Varsity 2010-2011


Date: 02-Apr-11
Area: Supi Hora
Location: Czech Republic
Organiser: Radek Novotny, Petr Luksan


Men A: Oxford (05:07:18 to 05:30:28, 4 to count)
Women A: Cambridge (03:06:59 to 03:56:55, 3 to count)
JOK/DrongO: JOK (04:19:56 to 04:54:29, 2 men, 1 women to count)
Men: Peter Hodkinson, Oxford
Women: Mairead Rocke, Cambridge
JOK/DrongO Men: Ed Catmur, JOK
JOK/DrongO Women: Blanka Collis, DrongO


Men A6.243020 Map Results
Women A4.736016 Map Results

Route Analyses

Here are some competitiors' evaluations of their performances.
You'll want to open RouteGaget to see the routes as you read the comments.
Peter Hodkinson

What a fantastic area! The whole course was effectively a technical route-choice exercise, and I knew that there were in general 3 routes to choose on each leg; up, down and middle.
I went into this race feeling pretty tired, so I tended to take the upper and middle routes with less steep climbs and more fast running.

1-3   Pretty standard.

4   Lost some time finding a way up through the crags.

5   Didn't have the guts to go for the straight route (which was fastest) so bailed out to the path instead.

7   Took the middle route with very good running along the terrace between cliffs.

8   Good route but wasn't careful enough dropping into the control. First mistake, lost ~40s

10   Poor route at the end along the terrace but otherwise fine.

11   My first manly route choice, which paid off nicely.

13   Took the man route again which was a very bad idea this time, lost ~50s.

14   Had caught Vokes up and was rushing to get rid of him, so made a typical parallel error and pissed around for ages on the wrong spur. Frustrating, and lost about 2mins.

15, 16   Happy with the out and round routes, which were very fast running.

Kept it safe until the end, though I was getting tired.

Overall, a good race with just a couple of mistakes and poorer route choices, but pretty solid. Sexy forest too.
Ben Stevens

2   Lost concentration here (already). For some reason went too far right at the bottom of the slope and through the gap in the hills one further to the right than intended. Was not a good route choice anyway since it involved climbing two big hills. Alan had the best route I think, going slightly to the left of the straight line and avoiding some of the second climb.

3   Lost concentration (again) – the control was a bit further down the re-entrant than I expected and I didn’t have the confidence to lose the height so I went over to the next re-entrant for some reason. Ended up relocating off number 10. Not a great start.

4   Quite pleased with this route – straight down to the path then up through the green to the re-entrant lined with crags. Not too much thinking required. Was only a few seconds behind Alan on this leg and about 20 seconds ahead of everyone else.

5   Couldn’t see an obvious straight route in time, so went for the safe option down and round the path. Was only about 20 seconds down on this leg, and very little navigation was required, so seems like it was a good route.

7   Took the path route but was a bit slow – contouring would have been better. Also got a bit distracted as I was planning the next leg.

8   Very happy I took this route. Required almost no navigation, especially as the control was visible from below. Got this quickest time on this leg. Only downside, as Radek pointed out, and something I don’t often think about, is that a climb up to the control leaves you tired for the next leg.

9   Slight mistake as I overshot the re-entrant.

10   Turns out from the split times this was a bad route – Alan was over a minute quicker going down and up. The approach to the control wasn’t very good either as I had to climb down some crags. Also don’t know why I didn’t cut a few corners.

11   This was a good route, but unfortunately I guessed wrong at the end as to which re-entrant I could see.

12   Mistook the crag to the south for the crag next to the control.

13   Not very good. Did an unnecessary climb in the middle and then slightly missed the control at the end. Should have gone round the path.

15   This was by far the best route – I got the fastest time by 10 seconds, but I think it was 20 seconds faster than anyone with a different route. However, I should admit that I had no idea where I was, and when I saw the control I almost didn’t go to it because I assumed it wasn’t mine.

16   Why did I follow Vaclav out of 15? Going in the opposite direction to 16 for quite a way in order to avoid just a small amount of climb was obviously stupid, although I think apart from this beginning bit my route was Ok.

19   I think this route would have been the best one if the green hadn’t been so thick and full of felled trees. I think Pavel had the best route going just below the green.

