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Big Fun at the Big Foot Sprints

Early on Saturday morning (or, early for a weekend!), Big Foot gathered 40 of Sydney's keenest orienteers for the 2011 Big Foot Sprints! The sprints have a unique format; There are two short line courses over about 2.5km each. The short courses mean it really is about making quick navigational decisions, rather than having the stamina to go flat out for half an hour. The thing that makes the Big Foot Sprints most unique is how the starting times are done; Sprint 1 started with the standard one minute gap between runners, but Sprint 2 had everyone start at 10:30am, plus their sprint 1 time. That meant that some runners were starting as little as two seconds apart! Now while that would normally be a bit annoying (as you might be leading your competitors around the course!), because you were matched in performance and first across the line placed first, there was extra motivation to get ahead at each control and the leader could swap several times throughout the race. I myself was battling young Duncan Currie. He is a faster runner than me but it managed to make it to the finish line just a few seconds ahead of him with a couple of snappy route choice decisions. Read on...

The event was held at the St Ives Showground on a map which our own club president, Terry had updated for the occasion. The showground makes an excellent location for a sprint race because there are so many different places to put controllers: horse jumps, RC car tracks, buildings, barbecues, boulders, water holes, ruins, firetrail and stairways. My favorites were along the dirt bike circuit where you could bank around the berms and spring over the jumps! The courses changed in both control configuration and direction and made excellent use of the area.

A very big thanks the the Big Foot Orienteers for putting on such a fun event! Well done to Tracy Marsh for setting a great course, and thanks to the Little Foot fool stall for restocking our carbohydrates between sprints! Full results are now up on their website.

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