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Attackpoint AR - performance and training tools for adventure athletes

Training Log Archive: sherpes

In the 31 days ending Mar 31, 2014:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering4 14:05:25 29.32(28:50) 47.19(17:55) 60023 /75c30%
  Total4 14:05:25 29.32(28:50) 47.19(17:55) 60023 /75c30%

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Saturday Mar 29, 2014 #

12 PM

Orienteering race 1:05:20 [4] *** 5.0 mi (13:04 / mi)
spiked:11/13c shoes: Inov-8 330 Mudclaw

With a posse of Pittsburghers, filled a vehicle and trekked across the border into Ohio and visited our sister club NEOOC to their season opener at the Octagon shelter, Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Day was projected to be cold in the mid-upper thirties with rain moving in. Fortunately, the volunteers at the meet started two fires in the fireplaces, which provided some warmth. From the parking lot I could tell the event was well attended. Lots of hikers, boy-scout types, beginners.

The event director did a good job in picking great control locations. A small snafu revealed itself when it was announced that two controls were being dropped (aka removed) from the Green and Red courses (notice the hand-written red X on rows 2 and 3 in the clue sheeet on the map). What happened is that while the master map, which was printed in scale 1:10000, had the entire course traced on it, the participant map, which was printed in scale 1:7500, did not show the same area as the master map.

On the Red course, the muddy ravines were a welcome challenge to my Inov-8 MudClaw shoes. Aerobic full-lung exercise and upper-arm practice in grabbing small trees to pull myself up was the name of the day. Oh, did I mention the fallen tree logs ? lots of raising-the-knee routine here.

A big mistake that costed me 13 minutes was at control 10. When I got to the control area, at about 5 minutes after leg time from the previous control, I did see a control flag down the ravine at what seemed to be a junction of two reentrants/streams, but chose to ignore it, thinking it belonged to the Green course, and stayed above, contouring the ravine edges, looking for the spur where the control was. It was a disaster, with the control never found. How can it be? I eventually backtracked to the previous reentrant just to make sure I was in the right map contact. Then, carefully walking towards the control again, had to conclude that the control I saw at the beginning was the correct control. Maybe the map should show more evidently in its map feature the deeper ravineous nature of the terrain at that point, but that's a mapper's choice.

For control 12, I got lucky. Apparently I drew the circle on the wrong spring/upper reentrant. These are the mistakes that one does when copying from a master map, part of the "mental" challenge in the sport of orienteering. Glad I was running around and about in proximity of the control, and wasn't paying too attention to the map as far the exactness of the control location, and found the control with ease and no problems. Got lucky on this one... could have been another disaster as in control 10...

Back at the Octagon shelter, we socialized with fellow Raccoongainers, and trekked back to Pennsylvania.

btw, highway tolls were $15, gas $30, which divided by four, came to about $11 each. Totally worth it for attending the season opener by a great bunch of people and volunteers.

Sunday Mar 23, 2014 #

Event: Raccoongaine
10 AM

Orienteering (rogaing) 6:00:00 [3] *** 0.0 mi
50c shoes: Salomon XA 3D Ultra2 GTX

Event Day at Raccoongaine.

Of the 150+ registered people, and with about 10 teams/individuals being no-show, we had a large group of people coming from five adjacent states: Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Maryland.

The mass-start was at 10 AM. About 50 3-hour people returned by 1 PM. The remaining 91 6-hour people returned by 4 PM.

Food was served, tales were told, awards handed out.

Saturday Mar 22, 2014 #

10 AM

Orienteering (setting checkpoints) 7:00:00 [3] 15.0 km (28:00 / km) +300m 25:27 / km
shoes: Salomon XA 3D Ultra2 GTX

Second day setting Raccoongaine controls. Not as cold as the previous day. Found the nice evergreen boundary and placed a control there. Placed another one on this pine forest boundary, which, after seeing the results, was the least visited control. Too bad, I liked this deep pine forest, so dark and mysterious. Then, concentrated on the four controls along the stream flowing from North to South, and placed a control right on the creek. Notice the speck of orange in the middle of the image. One interesting location is this acute angle corner of a farmer's field. A square cement block is placed there, marking the park boundary. In looking for a crossing point across the creek, all I could think is good beaver. One of the spookiest locations in the park are three places with a pair of sacrificial altar or ceremonial flame cairns that were built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). And one of my favorite man-made features in the park is this rectangular-base pyramid of sorts, on a shallow hilltop, completely surrounded by shiggy, as shown in this 360-degree rotating video. On the corner of a marshy semi-open ground, hung the flag 2 m above ground for easy visibility, why give a hard time for something that was worth only 20 points. And the last control, placing it felt really good. Now its time to party.

Friday Mar 21, 2014 #

11 AM

Orienteering (setting checkpoints) 5 [2] ** 15.0 mi ( / mi) +300m / mi
spiked:12/12c shoes: Salomon XA 3D Ultra2 GTX

Met the Raccoongaine registrar at the HQ of the Raccoon Creek State Park on Route 18, and left my vehicle in the parking lot, to walk East and with the intent of setting the event controls North and South of the lake.

Incredibly, it started snowing. Luckily, my footwear was presumably waterproof, being lined with Gore-Tex.

My intent was to go 63-64-74-75-65-53, but with snow cover, lost the trail going from 63 to 64, and not having a compass (doh!), relied on terrain features for orienteering myself. Avoiding the green, somehow I ended up at the man-made feature halfway between 63 and 53. At that point, changed my plans and went to 53 and placed the control on the edge of the lake, while thinking "they are gonna love this..."

Then contoured the lake shore using the easy trail, and then reached 65. Dave Battista was the vetter, and he validated the location, and the ribbon was still there. Somehow, the Finnish competitor, Mikko Berg, did not find the control, but found an area with rocky ground.

Near 74, a large tree bridged high across the steep ravine, and wondered if I was going to see it again as a photo on Facebook with team Polish&Blondish balancing across wearing Vibram Five Fingers.

After 75, it was senseless to return West, and continued East instead, out of the map, and East of the dam. Connected with the map area south of the lake, and wondered if any competitor was going to try the same.

On the south part of the lake, my sequence was 76-77-51-52-49-50. I had planned to include 45-37-38-30, but by the time I got to 50, it was 4:15 PM, and had to get back to the North Side of Pittsburgh where the BreadWorks factory is located, and purchase 15 large loafs of Rustic Sour Dough at half-price (5:30 to 6:00 PM only).

By the time I returned to the bridge that started the day, the snow was all gone, and took a comparison photo.

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