Donnerstag, 4. Juli 2013

"Bonus-Sprint" a minimum impact high efficient separation method

I used my swedish clubs championships last weekend for a test of my new favorite separation method. The method belongs to the so long ignored group of "situate methods" and is related to Jarkko Ryyppös Dead Running.

fig.1. Scheme of the Bonus-Sprint. The red runner gets separated from the blue by being sent to an extra control. In return he gets 20 seconds drawn from his total running time.

At a control point runners catched up by runners started later have to leave their map at the control and run to an another control  along a marked route (not on the map), approximately 10s jogging away from the first control before returning and continuing the race. For running this extra loop, the will get 20s substracted from their total running time. 

- As a situative method it separates all pack-leaders from their pack.
- It makes the top of the result list fairer. The misfit for catched up runners is minimal (having to run 80m more than leaders and solo runners, and losing/wining minimal time thereby) alike a catched up competitor at a cycling time trial.
- It is a minimal measure in regard to the course setting.

- We get finally rid of all kind of  lepidotera :-P
- It does not separate the rest of the pack

The measure can be implemented to run automatically, basing on the splits at the control just before the "Bonus-Sprint"-control. For example all runners punchning between 10s ahead and 15s behind the designated pack-leader (started last) will be sent to the Bonus-Sprint. The time the Bonus-Sprint shall take should belong to the visibility out of the control. The time gap produced with the method should be so big, that the pack permanently looses contact to the designated pack leader.

The measure should be applied after 50% and 75% of the course.

Test Centrum OK KM Lång 2013
To make it short: The test failed due to the lack of packs. To big the differences in the competitors performances and additionally a course with real long distance qualities...  To really test the measure it would need a more even starter field.* 

* In 2011 I tried to invite the Competition Commission of Swiss Orienteering to use the national series as a test field for new separation measures, but I did not insist enough.

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