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Long courses

Show Profile  Neil K Posted: 13 November 2002, 7:02 PM  
OK so it was the squads idea to have 105 min winning times for mens elite classic races.

But after two seasons of this, shouldn't we admit that we have got it wrong and that 105 min is too long and ruining the depth of our elites and emerging juniors.


Show Profile  Greg Posted: 13 November 2002, 8:14 PM  

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 13 November 2002, 8:28 PM  
As I understand they were changed to help endure the WOC long (classic) race, I can't see how changing the winning time of our classic races to 105min which effect us maybe 8 times a year is going to acheive this, If the WOC long is your goal adjust your training!

I also don't like the focus NZ has on having the majority of the races at classic length, there is more than the classic at WOC and WC's so why doesn't the squad push for more races in short (middle) and sprint plus the format that Jenni and Casten set (there was a WC this year using the same format) it also might cut down the number of DNF's.

The sooner the winning time comes down the sooner some more exciting and close racing will develope rather than the courses being a survival race. It should also make them more interesting instead of having long boring legs because there is only 27 controls on a clipcard.

Show Profile  mark Posted: 14 November 2002, 12:18 PM  
I've just nominated Poppy for dickhead of the year

Show Profile  stu barr Posted: 14 November 2002, 2:17 PM  
I don't se anything wrong with 105 minute winning times, when it's appropriate. But to thrash a map just to get a long elite course seems stupid when the racing would be better if it was shorter. Wayne and Trish Aspin made example of this at the Auckland champs this year, where they deliberately set the courses 10 minutes shorter because it would be a better course than if they had tried to squeeze out 105 minutes. As long as the competitors know what they are in for, with plenty of time to get prepared physically, I think it makes little difference!
From a personal point of view it would be nice to have more variation, especially in multiday events where you can sometimes run three classics in three days!

As for the use of only 27 controls.... there have been some shocking instances recently of course setters having to set their courses around the fact there is only 27 boxes on a clipcard. To set a 105 minute winning time on certain maps there needs to be a lot of controls, but some setters have had to sacrifice good course setting, reducing the controls on a course, to allow for clipping.
Some recent quality organising overcame this problem. Jenni Adams and Carsten Jorgensen had a map change where you also picked up a new clipcard, allowing them to use up to 54 controls. This saved them chucking in long/pointless legs just to reduce the number of controls.
Bring on electronic punching!

Show Profile  darren Posted: 14 November 2002, 3:17 PM  
Neil, meow!!

When the classic winning times were extended out to 105mins a couple of years ago there was the assumption that our training would increase to handle it. Most NZ elites currently train less than top juniors do in Europe, I know I certainly do.
With the exception of one or two, the top elites in the World are the top at all distances, largely because training for the classic prepares them for everything. Look at Valstad and Luder, World Cup champions because they are consistently good in all types of races.

Greg, if we all hardened up and did the work we should be doing, we would get close exciting classic races. So there is no need to shorten the winning times to achieve this.
When I move up from junior to elite races 10 years ago I was told to expect it to take 2-3 years before I would be able to foot with the top guys. This hasn't changed, if you are patient and do the hard work it will happen.

I agree with Stu that there does need to be more variation of events, particularly at multidays.
Certain maps are definitely more suitable for specific distances, hopefully this decision will be part of the Super Series managers role in the future.

The Nationals are only 5 months away and summer is nearly here, so if you want to win train hard(er), no excuses!!

Show Profile  Andrew M Posted: 14 November 2002, 6:05 PM  
I can't think of many reasons why we should still support running 105 min classic races.

Sure we may end up running these kind of distances at World Cup races and World Champs but seldomly else are we ever going to encounter such long races. Even in the recent Australian Carnival winning times were quite short. (South Australian Champs 76mins. Australian Champs 83 mins.)

If the current regime is to continue juniors should at least be discouraged from competing in the lengthly races. What is the point of juniors enduring classic elite races if you are going to be running along at such a slow pace. You will be come accustomed to navigating at a slow race pace. In my opinion people should stay on the shorter races where they can practise orienteering at a decent speed. Then proceed to running elite races when they have the physical conditioning to actually race for over 100mins.

Hopefully with the evolution of the Super Series elites will demand different racing formats from Ultra Long Distance/ Classic/ Meduim/ Short and Sprint. The only issue will be encourage event setters to push the envelope a little.

How do people in other grades feel about the format of multi day weekend, which are traditionally dominated with a least 2 classics ??

over and out andy.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 14 November 2002, 8:29 PM  
Darren, assumption is the mother of all fuck ups.

Show Profile  That Claire Girl Posted: 14 November 2002, 9:18 PM  
Ok, so i dont know much about anything, and even less about everything else, but I wanted to put my thoughts in anyway...

The last few events I've run in, Ive chosen to run W20A, and W21A, and ended up without a lot of competition in either grades. Many orienteers have then told me I should run elite. I do plan to next year, but I am currently way too unfit for the length of course that the elites run.

Yes, this is my problem, and I need to start increasing my training etc etc, but it is not very encouraging to younger people like myself, aspiring to start running elite, when the winning time seems so duanting....

What I'm trying to say is that I agree with those of the opinion that the winning time is too long, and that at least more of the major races should be a bit shorter - there should be a variety maybe...?

I'm just not sure I'm gonna be up to the race length required, yet I'd love the competition and challenge of running against the other (female) elites...I know the females is shorter, but what is it exactly? Haha, here I am saying all this crap and i dont even know the winning time for the chicks! - I just know its long...but basically I'm thinking also of the younger guys who would love to start running against the elite just like I do...

