Orienteering 23:04:05  54.19 mi (25:32 / mi) +2481m 22:22 / mi
That. Was. Cold. More later.
POCAR 2020-Third place OA.
A little over a month ago I was talking with one of my teammates Greg about what to do MLK weekend, GNC or POCAR. I have been going to GNC, but we wondered about going to POCAR. I thought it might be a good rust buster for Sea to Sea, and Angel and I had been looking for a longer Rogaine to do together in advance of Tahoe. We added Clint, and within a day or so we were going.
About a week or so before the race, the weather was suggesting terribleness-and Greg had a terrible sinus infection. Fortunately Greg healed a bit, but the forecast stayed the same. Packing for this race was a challenge, with the weather in all directions (I have Raynaud's-so my feet and hands are susceptible but improves if I dress my trunk area with more layers), trying to avoid corn, soy, dairy and gluten...I had to write a lot of notes and think things through a lot.
The race started in 45ish degree rain and when we finished it was about 10 degrees and I think about 20 mph winds. At 10a, we could open our envelope with the coordinates. Angel and I plotted as quickly as possible (I started the pattern wrong so we had to re-plot a few) plotted while Greg and Clint looked over the plotted areas to define a route. We decided to go counter clockwise and wanted to hit the fire/water sooner than later in case we had issues with the points. We were progressing nicely (despite the rain, rushing creeks and slippery conditions) until we got to one of the points that had incorrect plotting information. We were up and down that creek ravine forever, and decided to bail and go to Fire/Water to see if something was up. Saw silkychrome and team there plotting and thought uh oh. Turned out there were 3 points that needed to be re-plotted. From there we continued without incident (Ran into Richard Sparks, Mike Debolt, Anna Jones, and Nathan) and when we checked in after the 1st loop found out we were in 2nd—which was a huge surprise! I recognized a few pretty competitive folk including another MI/CA based team.
We all did a complete change, Clint did a first pass at plotting and Angel and I double checked and transferred to the other map. By then Clint and Greg were ready to go, and we headed to the west side of the map. We got a smidge hung up on the river control, but corrected quickly, there was a pair of controls we should have gotten before F/W, but that was a hindsight realization, which cost us some time. We saw the MI/CA team en route, but not sure if they saw us.
Made our way through and back to HQ, and could definitely feel it was getting much colder. Since I just needed a layer, I offered to do the plotting. Got that done, put on my layer, Angel and Clint did the double check transfer. We ran out of HQ, I was absolutely shivering and needed to warm up. For this leg, dealing with the extreme cold seemed to be another discipline. I didn’t want to take the map because if I had my compass on my thumb, my hand wasn’t as warm. I forgot to blow back in my bladder and my hose froze. A teammate had to shake my bottle to keep that from freezing. I felt like a kangaroo with food and liquid in a makeshift pouch in my jacket above my waist cinch from my pack. I stopped using my count beads because I couldn’t manage them well with mittens. Extra layers came out, and keeping moving at our best pace was the goal for sure. When daylight came I could not believe how much ice was crusted on me. As we were approaching our last CP, we saw Richard, Mike, and Anna. Turned out Nathan was having knee trouble and they had to drop him at HQ.
We finished in 10 degrees and in 3rd place. Loojking back, the track is a bit janky in spots. Congrats to silkychrome, sami11, garrison and co. for 1st place! I remember recognizing the name of the 2nd place team, but for the life of me I can’t think of it now. Got us by 20 min. Looking at some other tracks that show some better routes. We had a nice team dynamic. I felt strong throughout. My personal race management felt lacking. Greg and Clint did super with the nav, Angel had her hand in it too! Had fun! And placed well…which was a nice surprise. :)
Since I seem to reference past races, some notes for exteme wet and cold:
-Rain pants can be a warmth layer, had too much on for realfeel of 30s, only needed a layer under the pants.
-In extreme cold need easy easy easy open food so mittens don’t need to come off to eat, insulated bottles, blow back on the hose.
-Last layer for 10 degrees and the wind was merino hat, merino buff; on top was merino-silk-merino-merino-puffy vest and shell, legs was icebreaker half leg and 4u cycling pants (cheap but warm and bush and water resistant) feet had alpaca socks and waterproof socks.
-Hands were lobster gloves and base layer of merino liners.
-My insoles were frozen to my shoe, and there were ice chips in my shoes.
-Rain pants can be a great warmth/wind layer.
-Keep poles tips as clean and clear as possible. At daylight noticed they were caked with ice and mud.