Orienteering race 51:11  4.7 mi (10:53 / mi) +342ft 10:11 / mi
shoes: Montrail Mt Masochist Mar 2011
Highland Park Trail Challenge, 8K.
I judged the best route from the start to #1 to be along Highland Ave rather than on the paved paths through the park. I and a number of others (but a minority of the starters, it seemed) set out that way. I think I judged wrong, because when I got to #1, I could see some people getting there before me who I think I normally would be faster than.
No other significant route choice decisions or mistakes on loop 1. On most legs, I was 8th, 9th, or 10th in splits, but I was 6th on 13 for some odd reason (definitely was a runner's leg and I'm not much of a runner these days) and 5th on 15.
On loop 2, again I decided to stay along Highland for most of the way from 16 to 17, heading up the hill right around where #23 was. And again, it looked like a bad route choice because AP said I lost 59 seconds on that leg (the only lost time it reported). I was 5th on #18, possibly because I made sure not to climb the entire hill (the hill where control #5 was); I headed to the small stairway just left of the connection line about a third of the way through the leg, and then followed the paved path around the hill. I was also surprisingly 6th on #19; since that was a long road run with no real route choice, I'm not sure why that was.
Then of course, #20 was misplaced. Olga was about 10 seconds ahead of me at that time, and I saw here go right into the saddle where the control should have been, and look around puzzled. Bad sign, I thought ... we both agreed that we were most definitely in the saddle where the control should be. We searched around a bit for it, and I was about to give up and figure it had been stolen, when she found it up a hill a ways, right around the map border I believe. Although it seemed like we were looking for a while, it couldn't be that long as my time from 19 to 20 was only 2:03. So maybe I lost a minute, but of course nearly everyone else lost time as well, and AP said I didn't actually lose time relative to others.
From there on in, I was going back and forth with Olga, and generally a bit behind Rafael. I beat Olga from 22 to 23, possibly because once again I tried to minimize climb a bit. Then she passed me on Highland Ave going to 24, but I passed her again going to 25 because I found the trail through the woods while she went further west to a paved trail. Then she passed me for good leaving 25.
I finished 9th out of 12, but the last two places appeared from their times to be fairly non-serious entrants. But I was less than a minute behind Rafael and only a bit more than a minute behind Olga, both of whom are far better runners than I am, so I don't feel badly about my outing.