I take my hat off to you guys who are perfectly able to run the 105 min winning time - your legends, but I also think there would be more exciting results and more competition if the winning time was shorter - I think it should come down to technical abilty while going fast, rather than trying to last a really long time - isn't it ment to be more of a race than an endurance event?

Anyways, theres my thoughts, like em or not...

Show Profile  darren Posted: 14 November 2002, 11:12 PM  
Claire, I think the W21E winning time for the classic is 75mins. I think it would make sense to run elite in the short races and 21A n the classics until you feel ready for the E length classic.

Andrew, the idea is not to run slower in a classic race!!!!! Your speed will always vary far more in a classic race than in a middle or sprint distance.

Greg, oops I meant to say intention not assumption, silly me!! Remember no excuses, just hard training.

For the boys who are running elite, your weekly training should include 2 long runs. One of 2hrs(ish) and one of 2.5hrs(ish) which of course you should build up to. If you do this as part of your weekly training you will have no problems handling a classic distance race. If this sounds like too much for you try running 21a for a while to build up the strength.
Just because you turn 21 it doesn't mean you have the right to call yourself an elite orienteer, you can choose to run in the elite grade and pretend or you can do the hard work and earn the right.

A quick glance at the Super Series results will show you guys are moaning about nothing anyway. Of the 11 races on the series 7 were classic distance (although one didn't count) with M21E winning times of 87mins, 85mins, 85mins, 80ish, 94mins, 103mins. So with the exception of the last race set by Jenny and Carsten non of the times even came close to the EWT. So maybe 7 is too many classics??? Maybe we should have had 4-5 with 105mins and the rest as middle distance races. Something to think about for next year.

Edited by - darren on 15/11/2002 00:16:11

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 15 November 2002, 9:51 AM  
Exactly right Darren. Over the last 2 years how many of the races supposed to be 105 minutes have been? Stuff all. The 105 min time should only apply to 5 events - the NZ, Akld, CD, Wgtn and SI Champs, but invariably it doesn't. So what are you complaining about?

A few years ago, when the winning time was 90 minutes, we regularly got courses 75-80 minutes. The we'd go off to Aussie or Europe and run a real classic (winning time 90 minutes, meaning NZ time 120 mins) and find we couldn't get through the last third of a course without some major brain explosion - because we weren't used to racing the distance.

Now with the winning time 105 minutes, you're getting the 90-95 min races that you should.

Andrew, the Oz Champs were short this year. Their winning time is 95 minutes and that is what it usually is. Same for their state championships.

Surely one of the purposes of having an elite grade is to prepare runners for international competition. If you want to go down the namby-pamby route of having shorter races in NZ to encourage competition, then whenever you travel overseas (GREG) you'll spend half the time over there getting used to a classic distance race.

Who is going to Australia next May for the test? Gee, the races (the Aussie trials) in Adelaide will be a classic and a short - with the classic set to 95 min (meaning the best NZer will take 105 if he has a good run). Well, if you want to stuff around in NZ racing short races, no prizes for guessing what will happen to you next May.

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 15 November 2002, 11:32 AM  
In response to Andrew (a few posts back), here's one non-elite who'd like to see a few more short/middle/whatever the IOF wants us to call them, sprints and other variations on the calendar, for everyone. One of the reasons I didn't go to QB this year was the thought of 3 classics in 3 days was not only a little daunting, but also BORING!!!

Show Profile  Dave Barr Posted: 15 November 2002, 1:09 PM  
This smells remarkably like a paddock full of male cattle.

A classic is a set winning time. Same with a short, middle, ultralong and spint. These races should be these times- none of this nancy-boy whats gonna be best when you go overseas. If a classic should be 90mins they should be 90mins. The onus is on you (the elites) to improve so you can compete in Aus etc.
Then go home and f**K the prom Queen.

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 15 November 2002, 3:42 PM  
One of the reasons I didn't go to QB this year was the thought of 3 classics in 3 days was not only a little daunting, but also BORING!!!

Boring!? It was the best multiday this year hands down. You want boring go run a full length classic course on farmland for the New Zealand champs. Or try doing 3 laps of a map where one of the longest legs on the course has a track virtually on the red line.

In fact QB probably had the only terrain for a multiday where a full length classic race would have been fine but from memory they were reduced because it was a multiday.

I think the actually quality of maps and organisation has been a far bigger issue this year than the length of courses. But I think everyone agrees that there needs to be a bit more events in the sprint and middle distance lengths.

Show Profile  Neil K Posted: 15 November 2002, 6:10 PM  
You have analysed the super series correctly. It does show that the winning time of 105 was seldom reached. Doesn't this support the argument for shorter courses rather than suggesting that the courses should have been 20 minutes longer....with more DNF's...would they have found a different winner...why?


Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 15 November 2002, 6:43 PM  
As the m21A long national champion, and seasonal elite...

There is a time and a place for 105 minute classics, national classic definitely, area champs perhaps...but is this still appropriate when it is a long weekend? I know 85minutes, 30 minutes, 80 minutes sounds better to me.

Should there be a more flexible winning time policy, requiring guidance given by the squad (or those associated with elites) to course planners, to facilitate desired outcomes/tests?

An orienteering elite asked to cope with a nationals weekend, let alone an Anzac Carnival is in one hell of a tough position. What runner in their right mind would race a half marathon one day followed by a 5km the next (with a 3km steeples in the afternoon), then a 10km the next...well maybe that Finnish fella Nurmi? but that was a wee while back. For nationals this is ok but area champs, often in consecutive weekends...too much.

I think all elites would agree, that last twenty does the damage.

Claire, better get training...can Greg be world champ and be........

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