Orienteering 3:57:12  8.1 mi (29:17 / mi) +1115ft 25:54 / mi
Blue - 16 controls - 8 km - 340 m
Actual Time: 3:57:12
Official Time: 3:31:59
Unfortunately my Garmin wasn't working this morning and the club did not bring any loaners to the meet.
I botched the 1st control. I got close to it and then headed the wrong way. I circled around and found it very easily on the second attempt. If I had just looked to my left instead of my right on my first approach I might have found it much faster.
The 2nd and 3rd controls didn't give me any real trouble. There was a lot of roots to trip on and I did just that on my way from 1 to 2. I landed hard. Both my water bottles came out of their holsters on my pack and my glasses came off. I found them all very easily.
The trip to 4 was not short and the route I chose was not the most direct one. I took trails most of the way from 3 to 4. I was able to spot 4 from a distance after I left the trail to find it.
I took a roundabout route to get to 5 but it seemed logical to me. I took the trails to a hairpin turn that pointed right at 5 and found it without much trouble. I took a similar approach when it came to locating 6 although in this case I left the trail at a trail juncture and 6 was further from the trail than 5.
I didn't have any trouble finding 7, although the general consensus was that it was hung in the wrong place. I headed to a nearby trail juncture and then headed south until I found 7.
I feared that 8 would be tougher to find than it turned out to be. It was downhill, across the trail and NNW of 7. I was a bit off on my approach but I spotted it from a distance once I got close enough to it so I don't think my bungled approach cost me any time.
I didn't have much trouble finding 9, although I got a little help from another competitor once I got within striking distance. 10 was also easy to find; I took the trails most of the way from 9 to 10 and I saw somebody leaving 10 as I got close to it.
I followed trails and roads most of the way from 10 to 11. I stopped to try and help a bicyclist who wanted to know which trail we were on but the o-map didn't show the trail names so I was unable to provide him with any help.
I didn't have too much trouble finding 12 or 13 but after that I started to get sloppy possibly because I inexplicably thought this part of the course would be easier.
I circled around 15/59 a couple times before I found it. I ran across 80, which wasn't on my course, a couple times before finding 15/59. The first time I ran across 80 I just shrugged and kept looking. The second time I did what I should have done the first time, took my best guess as to where 80 was on the map and then navigated based on that information. It made a big difference as I found 15/59 soon after leaving 80 for the second time.
I made a big goof when traveling from 15 to 16, I mistook one trail for another. I started out by heading in the right direction but after crossing the road I mistook one picnic site for another and then made the same mistake with the trails. It wasn't until I followed the trail back to the road that I realized my mistake. If it had been the correct trail it would have first led me to 16 and then on to the finish.
My official time is less than my actual time because a decision was made to eliminate 7 and 8 from the course.
The weather was beautiful, much warmer than up in Wellsboro last Sunday for the GMTC.
I came back with quite a number of bruises and tender spots on my ankles, knees, and shins. Many of the branches I forced my way through were much stronger than they looked.
In retrospect it might have made more sense to do the red course. My expectations might have been affected by my experience at the 2015 Susquehanna Stumble which was also held at Rocky Ridge and easier than I thought it would be. This was my first time orienteering since June and only my second O-meet at Rocky Ridge. Hopefully there will be a next time at Rocky Ridge and hopefully I will remember how difficult this terrain can be.
On the way back we stopped at a Sheetz near York. I bought some food, something more substantial than the pretzels and trail bars that I had with me: a buffalo chicken wrap, watermelon Bai 5, and a small bag of pepperoni flavored combos. It probably won't be enough to hold me until tomorrow morning but it's something.