You be the judge

Urban Plotting exercise. On Sunday I decided to lay a track for Ben. There were so many options and I wanted something different. Along the way I thought about all of the ways I could make this track different – not better or worse (I hope).

Urban mysteries – why do some tracks just fail? Are there such things as traps, dead zones, flow, black holes? To get the best outcome, plot the best you can, and learn to cope with the rest. Scent moves in urban environments. We may not always understand it.

Plotting 3 ways in the same area. Learn by observation. Plot some bad tracks and run them. Learn how to handle your way out of it. See what your dog can do.

Exercise: What I was thinking when I laid this for Ben; at key intersections, what could have been different.

Things to think about –

Start / Turn locations and number of turns / Length of legs / Article placement and type/ Transitions / Bait / Terrain and buildings / Obstacles / Areas to avoid / Linear or double back / Ratio of veg to non veg / End / Total length / Walkout / Age / and when running it – wind if any and weather conditions.

Here is the map, from my TomTom Runner’s watch. Start is at the right (green dot) and it is linear.

TomTom watch

Google Earth image. 650 m / 200 is non veg

UTDX 1 - 650 m

START – my track is in blue

Other colours are options and possibilities

Side view

Start and option

Looking back – the start is at the top (photo taken from the road)

Start and turn 1 and options

Turn One and options – blue track is the one I did (the little bridge)

Turn 1 and options


Location of the track and optional leg to article one – metal


Turn 1 option to article 1

Crossing the road – options

soccer field turn 1 start options

Blue track and view of soccer field options

Leg 2 road cross and option

Notice the ‘meander’ here in the blue line

soccer field bleachers

How did Ben do? – Start to article one – metal


Turn two

Turn 2

View of options from the soccer field – blue is the track I did. I’ve done all of these going both ways. They all have pros and cons.

soccer field view

Article two is half way along the fence – wood

soccer field sheds area options

Tennis court area options – go around either way or turn away from it and cross to the parking lots

Note – there is a children’s playground and bike path at the upper end (yellow line) but lots of green space to pass by

around tennis court options

tennis court by blue building options

How did Ben do? – Article one to article two – wood

In front of or behind the blue building?

row of trees area

A look at the front of the daycare building (little white portable)

front of daycare

Article 3 sock is just past the chain link and gap between buildings

art side of building

The path I did today and article 3 – sock

Where did I walk? On the sidewalk? On the grass?

sidewalk lawn leg

How did Ben do? – Article two wood, to article 3 sock

Towards the non-veg turn

Daycare to the left


Gravel lot to the right mostly enclosed – one small opening to the bike path

enclosed area

NV Turn

NV turn

Alt nv turn

Article 4 was leather but it was only at 500 m roughly

NV turn second leg

How did Ben do? – from the sock to the end of the non – veg turn

Crossing the road – options – another look at the front of the daycare building

front of daycare

To the end – wow what to do? I am 100 m short (at least)

last turn options

Alt end

This is what I did

last leg view

How did Ben do? –  from the NV turn article to the end

The end and walkout

last leg

The walkout – is this ok? Blue line shows the track which is all across the road after the red X


Maps – original and alternates. All non veg is roughly 200 – 230 m (between 1/3 and 1/2)

What do you like and why? Article placement?

Original – 650 m 7 turns veg end

UTDX 1 - 650 m

UTDX 2 605 m 6 turns – if there were soccer players on the field?…..

UTDX 2 - 605 m

UTDX 3 625 m 6 turns – altered start from above map

UTDX 3 - 625 m

UTDX 4 640 m 7 turns

UTDX 4 - 640 m

UTDX 5 630 m 7 turns – different non veg turn

UTDX 5 - 630 m

UTDX 6 – 610 m 6 turns – changes to turn one and below bleachers

UTDX 6 610 m

UTDX 7 615 m 7 turns – above bleachers and back towards road

UTDX 7 615 m

UTDX 8 605 m 5 turns – is this easier?

UTDX 8 605 m

Find the errors and what makes these BAD tracks!

They look similar to the tracks above, but……

UTDX 9 620 m 6 turns

UTDX 620 m 6 turns

UTDX 10 640 8 turns

UTDX 640 m 8 turns


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