A decent run overall, but with one big mistake on 3 that was really unnecessary and a few poor route choices.
Alan Cherry

Bad mistake on number 8...ooops :(
Also hesitant on number 5.
Lost time on 18-19 as well as the green was really bad.
Vicky Stevens

On the first route choice leg, 2, I decided to go fairly straight, which was also my preferred choice for a lot of other controls. The hill in the middle wasn't too bad - though steep it was fairly short, and the big crag on the south side of the hill by the control was obvious so finding the control wasn't hard.

3   looked like an easy leg to get lost on, and I should have had a better attack point. Instead I just ran along below the upper cliffs, which was actually quite nice running, counting re-entrants.

10   I stood at 9 planning my route to 10, having not had time to plan ahead. The two routes I saw were going north and down to the paths, or south and up to the path. The thing that put me off about the latter route was the initial climb back up to the path, but I ended up having to do a lot of climb near the end of the leg, and the initial descent over the crags was also quite slow.

12   I pondered the route to 12 while - up, down, or straight? I decided straight in the end as the other routes were a lot further, but the hill in the middle was quite long and slow. Climbing up the hill just before the control, it was hard to know exactly where I was. I ended up messing around slightly in the green and being confused by the re-entrant just to the north of the control.

13   I was planning to go around the top, but when I saw the valley before the control, I decided to go across rather than round the top.

Overall it was a really good course in amazing terrain. I didn't make any large mistakes, but I think some of my route choices were a bit slow.
Mairead Rocke

Start – 1:   I chose a safe route to this control by running to the end of the ride and using this as my attack point. The hill was actually very obvious.

1-2:   The first control came up quicker than I expected and so I was not fully prepared for the second leg and I veered off at the beginning! I think my route choice was o.k. but I missed the path route which was considered to be a fast option and would have allowed for more planning ahead.

2-3:   I now began to settle into the map from this point.

3-4:   I think this was a poor route choice. I was considering going round the eastern path but I ended up cutting across the hillier area which was slower.

4-9:   I found these legs relatively quite straight-forward. In the route analysis in the evening it was found that going around the path between 7 and 8 was much quicker than going straight.

9-10:   I decided to take the track route however, contouring around the slope was also a viable option. I think this route provided a safer way for me to attack the control.

11-12:   I had looked at this control earlier in the race and immediately decided I would take one of the path options. I decided to take the top route because I had already come down that way so I could just focus on running up to the track. In addition, it meant I wasn’t in oxygen debt when approaching control 12.

12-13:   This was a poor route choice which lost me about a minute when compared to the splits of some members of the Czech national team. It was too long to descend to the track and contouring around the slope would have been much quicker.

13-14:   I lost a bit of time near the control circle because I wasn’t 100% sure where I was on the slope as I didn’t have a good enough attack point from which to attack it.

Overall I was pretty pleased with my run. The terrain was both technically and physically challenging which made for a great race and I would recommend it to others who haven’t been.
Anne Edwards

Route choice has always been one of my weakest points, so I came into this race slightly apprehensive! The terrain was incredibly runnable but with a huge amount of rock and lots of insanely steep hills, meaning that straight was rarely the best option. In most UK areas I tend to go straight pretty much all the time, so I had to get into the mentality of taking longer, roundabout routes to avoid the massive hills. This meant I was fairly hesitant throughout the race, wanting to decide on a route at the start of each leg so I didn’t have to change my route choice halfway through.

Although in retrospect almost every leg (including 5-6, which was about 150m!) had route choice, I think the crucial ones were 9-10 and 11-12. Unfortunately, looking back, I think I chose the wrong route on both of these, with 11-12 being especially stupid – a worst-of-both-worlds mixture of straight and round. At the time, I thought I was doing the right thing, which was good in a way as it meant I wasn’t regretting anything and just focussing on executing the leg. But in the evening, when we got to see the four main routes taken by the Czech team a week earlier, I realised how silly my route was, and that I really need to work on my assessment of route choices!

I kept relatively high on 1-2, 7-8, and 12-13, and possibly should have done so on 9-10 as well. I think for 11-12 I should probably have gone downhill (to the north edge of the map), but to be honest that route was so out of the way that it didn’t even enter my mind during the race. Despite the longer distance, it had relatively little climb and a lot of downhill and flat, with the added bonus that it would have been extremely easy to execute and thus a very low-risk option.

Overall, I really enjoyed the race. The planning was awesome and so was the terrain, and it was a real eye-opener as to the importance of route choice – something I will definitely be working on in the future!