Well, it was my first A-meet in years. After the kids left the house years ago, we didn't have anymore the motive of when we packed a vehicle and traveled to far-away lands to do orienteering meets with the entire family. A sort of family mini-vacation. When we saw this meet popping up on the calendar, it felt, of a sudden, as a window of opportunity to repeat past things. And so here we are.
At the parking area, facial recognized folks that I haven't seen in years, after applying an algorithmic aging factor, a-la FBI style. ("have you seen this man? he has been missing for 30 years. This is how he is presumed to look today after applying a progressive aging factor"). Glad to see the usual bunch, still chasing flags embedded among rocks, ravines, gullies, and mountain laurel. Lots of graying or white hair, or no hair at all.
No packet pickup, no bib pinned on the shirt, no check in necessary. Just show up at the start with your SI device, and one is ready and set to go.
Did remember those rocky ground slopes, so was mentally prepared for it. Apparently Bob Boltz (NEOOC) hasn't ever been at French Creek, and talking to him after he did the model, he was mentally ill-prepared. This terrain ain't the alluvial rock-free terrain found at Flying Pig.
Right at the start by the second control, i knew that I was off a bit, when an old lady with white hair, she must have been 75+, wearing a Scottish Five Days shirt, PASSED ME. Okay, I said to myself, maybe this is just one exception.
But then saw Ted Good running uphill parallel to me. I couldn't keep up.
Saw Joe B running ahead. I muttered "hey Joe, I am gonna follow you". Not a chance. I was inching forward.
Got wiped out on the closing-in stretch on #3. Gotta wait to see my GPS track to see what I did, but must have spent 25 minutes just on the final 300 meters.
The rest was simply and calmly finding all the controls. Mission achieved, but it did take me 2 hours 39 minutes.
ps: glad I had a one liter bottle of water with me.
Ate Korean at OORI, just south of Pottstown.
Celebrated the 60th birthday of the wife.
UPDATE: got to analyze and study my GPS track
and understood what happened