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Thursday, 25 June 2009

Big maps or Big scales?

Don't you just hate it when you pick up a massive map at the start, so big its like a sail flapping around when your running....maybe its just me but I think I would prefer to run on a larger scale map (1:15,000 rather than 1:10,000) instead of having to deal with all the excess map folding all the extra bits on a map like legend, control descriptions and logos. All I care about when I'm running is the map and the course on it.

Overseas a lot of the long distance races are on 1:15,000 maps, no matter how detailed they are. If I'm not mistaken it is a requirement for World Championship Long Distance maps to be printed at 1:15,000. The reasoning being that you can view route choice options better, which I reckon is quite true. So why in New Zealand do we continue to hold National Champs races on 1:10,000 maps? I think in the past two years of Orienteering in New Zealand I have only had the chance to run on 1:15,000 maps twice, both on the same map incidentally. And both these times I have had trouble adjusting, so how to fix that? Run on more 1:15,000 maps?

It seems that often the justification for having the smaller scale is that there is two much detail on the map to run at 1:15,000. But the only detail that I seem to care about in a long distance race is the area around the circle, other places on the map and leg I simplify anyway. I can understand for the older age classes the reasoning for having enlarged scales, but for elites who a high percentage have aspirations to compete overseas it should almost be a requirement to run on 1:15,000 more often.

I would much rather run with a map that fits easily into my hand, doesn't flap around all over the place like a sail, and allows for a better view of route choices on long legs. Maybe I should just learn to fold my map better!

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