Orienteering race 5:41:35**** 15.93 mi (21:27 / mi) +1022m17:53 / mi ahr:128 max:182 25c shoes: Salomon Speedcross 4 - Gray2
BFLO Ellicottville Adventure Run Little Rock City State Park, Salamanca, NY
After 2 weeks of travel and a single night in my bed, I went into this with pretty modest expectations and the goal just to have fun. It was a last minute decision even to participate, but Syd was going and I knew I would feel left out if I didn't go. We decided to do this as a day trip, so we were up and out at 6 am for the 3.5 hour drive, and got back home at 9:30pm, a long day, but overall it worked out well.
I had done some log reading and map looking before the race and it looked like a physically and navigational tough challenge. When we got maps that was confirmed - this is a real O map, with real O style control placement and not a very extensive trail networking meaning legs were long without solid attack points. I planned to clear, but figured I would adjust on the fly.
I started out with 3 easy 10 pointers near the finish, but the third one was the first hill climb and my calves were screaming! Not a great way to start the day, but luckily they loosened up for the rest of the race. After that it was a plunge into the heart of the difficult nav. 8 and 38 both went well so I was feeling good. Apparently that meant I let me guard down because I was shooting from the hip approaching 24, relying on bearing and pace and not paying attention to the features :(. Some day I'll learn. Tracks make it look like I walked right by it at some point early in my search. I spent too long exploring the hillside, repeatedly figuring out I was not in the right area because the rocks were too big, but not enough to figure out exactly where I was. Eventually, I gave up, disheartened. I should have reattacked from somewhere solid, but that meant a big hill climb that I just wasnt feeling, so I moved on.
I made my way up to Little Rock city because I knew I'd be able to figure out where I was once I got up there. This section is included as a 1:4k map inset because of the intricate dense rock features. I found the 3 controls in this section without a problem. It was really fun with house sized rock features that had narrow passage ways in between them. I think you could do a pretty sweet sprint course just in this small area. Other areas of the map have similar boulders, but not as extensive. There was 1 additional control just outside of the inset, but it meant another big hill climb with vague nav that I just wasn't feeling, so I skipped it and moved on.
I continued on to 22, 14, 23, 36, 21 without any big problems. I overshot 23 and hit the park boundary, again focusing too much on bearing + pace without solid attention to detail, but I corrected quickly. Then 35 I was still shooting from the hop and overshot, miscounting streams and again found myself in trouble trying to relocate without anything solid. Eventually I gave up on this one too, thinking I was dropping a ton of huge points :/. Luckily, on my exit I spotted the flag about 100 yards off! This proved to finally be the wakeup call I needed.
I continued to 27 and then up the ridge to 13 and 12 and evaluated options. i could move on to the other map and see how far I could get, or I could do 4 40 point controls with difficult nav and get almost as many points in way less distance. I decided I couldn't pass up the big points and I just needed to focus on the nav. I focused well and spiked all 4 of them, proving if I had just gone in more focused originally I wouldnt have had any of my early problems. Doh. The big hill climb up to 26 actually didnt feel that bad, and I found myself evaluating end game options for my last 1.5 hours as I approached 9. I could move on to the other map and hope to snag 60-80 points on a bunch of low pointers, a few of which were gimmees and a few were difficult looking - OR I could seek revenge on the 70 points I had skipped out earlier by back tracking.
I chose the latter. I was feeling confident I could do the nav. The hills weren't seeming that bad. And it was on the order of the same number of points. So I backtracked and started road and trail running for the first time, feeling pretty good. On the return trip I spiked both of them without any problem. Frustrating I had failed the first time, but once I got my mind in the right place glad to see I actually am capable of orienteering. Then it was a long (and enjoyable) trail run back to the finish.
Definitely not my best performance, but I'll blame the travel and general tiredness, and too some extent I went in with that expectation. I still had loads of fun and enjoyed the map immensely. The map is excellent - fully legit O map, not the vague rogaine map I'm used to. The light green veg was largely very nice (which is good, because its almost the whole map). The rock features are accurate to shape and size - I did wonder about the convention of some being filled black and others being open black, and never quite figured out what size went from dot boulder to shaped rock, but I think both of these were just musings and didnt affect my ability to interpret the map at all. Highly recommend this race :D.
680/1000 points, 25/40 controls.
Low 70's and cloudy + hiking rather than running, meant that I flet pretty darn good through the whole race.
It went pretty well, but I think I did hop 2 incrossable fences, both times actually making my route worse... looks like that expected based on the commentary in that link... hot day but a fun way to mix it up while at a conference.
2 spots were under construction so I’m not counting those controls.
Fenix does not seem well suited (HR or GPS) for fast efforts like this. I should remember this and default to back to suunto.
Road Running20:45 2.4 mi (8:39 / mi) +10m8:32 / mi ahr:166 max:179 shoes: Salomon Speedcross 4 - Gray2