CFRS Analysis

Sprint Relay French Championship
Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume (83)

Pour aider le commentateur TV de la plateforme IOF live (la course était retransmise en live à l’étranger !) le traceur avait préparé un topo détaillé de présentation de la course que nous vous proposons en guise d’analyse des parcours (et pour peaufiner votre franglais CO) 🙂

Course scheme & explanations

Having the arena far from the city centre forced us into thinking of a way to have both challenging and entertaining courses. We ended-up with the concept of having 2 labyrinths on the stadiums close to the arena, that each runner is going to experience twice during the course. First, straight after the start, then after the spectator control.

The course is divided into 3 main parts : the sports complex around the arena, a small (basic) park,
and the old and rather tricky centre of the village around the church.

The specificity of the forking system is that each runner is running in the labyrinths twice, taking a different forking each time (in the first labyrinth only, the second labyrinth is forked only during the first passage of each runner, with common controls the 2nd time).

NB : The course setting was inspired by the world-cup sprint relay in Česká Lípa set by Radek N. last year in august (world cup round 2).

Courses are forked W-W and M-M (for fairness sake).

6 forkings for W. 7 forkings for M.

Expected winning time on each leg : 15 min
I had to shorten my first draw to keep that expected winning time under 15 min.

  1. The Labyrinths : 

 The tricky part at first was to set interesting forkings in the labyrinths, which means : 
– to offer 4 balanced forkings (length of forkings approximately equal),
  – each of the forkings should offer interesting route choices (at least 2 on each leg),
  – the forkings should be as different from the 3 others as possible (to avoid the runners picking the same route twice in their second passage through the labyrinth),
  – the controls must respect the 15-25m rule distance from each other,
  – the number of barriers should be optimised, and they should be rather easy to install to be in accordance with the map.
I hope the result can fulfil at least partly some of the goals above.

Some runners might run twice the same way, as it might be faster to rerun the same way than to navigate two times, and the different length between the choices are just some metres. Especially in the 2nd labyrinth, knowing that running around is usually faster. But I hope it will be fun anyway, both for the runners, and the spectators around (and in front of TV).

Runner cams and drone coverage should help to produce good TV pictures here.

Forkings A – B – C – D

Forkings E – F (1st passage) and route G (2d passage, common) starting with a different control to make it more clear for spectators and TV)

  1. The Park

Easy park orienteering with good visibility.
Not really challenging, despite the possible disturbance of some controls of the open courses. 
Good visibility for TV production : radio control  at c6 and c17 (c14W).

The park is more of a mandatory transition to reach the village and its more classical sprint challenges into narrow streets.

Note : the courses could have been more challenging on the way out of the 1st labyrinth, and out of the park. Both times, the idea is to try to avoid as much as possible the runners bumping into one another, by forcing them into a kind of one way circulation.

  1. The Village

7-8 set with the idea of “punishing” the runners following others to the wrong forking.

I like the idea but not sure it’s working here. Anyway, a leg with different routes possibilities, running around or more straight into tricky narrow streets, requiring more navigation skills.

The total forking 7-8-9 might be pretty equal if well executed (shorter but slower if more direct on the left route).

9-10-11-12 are more like left-right shorter legs, but still forcing you to make fast decisions all the time.

From c12, Women short-cut to c16 (unforked for them) while Men win a free ticket to another ride in the village.

12-13, different options, the straighter ones pretty close to one another. The longer one around maybe a bit slower (5-10”) 90% of the route is fast but the end forces you to go around if you want to keep the speed up, or to pass through the narrow passage under buildings (entrance not easy to find).

14-15 to turn the course around.

15-16 with another choice, but the straighter one is also the shortest for both forkings, so it shouldn’t split the runners much, just they need to pay attention to not follow blindly to the wrong forking.

NB : Village only covered by runner cams (no radio control).

Then back to the spectator control through the park (2nd radio control) and the second labyrinth.

The space right in between the 2 labyrinths will be open to the public (and runners of the open courses) so it should be a nice atmosphere there (hopefully). 

Mapflip at spectator control, and corridor leading the runners back to the triangle and the first labyrinth where they will have one other of the 4 possibilities (her or his teammate having the 2 other ones).

From there, they run straight to the 2nd labyrinth again, with 2 unforked controls this time.

The way back to the arena is not the most tricky one. The mandatory passage is to highlight the gate and avoid runners from entering the arena by the west side.

NB : the forbidden area in between c22 and c28 is only due to a possible marshy area in case of rain (rainwater retention basin).

Competition timing (expected)  : 

8:00 a.m. – quarantine opening (3).
9:00 a.m. – quarantine closure (3).
9:45 a.m. – gathering of all relay 1st leg runners near the quarantine exit (in the building, aside the athletics track)
9:50 a.m. – departure of the group (all 1st leg runners) from quarantine towards the mass-start area (8), guided by an organisation team member.
9:57 a.m. – gathering of all 1st leg runners on the starting line (8).
10:00 a.m. – mass start.
10:00 a.m. – gathering of all 2nd leg runners near the quarantine exit
10:05 a.m. – departure of the group (2nd leg runners) from quarantine towards the changeover area (8).
10:15 a.m. – first runners expected at the changeover 1>2 (15).
10:15 a.m. – gathering of all 3rd leg runners near the quarantine exit.
10:20 a.m. – departure of the group (3rd leg runners) from quarantine towards the changeover area (8).
10:30 a.m. – first runners expected at the changeover 2>3 (15)
10:30 a.m. – gathering of all last leg runners near the quarantine exit.
10:35 a.m. – departure of the group (4th leg runners) from quarantine towards the changeover area (8).
10:45 a.m. – first runners expected at the changeover 3>4 (15)
11:00 a.m. – first runners expected at the finish.
11:20 a.m. – flower ceremony