Random thoughts from the last week:
It was a lot of fun to cruise around with Greg and Juanma during the interim week between Classic Champs and NAOC. I enjoyed hanging with those guys, and the chance to dust off my very limited Spanish, plus I learned a prodigious amount of less-than-polite Spanish words and phrases.
We stayed, consecutively, at two different hotels which had by far the worst two sorry excuses for a continental breakfast I've ever seen. At one place they literally had only coffee and tea. The other place had Nature Valley granola bars, so naturally we stole as many of those as we could and tried to feed them to each other for the rest of the week.
For the first time in a long time I don't currently have any plane tickets booked for orienteering trips. There was a point in April or May when I had five or six. Just this summer, I've orienteered in Massachusetts (twice), Connecticut, Wyoming, Alberta, Sweden, New York, and New Hampshire. How lucky am I to have these opportunities and experiences?
It's awesome that TG came to NAOC, but also unfortunate that his presence had such influence on the outcome of the forest races. This is definitely no fault of TG's or of the other guys' (their wins were well-deserved, plus major credit for being able to match that pace) and we all would do the same thing - if we could :) - but it was clearly a pretty egregious and unnecessary luck factor which compromised the fairness of the competitions. For example, it could just have easily happened that two Americans or two Canadians, rather than one of each, were helped by TG. Theoretically maybe that swings the BK Cup one way or the other, and voilà, someone on the losing side would be screaming bloody murder right about now and instead of talking about how great NAOC was, there'd be a huge no-fun crapstorm. I'd say we dodged a bullet there. Seems obvious that non-North Americans should start ahead of the red group of NA competitors, WRE rules be damned.
The top map has a 9.9 km course, the bottom map a 13.7 km course. Top map is approximately three times bigger. Go figure.
I'm always a little sad when a fun orienteering weekend ends, and NAOC is the best of all orienteering weekends. If WOC is high school, NAOC is a really great house party; all your friends are there, no one does anything dumb and the neighbors don't call the cops.