Orienteering 1:34:47  **** 4.5 mi (21:04 / mi) +381m 16:41 / mi
40th Annual West Point National Meet: Green Y: I'd reached the start line about 30 seconds before I'd gotten called-up to start. My glasses were a little foggy.
S-1 - I made a mess of this leg by leaving the road on a bad bearing, just walking. The terrain was steep. I suppose I was drawn left by others ahead of me. I thought I was leaving the road at a higher location. Once I'd gotten around a spur and could see a second reentrant with boulders all around me, I realized I had to go back.
1-2 - I'm so weak climbing these days that I opted to go around the top of the hill. I also thought this would give me a better attackpoint, off of a distinct reentrant. All of that worked and I spiked it.
2-3 - I had a general plan to stay high and attack from high. Fog on my eyeglasses was a factor so I read the map by looking over them. I'd picked out the marsh and some curving contours to get to--I did that successfully. They way was slow. At the curving contours, I cut left to avoid thicker vegetation. Looking at Spike's GPS track animation on AP, going straight on the shorter way through the green was better. Hitting the big cliffs, I paused to read and attack carefully. I dropped down and ran across the hillside, seeing the control from far off :)
3-4 - I contoured around while others were going straight. I made-up ground on them and may have passed some.
4-5 - I ran a straight bearing and hit it well. I read some of the detail along the way, but in retrospect, this was executed in a risky way.
5-6 - I ran straight, and again not reading enough detail along the way. This time I paused, feeling that I was well short of the control. I saw a bit of a stream and mistook it for the one past the control. I figured I could be sure by checking on top of a cliff to my left, and then resuming if wrong. That sort of worked, but I made a bigger search loop with a little more doubt creeping-in. I covered more ground before going back and proceeding. It did turn out to be one cliff line below where I thought it'd be but if I'd just gong on, I'd have saved a lot of time.
6-7 - I went at this fairly straight. I clicked off the larger features and opted to climb over the ridge continuing straight, rather than go around and through the green where there was a ridge gap. I passed close to #11 and turned to get close enough to read it. Continuing on to the road, I ran up it a little, cut in at an estimated place between bends, and spiked the control.
7-8 - I suppose I'd gotten over confident in my ability to follow a bearing. I felt the the blueberries and other vegetation pulling me this way and that and I wasn't careful enough about reading things along the way. I'd gotten far enough left to see a reentrant and knoll, but these werern't the features I was looking for. I went further left to be in the right place but it was the wrong place. Finally hitting the ridge top and a reentrant, I didn't see a control and someone else told me to watch out for un-flagged concertina wire. I cut left a bit, saw the road, and turned back. I realized I wasn't at the hilltop where I was before and saw other orienteers like Phil Bricker heading that way. Phil led me in.
8-9 - I was not happy about missing at #8, but happier about going downhill. I ran fast and straight using cliffs to keep me true. At the road, I paused. I knew going straight all the way wasn't going to be fast--after all, I'd just come from there on the 6-7 leg. I wisely decided to take the road and probably should have decided that earlier. I went around the hill at the bottom. Following the marshes in the flatter valley seemed best. As the vegetation closed in, I thought it better to climb the ridge middway--it was smaller there and more open than the valley had become. Examining other GPS animations, this cost me some time. I kept moving and went wide around the last marsh before crossing the deepening valley to the ridge and cliff-line with the control. The control was visible long off.
9-10 - I kept getting pulled right to get through the vegetation, and I knew it. I forced myself out of the shallow reentrant to make a straighter line. the hill ended quickly and it was slow and rocky descending to the next valley. I kept on a line but found myself heading between two ridges. The one on the right looked like the feature on the map from where I was so I went to it--that was an error. I should have known since I'd been pulled right earlier. I corrected fairly quickly but I was moving slower at this point.
10-11 - I went a bit left through a shallow reentrant to the marshy area below #11. I cut right through the marsh, and this felt fast. Since I'd been near #11 earlier, I was confident about getting there. I saw Carl Alswede come in from my right, moving along the same way and I got there a little ahead of him.
11-12 - I wanted to get to the road. I thought angling a little would be faster than staying on top. However as I picked my way through the rocks and vegetation, I could see Carl pulling ahead. I abandoned going lower and chased. I caught Carl at about the road, then pulled ahead on the descent. I wasn't reading well with foggy glasses and bouncing about quickly on the road. I got to the bridge and caught someone else. Once across, I cut left a little way up the hill, where an elephant track was forming at the end of the green. I reached a building but found no control. Once again, the printing the control # on the map was covering up a needed detail. After a pause, I went on higher. Carl had come up from my left at his point. I got to the control before he did, but not before the other guy I'd passed earlier--that person took the road nearly the whole way.
12-13 - I gave it a descent push on the run-in. I feel too out of shape and freshly recovered from my last injury to sprint really hard.
Overall, I enjoyed the run this day--the mistakes were costly, but I got some more confidence running in the technical terrain and going the distance.