Running warm up/down 9:00  1.0 mi (9:00 / mi)
shoes: Orange O-Shoes
Warm-up. (Didn't cool-down because right foot hurt.)
Orienteering 1:09:51  8.8 km (7:56 / km) +200m 7:08 / km
shoes: Orange O-Shoes
EVENT: SOC November Classic
MAP: Wood Crates, New Forest, 1:15,000
COURSE: W21L, 8.8 km, 200 meters climb, 14 controls
TERRAIN: Typical New Forest terrain. Some very nice white runnable woods, some "white" woods with lots of tall bracken, a few open spaces with heather (thankfully not too high). The marshes and streams were quite wet and muddy.
MY RUN: I ran *really* fast today, and if not for one big mistake, it would have been an excellent race. Basically, after having some slight hesitation to #2 (no more than 15 seconds lost) and a bit of searching for #3 (because both control and feature were obscured by bracken, about 45 seconds lost), I was feeling frustrated and headed on to #4 without being careful enough. The route I had planned was ok, although perhaps not optimal, but the execution was horrible! I strayed off my compass bearing, fought through the bracken, found a stream, was confused, kept running in the wrong direction - ended up followed the stream all the way round to the big trail, which was (a) out of the way, and (b) absolutely crap running where I had to go through nasty fallen branches and green. After I fell in the stream, I told myself to stop messing around and get out of there. Sadly the trouble did not stop there. After running along on the trail for a while, I cut through the woods and wound up too far east of where I wanted to be. I figured this out immediately and corrected accordingly, but once I got near the control, I stopped paying attention to where I was and basically just kept my head up, hoping I'd find it. I did some fancy loops before finally bailing to a nearby fence and finding the control from there.
I made three more mistakes after this. Two are somewhat excusable, because these controls were in depressions with bracken all around and even though I knew where I was all along the route, once I got very near the control, I simply couldn't see it and had to search for it. The third mistake was entirely of my own making. I need to have more confidence in my own navigation and not get distracted by other people (especially people who screw up).
RESULTS: This race feels like a disappointment, because I could have done so much better, but the stats don't seem that bad. 2nd on W21L, by about 30 seconds, and despite making some sizable mistakes, I still ran 1.5 min/km faster than my last time in New Forest. After comparing splits with M21S and M45L, I figure my big mistake cost me about 6 minutes. Overall, I could have gone about 12.5 minutes faster with a clean run.