Missing a control
This article concentrates (significant word) on a particular error that seems to come up from time to time. I hope you can avoid my mistakes!
Anyone who has helped out at download might recognise the following scene. A sweaty competitor presents their dibber but no printout emerges. Computer says "no". Did you miss out control 8? Of course not! Short pause while the map is consulted. Ah, perhaps I did miss it, aaargh!
I've done it twice myself very recently. First at an urban race I simply missed out control 23, going straight from 22 to 24 (see the map). It's not an obvious mistake to make, and I find it hard to see how I made such a clumsy error. At least that time I only disqualified myself.
The second one was at a relay race where I missed my 3rd last control, effectively disqualifying the whole team, oops. What did I get wrong? Well in both cases this happened on straightforward controls following on after more complicated areas, and they also took place about 35 minutes into a 40 minute race.
This is no coincidence. If you run hard you will be very tired in the last parts of the course. This tiredness applies to mind as well as body. If you know the difficult part of the race has passed, you will naturally want to take it easy. In a sport like ours where brainwork is as important as legwork this is a danger.
How to stop this happening. One word: concentrate. Try to avoid mentally easing up late into the race. Instead continue to look at the map properly, and continue to navigate. Don't start thinking about the finish until you get there!
- Skilling Up #23 Missing a control from QuOnicle 162, July 2015