US Long Champs, Camp Wakpominee, near Lake George, NY. M65 Brown. Sunny, chilly.
My best race of the weekend, despite 10 minutes of lost time. 2 and 3 were very difficult legs; I proceeded cautiously, giving up 4 to 5 minutes, and despite some uncertainty along the way (OK, a good deal of uncertainty), found the controls without any wandering around. 5 was also very technical, and I did it very well. Lost 4 minutes going around the wrong side of the swamp to #6, but after that did very well all the way to #10. A little shaky on the last 3, but survived. Finished 3rd in M65, 4th overall, behind Peter, Bob Lux and Tony Federer.
#1. Seemed very easy, but surprised I had the fastest non-Peter split since I usually start off slowly.
#2. Went for the little saddle NNW of and on the same contour as the control, but the "light" green made it a bit hard for me to find it. Proceeded very cautiously along the contour because I really couldn't identify anything, but just as my pace count was about to run out, spotted the bag a bit ahead and further uphill.
#3. Fought my way over to the big trail that we'd walked up to the start; seemed to take forever despite not reading the map, just rough compassing. Down the trail (saw PG walking up), left at what I thought was the bend just above the red line - but immediately nothing made sense. Followed a bearing towards the big rocky area just N of the red line, but even when I saw that couldn't find anything to convince me that it was definitely the right set of rocks. Finally got up to a flat part and could see the spur just a bit ahead, so turned left towards where I hoped the control would be. Just then, someone who I thought might be Tony Federer (it was) came up on my left and headed down, but even if it was Tony, I wasn't sure if he was on the same Brown course, so I ignored him. Proceeded down to where I thought the pond would be, but no pond - wait! There's a little dark body of water under those trees - whew! Around the pond to the control.
#4. Down the nose right to the control. Surprised to see Tony leaving as I was coming in.
#5. Tony headed left of where I was heading and I lost sight of him, focusing on the steep and rocky decent to the trail. Did a good job of recognizing the rocks on the left side of the trail and then reading the terrain all the way to the SE edge of the clearing. Someone had been running parallel to me for the final 150m, but I didn't realize until after the race that it was Tony again. I pulled ahead across the clearing and got to the control first.
Headed on a bearing to #6, hitting the E edge of the first swamp on the red line. Was thinking I might turn left when I hit the trail so that I could go across the big dam at the W end of the lake (E end of the swamp - because I could not make out the map detail on the W side of the swamp and so I was afraid that somehow I'd get stuck and wouldn't be able (!) to get across. But crossed the trail without seeing it and popped out at the edge of the swamp. Soon someone popped out to my right (Tony again, but I didn't notice it was him) and headed W, but I was still afraid to go that way. Tried going across the swamp for a few steps but it was too wet. (Later found out that Geoman walked straight across.) Frozen with indecision for half a minute, finally went E and fought my way up to the big dam. That bad decision cost me about 4 minutes. Only solace is that PG made the same (bad) decision, though he still did the leg nearly faster than anyone else.
Once on the other side of the lake, the orienteering got a lot easier. Did the rest of 6 and then 7 and 8 very well. Then realized we were back where the Sprint had been held, and picked up the pace, running very good legs to 9 and 10. However, the long course, the additional speed, and the final hill up to 10 must've eroded my brain: I was quite sloppy the rest of the way. Went around the N side of the bldg E of 10 (should've gone next to S side), then ran along the S side on the way out (should have been on the N side). As a consequence of the latter, didn't see the building on the other side of the road and wound up in the parking lot below. Fighting panic, told myself that this was where the sprint started, just find that on the map, which I did, and then went to 11 without further ado. Shaken, I took a very safe, all-trail route to 12. Too much clutter on the map near 13, I just assumed it would be in the same location as the GO control on Day 1 - but it wasn't, costing me 5 secs or so. Little did I know that I was now :01 behind George Walker (who had nipped me by :01 on the final day of the recent Flying Pig). Fortunately, my hard run in the chute pulled me ahead of walk by a couple of seconds.
My route is on the meet's RouteGadget website