Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Middle distance analysis

A wise man once coined the term "sphere of uncertainty" to mean the area where you think you are (I may be mis-quoting / mis-remembering something Adrian Z said - my apologies). We usually draw our route on as a line, but often there are times in the course where we only know more generally where we are.

Legend for what I drew (click on image for full map):
- Blue line = the route I believe I took
- Blue shaded area = areas where I was unsure of exactly where in that region I was (crossing vague areas / sidehills)
- Red circles = spots where I identified features that made me pretty sure of where I was
- Red arrow = times I particularly remember looking at a feature visible to the side to approximate where I was in relation to it

Obvious mistakes on 2 and 4: in retrospect it makes sense since I had not managed to be exactly sure where I was coming into these controls (hence the light blue area near the control). Some other hesitations near controls: on 1 and 11 I did not have a clear picture in my head of what the control area would look like, and at 5 I got to the left and had to scan around to figure things out.

Lesson: narrow down the sphere of uncertainty early before the control. Caveat: this may not be needed when you can see large features around the control easily, and/or the control location is not too tricky (e.g. control 4).

I was hoping to do an analysis of my GPS which might tell me I went somewhere different to where I think I did, however mine seems to not exist on the replay. There were some problems getting reception (this race was pretty far into the mountains ;), and many GPS tracks were missing long sections.


  1. This is a really neat way of doing route analysis! It makes certain patterns much more visible!

  2. Yes, I really like this. Thanks for sharing!

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