O race 2:48:14  *** 8.4 km (20:02 / km)
spiked:1/17c shoes: Inov8 Mudroc
lame and embarrassing. and i got nearly hypothermic. but lets try to get past all that and learn something. . . .
My big problems started at #8. looking back I can see that i had a very shaky attackpoint. basically I took a compass course straight to the control intending to intersect with the utility line and navigate via the large reentrant near the control. I was noting and "collecting" the successive up/down changes along the way fairly well. when I got to the utility line, I assumed the orange markers were the black x's on the map. Mistake 1 - that was wrong. (maybe those were the utility poles? IDK) Mistake 2 - the contour changes were - to me - very subtle and I was not sure if the map terrain was matching what i was seeing. If the reentrant was deeper I would have been able to tell. studying the map now, I see the contour interval was 5 feet - which I think is different from what I am used to. So I tried my attack and failed. I went back to the utility line and tried and failed again. I decided to follow the utility line up to the swamp. it seemed further away than it should have been, so I figure i was to far south of the control. I pace counted down the line about 100 meters - and viewed the terrain. again, it might have matched but i was not sure. attack/fail again. finally, i bailed up to the swamp again, followed it around to the multiple rootstocks to the south, attacked again and succeeded. Now i was soaked through and getting cold. so the rest was not going to be good.
Next problem was at 10. This time I was rushing and had no good plan. Followed a compass course south from what I thought was the southern most point of the swamp, went south along the depression through second small swamp then looked for the rootstock as an attackpoint. Unfortunately there were – to me – many rootstocks. So mistake 1 was not being able to discern a mapped rootstock from an unmpapped one. I learned more about this later. Mistake 2 was assuming the edge of the refuge would be clearly marked and act as a catching feature in a pinch. Didn’t happen - or maybe I didn't go far enough because it would not helped much anyway. Bailed out to the north to the long swamp again. tried the same process as already used, but failed a second time. (what is it they say about people who do the same things over and expect a different result?) Bailed to the north to the long swamp a third time, feeling cold and soaked, and followed it east to road, south to the refuge edge - which was marked at this point - and west to the control.
Next big problem was 11. My initial compass course toward the control brought me to the reentrant w/ the 3 ‘fingers’ to the south. I recognized this and followed them north and left, intending to attack from the third ‘finger’. Must have made a mistake here because I saw the utility line again. here I got confused and ended up going south to the stream. Now nothing seemed to match. Forced some clearer thinking and went north again, hit the utility line, and recognized the contours which lead to the control.
Final big problem was 12. I was probably just frustrated and tired here. Now have given up running and just hiking. My Initial compass course/pace count brought me to non-descript forest and no recognizable terrain. Didn’t bother looking around much and just bailed due north to the road. Pace count to get there was further than expected, indicating I had strayed left and south during initial compass course and bailed before reaching the control area. Decided to follow a compass course from the known point where the road/trail/utility line came together toward the large swamp. Somehow I messed this up again badly, and ended up 100 meters west, but still only a few yards from the road which was in sight to the north. Turned due south, hit the swamp, but failed to make a good attack from the rootstock at the east end of it – because I couldn’t identify the right rootstock. Saw francis hogle here. Found the control after aimless circling.
Rootstocks are only downed trees with big dirt-mounds on the roots. An old fallen log w/ exposed roots but no dirt-root ball is not a rootstock. I presume there is a size convention for this too. . . .
Be sure of attackpoint before bothering to attack. Nuff said.
Read the contour interval before starting. Practice identifying subtle contour changes in areas w/ small contour intervals.