orienteering race 1:39:30  *** 7.7 km (12:55 / km) +260m 11:03 / km
Had been concerned that trying to find my controls was not going to be much of a challenge, and I was right. However, there were also 3 controls from Phil's courses, and most discouragingly, I wasn't able to find any of them in a timely fashion. Had some hopes of using my unfair advantage to grab title of M21 champion, and knew Ian F. had put up a time of 75 min to shoot for. Had fine effort and execution through 7, succeeding in navigating cleanly and catching Ian S. at 2 and eventually running away from him (well, maybe walking away from him is more accurate) on climb up hill to 5,6 and 7. Made first mistake after crossing marsh to hit trail on way to 8. Thought I had gone over small hill to hit trail, but when I turned L to look for the reentrant I planned to climb up, I wound up seeing the trail junction further on. Tried to take a straight line approach from there, but did not know where I was when I hit the reentrant (bumping into Ian again), and overestimated the amount I had climbed. Eventually I hit the winding trail beyond the control which allowed me to relocate. However, I now knew that Ian S. was ahead of me, and I took off like an idiot in hot pursuit without having any plan as to how to get to 9. If I had even taken a second to think, I would have remembered that I had vetted the control and that it was in a very technical and secluded spot. However, I simply ran off and hoped I would recognize something when I got there. I didn't. I am pretty sure that I was on the indistinct trail in the middle of the direct route, but I just wandered blindly from there, stumbling well past the control before bailing out completely in order to find the trail running parallel to the stream. Rest of the performance was solid but not spectacular. I took more direct line to 11 along the ridge, but hit the lower of the 2 cliffs, and then didn't see upper cliff immediately, so wandered aimlessly for another minute before coming back to the circle and seeing my control as Ian approached from the back side. Was happy I still had enough to pull away from Ian again, surely helped by the knowledge that the last controls were all my selections. On arriving home, I realized that I had failed to adequately activate start control, so first split is a guess. I will be interested to see splits from Ian F. and Andrew Childs. I suspect that my times will be competitive for the 13 controls I spiked, but that is hardly a consolation for being so inept on the controls I had not chosen myself.