orienteering race 2:01:34  *** 7.5 km (16:13 / km)
16c shoes: Inov8 O-roc 280 Redux
QOC/SVO Susquehanna Stumble XVIII at Prince William Forest - Short Stumble
Window orders ABDCE HIGF
Wasn't sure about signing up for this as I haven't felt the greatest when on courses lately, and waffled back and forth between Short and Orange before finally just choosing Short and figuring I could bail/be really slow if necessary. Glad I made that choice since I ended up feeling pretty decent and doing well.
The pack split almost immediately and I hung with the group that went down the trail and across to the first control. Still managed to stick with the tail end of that group to 2, which felt longer than it should have. Lost most of them on the way up the road and cutting across the corner to the other road, but as I entered the woods to A I caught the back end of the (train moreso than a pack now) again. Stuck with them to B, then to D, but we ended up too far right. To this point I really hadn't done much map reading at all but decided I could no longer trust the group and had better start. Got to C and E okay, by this time I was alone anyway. I went around the end of the green to the West to get back to the road, which then involved backtracking on the road a bit to get to 8, and what was left of the train was passing me going the other way. I realized I didn't have an attack point but entered the woods where I saw people leaving. No control, but I figured out that it was further East based on the movement of others past me and was correct.
Cut back out to the road and took road to the smaller road to the trail, examining the next box on the way. Went to 9 from the trail/dry ditch/stream convergence. Then went direct at the box, counting streams 1-2-3 and at the third one turned right. Followed along until I found the area with the (not-so-wet) ditch next to it and attacked H from there. Then went to I, over the spur and down to the stream and G, and popped over to F on the spur I could pretty much already see from there. Started seeing people again in this box and then there was someone around pretty much until the end.
Followed streams down almost to 14 and attacked from the dry ditches on the S side of the last stream. Rocky pit was actually cool little ruin. Stayed high crossing to 15, but actually ended up too far right in the reentrant with the rocks near it. Realized this and had to climb a little then drop into the correct reentrant and climb again to the cliff. Went straight at the big trail next, then North on it and took the smaller trail down between the two streams. Attacked from the bend with the rock below it, pretty much directly across from 16. Then I tried to stay high, and actually ended up hitting the trail and then the road where Start was and looping back through the building area and down the trail to Finish.
Today's random earworm on course was Paul Simon, "All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints" which is strange since I haven't heard it lately. And yet, the lyrics are quite appropriate as of late. Lots of things have been popping into my head this way.
Garmin battery claimed it was low as soon as I turned it on, despite charging yesterday. This has happened before so I guess I must charge it directly before an event now. I decided to let it go and get as much as I could, but it died entirely before the start. After the race I was sitting there when it fell right off my wrist... the band split the entire way across where the buckle attaches. Luckily I still have the longer band that came with it, so I installed that, but it doesn't fit as well and flops around a bit. My enter button rubber wore off as well, so I covered it with a bit of duct tape and can only use that button by poking it with a pen. It may be time to look at the newer models and ask for one of those at Christmas (or another 305 but I think they are only available refurbished).