Orienteering race (Foot) 1:34:53  *** 8.8 km (10:47 / km) +325m 9:06 / km
spiked:14/16c slept:8.0 weight:189lbs
QOC: Patapsco State Park, McKeldin Area. Like others, I struggled with the steep slopes. I didn't check by counting, but the listed 325m of climb seemed low for the course. I moved steadily.
S-1 Took the way around the rough open and then through the trees after the basketball court. The trees weren't as white as mapped initially. Along the way while reading the map, I was getting confused between open forest and open ground.
1-2 I stayed in the open terrain, then cut over to angle up the hill. I passed the picnic area on the ridge top. Going down the hill, I could see the deadfall and I used that to zero in. I was still very high up when I was first able to see the control.
2-3 I trudged up the same tall steep hill that I just descended but passed the picnic hut at the end of the road. I dropped to the trail bend in the reentrant, then took the trails down. The leg line hid a trail so I was surprised at finding one going where I wanted to go.
3-4 I ran up the reentrant then cut over a bit. I passed the depression and then the top of a gully. A little unsure of my exact location, I went through some open and eventually hit the road where I wanted to. I crossed, hitting the trailbend in the reentrant, then climbed. I left the trail quickly and made my way toward the chimney. A little surprised at not seeing the control yet, I curved left luckily and dropped enough to see it. Don Davis had just found it and was leaving--the control wasn't in the right place and was just out of sight from where it should have been (the feature had disappeared or the piece of rusted oil drum rolled down) so Don had just spent several minutes finding it.
4-5 With several legs on the course having acute angles, and not being in the right place leaving #4, I guess I got confused leaving #4. My bearing took me down the big reentrant below the control, rather than back the way I'd come (#5 was very close to #3). I went all the way to the next big fields and an alternate parking area that QOC uses sometimes before correcting. From there, I had another big reentrant to cross. After finally approaching the control area, I dropped from the top of the hill to a rock. I could see leaves disturbed like others had been there too but I didn't find the control. I cut across the steep hillside and eventually found it. Jon Torrance had indicated finding the control in the wrong place (probably after I had passed the area).
5-6 I stayed high, using the trail initially but cutting off bends and then running down the hillside. I was surprised at how low the rock was but I spiked it.
6-7 I left the control area and took a nature break. After that, I crossed what little was left of the ridge, and hit the trail bend. I ran the trail bottom till it was time to climb at an intersection. I stayed on the left side of the stream near the end.
7-8 I walked up the hill mostly, then ran across the field. I left the field at a sort of bend in the field edge, angled down and spiked it.
8-9 As I was leaving #8, I saw John Campbell approaching and guessed that I had about a 50 second lead on him. I used the field and road to take me back toward #4, but I crossed the reentrant below #4 to get there. I attacked from the trail bend above the control. I wondered where John Campbell was, expecting that he'd catch me on the way to #8.
9-10 Reversing my route, I followed it all the way to the field above #8. Along the way, I passed Yuri, who wasn't having any fun. However in the field I hugged the opposite side of the forest edge. I actually got into the woods too to avoid climbing in the field. I think I was on the mapped trail but it was more like a ride. Perhaps the trail has changed with the disc golf course. I dropped down to the control spiking it easily.
10-11 - I angled down to the river trail and stayed low, even when the trail ended. I did climb over the large spur where the river bends around. I took more trails to the flatlands, cutting where I could. I saw the boulder a long way off but with the control obscured on the other side of it, I was a little unsure until I saw the line of rocks above.
11-12 I think I saw John Campbell as I was leaving #11. I never went to the trail, opting instead to hug the hillside and climb where it wasn't too steep. Still, I walked most of the climb.
12-13 I walked the steep climb, and didn't use the trail at the top much. I took a straighter route and more or less spiked it.
13-14 I ran the forest on the left side of the stream to the bottom (instead of trying to get to the trail). I went straight across the marsh and to the ride. I was a little unsure of the rootstock at the end because it seemed small and the control was not visible from afar.
14-15 - I ran the ride up to the trail intersection. Tired and wanting to stay ahead of John Campbell, I flubbed the intersection by going right instead of left. Later I corrected, when I could have walked straight up to the trail bend. Finally on the ridge trail, I had no trouble spiking the control. It was just visible from the trail.
15-16 - I could hear leaves rustle when leaving #16. I figured that it was John Campbell finally catching me. He may actually have passed me already at this point as I flubbed the trail intersection on the previous control. I stayed low, running pretty well through the mountain laurel. I climbed to get onto the road at the hairpin turn but descended from there. I ran the trail along the old power line, picking up speed and passing others. I went too fast and didn't see the ride to my left. Perhaps I had just said hello to someone at an inopportune time. I also couldn't see the vegetation boundary that I was looking for on the map--that was hidden by the control circle. I eventually ran toward the road and saw from the telephone poles across the road, that I needed to be higher.
16-F I ran through the ride and the depression near the trail, then up, up, and away walking. I did manage to charge a little at the end.