Finally! Not a great result but respectable orienteering that I'm happy with.
Took the first three controls slow and careful and then picked things up and started running a little more aggressively. Opted for the direct route up the hill to 4 and sidehilled to 5. 6 and 7 were fine but then I was low on 8. A little bit more focus on the compass could have helped with that. Straight to 9 which popped up sooner than I expected. Fast running to 10 and then through major patches of mountain laurel to 11.
I stopped at 11, took a gel (I also took one before the start) and planned my route to 12. I came out to that first path further left than I was expecting to and so crossed it without noticing it because it was lower down the hill than I was ready for. I was aiming for the indistinct trails that I crossed but I followed the hill side and the compass to end up on the right trail anyway. The rest of the route went as planned and the saddle was a super obvious attack point! Coming out of 12 I thought to myself that this was the point at which I would make mistakes since I was getting tired. I saw Becky and someone else going in to 13 which made that easy. Then I let them lead me to the wrong control - there's that mistake I saw coming. I thought I was paying attention to my compass but obviously not enough.
I got stuck in the swamp and lost a couple of minutes there on my way to 15. Had I gone around the tip of that swamp just a few meters further everything would have been ok. Ran right past control 16 and dropped a contour by a cliff but corrected fairly well. 17 was fine and as I came out I saw Hans going in to it. He started 16 minutes behind me and I pushed a bit to see how long I could keep away from him. He had pretty much caught up to my at the drink station below 19 when I stopped for water and to grab another gel. I was somewhat surprised he hadn't caught me sooner but pleased and thought that maybe I could keep him off to the finish. Hooked around to 20 while Hans went a little more direct we punch at almost the exact same time. I got to the trail to 21 sooner and got 21 ahead of Hans. I went around the side to 22 and Hans showed up at the top of the cliff as I started looking for the control. Then we raced down to the GO control and I punched both the go control and the finish first!
Thanks for the extra push Hans!