QOC local event at Cabin John, Red course
Alli graciously stayed home with Inara as I made it to the event just at the end of the start window after early brunch with friends. The weather was terrible when I got there - about 35F and snow/raining, but that seems appropriate for early March.
I quickly got ready and took off on the red course, longest available. It took me a few controls to recall that trails were taken off the map. I think it as a worthwhile experiment, but in the end added a bit too much of an element of luck to the orienteering. If you got lucky and took a line that happened to have a trail on it, you could gain a lot of time.
The course had a lot of controls (28), which I like - it felt more like a middle distance, which we don't run very frequently around here. I felt pretty good and was pushing well through the first half of the course, but lost a bit of oomph towards the end, after the sixth time crossing the occasionally thigh-deep creek.
The navigation itself was pretty straightforward, but there was some time to be lost or gained on route choice. I gained a lot on the longish leg to 21, where I crossed the creek and ran the trail all the way, before crossing back over the creek to the control. This saved me from having to traverse a thorny, muddy hillside for most of the leg. I won the leg by over a minute and essentially won the race over Joe Barrett here.
On the other hand, I lost time with the same approach to 23. Going around on trails cost me almost 30 seconds here. Finally, on 25, I went straight over the top of the hill instead of running around and lost about 30 seconds.
It was a fun course on what is not the most fun area around. Thanks to all the tough volunteers who were out on this cold and wet day!