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Race Evaluation

QOC Prince William Forest: Blue


1. Bad map reading
Bad compass work
0-1 The was my first Blue course. I was a little nervous about it. It turned out that I was just blind I think. Down the trail, over the ridge, on the powerlines to the trail again, then over the creek. Not quick but okay so far. After crossing, I bear left into the woods in the correct reentrant but I miss the control (It later turns out lower than I expected). Next, I miss-read the intermittant trail to be the yellow-distinct trail. I don't even notice the yellow distinct trail on the map. I cross it, thinking the control is higher than the intermittant trail. Not seeing the control, I guess I've made a parallel error and hop ridge after ridge going up and down the reentrants. At some point, I see Dave Onkst who is running good and seems to be leaving. He started before me but I don't know if he found it. Coming back twice to attack from the creek crossing I make the same miss-read error. The third time another competitor comes through and makes me look low enough to find the control.
2. Bad compass work
1-2 No clear plan, I guess because I'm a little perturbed at wasted time on #1, I just decide to set a heading and go directly there on the bearing. I hit a knoll, being too far left, but I convince myself that maybe it's more of a spur. I keep going and soon hit the Birch Bluff Trail. Realizing my error, I estimate my error and position, then set a heading. Luckily, it works, hitting the ruin and clearing.
3. Did not plan ahead
2-3 This one is a long one and now I see why Blue is tougher. Following the elephant tracks to the north, I just run merrily, not wanting to trip. Hitting the stream at what looks to be a concrete trail marker, I get confused. It doesn't seem to line-up, and there's not much of a trail. I decide to go down the stream to South Fork Quantico Creek. When I get there, there's no trail where it should be. I should look at the compass but worrying about time, it doesn't occurr. I'm really at Quantico Creek, below the confluence of its forks. I run north along the shore but run into some cliffs. I decide to cross still thinking there should be another trail on the other side. It turns out that I'm now out-of-bounds. Finally realizing it, I stay on the shore of the creek and then take the Pyrite Mine Rd up. Attacking from all the way up at the intermittant trail intersection, my bearing is true for once and I hit the field. Still, I pause because I don't see the control. A few steps more, I see it in the deep pit. The worst thing is that I don't hit the water stop--there are no water stops on any controls on this humid day.
4. +10:003-4 I following the ditch feature to N. Orenda Rd. Having done badly so far, I hesitate on direction. I want a safe route and want to avoid the green. A little left at first, I change my mind when I think I'm at a different spot on the trail. I 180 (go right) which turns out to be longer. I leave the road finally, aiming for the field. I hit the field, then drop into the stream valley. On my left, the 90 degree bend in the creek confirms where I'm at so I proceed up over the spur. Dropping down, I don't see the control right away but going up the reentrant a little more, it's right where it should be. However, a look at the codes confuses me. It's hand-written over with a black marker and reads more like FB. Since I made an error last week with control codes I double-check my control sheet and see that there is no FB on the list. Could it be a parallel error? I hop ridges and go exploring. Not finding anything, I retreat to the creek and come-up again. I pass the control, having checked it earlier, then come back. I look at it again, turn it around and it reads ER on the other side, like it should. That's foul. I get into enough trouble all by myself without this happening.
5. Did not follow plan
Confused parallel features
4-5 Running up around the reentrant, I follow the ditch, cross the road, then drop down to the S. Fork Quantico Creek. Yah! It's quite a drop into the creek, I go around and find a better spot, then go up the stream valey. Going on memory, I make a parallel error, ending up on the wrong side of the creek. After a climb and not seeing it, I realize what I did, cross and go straight to the control.
6. +13:005-6 I hug the south slope of the valley at first. Happy because I don't mistakenly go up the deep reentrant to my left, I continue, soon on the right side of the deep reentrant. Running okay, I make the ridge, hop the form-line knolls, and hit the control on the fence post. But wait. This one says GP and this time it's not handwritten. It should be GD. I could be wrong about where I'm at because there's not much of a fence here-only a single post. I don't realize that no other courses come out this far so I decide to go off on a search. I confirm I'm where I'm at by going to the Liming Rd and finding the trail intersection. I attack from there and hit the same control I found earlier. There's Dave Onkst! He's not pleased with his run and I'm surprised to find him there because he's a much better navigator than I; also, I'm having a bad run. Later I find that he only had 2 hours of sleep and had been training people all day. I'm still not convinced about what to do. I take Peggy's coaching advice to start circling larger and larger circles. Dave splits and I didn't see him punch. After a while, I see the intermittant trail to the south and attack from it. I hit the same control again. I just risk the DNF and punch.
7. 6-7 There's nothing to lose now so I take the time to make a plan... I rough compass my way into the big reentrant; running smooth and not pausing much. Eventually I cross the stream and continue the downhill fun. At the first big reentrant on my right, I go up a little, then turn left to head for the saddle. Hitting it, I drop down in the shallow reentrant, climb out and can see the clearing far ahead but directly in-front where it should be. I get there and punch. Dave Onkst comes-in a few seconds behind.
8. Followed by others
7-8 I want to put some distance between me and Dave so I plan to go on bearing to Park Headquarters. However, I must not have waited long enough for the compass to settle because I ended up out-of-bounds at the house and on the road. I run the road to the park entrance, attack to the ridge and run the small knolls to the control.
9. Did not follow plan
8-9 Down the reentrant toward the stream junction, I cross and hit the trail. I go right and see the gap. There should be an intermittant trail intersection. I don't see it but go through the gap and hit the road near the top of the curve, just where I want to be. It's smooth running down the hill. Last year I used the road here when I shouldn't have. After crossing the first creek on the spur of the moment decide to head in before I cross another, rather than attack from the bend in the road. I make a parallel error, realize it, and cross the ridge. Coming up along the stream I run into part of the phone wire. It hits me in the mouth. It's much further west than is drawn on the map. Staying too near the stream. I miss the control. I bail out and head up to the road, hitting it high, past the bend where I wanted to attack from originally. I expect Dave has surely past me now. Coming down, I attack from the curve, and hit the control easily.
10. 9-10 Leaving the control on bearing, I get wrapped-up in the phone wire on the ground again. Crossing the green, I'm tired and thirsty. I get poked lightly in the eye. It happens once again harder but this time only near the eye. My aim is true and I hit the control.
F. 10-Finish People are cheering and coax me into more than the jog that I want to do. It was much slower than last week and a rough welcoming to Blue.

Total Time Lost - 01:04:00

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