Orienteering race (Foot) 55:32  3.74 mi (14:51 / mi) +307m 11:50 / mi
QOC at Balls Bluff Regional Park, VA. I was cutting it close with the end of the start window quickly approaching. Though there was word out on the QOC website when I checked in the morning, I hadn't set my departure time from home expecting not one, but 2 bus rides. I also had a meeting coming up about the Mid-Atlantic Championships so as soon as I got out of the bus to the start, I registered my epunch and got started. Rick Oliver was on the bus but he was helping his son get ready, so I got a bit of a head start.
S-1 - I realized I didn't bring gaiters so I decided to avoid some potential green and hill climbing by going left from the start. The woods were wondrous--it looked like someone had gone through cleaning up leaves and sticks. There was a pretty good wind blowing and it was about 50 F. I got myself across a reentrant and climbed mostly on a trail. I came in from the west and didn't think I'd lost any time until seeing Rick's time after the race.
1-2 - I went straight, thinking it not worth going right to the trail so that I could get around the green near the road. I did have to zig right to get through, and then a little left once across the road. I ran straight along the ridge from there and into the reentrant to spike it.
2-3 - I went straight and was happy to see the end of the reentrant coming up.
3-4 - I went straight again, rather than follow the reentrant, which was less risky. I spiked it. I usually do run pretty straight in terrain as open as this was. The leg being downhill helped.
4-5 - I ran straight again toward the road. I saw Rick Oliver going to #2 and as I told him to enjoy it, I wondered if he'd catch me. I didn't want to get caught-up in the light green before the road. I cut left a bit but wasn't sure if I was in the green (where there was distinctly more tree leaf at low levels) or not--I saw a narrow clear way through it and took it. Where I hit the road, there was a trail intersection so I knew where I was. I basically kept straight off trail, but got one one briefly, and used the place where that trail dipped at a reentrant as an attack point to spike it.
5-6 - I ran a bit to the left, but not so far as to get stuck above the cliff line. I planned and took the low route along the river. I didn't feel that I was running that fast. The leaves still being green, made it hard to see the cliffs at first. When I did see them, it was only briefly but it was enough to tell me to go further. When I cut in, I was just past the control by a hair. It was much lower than I'd initially thought it'd be.
6-7 - I thought about backing down the hill and going around to the left but I went up. Down and around was probably faster. Going over was much greener than expected but not bad. I got on a trail that took me to the bottom and then I followed along the stream. I climbed up to go around the rootstock.
7-8 - I'd messed up a similar leg here in the past, but this time I just took a slow route by crossing the stream to where the running was better. I almost ran through the stream which was at bedrock, but I just didn't want to get wet at that point. After the trail crossing, I crossed back over the stream and counted reentrants. After the second, I started climbing, expecting the control to be higher. In the reentrant, I was half way up before it ended; I came down to it. I think the control was hung a little low.
8-9 - I crossed the creek right away and got on the trail. After the trail intersection and at the bend, I kept going straight to the reentrant junction. I walked/ran on the left side of the one on the left, all the way to the control past the saddle.
9-10 - I took the big reentrant to the junction of 2 big reentrants, then climbed, ignoring the trail. I kept a bit to the right instead of going over the formline hilltop, and then on the right side of the next reentrant. I again ignored the trail. To be safe, I aimed off to the left and then turned right into the control.
10-11 - I read this as up the reentrant, turn left and turn right. I hesitated a little at the end because I hadn't seen the slight left bend and other on the left reentrant at the end, that the control was in. That reentrant seemed more pronounced than the map shows.
11-12. I immediately went left so as not to have to cross the reentrant I'd run up. This got me around another person. I ran over the broad spur to the junction of many trails and streams, and got on a trail. There was a slight bend to the right of how the trail is mapped and I wasn't completely sure I was on the right trail at first--my compass wouldn't line it up well. Another guy was ahead but I wasn't gaining on him much. Across the saddle, I recognized the forked reentrant on my right and planned to cut over from there. A downed tree was in the way so I stayed on the trail a little longer. When I dropped, I landed in the reentrant that the leg line is on, so I climbed the last hill confidently, ran past the rootstock, and into the reentrant with the control.
12-13 - I ran straight. I saw additional rootstock but ruled some out as too soon. The big one was a little soon too but I ran past it. it being newer was an additional clue as to not being the right one. I was happy to see the mapped rootstock just ahead, and on the hillside.
13-14 - I was getting tired. I didn't workout enough the last week, and I'd stayed up too late, too many nights, working on some map drafting. I ran fairly straight to I had to correct my bearing after the open park playground, so that I didn't run into the houses. I cut left to get across the second reentrant because it was green in the steep parts. When I crossed the last spur, I spiked the control.
14-15 - I didn't really see the trail option but it would have been slower for me. I went almost straight, with some adjustment for the hills. I corrected my bearing on the last hillside, then instead of climbing early, I contoured--that was partly because of #8 being low.
15-F - On the run-in, I initially had a bad bearing; rushing too much. I wasn't that fast either.
I was fairly pleased with my run. I didn't make a big mistake for a change, and I ran with a good sense of presence almost all the way. I didn't think I lost any time except at #8 where the control seemed to be hung low in the reentrant. It was fairly satisfying even though I'm out of shape. I didn't remember the woods here being so open as they were today--nice oak forest land!