Brambles # 2

This Brambles is on the technique of “running through the control”. References I have used include Orienteering, Training and Coaching and the Level 2 manual.

Running through the control requires a lot of concentration and practice. For the avid but occasional orienteerer if you practice this in an event at one or two controls each time out, you should feel as if your concentration is improving and you should feel as if you are going through the control faster. To do this effectively you will need to slow down and look at the map more frequently. However the key is to have a system in place to practice for running through the control.

Using an attack point helps to put the routine in place much easier than without an attack point. The level two manual breaks down the process into three basic steps. First, consider your approach from the attack point to the sighting of the control or the feature the control is on. At this time you are slowing down and checking the control description, then check the map for the route out of the control (straight on, left, right etc.) to the next control, if not previously done before hitting the attack point. Now, if the marker has not been spotted you must scan from one side to the other keeping your head up and looking out carefully until found. Keeping your head up and scanning left and right is critical, especially in coniferous areas.

Secondly, consider from sighting to punching the card (or using the electronic punch) by checking where to go from the control,  by orienting map to compass, or terrain, or taking a compass bearing, if necessary. Just before punching, recheck the control code, punch and refold the map if needed, for the next leg you are about to do. For punch cards, some Orienteerers put their punch cards in a small plastic bag fastened to their top or strapped on their wrist which allows for less turning of the map (electronic punching eliminates this mess).

Thirdly, once punched, you move slowly away from the control on your predetermined exit, map reading carefully, checking direction, attack point and route choice looking for the best route to the next control if not already determined. Once verified move out with speed or as terrain permits.

With practice, all of these steps from first sighting the attack point, to locating the feature and control, to leaving the control can be done in a few seconds considering the runner may be 20 to 50 or so metres from the control when sighted.