Casey-Kingston Week 7 – Aspendale

Well that was an interesting start and finish arrangement. It was unusual, but John the Course Setter had decided, after looking at the map with course-setting eyes (it is a brand new map, not used before, so no-one has any experience with it), to move the Start and Finish 200 or so metres north. If we started at the nominated location then those walking and on the shorter D and maybe even C course may not have left the rather dull, parallel streets of the south. So it was a short warm-up before we started, and a warm-down back to the cars at the finish.

More flat terrain now that we are in the bayside suburbs, no need to understand contour lines here. The course looked straightforward enough until you were on it and trying to work out which ones to drop and which way to go. No matter how you looked at it, there was at least one double-back; it was a matter of working out which was the best. Or least-costly!

Now to the results, published below. We haven’t seen any B or C course runners for a few weeks, and no-one has tried out the A distance. The result is a very straightforward what you see is what you get. If anyone comes back, or comes along over the next two weeks, you’ll look like a speedster in the results!

Merv has D course stitched up, but second and third are up for grabs – the next two weeks may see a lot of changing down the list here.

Betting folk should stay away from the Walkers, however. The final results will be dependent on firstly how many times who comes along – how many times do I say “just turn up and you’ll get heaps of points”? – and then it’s a straight competition to see who picks the better route on the night. Or more commonly, who makes the least number of oops-es.

Next week is dominated by the large Bicentennial Park in Chelsea, and spills out into the surrounding streets. Another flat course with a gentle sea breeze – should be lovely!

Top Tip 6 – Starting

7pm, someone says “Go” and 70-100 people disappear in seconds. If you are still studying the map, firstly, good on you, because a bit of planning time works wonders. Secondly, you may be a bit surprised when you look up at 7:00:25 and there is no-one around. How do those people decide where to go so quickly? Here are three quick ways to decide. There are many more, and you may work out your own which will be just as good.

The easiest method is to just head in the same direction as the majority – you are relying on the law of averages! This gives you the chance to work out where to go next, whilst you are on the move to the first control, so saves you a bit of time. The trick is to check where you are heading so you can do that next bit of planning properly. Don’t keep following everyone from point to point!

Another method is to head to the nearest edge of the map, and go around in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction from there. This is usually best when the start/finish is near an edge. If it is bang in the centre of the ma, then there is no obvious edge to head towards! What this does is cut out one decision early on, which way to go around. Usually – not always – you will find you go clockwise or anti-clockwise, with a few deviations.

The last method is a good one for the walkers. Just head in the direction of where the most control circles appear. There’s a good chance that that is where the most points are, but never trust a course setter to do the obvious, either! The Aspendale map was a great example of this, it was a simple choice to head north straight away to the obvious cluster of  beckoning circles.

No one method is perfect and it won’t work on every map. Its a matter of trying different things as you go. If you want to try any of these out at Chelsea Heights, find that guy in the shirt at the start and ask him what would work there (I’ll have checked the map by then).

See you there!


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