Orienteering race 1:10:43  5.2 km (13:36 / km)
One Day US Champs Green X course. Very nervous due to difficulty of terrain. Goals: plan routes; STAY IN CONTACT WITH MAP; pace count often.
Great morraine terrain with basically no trails. Great course design - kevin doesn't give you a break!
Being Late Start is a bit odd. Fewer people seen - which means less distractions (which can hurt me) but also no one entering and leaving controls. Also, anyone I 'catch' is walking or has made major errors - that can cause brain games.
Start: Before start, I had 2 minutes to study clues - I forgot to. In this terraink, that mattered little. Each 'middle of circle' feature was obvious.
#1: Short trail run to 'get onto map'. With short leg, did not have confidence to plan ahead.
#2: I saw 'trail off-line to left' option which turned out to be very popular. I went straight and don't regret it. I did not choose steep downhill route very well. Aimed for two huge depressions - hit right edge. Aimed to steep ridge, contoured left, aiming for "saddle". Oops, what is this huge depression doing here. I had confidence in map contact to realize "I AM here" and noticed that mapped feature was depression, not knoll, hence no saddle. Turned right to knoll.
#3. Throughout day, I never picked up the 'ridge lines' on tis map. I did use and see "steep uphill or downhill" but never clicked that htis was a often a ridge. So I executed straight route quite well - but it was less safe and slower than ridge run on left. (Checked winsplits - lost 5 minutes here - surprise!)
#4. Short leg - bearing to reentrant in huge depression.
#5. Followed features well for 2/3 of leg. Then poor planning, map reading, and terrain reading as I neared circle. Slowed down. "I know that I'm close." Walked around, climbed, looked over shoulder, "There it is" - right number (Lost less than a minute - felt like more.).
#6. Bearing - short leg did read features well too.
#7. Aimed for long skinny depression, went right so I'd pick up spur pointing towards control. 100 m - passed several depressions - sure hope mine is next - it is.
#8. Caught a couple guys moving in right direction and at my pace (but "remember why they are here"). Smaller features - tough leg. got 75% there, didn't read big knoll on right very effectively. No attack point planned -ooops. As i neared control, saw about 5 people wandering and wondering - i 'joined' them. Turned right, Yes! (lost 1+ minutes).
#9 Right of big depression. Saw knoll coming up. Around to depressionk, yes.
#10. Reading map well now. Checked off minor features well. Lots of small depressions - found mine cleanly.
#11. Perhaps left too fast to get away from other 2 guys. Didn't read and use ridge effectively. Drifted right, climbed ridge, "Where am I?" Found knoll on ridge, next to second knoll - "I got it!" Carefully checked features as I left ridge - all matched! (lost 3 minutes) Straight was better - not sure why I rejected it.
#12. "Last leg - careful - can't make mistake now!" Straight was obvious; went right :(. I KNEW I had to then turn left - saw control to right - I checked it! Dumb! (lost 1.5 minute).
#13. Eschewed trail - straight thru weeds to GO. Then 17 sec to Finish.
M55: 5th of about 12 - about as 'seeded'. 4 minutes out of 3rd. As expected, a 'good run' got me 5th, an excellent run would have been 3rd.
Overall, very pleased - most legs were solid, if hesitant. Lost contact twice (5 & 11), but salvaged both legs.
Need to look for and use ridges better.
Could have pace counted a couple more times - especially through bland contour features.
Winsplit - Of 12 on M55, surprised to see that 7 legs I was 1st (#10), 2nd, or 3rd fastest. So I my pace through woods was stronger than expected.