orienteering race 16:51  *** 3.25 km (5:11 / km)
Sprint series final, Heat 1, race 1. With Boris, John F, Hans and Gregory. Didn't see greg after #1. Packed together until 6, Boris and I got caught in a line when the women's pack #1 got there with us. We got cut off from Hans and John. Boris got away about 3 punchers ahead of me. Chased as fast as I could go - the woods were crawling with fast women! Pavi, Kseniya, Sam, Kata. Despite the beautiful distractions, I focused on Boris. :) Passed Pavi and crested the ridge. Hans, John and Boris were up ahead and had bobbled. I thought they were too far and circled back, making an even bigger error. I was alone. Punched with Sam I think. 8, 9 10 alone - too far left on 9. Came into 10 and was suprised to see John F come in from the right and direct me in. He said something like "we've got 'em" which I didn't comprehend until 15s later when we passed Boris and Hans coming back toward the control. I increased my speed significantly. John and I split this leg. I went left below the cliffs then up the spur - he went basically straight. I could hear his footsteps coming in as I left. Out to the road, John cut the corner and popped out with me. Went in to 11 and came across a rock with #54 on it. Not ours. Angelica was there with us. Pushed on to the next rock and in. John eased up, knowing we were both in and I pushed hard. Just pure luck for us to make this qual.
orienteering race 17:13  *** 3.05 km (5:39 / km)
Sprint series finals, heat 1 round 2. With Ken, John F. and Wyatt. Got a little left on the way to 1 but was there first I think. I went left and giant boulder-hopped to 2. Again, everyone else was straighter. Got right on the way to 4 with John F who said it (the spur) seemed too soon. I agreed and hesitated. John took off down the spur followed by Ken, so naturally I followed :) Ken and I chasing John on the road. John, me and Ken in a row at 7. I went left around on the trail to 8. John and Ken went straight and we were almost together...Ken just a few steps behind. Left to 11 through the woods to the junction. They were thick. Could hear John just behind me for these. Going as hard as possible to the finish, not knowing where Ken was.
orienteering race 15:53  *** 3.25 km (4:53 / km)
As James might say, "well well well..." I blew it big time. Skipped the last control. The race was going so well too. Rats! Making an error is bad enough. Making an error in front of 70 cheering spectators and going from 1st place to last place instantly just hurts. Thats the way the cookie crumbles though. There's always next year!
Here's how it went down from my perspective. With Wadd, John F. and Sergei Zhuk. Wadd was off like a shot, with the rest of us just trying to hang on. We all missed just right and had to turn up the trickle. Ran in a chorus line to #2. I was last. On the way to 3 I cut the corner to try to get a leg up, but I hit the hill to the SW instead. Looked up in time to see the train leave the station. I BOLTED with everything I had and caught back up at 4.
We were all packed up crossing the parking lot to 6. I looked at cutting the swamp but decided no. Wadd tried it and got stuck in the green, while the 3 of us took the trail Sergei and John took the trail low towards a rocky spur end. I went straight and got the lead. Alone to 7, 8, 9, 10. Missed 8 right, on the spur, but managed to correct fast enough to stay ahead of Zhuk. Wadd told me later he did the same thing on 8. Anyways, Balter and Vlad were there at the bridge. After I passed I heard Greg cheering for Zhuk, so thats the first I knew he was right behind me. Into the exchange I was still a few steps ahead.
Had huge trouble finding the next control on the map - big circles everywhere. Finally figured it out when I hit the parking lot. Over-ran just a bit and had to come back. Sergei caught me there, Wadd just behind us. I'm still having trouble figuring out which control is next. On the in to 13 I decide to punch straight through the green, as Sergei and Wadd are father left of me. Its thinck and I get stuck. I bail out NW to the white and go around. Wadd punches just in front of me. As we head out to 14 I can see Zhuk ahead of us. We are cranking pretty good. I read ahead following Mike and decide that all I have to do is cross the parking lot and then go to the finish (heh heh). So I have already comitted to the error at 14. We ROCKET across the parking lot. I pass Wad just before entering the woods - I'm locked-on to Zhuk's white shirt. Punch at 15. Zhuk is 5s ahead, Wadd is 3s behind me. I follow Sergei out to the trail and then notice he is drifting to the left :). I see the finish field through the trees. The only thing I can think of is "he is too far left - I've got him!!" Burst out of the woods, under the finish chute tape and into the finish at max speed. Then Wyatt tells me I've skipped the last control. Oh crap. I look at the map. Sure enough, there *is* a number 16. Bummer. Sergei comes in. Wyatt says "go back, you can still get John!" My first thought is, no - its illegal to go back out after you punch the finish (which it is). But I go to 16 anyways, passing Wadd coming in for second. I hit the woods in time to see John coming out. I punch and try to chase him but he's too far ahead for me to catch. At that point my mind clears up and I realize it would be wrong to pass him anyways so I ease up. Its too bad it took certain defeat to put the honest thought into my head, but thats the way it went in the timeline. Sorry John - I do apologize for that.
No way I could have caught Sergei on a dead run, but I had a legit shot at second had I not been so stupid. Obviously I wanted the win badly enough to take evasive action on the "last" leg to make up time. Perhaps appropriately, I was wearing the Charlie Brown top.