Orienteering - Forest race (China Long) 1:34:23  9.93 km (9:30 / km) +415m 7:52 / km
ahr:136 max:168 (injured) shoes: Mudclaw 275 (blk)
Lovely day, a little warm for running though, and awesome to be in a spectacular national park. Great views of the mountains all around, and some massive rocky mounds in the background. Was expecting rough forest and was not disappointed!
All the days so far have had a long #1 and this trend continued. Wanted to take as much of a track route as possible for as long as possible. Did this fine, but then when I'd planned to leave the track there was just a wall of vertical jungle. I tried, but decided it was a bad route and decided to find a better way. Wish I'd have stuck with it...went further round the hillside on a vague trod and found somewhere else which looked possible, but it turned out to be even worse and had to turn around. Contoured a bit more but was getting critical now, so had to find somewhere probably equally as bad as the first place. Eventually got up and relocated on #9. At the time I thought this was great! Only 150m from #1.
Unfortunately there was a massive, steep, jungle-filled reentrant in the way. I could now see the control, but not get to it. Tried to contour and lose height but it was crazily slow and dangerous. After a few false starts, eventually worked my way down and up the other side, but it was probably 10 mins since I'd first set eyes on the control! Crazy.
So not a great start. Next 3 controls all good. Then on 5, contoured around rather than over the hill, which is fine on the map, but again resulted in exactly the same situation where I could see the control but not get to it, and lost another few minutes watching people 20m above me have no trouble at all whilst I was stuck in jungle. Annoying.
Then good 6, and 7 learnt from experience and went over the top; no issues. 8 first mistake that I class as being 'my fault' (lol) , mistook path junction for path bend (photographer; grr) and looked in the wrong reentrant for a few mins. Then fine to 9, but to 10 had to slide down an uncrossable crag and lost a few more mins. Then overtook by China team #1 who ran up a hill I'd just decided was impossibly steep and green - so followed his lead. Followed him to 11 too but he made a mistake dammit, but he relocated fast. Then next few controls to 18 all went well and was feeling good (and glad it was nearly over). But 19 time for one last mistake, misread contours (hard to see on scattered trees...) and thought I had to be much lower, rather than on the ridgeline. So turned a very easy control into another 5 minute loss...sigh.
So - a terrible run. 18th - but only 42 finished and there were 20ish retirements, so at least others struggled too... Couldn't have done much about the map ones near the start but all the later ones were annoying; I know I can do better.
On the plus side, great time afterwards on vertiginous walkways in the mountains including one made of glass. Hated every minute at the time! But massive adrenaline rush.