Orienteering race 1:28:26  6.8 km (13:00 / km) +110m 12:02 / km
Green Y course at North Americans. A little intimidated by the overcast, rainy conditions, but overall I found the map more visible than the middle distance map. Generally did pretty well, but lots of small mistakes and a few larger ones. Right on line for #1, but stopped to look at larger rockpile at the edge of the circle on the way in, so lost about 5-10 seconds. 2. was really good, straight all the way, checking off trail junction and going right through clearing on the line. Fairly straight most of the way to 3, although I looked briefly at the trail route right. Crossed right in the green befoer the marshy area then along the marsh. Saw the spur with the knolls, but got confused by the rootstock under the line and crossed the marsh over to the knoll and ran up the spur to the control. Maybe 10-15 seconds from the momentary indecision. Trying to go straight but drifted right a bit and went up the reentrant and saw the trail end, then tried to correct and thought it would be easy to find the first reentrant and then the second one, but ended up wandering and wandering. Finally relocated off the marsh to the NW. Dave Enger (5 mins) caught me here. Relatively intermittent trail S of control W to the road. Could hear folks behind me on it. Maybe Dave? Dave passed me on the road, but then I was first into the woods, skirting the marsh, but surprised by the knoll just NW of the control so stopped to look at the map and Dave punched first. Had planned the safe route along the ridge top to the wall NE of control, but from the ridge top it looked ok to justgo on compass and assume I would see the largish re-entrant the control was in. Dave was a bit higher on the slope and I was sure he had gone by it, but I didn't see it so kept going to the next reentrant. Then stopped to read and saw the stone wall fragment, so back E to control. Carl Childs was leaving it and I tried to follow him but he was too fast. Up hill looking for the wall, but never hit it, and I guess I was too far right. Dave showed up and led for a bit, but I punched first at 7. On trail, then Dave passed and got well ahead. Eventually cut S and crossed between green marsh and trickle, then up big hill on knoll W of the knoll near control, so a bit of a hesitation before figuring it out. Could see Dave 50 m ahead or so as I punched at 8. Thought about left trail route and right trail route, but straight seemed to work ok, mostly because I couldn't decide between left and right. Slowing down and careful , but reading the last few knolls and in pretty well. Dave came in behind me from the right a bit. E to road to bend and trail, where Dave passed again, and I was keeping an eye on him as he drifted right, then saw the blue control on the spur S of ours and went down to check it, feeling foolish. Figured out it was the spur and then went directly N to #10. Parallel error from here in reentrant left of the line when I thought I was right, leading me to drift left when I got over the hill instead of right and mill around for a couple of minutes before figuring it out. Saw Dave leaving about 50 m before I got to the control, so he was probably at least 100 m ahead now. Straight might have been a pretty good route to 12, but left to the small trail and then road was safe, and I saw a parade of folks going the other way on the small trail, including PG and Rick W. Jumped off road at knoll before the trail jct on the left and across between marshes and straight in. Only about 10 m behind Dave, who had gone further up the road and got slowed down in the marsh. He then went left toward 13, but I went right (same route as PG's map shows). Very nice and felt in control all the way. Saw Dave coming in after I punched. Mostly skirted the hill out to the road, then road to the water stop at top of the hill and into the woods, drifting a bit left behind Dave, and watching him go to the knoll nearer the marsh, following most of the way to it before correcting and getting to 14 before him. Feeling very tired now, and he got out to the road faster and appeared to be heading up to the finish and taking the easy trail route. Since I was falling farther behind him on the road, and didn't want to follow him anyway, I cut through the woods, thinking I would find the reentrant that led down to the control. Nicest running woods of the day, but I got a bit off and ended up going down the smaller reentrant south of the one I aimed for and looking for the knolls that weren't there until I was in the marsh. Pretty scared that I was really lost, but lucky enough to go back to the hill and read the terrain right, up the reentrant from the S and right in. Maybe a 3 minute bobble. Then to 16 left of line to avoid the marsh, but couldn't read the tiny features in the vicinity of the control and ended up standing in a reentrant just SE of the control for a minute. PG passed on the way to 17. Just kept pushing a bit right of line, past stone pile before marsh, across and up the marsh, running right in. Then I could see the finish and just bore off a bit to pick up the flag on the trail. Not a bad performance for me. Lots of mistakes, but at least corrected well on all but #4.
Having finished the race and collected Erik, I've repaired back to the car to change into dry clothes and beat a hasty retreat home. The fellow in the next car (a Canadian whom I don't know) engages me in a few pleasantries and gives me the customary greeting orienteers give when seeing someone after the race: "how did you do?". I think for a millisecond about the day's adventures, and respond, with some forcefulness, "great!" And it's true enough, despite the variations from perfect navigational form. After all, my performance was as good as I can reasonably expect from myself if not all that I could desire, and I've contracted no new injuries. What could be better? Anyway, the fellow is a bit taken aback by the unconventional response, but finds it pretty pleasing, and we chat a while, with big smiles from both of us the whole time.