Orienteering (Foot) 1:17:14  *** 6.2 km (12:27 / km) +230m 10:30 / km
spiked:9/12c slept:6.9 weight:195.5lbs (injured)
Patuxent River Park, MD. I ran the 6.2K training course which Peggy had setup last summer with pink streamers. It used portions of the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary which I'd been in long ago, but never orienteered through. Dave Linthicum had update much of the map so it showed some new trails and removed older ones. I traveled 6.9K for the 6.2K course. It was humid and in the 70s F. We've been waiting to change the toner cartridges on our printer so the map I used was very light.
S-1 - Peggy and I started together and were going to the same control. I moved ahead on a trail and cut across forest in the right place. I had trouble reading the detail in the circle but knew it was in the reentrant from the control description. I went left and cut right in a side reentrant to spike it. The control was higher up than I was estimated.
1-2 - I'd just gotten out of the reentrant when Peggy was in from the direction I was leaving. I moved down the road and across the 1,000 ft. wooden bridge across Mataponi March into the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary. From the road bend, I went in the forest on bearing mostly. There seemed to be more detail than mapped, including a shelved hillside. I was just left of the control but pulled up at the right contour and right distance. Being too close to the dropoff on the NE, I came over SW and found the pit. Seeming be a depression with no streamer, I looked around. I'd decided that this must be the place, and then, I saw the streamer on the ground under some leaves. The branch had been broken. I tied-up what remained of it.
2-3 - Back on the road, I cut across a kind of messy ride to the field. It was overgrown but I could run parts and it wasn't very thorny. I wanted to get to the ride on the other side but it wasn't visible from the field. I plunged into the forest near the field corner and soon found the ride. Leaving it from a bend, I followed a formline hillside to the area with some contour detail. I had to stop to read more carefully but went to the control area. Again, the streamer had fallen down with another broken twig it had been tied to. I tied it back up.
3-4 - I ran across the flat part of the terrain, keeping an eye on the reentrants to my left, I saw the streamer from further out than expected though it was a little higher than I thought it'd be.
4-5 - I headed to the road somewhat directly. I hit the gully and dropped to a stream intersection getting to the trails before reaching the road. I stayed on the road to cross Mataponi Marsh again, going past the guardrail and nearly to the rising contours. I went straight from there, but I did contour around the reentrant after the initial hill. I was feeling weak. I'd hit the next reentrant just above/left of the control. I recognized the side reentrant but couldn't see streamer. I took my time making sure it was the correct reentrant before going down into it. Again, the streamer was eventually found on the ground in the leaves, and I tied it back up.
5-6 - I stayed low most of the way. After rounding a prominent spur halfway, and approaching the control, I climbed. I was counting reentrants and pulled-up short. I contoured back 3 reentrants to a deep one with trash in it. At each of the reentrants, I paused to look for a fallen streamer. At the deep reentrant I took this to be the gullied one on the map that was before the prominent spur coming from the start of the leg, so I again circled back. I went past where I'd stopped before and found found the right one. The streamer had been in the correct location but the other reentrants not on the map (one may have been under the mapped circle) had been the cause of the error.
6-7 - I ran straight mostly but got on the newly mapped trail. Along the trail there both pink flags and multiple pink streamers. I came off the trail to the control on the ditch from above, and spiked it. I ran straight, crossing the old trail--now mapped as a ride, and across the tops of two reentrants. I hit the correct reentrant but didn't see the control streamer. After hunting on the ground, I followed the reentrant up to where it was much flatter and I found the streamer.
7-8 - Leaving #7, I headed straight. I had to round some of the mountain laurel but I hit the ride west of the distinct bend. My GPS track shows some drifting right but if I was straight, it'd be consistent with #8 being too high up the reentrant. I ran to the bend and proceeded around more mountain laurel to spike the control, very near the new trail.
8-9 - I ran straight, ignoring the old trail mapped as a ride, and I spiked it.
9-10 - When usually in the Bowie Meadow Swamp area, I take the trail bridge. With #10 so close to the creek, I went down and hoped it'd be dry. In other events, I could see from other's GPS tracks that they'd run across it much longer than I planned to. My first steps told me it was wet and that is consistent with how it's mapped. It got better but the grasses were still too high to run across. On the other side, I also had to cross the creek without the trail bridge, but by then, the creek helped to wash off mud. I climbed the hill on the trail, then ran along the bluffs to the right reentrant. I did have to stop to read which one it was, and I memorized most of the remaining leg.
10-11 - I ran to the trails getting to the newly made and mapped one west of the barns. I left from the correct bend to spike the control a short way in.
11-F. I ran straight to the field, ignoring the trail, and finished.
This run was broken up by lots of things but it was good training both mentally and physically. Others who may still want to do it can look for Peggy's email with the course map file, and they should benefit by having the streamers put back up. Visibility will probably be better soon too--leaves were falling though they were not much of a factor for hiding stuff underfoot. I only fell once.