Third and final day of the Shamrock. Best terrain yet, just fabulous. I was not quite up to the challenge, mistakes at 4 controls plus a little tactical stupidity, though total was only 2 or at most three minutes lost, plus tweeked an ankle half way around when dropping down a cliff. Still won my class handily, but got beat by the 16-year-old Swede....
Course was 4.4 km straight-line, not easy.
and my route
So I started at 10 am with the 9 other course leaders. No one in my class was remotely close, but a Swedish M16 was starting a minute behind. Got to the first couple OK, but I was not feeling much zip, and they were uphill, and by the time I got to the second the Swede had caught me. And he takes off in the direction of 3, going a good bit faster than I am.
So you would think it might have dawned on me that if he was a lot faster than me (at least 25%), and we had had about the same times the previous two days, than his O' skills might be a bit suspect. You would think. But I followed him happily, right up to the point where I had clearly gone far enough, and there was no control and things weren't right. And he was standing about another 40 meters along, looking at his map, and looking at me....
Dropped down, got the control, 4 was easy, and by the time I got it he was back with me. He took off to 5, easy because you could see it from 100 meters away (the only one like that all day). And then we turned uphill and he was soon out of sight. Though I did get a glimpse of him when I was at 6 and he was way up the hill in the direction of 7, except he wasn't heading for 7, more going north, way to the right of it. And looking back to see what I was doing.
I spiked 7, spiked 8, and which point here he came again. And zipped past me. And for the rest of the course he never got too far ahead, there would be a burst of speed, and then after some more difficult section I'd catch back up with him.
We were together coming into 15, missed it a slight bit to the right, quite surprised, thought I had nailed it, and then he was sailing away to 16. I got down there, he was scratching his head, I missed it a touch, turned back, there he came, and that was that. Wouldn't have mattered if I'd nailed 16, he still would have had me.
All sort of amusing, felt like there was nothing I could do because the visibility was so good, also a little depressing because I'm so damn slow. And CSU doesn't yet make a camouflage O' suit, which is the only thing that might have helped.
But the orienteering was absolutely wonderful. As were the courses (none of the Swiss disrespect for the old men's courses). As was the organization. A totally delightful long weekend. I suppose you could say that the one thing we were missing was fog. That would have been fun.
View of the terrain from the finish, four shots from left to right....