October 3, 2022, by Gord Hunter
That was a close one … I assume if you are reading here you are a fan of Orienteering. I hope you also are or will become a fan of Route Gadget or Livelox or both. These programs allow the viewer to see the tracks of orienteers on the course on the map they used in a real competition. They can track themselves with a cell phone app (Livelox) or with either program they can upload their GPS track or manually draw in their route. Both programs/ apps also give the time each competitor took for the course and to each control point.
Mostly I like these programs because they reliably show me where I went and what were the consequences of my route choices, where I gained time, and where I lost time. They show everyone that for themselves and for everyone else in the race.
For those working with juniors, they are a great way to play back the competitions and teach, teach, teach.
Why am I telling you this?
I have two clubmates in Ottawa, Canada that I have known both for many years. Stefan Bergstrom (M65) I have known since he and his young family moved to the Ottawa area in the 1980s but we first competed in the same event in the O’Ringen in Sweden in 1972 when I was aspiring to be on the Canadian team and Stefan was a promising junior and already a noted course-setter with his Swedish club. Cherie Revells (F 45) as a top Canadian junior would load, with her parents and brothers, into the family station wagon and travel from New Brunswick to events across Canada.
Now Cherie and Stefan participate on the same courses in local and national events. They are usually within two to three minutes of each other. But last Sunday at a local Ottawa event the difference was three seconds. Three seconds!! Both loaded their tracks to Route Gadget. So, I had to select their icons to race head-to-head. What a competition! They traded the lead and ended up apart by three seconds!
People say there is no spectator appeal to orienteering because it is done out of sight in the forests and at timed intervals but put the Cherie icon up against the Stefan icon and we have a race!
And that’s just one example. It happens with every event tracked on Route Gadget and Livelox.
Want to see it? Click Route Gadget … on the right sidebar menu choose “class/course”, select “Adv Short”. Then select “GPS Revells Cherie” and “GPS Bergstrom Stefan”, and any other asterick you may wish to see. Then “Load Animation”. When the Start, Stop, Pause, etc. buttons appear, press “Start”, and then sit back and watch the action unfold.
Select “Short Advanced” and click on the GPS routes for Cherie Revells and Stefan Bergstrom. (Cherie’s GPS took a little time to get settled but once it did they were off to the races.) Who won? Well, you will know that. But who was in the lead at most controls? Were they ever tied? They had lots of route differences? Which routes would have been your choices?