Orienteering race (Foot) 1:13:46  ** 7.3 km (10:06 / km) +200m 8:53 / km
spiked:14/16c slept:7.5 weight:189lbs
QOC: Seneca Creek State Park, MD. We started from the Bluejay Pavilion today. It was in the mid-40s F and raining. There was a surprising amount of snow around the parking lot but none in the woods that mattered for me. The trouble I had was with foggy eyeglasses and I think that was the main cause of a mispunch. Many controls were set close together. 'd just read the feature incorrectly on the one I'd missed, and there happened to be a control where I'd memorized the control to be.
S-1 - The forest near the parking lot seemed to have gotten greener so I ran around it to the right, rather than try to go straight. I spiked it.
1-2 - I was glad to see that the power lines had been mowed. There were some nasty looking thorny vine stalks where I ran across, just below the power lines. It was greener getting into the forest, but not hard. Next were what looked like unmapped long depressions filled with rainwater. I ran around them, saw the biggest rootstock and found the control there.
2-3 - I went between the power lines and was glad to see that a path of sorts got through the green. Staying low in the forest, I ran around deadfall and adjusted bearing after the creek bend to hit the control. I struggled to read the map in the circle but the control was pretty visible.
3-4 - I started climbing steeper than straight to get around the green. It seemed that I had to adjust a bit more to the left to get to the visible control
4-5 - I ran and walked up the hill to the reentrant and the road intersection.
5-6 - I took the road over the dam, left it from the curve, and crossed the reentrant to the visible rootstock.
6-7 - I ran up to the trail, but rather than go over the hill and through the forest, I used the dam spillway and trail along the lake. I'd misread the leg, and went almost directly to control 8 (I had let myself get distracted with a new rootstock near 8, but I should have known it was too far off to the right). I didn't realize I'd missed #7 yet. Next I ran directly to #7. Michael Stasiowski was just coming to it as I'd punched, and yelled out that I'd taken #7 and #8 in the wrong order. I probably lost 3-4 minutes.
7-8 - I ran back to #8 and punched. It helped that I'd been there already.
8-9 - I reversed most of the route I'd taken to #8 from #6 earlier, past the lake and dam spillway. However once overt the road, I was more to the right. I did use the trail for a short while but departed it when I thought I'd gotten high enough. A rootstock close to the trail ahead was distracting me. I couldn't see the one lower where I thought it'd be. Somewhere along that point, I saw Michael Stasiowski coming in from my left. He'd been on the trail longer. He got there first.
9-10 - I took off, as much as I could waddle up the hill, and crested it first. I hesitated, not seeing the control ahead. I read the map and realized more about where it should be. By that time, Michael had gotten ahead and again reached the control before me.
10-11 - I discounted the left route across the bridge over Seneca Hwy. due to the extra climb--I feel slow on climbs. In retrospect, that might have been a better route. Going down through Long Draught Branch and under Great Seneca Hwy. I lead Michael for a while. I thought he'd pass me on the climb on the trail, but he didn't. I kept going and only cut across the last tip of the disc golf course. As I was doing this, I saw Michael ahead and higher to my left. I got back on the trail but cut down quickly to the creek. I hit it at the crossing point for the Seneca Greenway Trail, and Michael was just ahead there. I passed on the other side, already having decided to stay low along the creek. I was surprised to find the trails. It wasn't there when I'd mapped the area. I used the trails to get to the big reentrant leading SW to the power lines. I climbed there with Michael behind me nearby. I walked up to the power line ride at the spur and reentered the woods at the trail head there. Going on bearing, I spiked the control. Michael was nearby just behind me.
11-12 - Though I suspected Michael was running Blue, I still felt the pressure to keep ahead of him. I left #11 quickly but still having a good idea tto double-back the way I'd come, and into the power line clearing. I think MIchael's Blue course finally took him elsewhere, after 5 controls together. I had run well using a different trail to get into the powerline ride. In the ride I was running fast and my glasses were still foggy. I read the control to be in the reentrant so when I saw a control there from the edge of the field, I didn't think anything would be wrong going to it. Other people were nearby and I didn't look back to see if Michael was still on my route so I moved-on without checking the code. I'd been checking most if not all of the codes earlier. Checking would have kept me from mispunching and the control I should have gone to was so nearby, that there would have been virtually no time difference.
12-13 - I stayed low, crossed the creek a few times, and to to the parking lot near Riffleford Rd. I used the trail along the main creek, and left it from a bend. I struggled to cross the smaller side stream because the far bank was steep and muddy. I saw the control on the spur, a family, and others closing in on it.
13-14 - I went mostly straight, and again saw many people coming and going from the spur with the cliff.
14-15 - I thought to go left and use the bridge, but once low, the creek looked not to bad to cross. I got to the observation tower and ran around the right side of the marsh. The trail had been improved with a new boardwalk. I should have stayed along the fence where there is a ride of sorts, but I used the trail until getting past the crescent formline. I did hug the fence approaching the control and attacked/saw it from the small ridge.
15-16 - I struggled with the mud but slowly got under the bridge and into the ditch on the other side.
16-17 - I went straight, staying on the right side of the fallen trees. The light green expanded slightly but was fine going through, especially as I walked uphill. The finish was placed in the wrong spot from how the map was printed but that didn't seem to matter.
I enjoyed going out this day. I wasn't cold when running, and each time I crossed a creek or splashed through icy water, my feet warmed-up again. I wasn't fast running but felt I did okay physically (5.36 miles, 230m climb). The mispunch was disappointing, and again a combination of my glasses fogging in the cold rain, and controls being close together.