Orienteering race 36:57  5.4 km (6:51 / km)
QOC Junior Nationals
We got to the arena early and headed to the start right away. Thanks to Will for watching Inara while Alli and I ran!
This was my first hard running effort since re-aggravating my hamstring at the Flying Pig. I was wary of the vague contours and tried to be precise with my compass and use all the terrain features I could to help me stay on line. The race went pretty well, but I still made a couple of mistakes (0:30 on #2, 0:30 on #15, and several hesitations right in the circle when I didn't see the control right away) and definitely ran out of steam after #12 or so. The lack of hard running workouts certainly showed.
I was pleasantly surprised with the speed I was able to maintain for the first part of the course - there is certainly something here to build on. Jordan was untouchable today, but 2nd place was up for grabs, and it was great to see Joe Barrett finally having the margins on his side.
After finishing, I did a bunch of announcing and keeping half an eye on Inara while Alli worked the download. Inara was roaming by herself a lot of the time - this was a great arena for that, wide open and relatively safe, which meant that at one point a concerned JROTC mom came to me and asked me to announce that there was a toddler wandering around by herself in the middle of a field. I sheepishly had to admit that it was, in fact, my toddler.
Orienteering race 19:10  3.1 km (6:11 / km)
Relay at Junior Nationals!
Relays are the best. We had a team of myself, Alli, and Nadim. None of us were sure we would run due to various injuries, but in the end, we all did. This was made possible by the fact that Alli took Inara for a driving nap during the day, which was clutch.
It's been a long time since I'd run a leadoff leg in a relay. It's really fun! It would have been nice to be fitter, but you do what you can. Right off the start, I found myself heading in a direction that no one else was running in, and I was alone at my first control - not a normal occurrence on the first control of the first leg. A bunch of cadets, who must have gone to the wrong forking, then came flying past me on the way to 2. I spent the next few legs chasing a pack containing Joe Barrett, Erin, and Gheorghe, but they were all moving a bit faster than me. I was surprised to see Thomas Laraia go by just before the spectator control, and to see that AJ was still behind me at that point.
On the final loop I found myself mostly alone, in between packs, but everyone bunched together when the leading group missed and the second group, containing AJ and Wyatt, caught up. I think Joe B managed to avoid the mistake and take the leadoff leg win! I handed off to Alli 2 minutes down. She and Nadim had solid races, and we somehow ended up as the 3rd 3-point club team. So much fun!
After my leg, I spent the rest of the relay announcing. The arena was set up perfectly for this, with a great view to the spectator control and the finish chute from the top of the ridge.