming along will also be in the mix – especially if you have done just one event!

Top Tip 5 – Making it easy to think and run

A bit tricky to explain as every map and course is different, but here are two techniques that you can use to give you more looking-at-the-map time, or chatting time. The first is using a catching feature. This is something that draws a long line across your map, and is pretty obvious. Examples are railway lines, creeks or major roads. If you are heading for a control and a creek is past the control from where you are on the street, that’s a catching feature. You know if you hit that creek that you have gone too far – it has caught you. Turn around and head back to the control (or drop it if time is short).

The second one is a tunnel, which regular orienteers won’t know about because I just made the term up, so you have a jump on them, as they don’t often read this. Where you have a choice of a street  with no other streets running off it, and one with a few intersections, to get to a control, take the one without any intersections. Or less of them.  That way there is less chance of missing the right turn, or even the control altogether. Not having to count streets as you pass them leads you down the ‘tunnel’ that has no intersections, so when you ‘come out’ the other side (probably where the street or path ends) you can go from there. No messing about in between, just enjoy the scenery, the company or both. Of course, distance has to be about the same for this to work.

Next week we are at Aspendale, a new map and new area, and a very flat course! See you then.

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