Orienteering race (Foot) 1:47:45  *** 10.3 km (10:28 / km) +265m 9:16 / km
spiked:17/19c slept:8.5 weight:189.5lbs
QOC: Prince William Forest at Pine Grove, VA. It was a nice sunny day with generally open forest with really good visibility. Though some legs natually had similarity, Course Setter Gary Smith set a nice variation from past courses here too. I ran the Blue course for the first time since January 5th, 2020. I'd been working my way back up to Blue very slowly since injuries last spring. There had also been fewer opportunities under it being a pandemic year. Taking an easy day and resting my knee helped me keep running through the course, but I was stumbling and falling more toward the end.
S-1 - I went wide to the right and got a little too far, being on the left side of the reentrant leading down. The control was visible from far off. When glancing at it at the start, I thought the feature was going to be a dot knoll but I went right to it based on location.
1-2 - I got on trails and read ahead on the course prior to reaching the swing bridge over Quantico Creek. The rest of this leg was the exact leg from an earlier course. I reasoned it'd be best to save energy using the trails to the left, even though I suspected the trail route to be slower. I spiked the control (I'd mapped the feature, weak though it was, so I had better have!).
2-3 - My route took me through more green than I'd expected. The deadfall seemed to have expanded since I had updated it on the map a few years back. I reached the road north of the bend, went across 2 of the 3 reentrants, and descended to the control.
3-4 - I started going somewhat straight. I wove my way through the green before reaching the road, but apparently I drifted more left than I thought. Hitting the road at a bend, I thought I was at a southern bend, not the one just north of it. Seeing white forest on the other side, I'd presumed the map to be out-of-date, instead of being too far north. I hit the first creek and turned north but realized it wasn't right; I had to go to the next. The sizeable ridge in my way told me I was too far north. After crossing it, I was having trouble distinguishing the streams but I got there by continuing on.
4-5 - I went straight. The mapped green was out of date. It was light green at worst, and even mappable as white in places. I was on target, but I hesitated not being sure. The drop off to my left queued me in.
5-6 - I ran up the left side of the first reentrant, crossed over before it ended, without dropping much, climbed out a little before the reentrant ended, and crossed the road. I intended to go down to the creek from there, but it seemed I could save some distance without adding much climb by going more directly. Because I was higher than intended when made my last turn, I crossed more reentrants than expected. The old camp roads clued me in to keep going to the next reentrant. I dropped into the control from the SW at the end.
6-7 - I climbed early, walking mostly, then ran the flatter ground left of the big reentrant to the control.
7-8 - Straight the whole way. Near the end I saw someone and almost caught-up to him. He had a dog.
8-9 - I'd done this leg a few times (mostly in reverse), set it for a course I had done, and even mapped the cliffs. I went straight at it, then ran down the reentrant at the end. I gained on the guy ahead with the dog. A ranger had driven his jeep on the vehicle track and was parked to my right. Using his loudspeaker, he had told the other guy to hold his dog on the leash, and I passed him.
9-10 - I went fairly straight to the road junction, then turned up the road heading more north. Before the reentrant to the left ran out, I left the road and cut over to cross near the saddle. I ran down the reentrant on the other side, and angled a climb to the control with the reentrant. Someone from my right was converging at the end. Both of us turned out to be higher than needed and I got there first.
10-11 - I ran down the big rentrant to the trail along Quantico Creek. After the next trail intersection, I climbed past a cliff and up a reentrant to the road, hitting it at a bend that let me keep going straight. Leaving the road when it bent, I kept straight to the control. I don't remember doing a similar leg here before.
11-12 - I ran down the right side of the reentrant at first. Stepping in another hole hidden by leaves, I tumbled this time. I continued on to the road, ran it to the second intersection, and ran straight to the spur. Somewhere on the road my watch beeped to indicate saving my GPS track. It had stopped tracking back near #7 when I brushed up against a tree. I restarted it.
12-13 - I reduced climb by going a little north as I went east. Hitting the campground road intersection, I went past cabins and used the fire circle trail. Where that ended, I attacked over the ridge and hit the control well.
13-14 - I ran down the reentrant and the left side of the creek. Getting on the trail, I cut through at the bend, and attacked from the second bend. It was visible far off.
14-15 - I used the trail along the creek, cut over at the bend before the reentrant, then crossed it minimizing climb well to get to the control.
15-16 - I ran straight but signaling that I was getting tired, I fell again. This time as a stick tripped me.
16-17 - Straight, but I used the trail for a short way to get past the rocks. I was lower at the end than expected but I could see the control further up the reentrant to my right.
17-18 - I went straight but cut right to avoid the deadfall. I intendeds to climb through the saddle. It seemed that there was one where I crossed the trail but not the right one. I knew to cut left and soon was at the control.
18-19 - I ran left of straight to use the trail, then left from a bend. I cut across the first ridge by being below the knoll. I could see the control on the next knoll/ridge after rounding that first knoll.
I ran briefly, then needed to walk the climb. I misread the the finish a bit so I headed toward the start. I corrected as I didn't see the finish and realized I was looking at the wrong parking lot. I lost a little time; maybe 10-15 seconds.
It was good to have run Blue and completed 10.3K under 2 hours. I navigated pretty well and I think I made pretty good route choices. It's fun to run in the open woods!