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Legend Following

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 4 September 2007, 10:40 AM  
At risk of turning this into a serious discussion (which was surely not Crawford's intention) what are people's views on whether following is an unavoidable component of the sport (with inherent advantages AND risks) or outright cheating, or if it can be either, what point does it change from one to the other?

If the normally better orienteer in front of you has made a mistake, enabling you to catch him or her, are you entitled to take advantage or expected to ignore them?

If two people are on the same route choice at the same time, is one by definition following? Can anyone who's been in this situation honestly say, regardless of whether they were doing their own navigating or not, that they completely ignored "the other guy" - especially when close to the control. Bet we've all saved a bit of time getting right to the flag because "the other guy" spiked it, and I bet I'm not the only one who's LOST time through thinking "the other guy" had the better idea.

Personally I like having a head to head battle with the same person/people for a few legs, and whenever it happens it seems there's bits where it seems I'm doing all the thinking, bits that I'm taking a bit of tow-time and hopefully using it to plan ahead, and bits that we're both/all trying to outwit each other, often doing things slightly differently but still keeping in sight much of the time. But if I was doing most of the navigating for someone else, for most of the course, (while I'd take the compliment!) I'd get just a little fucked off I'm sure.

I remember a chasing start race, in Kawhia I think, where I started just a few seconds apart from someone far fitter but far less experienced. It was pretty obvious who was finding the controls, but early on I was appreciating the push I was getting running-speed wise. Once I felt I had got all the speed advantage I was going to get, I decided there was no way he was gonna sit behind me until overtaking in the finish chute, so I just slowed right down and let him run off into the forest ahead. Can't remember how many minutes I beat him by in the end =)

Show Profile  mark Posted: 4 September 2007, 11:43 AM  

This message was edited by mark on 4 September 2007, 2:40 PM

Show Profile  thomasr Posted: 4 September 2007, 12:06 PM  
I think following, or running with other people, has been stigmatised in nz orienteering. Following does suck, using the other runners around you does not, and it was something that can be really helpful. Maye learning when it is appropriate to use others, such as in a pack after a few legs of a relay, and when its not, such as bombing down on the way to the first control in a relay which is quite likely to e a split. It was interesting to see at jwoc that some euros are very good followers.

Show Profile  rob.g Posted: 4 September 2007, 12:26 PM  
I recall Alistair Landels getting a couple of really good tows in his early days, and he felt he learnt heaps from it. Maybe Al can expand on this.

Show Profile  ACW Posted: 4 September 2007, 12:49 PM  
Blair, nice work. Legnedary even. The bridge collapse hogged much of the talk about that race (some excellent video footage taken too). Even more legendary (though stupid at the time) would have been if you had sacrificed your race by not finding the correct control, and taken the other 3 down with you. (no kiwis in that bunch were there? Surely not)

Has anyone managed to nip in and out of a control and keep the follower in tow - unaware ?

Show Profile  Bryan Posted: 4 September 2007, 1:44 PM  
I can think of four stories:
- Leo Homes in a Mountain Marathon pointing the wrong way and saying 'It's over there'. This confused me for a few seconds.
- On the last chasing-start day of the Czech 5 day in the M35 class (which I won by a few seconds), the 2nd place runner saying 'it's over here' and then we ran to the control. I suppose he didn't want the chasing pack to catch us up.
- I was a very novice orienteer on Mt Alexander running with Te De St Croix in the rock detail for a few controls where I basically could not read any of the rocks and I was above the control when
Ted ran through the control, clipped and ran away without a pause - it took me a 100 metres or more before I realised and he was gone. He was suprised about half an hour later when he caught up to my brother Bill)
- I always hated (it only happened a few times thankfully) when I ended up running with my twin brother Bill - we ran at the same speed, and made similar decisions and route choices with the same experience so there was little or no chance of getting away)

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 4 September 2007, 1:52 PM  
Wow that must have been a pretty trippy experience for Ted.

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 4 September 2007, 2:01 PM  
I'll tell ya what pisses me off.... when there's a bit of a suspect control that you've had to hunt down for some minutes, and just as you spot it you lead a later rival runner straight to the thing!
Stealthing powers and cagey tactics are well usefull in these circumstances.

Show Profile  nick Posted: 4 September 2007, 3:47 PM  
what about that fulla at... umm, tiomila? a couple of years back. don't remember the names. he was anchoring for his team and his whole strategy was to follow a better orienteer and then outsprint him in the finish chute. in the article i read he said he felt terrible about doing it, but that he did it for the team etc... shame ow.

personally i reckon that is unsporting and i'm not comfortable with it at all.

OTOH, its inevitable that competitors will bunch up from time to time, especially in large fields, and surely it must become part of the "game" to gain advantage from it? perhaps it adds an extra dimension to orienteering? for my part, my processing power is consumed just running and navigating without having to play games with my competitors as well! typical kiwi noob i guess.

Show Profile  darren Posted: 4 September 2007, 7:53 PM  
M13-14?,198? Auckland Champs, Telephone Track map in Woodhill. I started just infront of my arch rival/enemy Tony Reddish. The pressure was too much for me, I cocked up the first and then he was on me!

I was better than him so he started following me, right on my shoulder! When I stopped for a piss he even stopped, pretending to look at his map.

With about 3 controls (about 1km) to go he started to tire so i put in a wee burst up a hill covered in that woodhill cutty grass. When I looked back I had a gap of 60m or so and I dived behind a tree and cutty grass bush and watched Tony race past, looking for me and not at the map!! I then race 90 degrees off the line, down a hill and took the long route to the next control. Didn't see him again and I ended up beating him by a couple of mins from memory.

I followed Petter Thoresen at O-Festivalen in Norway once. Kept up for about 100m. It was good while it lasted!!

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 4 September 2007, 8:22 PM  
Anyone else here remember the orienteering short story writer, ah, Wilf Holloway, i think? A few stories coming out here that he'd be proud of.

Show Profile  SJ Posted: 4 September 2007, 10:22 PM  
I'm loving some of these tactics. Blair and Darren, pure class. You gotta do what you gotta do, specially when it's M14 at Auckland Champs!

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 4 September 2007, 11:24 PM  
Yeah Nic it was Wilf in "World Class Orienteering" maybe, theres a story about the dummy maps getting stolen...

Was followed by the master Jorgen Mortensson once...

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 4 September 2007, 11:27 PM was on a training camp at Newcastle and it was quite exciting for a young fresh and enthusiastic teenager to get advice from a legend. But of course you can't make a silk purse from a sows ear.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 5 September 2007, 6:19 AM  
How about least effective, dumb ass following stories...

Like the Macedonian who waited for a New Zealander at the start triangle at JWOC. Said NZer with Macedonian approx 1 metre behind entire way, proceeds to make two big mistakes in first five then dnf's and begins the longest walk in history back to the finish...the macedonian follows for about 1/2 an hour until he manages to relocate when they strike open farmland.

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