Orienteering race (Foot) 40:44  *** 4.0 km (10:11 / km) +81m 9:15 / km
spiked:10/11c slept:8.0 weight:198.5lbs
QOC: Stuart's Hill, Manassas, VA. For my start back to training and racing, I selected the Brown course. I was glad to see that it was 4K instead of around 3K. It was a pretty nice day; windy near the start as usual, but sunny at 48 F and climbing. I had a false start, flipping over my map after punching and realizing I left my glasses in the car. I went back for them (setting the car alarm off with Samantha's help), then got going.
S-1 - I went straight, cut right around the fence, then left along the trees to the creek. It was deep so I cut right to where I could cross, and right again to get over a cliff, anticipating the control to be somewhat ahead. I realized I'd climbed early but it was good. I angled over into the reentrant. This probably wasn't a great start but it was more or less a spike.
1-2 - I ran on bearing going across the field but ended up further south than intended. I came in where the trail bent at the field edge. I caught and passed Jim Chaplin and his dog just after the bridge. I started to go too far left again but corrected and soon saw the control further to the right.
2-3 - I intended to go south a little to get around the deadfall but it was more extensive than mapped and I probably didn't go far enough south too. Making it around the worst of it without too much trouble, I hit the streams below the lake. That surprised me a bit. I ran up toward the dam but paused enough to realize that it'd be better to go to the white woods between the two mapped intermittent streams. After I ran out of white woods I found the tall grass to be slow but it wasn't far to get across. Once in the forest, I felt like I had to go more to the right much farther than expected. I probably was just slow. I also turned left when I saw the control.
3-4 - I was reading the contours and seeing the reentrant but it was disconcerting not seeing the control until I got close.
4-5 - I ran straight but needed to correct to the right once I saw the control.
5-6 - I ran a fairly good bearing and saw a familiar woman competitor on brown (my bad name memory haunts me) approaching from behind or left of the control.
6-7 - I didn't leave in a great hurry but didn't hang around at #6 for long. I suppose I had glanced ahead when approaching #6, so I had it in my head to leave to the right and to hit the big field. I did that, making my way through the deadfall rather than heading further north first. In the field, I passed the little marsh near the narrow rough scattered open field going south. Eugene T. was going the other direction. I went on but getting more than half way across the field, I realized that I'd not see control #7! I u-turned, this time coming to the field corner. I went west first but overcompensated cutting too far south after I thought I'd gotten past the deadfall. I got south of #6 and perhaps saw an unmapped ditch bend along the way. Somehow, that helped me get close to #6. It was close enough that I went straight to #7 from there. This was about a 6-7 minute error on what should have been a 30 second leg. :(
7-8 - I got out of the forest going toward the field much better than when I'd done it leaving #6 earlier. For a short while my path converged with Dave Pruden. I almost told him here we are now two old orienteers, though I didn't want to distract him and he was probably doing Blue. I ran across the field and got distracted by a trail sign briefly. As I got closer to it, I realized I needed to be further north so I hit the right trail leading to #8 pretty well. I caught Amy Loudoun just past the hilltop and both of us paused. Because the real hilltop was behind me and not mapped as a formline, I paused longer than usual. The trail bend there was harder than mapped too. I went on and spiked the control on the tractor that the course notes seemed to be pointing out.
8-9 - I ran straight, going past the small knoll by the stream. Crossing the stream and the scattered rough open, I got slowed down. The grasses were about 6 ft. high in some places and the ground was uneven. I didn't see any of the dot knolls in the white woods closer to the control. I did see control #10 first and got distracted by it for 2 steps. I hit #9 just right and saw the woman who was at #6 earlier, just behind me coming from the NW.
9-10 - I ran straight, having seen the control earlier.
10-11 - I ran straight but was sloppily reading the leg from #9. Fortunately, #9, #10, and #11 were in a straight line; there was no time lost. I actually ran a little further south, into the field and on the trail for a little bit. I got south of the trail to cut distance, and crossed it again as I was going up the hill into the forest with the long formline knoll. I ducked-in SW of the mapped marsh and spiked it.
11-12 - I went south right away, across some deadfall, then out into the field. It was nice running the gentle downhill slope with the wind at my back and the sun shining. I've always run better than others around me in those conditions. I wasn't running that fast today but I still enjoyed it.
I enjoyed the whole course and the fact that I'd gotten out. I have a lot of tuning up to do with not planning/reading enough and being sloppy leaving controls. The physical conditioning is going to take a while too. My right hamstring felt a little funny afterward but not too bad.